The Joe Hill Coffeehouse had been facing its possible demise, with long time organizer Michael Gifford retiring from the voluntary position this spring. However, Gifford is now spreading the good news that there is a group who will be taking over the night of entertainment.
Gifford, who organized the first show in September of 2008, will be doing his last show next month, with show number 35.
“I wanted to make my final May show “something special”, but the timing of the performers involved required that we make it the April 15 show instead,” he said.
The April show will follow the basic format of all the other Joe Hill Coffeehouse shows – a $3 admission, intimate stage, volunteer helpers – but he said there will also be changes.
“I have invited many of my performer friends to contribute to the evening’s lineup,” he said. “Donations and the door proceeds will go to the performers, who are mostly from Nelson.”
The performers will also have CDs for sale.
The April show will have fewer sets, but they will be longer than usual. There will also be a dance area up front, so people will be encouraged to get up and dance.
Dancer Slava Doval will also sharing her skills for several of the tunes and the two opening acts will be shorter than those of the two guest bands.
The lineup for the show will be as follows:
1. “Licorice Corn” – old swing and pop favorites, featuring Nicola Everton – clarinet (licorice stick) and Michael Gifford – guitar, ukulele, vocals and corn.
2. “Craig Korth, Julie Kerr & the Occasional Offspring” – Craig is a monster banjo/guitarist, Julie (his wife) a great country/bluegrass singer, and their two daughters, Ella & Amy, play banjo & fiddle. A family band!
3. “Heavy Shtetl” with dancer, Slava Doval. HS is Catherine McGrath – accordion, mandolin, vocals; Anneke Rosch – trombone, trumpet, vocals; Nicola Everton – clarinet; Michael Gifford – tuba, Klezmer (Jewish) and tunes sung in Yiddish, Russian, French, German, maybe even English!
4. “Cattle Annie and The Crooked Corral” – western swing, old-timey, bluegrass and classic country. Members are Anneke (Cattle Annie) Rosch – accordion, vocals; Catherine (Cactus Kate) McGrath – mandolin, vocals; Genie (Gin Jeanie) Sittig – fiddle; Craig (Ranger Craig) Korth – banjo, guitar, vocals; Michael (Gut Bucket Giff) Gifford – string bass, washtub bass, vocals.
Gifford said they are all excited to perform in front of the Joe Hill Coffeehouse audience and hopes word spreads about the special night of eclectic music and deep talent.
The news that these won’t be the final two shows is also great for those who attend the monthly shows.
“We now have a team of four leaders who will be taking over the Joe Hill Coffeehouse series as a group,” he said.
They will start in on the June 17 show and carry on into the September show, which begins the season five series.
The show starts at 7 p.m. April 15, at the Rossland Miners’ Hall. Admission is $3.