Way back when we had just entered a new millennium and while being a gainfully employed member of the fifth estate; the editor insisted that I do a promo (read puff) piece about a local folk group. I loved classical music & enjoyed jazz but the only folk knowledge I had was hating Lightfoot for being repetitious and even worse –BORING. Went to the Oakville Centre’s basement; listened; enjoyed and thereafter attended as many of the concerts as I we could. We were hooked into the White Oaks Folk Club. *
Keith T.; Sean D.; James & Sandy; Steve B.; Nonie C.; Caroline; Tator Vox; Paul L.; Randy B. Alfie S. and Russell M. became our own weekend ‘hoodies’. Lost contact with most of them but their CD’s kept getting played during moments of reminiscence. Notice that Barb Kerr & Urmas Soomet of STUDIO 13 were presenting Caroline Wiles with her sidekick Brenda Chisholm was enough impetus to get our two ailing bodies out of bed and schlep up to Flamborough. Glad we went; in addition of visiting their state-of-the-art recording arrangement; we had an opportunity to step back in time with old friends.
Joined by bass guitarist Bob Doidge and guitarist/mandolin talent – Mike McCurlie; Wiles sang some of our old favorites, serious compositions like her French piece about ‘Carole’ and ‘Angels’, as well as comedic creations like Gramma’s horticultural talent and her extolling of the advantages of ‘Little boobs’!
McCurlie musically iterated his affection for travel in an old VW ‘bug’; as well as the Air Miles ™ benefit gleaned by regular patronage of the LCBO. Like all folk pieces, the compositions tell a story and are highly personal; so, visceral reactions are intrinsic. This musician has a manner and personality that lets his audience see his very essence. Doidge, whose bass conception seems to favor counterpuntal minor key reprise’s that are both effective and creatively supportive. He’s also an award-winning jazz trumpeter.
Wiles still possesses that husky contralto voice that counterparts the enjoyable whiskey-tenor male range that’s so in demand. She and Chisholm still handle an audience with aplomb and an intimacy that is so suited to such a venue. Hell, we even found ourselves joining in most of the choral reiterations.
It was an enjoyable concert; it was a suitable venue bot most of all… It was a fun evening.
Aside to Caroline; back in ’02 when you gave us your CD, the ‘Bermuda’ track was so touching that I told the muse it tempted me to want to visit the island. She suggested I pass that on to i’s tourist office. Turned out that any decisions had to be made in its capital – Hamilton. Made the call; played the tape over the phone and that month; had an extra Long Distance charge of over $14.00. You owe us, girl!
B.T.W. a propos Gordon Lightfoot: – Guelph’s 92.1 plays him at least twice daily! YUCK.