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March 2012 Archives

Patrick Boyle's Ode to Confederation

patrick boyle by william suarez.jpgPatrick Boyle is a rising star of jazz who also dabbles in rock, rap, blues, and bluegrass. He plays live soundtracks to silent films. He's even composed an ode to his favorite fish n' chips shop.

At the most recent Sound Symposium in St. John's, Patrick took on another challenge: a musical reflection on Newfoundland and Labrador's union with Canada.

Well Enough Alone: The Confederation Suite, was composed by Patrick as a special commission for CBC Radio.

This Saturday (March 31), you'll hear the debut performance, recorded at the LSPU Hall in St. John's.

The show features an all-star lineup of Newfoundland jazz alumni:

Patrick Boyle, trumpet and flugelhorn.
John Nugent, saxophone.
Bill Brennan, piano.
Jim Vivian, bass.
Michael Billard, drums.

The second set from this concert features another Patrick Boyle composition: Same Here, along with Charlie Parker's Confirmation, and the Gershwin classic Embraceable You.

(Photo: William Suarez.)

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Performance Hour Video: Megan Warren of Repartee

Here's the lead singer of one of Newfoundland's hottest young bands, Repartee. Megan Warren performs her song "Strong" in Studio F at CBC St. John's. This video was shot during her session for the March 24 edition of The Performance Hour. 

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Check our "on demand" page for more video from previous Performance Hour studio sessions.

Megan Warren Follows the Songwriting Road Less Traveled


meg headshot edit.jpgMegan Warren wants you to get up and dance.

That's one of the reasons she formed a synth-pop band called Repartee back in 2009. The band quickly earned a reputation for high-energy, high-tempo live shows.

In that context, it can be hard to stand out as a distinct and original songwriter.

But Megan Warren's songs have layers of depth and personality you won't find in most catchy pop tunes.

It's one reason why Repartee is among the strongest young bands in Newfoundland and Labrador, in demand for events like Canada Music Week and the East Coast Music Awards.

This Saturday we'll hear her music in a more intimate setting, as Megan joins me in Studio F at CBC St. John's.

She'll sit at the Steinway grand piano to play a few selections from the Repartee catalogue, and talk about her songs and her band.

Also on this week's show, new fiction by Russell Wangersky, from his short story collection Whirl Away.

A Performance Hour Documentary Special: "A Bullet for the General"

The latest audio feature from Newfoundland documentary maker Chris Brookes unravels the mystery of Major General Hugh Tudor.Tudor mugshot-1.jpg

For four decades, this decorated World War One general and friend of Winston Churchill lived in St. John's - far from his country, his wife and children, and very far indeed from the limelight.

But he lived in fear, carrying a Webley revolver and a set of brass knuckles in case of a surprise attack.

And he harboured a dark secret - one that would eventually carry an assassin across the Atlantic on a mission to hunt him down. Or so they say.

Tudor had been the commander of the infamous Black and Tans, the British force formed in 1920 to "fight fire with fire" against the IRA in Ireland.

After Irish independence in 1922, Tudor was considered a marked man, and he escaped to exile in Newfoundland.

Did the assassination attempt actually happen, or is it the stuff of legend?

With the help of Newfoundland crime novelist Thomas Curran, the documentary sleuths the mystery of a man reviled in Ireland as a rapacious war criminal, and remembered in St. John's only as a quiet old man.

"A Bullet for the General" is a Battery Radio production, and aired on RTE Dublin in January.

You'll find an audio listening link and background information on Hugh Tudor at the Battery Radio website.

Performance Hour Video: Jill Porter Sings "Birds"

Here's Newfoundland singer and songwriter Jill Porter in Studio F at CBC St. John's. This video was shot during her session recorded for the March 10 edition of The Performance Hour. 

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Saturday on the Performance Hour: Jill Porter Perseveres

JillPorter.jpgIt's nearly seven years since Jill Porter released her debut album, took to the road, and played regular shows in downtown St. John's.

The woman from Burgeo has been more quiet lately, working her day job and avoiding the late nights.

But she's never far from her guitar, does plenty of recording at home, and  continues working with other local singers and songwriters like Mark Bragg, Mick Davis, and Duane Morgan.

This Saturday (March 10), Jill Porter visits the Performance Hour studio, guitar in hand, with a batch of new songs.

We'll hear how she's changed and grown from the young woman who made her self-described "authentic rock and roll" album back in 2005.

Also this week, we'll hear St. John's novelist Edward Riche reading at the Sparks Literary Festival, and Mark Hiscock of Shanneyganock talks about the band's latest album, a tribute to the music and legacy of the McNulty Family.

(Jill Porter photo by Tracy Davis)