This is the 8th Annual Smales Pace/Change of Pace Folk Reunion concert which brings together a wonderful gathering of musicians to play for you in the traditional folk festival workshop setting who have a personal connection to London’s folk music heyday of the ‘70s and early ‘80s.
This year’s performers are:
Ken Whiteley http://www.kenwhiteley.com
Liam Russell Titcomb https://www.facebook.com/liamrussellmusic/
Fraser & Girard https://www.fraserandgirard.com
New Cumberland http://newcumberlandband.com with John P. Allen https://wikivisually.com/wiki/John_P._Allen_(musician)
Nora Galloway https://noragallowaythetearjerkers.bandcamp.com/releases
The MC will be John Smale.
Looking back on the folk music scene in London, Ontario in the 70s, it was one of those fortunate unions of brilliant people and exceptional opportunities. Two venues, both grassroots labours-of-love, Smales Pace Coffee House and Change of Pace nurtured a company of songwriters such as we are unlikely to ever see again. It all started in a converted Bell Canada garage at 436 Clarence Street (today it’s the home of Nooners Restaurant). David Bradstreet remembers it this way, “I was no stranger to intimate, outspoken audience. But Smales Pace was special. The performers were always treated to appreciative audiences and for that, we would have virtually played for nothing, but we were always paid well. It was like coming home each time I was privileged to play there.” There were many other then `unknown’ talents introduced to audiences at Smales Pace and Change of Pace including Stan Rogers, Colleen Peterson, Willie P. Bennett, Jackie Washington (all now passed on), and others such as Murray McLauchlan, Garnet Rogers, Bruce Cockburn, Valdy, Laura Smith, Original Sloth Band (Ken & Chris Whiteley, Tom Evans), Dixie Flyers, Good Brothers, David Essig, and so many more. These amazing musicians inspired a generation, and their music is still moving people today.
Another important part of these concerts is the Ken Palmer Music Bursary. In 2014 a high school music bursary fund was established to honour the late Ken Palmer (longtime member of the Dixie Flyers, and Artistic Director of Home County for 15 years). This is an annual award that is given to a graduating London and area high school student who is pursuing a post-secondary music education. Funds are raised through silent & live auctions at the annual Smales Pace/Change of Pace Folk Reunion concerts. The first $1000 bursary was presented on April 17, 2016 at the JRLMA Gala to Keegan Marshall. Last year’s winner was Hannah Coutu of John Paul II School. The award is administered by the Jack Richardson London Music Awards and LifeSpin. Visit jrlma.ca/bursary/ for more information.
Ken Whiteley is a Canadian roots music legend. His musical journey has taken him from jug band, folk and swing to blues, gospel and children’s music. Among numerous accolades, he’s been awarded a Canadian Folk Music Award, Genie Award for Best Original Song in a Canadian film, Lifetime Achievement recognition from Folk Music Ontario (Ontario Council of Folk Festivals) and Mariposa Folk Festival. He has also been nominated for 7 Juno awards and 16 Maple Blues Awards. Ken’s live performances showcase his outstanding musicianship on guitars and mandolin, award winning original songs and his powerful vocals, called “…a cross between Pete Seeger and Tony Bennett on 11!” Whether leading his own group, solo or collaborating with peers at blues, folk, children’s festivals and concerts of all sizes, his “…deep knowledge and infectious passion” guarantee good times for all. As a producer of over 140 recording projects, Ken’s productions have garnered 10 Canadian Gold and Platinum records, 4 American Gold records, 22 Juno and 2 Grammy nominations, and sold over 8 million copies.
(Arthur) Brent Titcomb. Singer-songwriter, guitarist, percussionist, actor, b Vancouver 10 Aug 1940. He began his career in Vancouver in 1963, combining traditional folk material with the flair for comedy that has remained an integral element of his performances. He was a founder and, 1964-8, member of Three’s A Crowd, then pursued a solo career as a folk singer, appearing over the next 20 years in clubs and at festivals in Canada (including the Festival of Friends, Hamilton, Ont, annually beginning in 1976), the USA and, in 1983, Mexico. He also performed thrice in the 1970s with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.
Titcomb’s early songs, which date to the late 1960s, included ‘Sing High, Sing Low’ and ‘I Wish the Very Best for You,’ both recorded by Anne Murray, the former a country music hit in 1971. His songs have also been recorded by Murray with Glen Campbell (‘Bring Back the Love’), Ed Bruce, Lyn Dee, Tommy Graham, Bill Hughes, and Karen Jones. Titcomb himself has made the contemporary folk LP May All Beings Be Happy (1977, Manohar MR 100) and the pop album Time Traveller (1982, Stony Plain 1039) and has sung and/or played (percussion, harmonica, guitar) on albums by Murray (as a member of her touring band, Richard), John Allan Cameron, Bruce Cockburn, George Hamilton IV, Noel Harrison, Gene MacLellan, and others.
Titcomb began working occasionally in the mid-1970s as an actor in radio and TV dramas and commercials, and has also done ‘voice-overs’ for commercials and for such Canadian children’s animated TV series in the 1980s as ‘Clifford the Dog’ and ‘The Care Bears’. In 1989 he invented the character Bumble Bill for a children’s concert series at Roy Thomson Hall. His interest in the voice has led him, as of the early 1980s, to offer workshops in ‘toning’ – ie, the therapeutic use of the voice for the purpose of self-healing.
Liam Russell Titcombwww.facebook.com/liamrussellmusic
Liam Titcomb is a Canadian musician and actor. He released his self-titled album on Sony Music Canada in 2005. He released his second album Can’t Let Go on Double Dorje Records and his 3rd Cicada on Nettwerk Music. He played the character Will in Strange Days at Blake Holsey High, and currently stars as Jones in the CBC Television drama Wild Roses.
Fraser & Girardwww.fraserandgirard.com
THESE TWO HIGHLY REGARDED CANADIAN singer/songwriters crossed paths many times in their solo careers. In August 2013, they met again over tea under a Japanese maple in Toronto.
Joining minds, hearts and two lifetimes of music, Fraser & Girard emerged.
Both write great songs. Their storied pasts of life on the road, of raising families, of a deepening sense of beauty and art, weave a moral and artistic fabric that is indestructible. Their enduring strength moves audiences to laughter and to tears. Together, they offer an abundance of riches. The resulting chemistry unfolds in spontaneous and unpredictable ways.
Audience and industry enthusiasm were apparent from the beginning. The London Free Press describes them as “…an incomparable couple, both on and off the stage.”
New Cumberland with John P. Allennewcumberlandband.com
Featuring inventive solo work, driving rhythms and three part vocal harmonies, New Cumberland’s musical integrity and joy in playing together resonates in every performance. The resumes for the various individuals in New Cumberland include bluegrass stints with the Dixie Flyers, Rural Retreat and Cumberland Wail – as well as wide ranging experiences outside bluegrass in rock and folk music. Proficient in the straight ahead driving bluegrass of Bill Monroe and Jimmy Martin, New Cumberland also stretches the genre in directions taken by The Seldom Scene, John Hartford and Jerry Garcia’s Old and in the Way. Songs from non- bluegrass artists such as the Grateful Dead, Neil Young, The Beatles, The Stones and Willie P. Bennett are also liable to appear on a New Cumberland set list.