February has been a tough month this year. We are homebound and hibernating, and getting a little stir-crazy. Why not beat the February blues with a few hot tunes at folkus? This month we’re bringing you a high-energy night, with Jack Pine and the Fire and The BelleRegards, just the thing to shake off those blahs, Both bands this month have a few things in a common — driven by the folk tradition, reflective in the studio (both bands have backgrounds in production), high-energy on stage. We promise a rollicking evening of fast-paced acoustic music, driven by a thumping stand-up based and anchored with a fiddle or two. Mandolins and guitars may creep in as well.
Jack Pine and the Fire take their name from one of the strangest relationships in nature. The Jack Pine cone is so tough, so insular, it takes fire to open it up so the seeds can be released. Hence, the Jack Pine is the first to regrow after a forest fire. Take what you will from it, it’s a good metaphor in alt-country music, which is what Gareth-Auden Hole and a stable of friends deliver through the Ottawa Valley. Fusing country twang with a rootsy sound and soul-searching lyrics, the sound recalls Steve Earle and Fred Eaglesmith. The picking is fast, the arrangements are subtle, and I’d have to guess that his parents had a huge record collection, because there’s interesting lilts of other old-time sounds that creep in. See how many you can catch.
The BelleRegards hail from across Canada — they met at a music production school in Toronto — and call their sound “rowdy folk”. Whether it’s a two-step or a paso doble, they bring the energy of the dance band to the stage. Smooth without being too slick, The BelleRegards include the beautifully balanced vocals and guitar of Melanie Hilmi and Matthew Kingsley, the upright bass of Mitchell Thomson, and the old-timey French-Canadian fiddle of David Poulin. With deft musicianship, foot-stomping rhythms, and the odd shout-along chorus, The BelleRegards promise to lift your spirits for the night.
folkus is looking forward to offering you great entertainment, and great local beverages, all in the warm setting of the Almonte Old Town Hall. As always, folkus doors open at 7:30 pm and seating is first-come, first-served. Showtime is 8 pm. folkus offers a cash bar with local beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages. Please drink responsibly. Details at www.folkusalmonte.com, and tickets are on Eventbrite (http://folkusalmonte.eventbrite.ca/) and at Mill Street Books. Questions?info@folkusalmonte.com.
The BelleRegards play what they like to call “rowdy folk”. With more than a hint of bluegrass and rockabilly, the band is identified by high-energy live shows, foot-stomping rhythms, trad breaks, and good humour. They love to get the crowd moving with them—whether to an upbeat two-step or swaying to a ballad, their shows invite you to join in the fun. 
folkus_february 2015