Dan Frechette and Emma Cloney (Emma Cloney)
Emma Cloney is a singer-songwriter and rancher, hailing from Big Sky Ranch, near Woodlands, Manitoba. She's also one of the 'cooks' behind the 'kitchen party' at the West End Cultural Centre, Saturday, April 27.
She'll be joined by champion fiddlers Patti Lamoureux and her son Alex Lamoureux, Lamouand, singer-songwriter Rambling Dan Frechette, and multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Rusu.
Emma put down her guitar for a few minutes to talk to SCENE about her secret recipe.
How did the ranch jam/kitchen party tradition get started at Big Sky Ranch?
It was last summer when my family and I decided to call up the friends and neighbours and invite them to our ranch. Our little ranch is settled on five acres of land complete with horses and a small fishing pond - a sweet piece of country heaven for our young family. From my kitchen window, you can enjoy the gleam of the glass jars from freshly canned dill pickles and the smell of homemade bread and jam.
So family and friends gathered there ... all twenty-seven of us. We ate together, laughed, talked, and told stories. But, best of all, we jammed together, filling my kitchen and home with the sweet sound of our own private folk festival. We had fiddlers, banjos, mandolins and guitars, singers and storytellers... even a Metis woman who told us of her People's oral history.
These kitchen parties at my home have been lovingly named "The Ranch Jams" and they remain one of my favouite things to do on a warm summer night or even a cold winter's night by the heat of the wood stove. With all the happiness these gatherings have brought to the family, we decided to share the experience on a larger scale.
Why the kitchen?
It's the heart of any home! A Kitchen Party is all about sharing music and stories so picture if you will, walking into a farmhouse kitchen filled with the smells of homemade bread and jams and being welcomed in by the playful sounds of fiddled reels and jigs. It's a "come as you are and stay until the wee hours of the morning" kind of place. With all the liveliness that goes on in the kitchen, it's no wonder that the party never migrates to the other rooms of the house.
What are the essential ingredients to a successful kitchen party?
Kitchen chairs, a good stomping floor, a lively audience, and.....great food! Musicians might never leave! There should be a food theme in any kitchen, and no kitchen party would be complete without plenty of homemade goodies and a free flow of liquid libation.
What's your recipe for the best kitchen party ever?
Enthusiastic passionate musicians
1 huge kitchen
Hours of non-stop Fun
Audience Members -- Complete with spoons, boots, Beer and Spirit