Retrospective on an Amazing Year – Opening Remarks Spirit of Rasputin’s First Annual General Meeting

by Lynn Stevenson

Welcome to our first Annual General Meeting! It is hard to believe that just over a year ago – we had our official launch on February 7th, 2010 with Lynn Miles at the Elmdale Tavern. So much has happened with our organization since then – we all have so much to be proud of!
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A Sincere Thank You to George, Rick, Arthur and Chris!

Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society’s First Directors and charter members leave office on February 13 when the not-for-profit corporation’s members elect a new board of directors for 2011 at their first Annual General Meeting. All the members, and the incoming board, express our sincere appreciation for the efforts and achievements made by our first board of directors during our fledgling organizational months. The first directors provided the guidance, credibility and substance necessary for the Spirit of Rasputin’s volunteers to develop the necessary connections and respect across the local and regional folk music scene to fulfill our mandate. Continue reading

Prescott – More Than a Band

Prescott with Adam Puddington, Randall Prescott and Tracy BrownPrescott is more than just a band, they are a bridge: between the traditional and the contemporary, the old and the new, the young and the old, traversing the deep river of slow time.

Which is to say, what a great show. Here we run into the futility of the written word in describing a musical moment, but Prescott’s performance at the Westboro Masonic Temple was, for all intents and purposes, perfect. The up-and-coming brother/sister duo shared the stage with parents Tracey and Randall of Prescott-Brown, as well as Adam Puddington, to create an unforgettable night of music.

KellyOpening the evening was Kelly Prescott with her husband Adam, and the playful energy between them infused an already superlative performance with pure joy. They played several songs from Kelly’s forthcoming solo album leaving me eagerly awaiting the arrival of January so that I could hear those songs again and again. Continue reading

Ian Tamblyn – Heart of a Traveller

by Lynn Stevenson

“Sometimes the distance travelled is so great that only parts of you come home.”

It’s a cold wet morning in a West End Ottawa coffee shop.  The weather as complex and changeable as the artist opposite me.  Ian Tamblyn is a man of many faces – only a few of which grace his homepage: musician, adventurer, playwright.  These words don’t come even close to summing up a person who has travelled as far and done as much as this man.  Ian Tamblyn has written almost 2000 songs and recorded over 30 independent releases in a career than spans more than three decades.

Iceburg photo by Ian Tamblyn

Iceburg photo by Ian Tamblyn

His sailor’s heart has seen and sung about some of the most remote places in Canada and around the world.  Ian’s face is weathered by countless days at sea and the freezing light of icebergs.  His photographs are breathtaking.  Interviewing him is more than a bit intimidating, but he quickly puts you at ease – revealing yet another face – an everyman – and a wise one – with no delusions about himself or world he moves in. Continue reading

The Musical Muse

by Lynn Stevenson

How do songs get written?  Where do the ideas come from?  How does the process begin?

Missy Burgess

Missy Burgess, photo by Kate Morgan

Ottawa singer/songwriter Missy Burgess wrote “Prayer for Haiti”after the terrible earthquake devastated that already impoverished country.  “Like millions of others, I was deeply moved by the horrific suffering and sorrow,” says Missy.  “Writing a song was my only way of expressing my feelings and offering some comfort – thus “Prayer for Haiti” came to be.”  You can check it out on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP5vE74bHfE (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=XP5vE74bHfE)

Emotion can definitely drive the creation of a great song.  But the process is more than feelings – and fabulous riffs rarely fall from the sky. Song-writing is hard work – demanding discipline, determination, and of course, talent.
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The Spirit of Rasputin’s lives on at the Elmdale Tavern

by Lynn Stevenson

“A lot of this entered Rasputin’s” says Missy Burgess –  gesturing to a performer who, fiddle in hand, just left the stage, – to the audience enthusiastically clapping, to the row of waiting guitars piled up against a tavern wall.  By “this” the veteran performer and singer/songwriter means the “spirit”, the enthusiasm for folk music that is vividly alive and well – and now hanging out at the Elmdale Tavern at 1084 Wellington West in Ottawa.

It’s a Monday night in December – just days before Christmas – and the place is packed with folk music junkies young and old.  Among them, a generous helping of former “Rasputinites” – people for whom Rasputin’s Folk Café on Bronson Avenue was a haven and a beacon for over 25 years.  The cramped cafe/open stage, and rec room for wandering musicians closed after a fire in July, 2008.  Since then, a collection of self-styled “orphans” have been searching for a new place to call home.   It looks like they found in at the Elmdale.
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Audio Visual Podcast Rundown Feb. 3

Originally posted (http://www NULL.apt613 NULL.ca/2010/02/09/audio-visual-podcast-rundown-feb-3/) on Apt13.ca (http://www NULL.apt613 NULL.ca) on February 9th, 2009.

Computer trouble was just the latest in a series of mini-crises at Audio Visual world HQ this weekend, and I apologize for the delay. As a hilariously annoying part of these same problems, this week’s episode is only 37 minutes long. However, it’s an awesome half hour as I sat down with George Laing and Pat Moore from the Spirit of Rasputin’s, a community group dedicated to keeping the spirit of the departed Bronson St. folk club alive. The group has been hosting open mic and jam sessions on Monday and Tuesday nights at the Elmdale Tavern (1084 Wellington St. W.), and they’re starting a Sunday night concert series that kicked off on February 7th with a performance by Lynn Miles.

George and Pat talked to me about the history of the original Rasputin’s, how the Spirit of Rasputin’s got together, and what the future is for folk music in Ottawa. George talked about the new Sunday schedule of events, which include concerts every second Sunday, a live radio show taping on the third Sunday of every month, and a new band showcase called Rasputin’s Beard.

And no, as we discuss in the interview, they don’t know why the old bar was called Rasputin’s in the first place. However, the discussion does let me geek out about my knowledge of Russian history and throw a shout-out to my Russophile older brother. This week’s show is capped off by a great acoustic performance by Pat, who is a regular performer at the Monday night open stage events.

The song you hear before the interview is by John Carroll (pictured), a local folk musician who will be the first performer & interviewee at the live radio show from Rasputin’s and the Elmdale, CKCU’s Weekend Wrap-up, on Feb. 14. The monthly event is a fundraiser for CKCU radio, and features Pat Moore as the host.

Audio Visual is taking a break this week because I’m getting a sweet robot arm installed, but the show will be back next week – bigger, better, faster, and stronger. We can do it, we have the technology.


Listen in a separate window (http://www NULL.apt613 NULL.ca/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/podcasting/player_popout NULL.php?file=http://zenforlunch NULL.com/audiovisual/podcasts/2010-02-03 NULL.mp3)