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Seriously Sassy

coco.jpgThis week on the X we've got the seriously sassy and charming jazz chanteuse Coco Love Alcorn, a feature interview with force of nature Carrie Catherine, plus four poems for a change of season from Dave Margoshes. 

Part Part soul diva, part folk troubadour, part jazz improviser, part revolutionary, part visual artist, Coco Love Alcorn is a multifaceted gem reflecting back the world as she experiences it. The Vancouver Province calls her voice 'extraordinary'; The Star Phoenix calls it 'stunning'. As a songwriter and vocalist, she effortlessly embraces her diverse musical influences -- Jazz, Pop, R&B and Folk -- melding them seamlessly into her own distinctive and compelling sound. Her expansive stylistic, dynamic and emotional range, along with her vocal prowess, have made her a sought-after performer, respected by her peers and cherished by her fans. More than anything, however, it's her love of improvising and her willingness to engage fearlessly with the audience that have made Coco Love Alcorn a singular and powerful force on the Canadian music scene for over a decade.

Born in Antigonish, Nova Scotia then growing up between there, Vancouver and Toronto, Coco Love Alcorn is through-and-through Canadian. Her parents both come from families of highly creative and accomplished individuals - designers, writers, filmmakers, actors, visual artists and musicians. With this background, Coco was almost certainly destined to be a creative soul.

Since the release of her self-titled debut CD in 1995, Coco's career has included a number of personal highlights. She has a longstanding touring and recording relationship with Canadian music icons 54.40. She was 'discovered' by folk legend Ani DiFranco, and subsequently invited to join her USA tour as the opening act. She has enjoyed success in the realm of licensing, with multiple song placements on popular American TV shows like The Dead Zone (USA Network) and The L Word (Showtime). These shows are currently airing all over the world and have built Coco's name with a growing international audience.

Coco has crisscrossed Canada numerous times in her own right, played many music festivals (including Lilith Fair) and made countless TV and radio appearances. She has six albums under her own name, including her 2011 release Play, brought out right after her daughter Ellie's birth,  and two electronica side projects. She has appeared on close to 50 albums as a featured guest or backing vocalist. The long list of artists she's worked with on stage or in the studio include Burton Cummings, Chantal Kreviazuk, Jesse Cooke, Chin Injeti (Bass is Base), Kinnie Starr & Loudon Wainwright III.

'Coco has the voice, look and most importantly presence of a true Canadian star'

-- Echo Weekly


Listen to the whole concert, courtesy of CBC R2's Concerts on Demand

Watch her on Youtube:





Dave Margoshes is a Saskatchewan writer whose stories and poems have appeared widely in Canadian literary magazines and anthologies. He's published over a dozen books, including five collections of poetry - the most recent, Dimensions of an Orchard, won the Anne Szumigalski Poetry Prize at the 2010 Saskatchewan Book Awards. His new story collection, A Book of Great Worth, has just been published by Coteau Books.


Here's another poem of Dave's that he published on line (Every Writers' Resource)  that I especially like:


Things we know

by Dave Margoshes

Everybody knows the man in the moon

is blue cheese, that dogs keep the sun at bay

in winter, that fireflies are the souls

of the dearly departed, flickering through

the transparent evening for honey. We know

the danger of the frozen swing to the tongue,

the heartbreak of the grosbeak legging it north

in early spring drunk on forgotten apples, we've all

heard our mothers' admonitions

about clean underwear and dirty thoughts, there's

no shortage of certainty and conviction. Still,

when you turn to me as you do now, I hesitate,

all that gossamer wisdom no help at all,

no damned help at all.

Carrie Catherine and Hal - 2011.JPGSaskatoon singer-songwriter and cultural can-do maven Carrie Catherine  backed by the mad man of percussion Hal Schrenk!


Carrie Catherine is a prairie chanteuse and award-winning songwriter. Her latest album Wilderness was produced by Colin Linden (Lucinda Williams, Colin James, Bruce Cockburn) and recorded in Nashville with an impressive team of musicians. Honoring Carrie's unique songwriting, the album features Emmylou Harris' rhythm section and Nashville legend Charlie McCoy to achieve a roots sound that is all her own.When Carrie's not on the road, she an active cultural community builder in her hometown of Saskatoon. She is the one of the founders and manager of The 220--a community and co-working space in Saskatoon. She also produces the Hayloft house concert series in an old grocery store converted into live/work space andperformance venue.

Carrie was the  January 2012 Miss Chatelaine!