Thu, May 2, 2013.
One of the mainstays in the music scene in the province's south-east launches his latest disc this weekend, starting a series of shows in the area. Dr. R.A. Lautenschlager is the Executive Director of the Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre in Sackville, but that's only the day job. He has just as much passion for music as he does for nature conservation. Sometimes the two do meet up, and he's written some heart-felt, and effective songs over the years that appeal for sanity in the race for economic growth. There's also a lot of education in his music too, and down-home advice. Plus he serves up lots of humour and topical songs too, observing the silliness in our society.
R.A.'s also big on keeping live music going in the area. He hosts the weekly Open Mic at the Bridge Street Cafe in Sackville on Thursday nights, a chance for all performers to play their stuff. Also he has several residencies in the Sackville-Amherst axis, and he bounces back and forth between the two towns from Thursday to Saturday, playing venues in the afternoon and evenings, about the busiest musician going.
For this disc, R.A. switches gears a bit, as the focus is on the blues. It kicks off with a classic cover, Let The Good Times Roll, and for the rest of the 7-track disc, it's new original tunes, R.A. backed by an electric trio, as opposed to his acoustic side. It's sort of like folk singer boogie, R.A. giving us a few stories, like Misspent Life, looking back with few regrets at years of sneaking around, burning the candle at both ends. I'm thinking it's not really autobiographical, although maybe he does have the scars to prove me wrong.
The launch shows begin Friday night, in Salisbury at the Big Dog Lounge. Sunday May 5 sees him at Teazers Pub in Amherst at 5 PM. Thursday the 9th he'll be at the Bridge Street Cafe in Sackville at 7:30, and Friday the 10th he's at Duncan's Pub in Amherst at 8 PM. The disc, by the way, is called Cookin' Live.
Saint John folk duo Tomato/Tomato lead the way in this year's nominations for Music New Brunswick awards. The husband-and-wife team has grabbed six nominations, including those for Album of the Year, Group Recording of the Year and Song of the... more »
The Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival is well-known for introducing new, exciting acts to the East Coast that wouldn't normally tour in this area. They might be from Los Angeles or New Orleans, or some of the best Canadian groups... more »
As the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival celebrates its 25th year, several favourite acts from the past have been invited back, including some that haven't been around for quite awhile. Even though he lives in Montreal, this year's Juno Award-winning... more »
It was a Harvest show that went down as a classic for the people crowding in the Blues tent in 2011. Levon Helm and his great big 13-piece band rolled into Fredericton for the jazz and blues festival, and stole... more »
Bob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).