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February 2012 Archives

Constant Companions in Newfoundland Traditional Music

graham-billy-jason.jpgThe fiddle and accordion are a near-perfect combination in Newfoundland trad music.

And the same might be said of Graham Wells and Billy Sutton.

Having learned the music at the feet of his father and grandfather, Graham is a button accordion player of great renown in St. John's.

Billy is master of many instruments, but the fiddle is his weapon of choice when he and Graham sit down to play.

For over a decade they've been jamming together and trading tunes. These days they host regular sessions at Erin's Pub in St. John's.

This Saturday (March 3), Graham Wells and Billy Sutton drop by the Performance Hour studio, armed with fiddle and accordion, ready for a chat and a spirited set of tunes.

Also this week, Leslie Vryenhoek reads from her latest book of poetry, Gulf.

With titles like "The Sum of Come From Aways" and "New Tenant's Lament," her poems explore the meaning of home and the search for belonging. Her reading was recorded at the 2012 Sparks Literary Festival in St. John's.

(Photo: Don Shorrock)

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Stories Real and Imagined from Newfoundland and Labrador Writers

33 callanan at 2012 sparks.jpgOver the next few weeks we'll highlight the dynamic and ever-changing literary scene in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Each show will include a brief performance by one of our finest writers, as heard at the 2012 Sparks Literary Festival in St. John's.

Our recording crew was at the festival in January, where local writers like Mark Callanan, Patirck Warner, and Leslie Vryenhoek read from their latest work.

It's the kind of radio that rewards close listening. If you can stop whatever else you're doing and give it your full attention, you'll be rewarded.

This week we'll feature poetry by Mark Callanan. His latest book, Gift Horse, has been hailed as a collection of "incredible poems of mortality" by the National Post.

Also this week, my studio guest is Aley Waterman, the young singer, songwriter, and pianist from Corner Brook.

Plus I talk to the members of Every7th, and we hear from the first two albums released by the self-described flamenco-flared acoustic rock trio.

Photo: Mark Callanan at the 2012 Sparks Literary Festival (Maria Penney).

Performance Hour Video: Chris Picco in Studio F

The St. John's singer and songwriter played three brand new songs in this week's recording session for the Performance Hour, including one that remains a work in progress.

It's called The Beach.

Here it is, filmed live off the studio floor at CBC St. John's:

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Chris Picco: The Long Distance Runner Slows His Pace

DSC_9060-1.jpgLike many a Newfoundlander before him, Chris Picco set out for the bright lights of Toronto at a young age.

That's where he got started as a singer and songwriter, releasing his first album in 2004.

But a few years later, Chris was back in his hometown of St. John's, and it's proved to be a productive return.

After releasing another solo album in 2007, he formed a band called The Long Distance Runners.

Their debut CD is nominated for Rock Recording of the Year at the upcoming East Coast Music Awards, and a new album by the Long Distance Runners will be ready by April.

Meanwhile, Chris Picco continues his solo work, and he's our studio guest this Saturday (February 11) on the Performance Hour.

He'll play a song from the upcoming Long Distance Runners CD, plus a couple of brand new tunes, and talk about his slow and steady approach to his music career.

Also this week, we'll hear "Mainland Man" and several other poems read by St. John's poet Danielle Devereaux, and chat with the local jazz-funk trio Evry7th.

(Photo: Sandra Lee.)

Performance Hour Video: Terry Penney Seeks His "Last Guitar"

Terry Penney made the drive from Lewisporte to join us for this Saturday's edition of the Performance Hour (February 4).

From his session in Studio F at CBC St. John's, here's a preview of the show.

Terry Penney performs the title track from his new album, The Last Guitar.

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Terry Penney's Songs of Lovers, Fighters and Bikers

terry-penney-1.jpgA childhood memory from Shoal Harbour, a romance stretching from Lewisporte to Colorado, a motorcycle club in central Newfoundland...

Those are just a few of the subjects addressed in the latest batch of songs by Terry Penney.

The Lewisporte singer and songwriter is about to release his fifth album, The Last Guitar.

This Saturday (February 4) he drops by the Performance Hour studio, guitar in hand.

He'll discuss the new album and play several songs from it.

Also this week, new music from the Navigators. Lead singer and songwriter Arthur O'Brien talks about Soldiers and Sailors, the latest CD from a much-loved trad band.

(Photo credit: Angie Wilmott)