Willow’s New EP: The Southend

Willow’s New EP: The Southend

Willow acknowledges the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory or the Laich-Kwil-Tach people of the Wei Wai Kai Nation. Originally published on Cortes Currents Quadra Island’s folk roots quartet Willow has just released a new EP: “The Southend.” They chose that name because the EP was recorded at the United Church in Cape Mudge, and many of the associated photos were taken in a field near Tsa-Kwa-Luten Lodge. (Both sites are in the south end of Quadra Island. ) Asked what is special about this particular release, Noelle Maffin says that she usually finds performing so much easier than recording, but “there was a sense of magic in the room. This [EP] just fell into place and was recorded very easily in about five hours.”  Maureen Fox Maureen Fox by Ocean Mawhinney Maureen Fox describes one of the most important ingredients of Willow’s style as a “weaving together of our voices and our hearts.”  “I have a long history of being involved with music, however unlike these lovely Campbell River ladies, Trinity and I were both born in New York state … [Starting when I was 3 ] … I was in church choirs and playing piano and later guitar. I was involved with music throughout my high school and college time, with different groups. I lived in North Carolina for awhile and did a little bit of music.” Maureen’s work as a speech pathologist brought her to British Columbia. Then, “I fell in love with the beauty of the mountains, the rivers and BC in general.” She decided to raise her children here rather than go back to the United States. By 2013,...
Robin Hood And The Babes In the Woods

Robin Hood And The Babes In the Woods

Originally Published on Cortes Currents Robin Hood & The Babes in the Wood will be playing at Theatre Quadra on the weekend of November 15 – 17, 2019.  According to the theatre website, “The play is a panto in which genders get blended, logic yields to farce, the audience gets involved and most anything can happen.” In this morning’s interview I talk to co-directors Kate Alexandra and Linda Lolacher.   Involvement with Theatre Quadra Linda’s involvement with Theatre Quadra started eight years ago, when she started helping out with the costumes. Kate has been involved with theatre since high school and went on to study in Toronto. They first worked together on a Quadra production of “the Actor’s Nightmare” in 2009.  “We’ve been working together, in various projects, ever since,” says Kate.  Linda talks about, “The camaraderie of the process of bringing a cast together, how they bond and develop over time.”   Kate describes the special part about live theatre, as opposed to movies, ​is the opportunity to interact with the audience and connect on an energetic level.” “You don’t get that same intimacy when you go out to see a movie … You are going to see a lot of your fellow community members up on stage, taking all kinds of risks and doing their very best to entertain you.” .  The Audience Gets Involved According to the Theatre Quadra website, Robin Hood “is a panto in which genders get blended, logic yields to farce, the audience gets involved and most anything can happen.” “That means it’s a lot of fun, both onstage and in the audience.It’s slapstick humour,...
Rex Weyler’s Music

Rex Weyler’s Music

While better known as an environmentalist and one of the co-founders of Greenpeace, some of Rex’s earliest memories involve singing. “Being with a group of people and making music together is one of the most intense forms of communication I’ve ever experienced.” In this morning’s interview we explore a little of Rex Weyler’s music.  Beginnings of Rex Weyler’s Music “I did not have any musical training. Our family did not have a piano. We didn’t have any guitars around. I just sang songs and made up the verses. Often when we were travelling in a car, I’d just sit there and sing Hank Williams songs to myself – making up the verses. It wasn’t until I was 19-years-old that a friend of mine taught me how to play the guitar and , in fact, gave me a guitar . A whole other world opened up for me, because then I could hear the notes … and the cord changes, the rhythm and so forth – and so I have been writing songs ever since.” When he was In his twenties, Rex travelled all over the world – from North America to Europe, the Middle East and India. He took his guitar everywhere.  “I spent a lot of time on my own: learning, playing, playing with other people … picking up guitar skills and basically learning how to play. I played in a couple of bands and wrote some songs in the 70s and 80s. Then I moved to Cortes in 1981 and continued to write songs here … Eventually I kept thinking, I should record these songs.”  Rex (on mic) with other...
Rick Bockner: Paths Of Beauty

Rick Bockner: Paths Of Beauty

Originally Published on the ECOreport His musical roots go back to the McCarthy era, when the United States was purging itself of anything that could be labelled communist. Pete Seeger gave him tips on how to play the guitar. He was a member of the psychedelic rock band Mad River, which released two albums in San Francisco before it disbanded in 1969. On Cortes Island, he is somewhat of a musical icon. In addition to being a songwriter, he is one of the key organizers of Lovefest and the face of CKTZ’s Lip Syncs for the past decade. In this morning’s program, I interview Rick Bockner about his paths of beauty. What Music Means To Rick Bockner “Music is keyed into me at a genetic level. My dad was a social worker and I grew up with the music of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Lead Belly … and lots of the folk movement prior to Dylan. I started busting into my dad’s guitar case at five, to the point where he had to buy me a little guitar to carry around. I’ve got a picture of me at age four with a plastic Maccaferri Ukulele standing on the street and I started to learn to play at age seven,” says Rick. Big Brother Is Watching Pete Seeger periodically visited his family. The folk singer was one of the performers blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1955, after he refused to testify about his political beliefs or associations. Rick’s father sponsored him at a number of events. “My dad did house concerts and things at the community centre...
The Merry McKentys Return – On Tour

The Merry McKentys Return – On Tour

Originally Published on Cortes Currents According to the description on their website, the McKentys saga starts sounds on a steep snowy mountainside in the backwoods of British Columbia. Robert and Elizabeth had a small cabin, “many children of various sizes, a wood stove, a small battery-powered stereo system that sometimes worked, a mandolin, and several fiddles.” By the time they moved to Cortes, the Merry McKenty were on their way towards becoming a band. There were five people sitting around the table of their Vancouver home, the morning we skyped. It is easy to identify the rich timbre of Robert’s voice, or his daughter Ieva, but I find it more difficult to discern which of the boys –  Francis, Immanuel or Isa – is talking.  Coming Back To Cortes “We lived in a number of different places on Cortes because it is very difficult to find year round rentals, especially for a large family. Cortes is … a very unusual demographic, all told, and it is also a very unusual place to be in nature. Those two things stand out for all of us. … Whether we were living on the boat, or living in a campground in Smelt Bay, or when we lived in Smelt Bay for nearly ten years in a rental, every morning we could get out and we were in unusually pristine natural environment and go swimming, or go running … or go to the Co-op, especially when the Cafe is open.” – Robert  “We arrived in 2002 and didn’t find a summer rental and so moved off the island and then came back in 2003...
Coming To Cortes & Quadra: Pato Banon

Coming To Cortes & Quadra: Pato Banon

Originally Published on Cortes Currents Coming to Cortes & Quadra: Pato Banton & the Now Generation. In a special fundraiser for the new Cortes Garden Club, they will be performing at Mansons Hall on June 10 and Cortes Elementary Junior Secondary School June 11. Their last performance, before returning to the United States, is at the Heriot Bay Inn on June 12. A Local Connection: The band has a local connection. Pato’s wife, Antionette Rootsdawtah, visited Quadra and Cortes Islands during an international women’s conference.  I had hoped to interview Pato, his wife, or their local friend Lucretia, but this has not happened. As a result, the podcast below is almost all music – which actually fits with my original vision for this section. Notes Gleaned From The Net (Not mentioned in the podcast above) “Patrick Murray was born in London in 1961, and moved to Birmingham when he was 8 years old. Pato’s stepfather (Lester Daley) was a DJ fresh from Jamaica and the house in which they lived became the weekend night spot for the local community. Pato was the lookout for these illegal parties, working on the door from the age of 9. In his early teens Pato started to gain his musical foundation on his stepfathers’ sound system called V-Rocket, from helping set up the equipment at first to later selecting the music and trying his skills on the microphone.  Patrick would stay up all night entertaining the masses and was given the name Patoo by his stepfather. (The name derives from a wise night owl in Jamaica, that stays up all night, calling “patoo, patoo.”)”...