Musicians from Memphis, Tennessee, Kansas City and Winnipeg are performing a one-night-only, strictly acoustic folk music revue at the West End Cultural Centre March 16. “Home Routes at the WECC” is a co-production between the two organizations and features four distinctly different styles of folk music performed by world-class musicians. This show will be entirely acoustic with no sound system in the ACU Hall inside the WECC. Fresh off their Home Routes house concert tours across the prairies, these acts will each have a 35 minute set, selecting their best material and providing a night of variety for folk music fans in Winnipeg. “As an organization we are born from Folk Music, and we are very excited to present four stellar concerts from southern blues to bluegrass to folk/jazz and even some Ozark Mountain Music,” says Tim Osmond, Artistic Director. “For folk music fans this will be a southern buffet of acoustic music styles, without the grits and cornbread.”
Andy Cohen of Memphis, TN has spent a lifetime following, studying, performing and promoting the music of the southeast quadrant, America’s great musical fountainhead. Although he’s done other things- a certain amount of writing and physical labor from dishwashing and railroading to archaeology, playing the old tunes is what he does best. You could call him a walking encyclopedia of American Folk Music.
Betse & Clarke are regular folks, with exceptional music. This duo from Kansas City, Missouri has its roots in Ozark old time music, honouring traditional songs and tunes that resonate with human experience. Long known for her energetic style in her former band The Wilders, Betse’s earned a level of maturity while maintaining her contagious enthusiasm. Clarke Wyatt is an engaging finger-style banjo player, drawing inspiration from great traditional and inventive banjoists of earlier decades such as Mike Seeger and John Hartford.
Manitoba’s own Casati has its own voice as a unique blend of folk and jazz that strikes a balance between sincere and direct words supported by musical inventiveness. Casati brings their music to life with lush three part harmonies and rich textures created with ukulele, guitar, double-bass sometimes even a hurdy-gurdy.
Winnipeg bluegrass group The Osmond Davis Band will round out the night. This group of five pickers has a common passion for bluegrass and honky tonk music. Guitar flat picker Simon Davis and 5-string banjo player Tim Osmond sing a repertoire of music from the likes of the Stanley Brothers, Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs and other traditional and contemporary bluegrass standards. Joined with them on fiddle is the extraordinary Jeremy Penner, the driving mandolin of Dan Simpson, and the solid backbone upright bass of Karl Ratchinsky.