“…I was here to make a record, I was here to take a shot,” a reflective lyric, in the song Back to the Cows, of the unlikely odds of the album Folk I Don’t Know ever materializing after the songs had been reared in sober times on a quiet farm.
J Stevens’ debut effort was recorded on borrowed equipment in shared spaces and humbly published on CD-rs with hand-drawn covers in 2005. An 11 track acoustic folk collection of originals, Folk I Don’t Know has a certain warmth from crackles of the four-track tape, and youthful experimentation of mixing and mastering.
A limited re-release of Folk I Don’t Know is found on our first CD of 2012: Shoestring’s Seven Year’s Split, sharing plastic with The Falling Trees’ Shadow Puppets, also from 2005. The CD features selections from both albums, edited for time– now Folk I Don’t Know is available digitally in its entirety– for free.
Showtime at Bar Le Pastel Tuesday night saw a receptive and captive audience as Clairely Now sang new and unheard songs from her upcoming record as well as traditional folk and country songs, all pleasing the audience.
Included in the set list were Red is the Rose and Simple Fruit both of which can be heard on her website.
This passed Monday we’d hoped to see Clairely Now perform on the open-stage of Burritoville but unfortunately she felt ill and went home to sing another day.
Later on Monday nights is the Wheel Club’s old-time country night which saw J Stevens play two songs in the wee hours of the night. It was wonderful for all of us to see the longtime organizer of the event, Bob Fuller return to the stage after an absence in hospital. He sang quite touching and relevant songs as his great friends played backing banjo, guitars, fiddle, double-bass and slide. Bob has brought this amazing open-stage to life for the past 45 years, and we wish him all the best and hope to see him perform again.
The Wheel is such a friendly place that we’ve made many friends who do an awesome job at choosing and executing songs for the old-time country stage and making them their own.
Our string strummin’ pal Bobby Dove played a great set!
Bobby hosts the Monday night open-mic at Burritoville but some nights makes it to the Wheel’s stage later in the night. You can catch her this week at a more intimate showing at Bar Le Pastel on Tuesday, June 7th from 8-11 pm…. Shoestring will be doing a live recording of the performance– should be great!
Last Tuesday, J and Clairely checked out an increasingly popular jam at Shaika Cafe. J played percussion for a few performers and Clairely sang some classics.
Around here, Monday’s are a reason to celebrate and enjoy the talents displayed in the many cafes and bars.
As J Stevens has been busy recording he has also been playing stages around town and distributing the latest CD release: “My Best Yet”.
Networking with other musicians and media folk is leading to good things.
Listen to recent radio coverage from CKUT 90.3 FM below.
Many thanks to Candice and the entire Tuesday Morning After collective.
J Stevens’ “My Best Yet” is on iTunes here available as single songs or in its entirety.