How many musicians fit on the head of a pin?

For June 2013 at Spirit of Rasputin’s the answer is 27. In numerology 27 symbolizes “light in darkness” since the lunar sidereal month is 27 days. And 27 (is this a coincidence??) is the number of musicians taking the stage this month at three enlightening SoR events.

Saturday June 8, 7:30p
6th Annual Amnesty International Ottawa Opry

St. Martin’s Church, 2120 Prince Charles Road (Google map… (https://maps NULL.380626,-75 NULL.768469&z=14&t=m&hl=en-US))
Tickets $20 in advance online here (http://www NULL.patmoore NULL.html) or $22 at the door

Joining Pat Moore and the Vinyl Frontier on stage are: Keith Glass who has just released a new CD, and is taking time from his launch tour to join us!; Amanda Bon, Ottawa’s sweetheart of the folk-country scene, and just releasing her second CD; Kate & Hollis, well known for their Appalachian style harmonies; and Maple Hill, a popular award winning bluegrass band. (That’s 12 musicians…)

Thanks to Platinum Sponsor Tracy Arnett Realty, the Ottawa Opry has donated close to $10K to Amnesty. More info…

Saturday June 15, 7:30p
Rasputin’s Beard

Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill at Byron
Pass-the-hat in support of in support of the Ottawa Food Bank
Featuring Salton Sea, J.P. Ranger Band, and Lost Colt (three great quartets)
Our June “Beard” always focuses on families in need and the vital work the Ottawa Food Bank performs. Donations always drop off in the summer season but the need for food doesn’t change. So we try to provide as much of the one thing the Food Bank needs to fill any gap: money. All the musicians donate their time and talent. So please join us for an excellent and diverse evening of music and help us to give a little back to the community. More info…

Sunday June 23, 3p
Cabaret Matinee

Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill at Byron
Featuring Call Me Katie
Tickets $7 at the door (kids 14 and under are free)
Featuring the dynamic voice of Sarah Hill, a veteran of bands in Ontario and the Maritimes, Call Me Katie swings from sweet ballads to driving up-tempo pieces. Hill contributes fiddle as well, while award-winning poet Monty Reid sings and plays guitar and mandolin. Mike Rivoche, with groups such as the Howlin C’s and the Black Donnellys in his twangy past, holds everything together with rock-solid bass lines and chips in with harmony vocals. More info…
(if you’re keeping score, that’s 27!)

Spirit of Rasputin’s Open Stage (7p Mondays at Whispers) and Folk-along Jam (Tuesdays 7p at the Georgetown) continue weekly all summer. All our concert series resume in September with a Beard, October with Rick Fines, and November with…wait for it…Valdy!!

Hollis Morgan
President, Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society

Brock Zeman in Concert with special guest Queen Elizabeth II

Canadians celebrate the Queen’s Official Birthday on the first Monday before May 25 because the weather is better. Really…that’s the official reason. So, since good weather is sufficient for a celebration, let’s celebrate Brock Zeman’s fabulous music this Saturday night. The forecast is promising:

  • nine albums in his 32 years on the planet…and his own record label (Mud Records)
  • performed with Steve Earle, Lynn Miles, Fred Eaglesmith, Blue Rodeo, Corb Lund, Toby Keith, Prairie Oyster, the Rodeo Kings…and others
  • we have beer and wine…and cookies
  • there’s a portrait of Her Majesty on the east wall at Westboro Masonic Hall

It’s not really Her birthday (real birthday: April 21), so we invited Her Majesty to join us on Saturday for a song or two with Brock before She dashes off to other Commonwealth celebrations later in the weekend. Unfortunately we learned she will be away at Her cottage planting tomatoes.

Nevertheless, please join us and the Queen’s portrait for an evening with Brock Zeman, a rising star from Carleton Place. You may already have heard Brock around town in some noisy bar. But this guy writes songs. Good songs with great lyrics. This is a unique chance to enjoy Brock Zeman in the “Spirit of Rasputin’s Listening Environment” with the fabulous acoustics at Westboro Masonic Hall.

What: Brock Zeman in Concert (more info…)
When: Saturday, May 18, 8:00pm
Where: Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill at Byron (Google map… (https://maps,+430+Churchill+Avenue+North,+Ottawa,+ON&hl=en&sll=56,-96&sspn=66 NULL.457424,214 NULL.277344&oq=West&hq=Westboro+Masonic+Hall,&hnear=430+Churchill+Ave+N,+Ottawa,+Ontario+K1Z+5C9&t=m&z=16))
Tickets: $20 at the door or online here… (https://www NULL.paypal

See you there,

Hollis Morgan
President, Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society

April…the remedy for cabin fever!

Starting this Friday Apr 12th and continuing right up to Wednesday May 1st, many Spirit of Rasputin’s volunteers are working flat out to put on several events in a row. As well as organizing three events of our own, many of us are also volunteering at the Ottawa Grassroots Festival organized by SoR member Bob Nesbitt. April always seems to be our busiest month. It’s a Canadian thing. Having finished chipping away the last of the winter ice, it’s time to go out and celebrate! And what a choice we have in the next few weeks! There’s something for everyone: song writers, entire families, old song buffs, and graduates of the protest generation. Here’s the lineup:

The Great Canadian Song-a-Long

Friday Apr 12 & Saturday Apr 13
NOTE: Start time 7:00pm both nights
Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill at Byron (Map… (https://maps,+430+Churchill+Avenue+North,+Ottawa,+ON&hl=en&sll=49 NULL.891235,-97 NULL.15369&sspn=45 NULL.618131,114 NULL.169922&oq=Westboro&hq=Westboro+Masonic+Hall,&hnear=430+Churchill+Ave+N,+Ottawa,+Ontario+K1Z+5C9&t=m&z=16))
No advance tickets: Pass-the-hat to pay the rent.
Songwriters are invited to compose a song to one of several predefined set of topics. This year’s topics are: a good finish, nice try, fences, crooked line, a nonsense song. More info…

Finest Kind

Saturday Apr 20, 8:00pm
Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill at Byron (Map… (https://maps,+430+Churchill+Avenue+North,+Ottawa,+ON&hl=en&sll=49 NULL.891235,-97 NULL.15369&sspn=45 NULL.618131,114 NULL.169922&oq=Westboro&hq=Westboro+Masonic+Hall,&hnear=430+Churchill+Ave+N,+Ottawa,+Ontario+K1Z+5C9&t=m&z=16))
Tickets: $25 online here (https://www NULL.paypal and at the Ottawa Folklore Centre.
Finest Kind is the remarkable folk trio from Ottawa whose exquisite harmony singing and brilliant vocal arrangements are bringing a fresh sense of excitement and discovery to the performance of old songs. This show is selling very well in advance and may sell out so get your tickets now.

The Ottawa Grassroots Festival

Saturday Apr 27 & Sunday Apr 28
Rideau Curling Club, 715 Cooper St, corner of Percy. (Map…) (https://maps,+715+Cooper+Street,+Ottawa,+ON&hl=en&ll=45 NULL.412943,-75 NULL.704663&spn=0 NULL.01205,0 NULL.027874&sll=45 NULL.402078,-75 NULL.691413&sspn=0 NULL.012053,0 NULL.027874&oq=Rideau+Curling+Club,+715+Cooper+St&hq=Rideau+Curling+Club,&hnear=715+Cooper+St,+Ottawa,+Ontario+K1R+5J5&t=m&z=16)
An annual family oriented celebration of folk music, dance, and spoken word. See (http://ottawagrassrootsfestival for the complete schedule (daytime and nighttime events) and to purchase tickets in advance. The daytime is free. Performers for the evening concerts include headliners Wendell Ferguson and Suzie Vinnick on Saturday and Big Soul Project Community Gospel Choir and Band on Sunday.

Gil’s Hootenanny: songs of protest, songs of hope

Wednesday May 1st
NOTE: Start time is 7:30pm.
Glebe Community Centre, 175 Third Avenue (Map…) (https://maps,+175+Third+Avenue,+Ottawa,+ON&hl=en&sll=45 NULL.390793,-75 NULL.753219&sspn=0 NULL.012055,0 NULL.027874&oq=Glebe+Community+Centre&hq=Glebe+Community+Centre,&hnear=175+Third+Ave,+Ottawa,+Ontario+K1S+2K2&t=m&z=16)
Tickets $10 online here (https://www NULL.paypal, at the Ottawa Folklore Centre, and at the door.
Gil’s Hootenanny is a community sing-along event that takes place each year on May 1st, May Day, the international workers’ holiday. Musicians from a range of backgrounds take turns leading the audience to sing songs of protest and songs of hope. Sponsored by CUPE The Canadian Union of Public Employees and PSAC The Public Service Alliance of Canada. A co-production by Spirit of Rasputin’s and the Gil’s Hootenanny Organizing Committee.

I’ll be at the sound board for all these events. Stop by and say howdy.

Hollis Morgan
President, Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society

The Pat Moore Trio this Saturday

I’ve been waiting for this show for a long time. Normally, whenever I get a chance to see The Pat Moore Trio it is in some giant hall as part of a major extravaganza such as The Ottawa Opry or a major festival. Finally I get to be up close in an intimate environment with fabulous acoustics. Click here to buy your tickets (https://www NULL.paypal for this Saturday’s Featured Artist Concert featuring Pat with her sidekicks Ann Downey and Pat McLaughlin.

When: Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Where: Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill at Byron Here’s a map… (http://goo

Pat Moore’s voice has a warm and expressive quality, as perfectly suited to a rich ballad, as it is to an up-tempo power song. She moves easily from the storytelling of the singer/songwriter genre, to jazz, and to the lonesome sound of traditional country and bluegrass. Whether performing for large audiences or small, Pat creates an intimacy that draws the listener in. This feeling translates to her recordings: “The Time’s Never Been Better” and “Take it to Heart“. Both have received praise from far and wide – Holland, Italy, Australia, the U.S. and across Canada.

The Pat Moore trio enjoys the fine musicianship of Ann Downey on bass and vocals (Finest Kind) and Pat McLaughlin on guitar, mandolin, and vocals (Grievous Angel The Legend of Gram Parsons).

Check out the poster and a longer write-up on

Other Spirit of Rasputin’s News

Announcing Rasputin’s Matinees!!

Le Michel-ange Cafe has moved from 35 Laurel Street into the foyer of the GCTC Theatre. This has disrupted our schedule of events originally planned for the old location. So The Cabaret Concert Series and The Next Stage series will be at Westboro Masonic Hall on Sunday afternoons. Kate, our artistic director, and all the musicians and hosts involved have done a lot of planning to setup the new schedule. Thanks to all.

Please check for all the changes to dates. Matinees will all run from 3pm to 5pm. This will be a lot of fun and as well as more family friendly. Children 12 and under are free. The kitchen will be serving coffee, tea, soft drinks, juice, cookies and popcorn. Our first matinee is March 3rd for The Next Stage with Ron Mills and Cornflower Blue.

Spirit’s 3rd Annual AGM

Spirit of Rasputin’s Annnual General Meeting of Members will be held on February 17 at 2pm at Whispers Pub and Eatery. This is for members only, but you can buy your membership at the meeting and your vote will still count. If you want more information, please contact me directly at

Thanks for reading,
Hollis Morgan
President, Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society

Wow! Terry Sells Out!

Yes, the headline above could be taken two ways, but those who know guitar wizard Terry Tufts and the strong life-affirming, healthy planet values he holds dear know I’m talking about a packed house at the Westboro Masonic Hall. No one was turned away and every seat was filled. That’s the kind of magic that Terry brings to his shows. We missed Kathryn Briggs who stayed home with the flu but Terry (also suffering but persevering) along with Ken Workman (bass and guitar) put on two great sets that earned a standing ovation and encore. Click on over to the Spirit of Rasputin’s Facebook page (https://www NULL.facebook to check out Kate’s photos and leave your comments. Don’t forget to Like us while you are there.

Terry Tufts

with Kathryn Briggs and Ken Workman

When: 8:00 PM Sat Jan 19, 2013

Where: Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill Ave. Google Map… (https://maps,+450+Churchill+Ave,+Ottawa,+ON&hl=en&sll=56,-96&sspn=66 NULL.457424,214 NULL.277344&hq=Westboro+Masonic+Hall,&hnear=450+Churchill+Ave+N,+Ottawa,+Ottawa+Division,+Ontario+K1Z+5C9&t=m&z=16)

Tickets: $20. Buy online now… (https://www NULL.paypal

Terry Tufts is a finger-style guitarist who has been playing music for enjoyment since 1963 and as a professional since 1974.

His father’s job with the Canadian Government moved the family to Denver, Colorado in the U.S. in the 1960′s at a time when the folk and rock music genres were influencing opinion everywhere. In 1974 he moved to Fredericton, New Brunswick, to begin pursuing his own musical career as a singer-songwriter and guitarist, as well as working as a session musician and sideman for a variety of artists including: Tom Paxton, Kathryn Briggs, David Francey, Colleen Peterson, Laura Smith, Laura Bird, Ian Tamblyn, Bill Garrett & Sue Lothrop, Charlie Sohmer, The Arrogant Worms, Wayne Rostad, Susan Aglukark, Tracey Brown, and George Fox.

He has 7 albums to his credit.

Performing with Kathryn Briggs and Ken Workman, Terry will be putting on an amazing show not to be missed!. Doors open at 7:30pm.

See you there!

Hollis Morgan
President, Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society

Bonan Kristnaskon kaj feliĉan novan jaron

That’s as close as I get to a seasonal salutation in Esperanto. Remember Esperanto? That weird language created by a guy (Dr Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof) 100 years ago who meant well? For his day he was smart, contemporary, and just a little idealistic. He tried to make the world a better place through universal communication. Kind of like folk music today…but without the clever rhymes, beautiful melodies and intelligent lyrics. So may you enjoy health, comfort, prosperity and nice folk music (instead of irritating muzak) this holiday season.

Okay, irritating muzak isn’t likely to be outlawed anytime soon. But you have a chance this Saturday night to enjoy some folky grooves at our annual Santa’s Beard pass-the-hat charity extravaganza in support of the Ottawa Snowsuit Fund with the help of our sponsor The Public Service Alliance of Canada, National Capital Region. We have three great bands lined up.

Who: Bob Spelled Backwards, Terry McLeish Trio, Hurry Up & Wait
What: Rasputin’s Beard a.k.a Santa’s Beard
When: Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Tickets: No cover. Pass-the-hat to support the Ottawa Snowsuit Fund.
Where: Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill Ave – Ottawa

View Larger Map (https://maps,+430+Churchill+Avenue+North,+Ottawa,+ON&aq=0&oq=Westboro+masonic+hall+430+Churchill+&sll=45 NULL.392378,-75 NULL.753222&sspn=0 NULL.009358,0 NULL.026157&gl=ca&ie=UTF8&hq=Westboro+Masonic+Hall,&hnear=430+Churchill+Ave+N,+Ottawa,+Ontario+K1Z+5C9&ll=45 NULL.392378,-75 NULL.753222&spn=0 NULL.006295,0 NULL.006295&t=m)

Other news

Please note our holiday cancellations

  • Open Stage cancelled for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve (Dec 24 & Dec 31)
  • Folk-along Jam cancelled for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day (Dec 25 & Jan 1)
  • Bluegrass Jam cancelled for December 29.

So translating my Esperanto to Latin we have “Natale hilare et annum faustum” or loosely to English as “Party ’til you drop!”


Hollis Morgan
President, Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society

Santa's Beard Poster

The Right Note

I just noticed the other day that seasonal music is springing up in muzak systems across shopper-land. While wandering the aisles in search of the right gift for a special someone, I was thinking about what gift would strike the right note. This is important in a family as artistically inclined as mine. I finally realized, it wasn’t a “thing” I was searching for…it was a process. A way to bring loved ones together in celebration. So this year Kate and I will gift charities in the names of others and celebrate this marvelous but challenged world with song.

Spirit of Rasputin’s has four concert events planned between now and year’s end, two of which are charitable. I hope you can attend some if not all.


Amanda Bon

Featured Artist Series

When: 8:00 PM Sat Nov 24, 2012
Where: Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill Ave (Map… (http://maps NULL.390795,-75 NULL.753222&spn=0 NULL.023236,0 NULL.055747&sll=45 NULL.390916,-75 NULL.753565&sspn=0 NULL.023236,0 NULL.055747&gl=ca&hq=The+Westboro+Masonic+Hall&t=m&z=15))
Tickets: $20. Buy online here…!!
Amanda with bandmates Danny Artuso, Ken Kanwisher, and Gilles LeClerc are “the” hot new band in town. This event is selling extremely well. Tickets are still available online and at The Ottawa Folklore Centre. If you don’t purchase advance tickets, I advise you to show up early. This show may sellout.


Steel Moon / Lukas Grant

The Next Stage

When: Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Where: Le Michel-Ange Café-Warehouse-Roasting, 35 Laurel Street (Map… (http://maps,Ottawa,+ON&cid=0,0,9538114559981659874&t=m&z=16&iwloc=A))
Tickets: Pass-the-hat to support the artists.

Steel Moon
Fast rising Steel Moon ( is just back from showcasing at the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals in Mississauga. Having previously played at Rasputin’s Beard this is our chance to hear them stretch out into a longer set.

“Milliken’s fluid guitar style complements the husky resonance of Larocque’s voice, while the lyrics convey a sense of hopeful resolution.” — Lynn Saxberg, The Ottawa Citizen

Lukas Grant
Currently working hard on their first CD, Lucas Grant comprises Lucas and bandmate Brent Millar.


Sjef Frenken

Cabaret Concert – Charity Event

When: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Where: Le Michel-Ange Café-Warehouse-Roasting, 35 Laurel Street (Map… (http://maps,Ottawa,+ON&cid=0,0,9538114559981659874&t=m&z=16&iwloc=A))
Tickets: $10 at the door
Sjef, our well loved Spirit of Rasputins Open Stage organizer, tells stories in the form of songs, verse and prose. This is a rare opportunity to share an entire evening with him.
All proceeds for this evening go to Micro-Chalice – a Canadian charity that lends small amounts of money to aspiring entrepreneurs in third-world countries. Upon repayment, the moneys are reinvested similarly.


Bob Spelled Backwards, Terry McLeish Trio, Los Outliers d’Amour, Hurry Up & Wait

Rasputin’s Beard – a.k.a. “Santa’s Beard”

When: Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Where: Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill (Map… (http://maps NULL.390795,-75 NULL.753222&spn=0 NULL.023236,0 NULL.055747&sll=45 NULL.390916,-75 NULL.753565&sspn=0 NULL.023236,0 NULL.055747&gl=ca&hq=The+Westboro+Masonic+Hall&t=m&z=15))
Tickets: Pass-the-hat
The December version of Rasputin’s Beard is referred to as Santa’s Beard and always supports the Ottawa Snowsuit Fund. All four bands volunteer their time and talent. The Canadian Union of Public Employees covers the rent for the building. SOCAN forgoes their usual fee. Constant Sound Studio donates the sound and light. All we need is an enthusiastic audience in a generous mood. Rasputin’s Beard is always a charitable event, and always an immense amount of fun and energy.

Hollis Morgan
President, Spirit of Rasputin’s Arts Society