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Friday, December 02, 2005

Folka Voca

December 3 Update
Ottawa, Ontario. -- In a comfortable pew with the horror of the 417 behind me, it is already beginning to seem unreal. If it wasn't for Ottawa writer JC Sulzenko, whom I bumped into at rob mclennan's Fall Small Press Book Fair last October 15th, I would have missed a chance to catch Lee Hayes in performance again last evening. I told her that I enjoyed Lee Hayes' singing at the Bywords John Newlove reading that took place ten days earlier at the Ottawa International Writers Festival. Lee was playing piano while singing with her daughter, Charlotte. You would swear they were sisters. (Corny comment, I know.)

JC told me to look out for this thing called 'Folka Voca' happening in December. I am glad I put it on the calendar. The church pews were full at The Sunnyside Wesleyan Church and the choir's folky performance was eclectic as they sang a bit of everything from a Christmas song, a Stevie Nicks tune, a Joe Jackson classic, Gloria Gaynor's 'I will Survive', several Lee Hayes compositions, something in Swahili, and even a Swedish number. If you can believe it, she even jazzed up the national anthem, O Canada. Wow.

I finally have another CD to put into rotation in my car, until at least when the nth digri gets his next CD released. I bought one of three CDs offered for sale by Lee last night, The Secret Life (2002). I remember that Lee played the first track, Beautiful Girl (listen to sample here), at the Bywords reading, so I was glad to get the opportunity to listen to it again last evening in the car on the ride home. I paid $20 for it last night, but you can get it cheaper online, $15 plus shipping...I found out minutes ago while writing this entry. :-( The photos of Lee (bonus) on the back of the CD liner more than make up for it, however.

Twelve bucks, I thought, was a tad expensive for Folka Voka but all proceeds went to Ottawa's Bruce House, so I can't really complain. It was a nice way to spend a Friday evening despite the icy conditions outside. I was also glad to get a chance to meet up with Ottawa poet and blogger, Stephen Rowntree who lent me a copy of By-Line: Ernest Hemingway Selected Articles and Dispatches of Four Decades. So, if I start writing like Hemingway (HA! HA!) you'll know who to blame... like this classic opener (sound familiar?) :

SOFIA, BULGARIA. -- In a comfortable train with the horror of
the Thracian evacuation behind me, it is already beginning to seem unreal.
That is the boon to our memories.

(Toronto Daily Star, November 14, 1922. E.H.)

Friday, 2 December 2005
Ottawa Folklore Centre Presents: Folka Voca in Concert Directed by Lee Hayes
Opening act: The Redemption Choir X-Treme
Sunnyside Wesleyan Church 58 Grosvenor
$12 (All proceeds to go to Bruce House.)
Tickets available at the Ottawa Folklore Centre


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