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Event Archive - A sophisticated blend of folk, pop, art song and much else: Mark Berube & The Patriotic Few

Thu. March 17th 2011 8:00pm - 10:30pm doors at 6pm Hermann's Jazz Club (All Ages) 8:00pm - 10:30pm doors at 6pm
$17.50 Advance + s/c / $20 Door
A sophisticated blend of folk, pop, art song and much else
Mark Berube & The Patriotic Few
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Hermanns Jazz Club, 753 View St., Victoria BC
Doors 6:00pm - Show 8:00pm
...Tickets: $17.50 Advance + s/c / $20 Door
Available at: http://www.hightideconcerts.net, Lyle's Place 770 Yates St. and Ditch Records 635 Johnson St..

Mark Berube website: http://www.markberube.com/

"Vibrant and outspoken... The detail Berube incorporates into his lyrics makes it hard not to see what he sees, and if What The River Gave The Boat can be so alluring, I can't imagine that his next album, What The Boat Gave The River, would be any less spectacular." Exclaim!

What The Boat Gave The River is the companion disc to the 2006 release What The River Gave The Boat which has been nominated for a Western Canada Music Award for Outstanding Solo Roots Recording. Each song on this stunning new album has its sister on the previous one, a musical echo in mood, tone or story. The result is an ambitious, triumphant record of brilliantly rendered stories, soaring three-part harmonies, surprising twists in pace and style and pure musicianship. Mark Berube's multi-instrumental gifts, lyrical precision and luscious voice have been cutting a memorable line through the fog of pop/folk predictability for a long time now, in North America and across Europe. But backed by his new band The Patriotic Few,they are now "ducking in the shadows of a coastguard's hungry spotlight," and cutting a new wake.

What is different between the two albums may be even just as important. Mark has relocated to Montreal from Vancouver to make this album. It's a return to his family roots. Mark worked with a new producer Dave A. Sturton (Jean Leclerc, Dave Martel, Anik Jean) and a new team of players. The recording took place in DNA Sudios, in the same neighborhood (Le Plateau Montreal) as where Mark's father grew up.

On the first track, "Looking For Another", what begins with a rhythmic trickle of water and a scatter of voices from offshore soon crescendos into something resembling the anthem of our times, with Mark finally pleading, "Don't think, just row." From here, he and his new crew throw everything they've got at the oars - strings, accordion, glockenspiel, plucked piano, four part harmonies interweaving - to create a dynamic collection of rhythms, melodies and hooks. Mark casts his gaze into many corners of our shimmering world, from the Bible-thumpers to the proselytizers of Western greed, from the homelessness and drugs in our cities to the fun and reckless hedonism that can only be found downtown, from the wars that never end to the meek and hopeful beauty of flowers sprouting amongst the stones. In the old school gospel number "Caulfield Line" the main character in the song offers himself up to be tied down to the tracks, body and soul, to stop the train of progress - the same train that "took the Romans away". His voice urges itself across "the clang of steel and love and wood and man" as a mournful weissenborn guitar and strings sound the coming locomotive. Where traditional trains in the genre brought freedom or salvation, Mark offers his own contemporary take. The headlines are still here, heavy tales in which the Devil, like Pinocchio, is often the most honest guy you'll meet. But now these stories are infused with something new, something hopeful and uplifting, perhaps the long-lost halo Mark's been trying to dig up in these two bold albums. This album is a powerful personal statement rendered in a way that is both raw and polished at the same time. If the mission was to make an album that would do justice to Mark's dynamic and powerful live show, What the Boat Gave the River succeeds brilliantly. Averaging about 100 shows a year across Canada, the US, and Europe for the past 4 years, Mark has honed and honed. As said during the grand finale of "Shiny Plastic Bags/Barber Shop Pt 2", the answer to the story of what the river gave the boat is simple: some things float and some things don't.

"His good luck streak continues with elegant string arrangements, sympathetic production and a soaring voice that reminds us what Rufus Wainwright and Hawksley Workman would sound like if they weren't such drama queens." Michael Barclay, Eye Weekly, Discovery of the Week

"One of the best of the year...folk music without going on about it. Rare and raw and perfect." Edmonton Sun

ABOUT WHAT THE RIVER GAVE THE BOAT:

"A song-writing stunner" Grant Laurence, CBC Radio 3

"Berube is...a total orginal in the tradition of exceptional Canadian singer songwriters" Vancouver Province

"Vibrant and outspoken...The detail Berube incorporates into his lyrics makes it hard not to see what he sees, and if What The River Gave The Boat can be so alluring, I can't imagine that his next album, What The Boat Gave The River, would be any less spectacular." EXCLAIM

"One of the best of the year...folk music without going on about it. Rare and raw and perfect. " EDMONTON SUN, AB (for what the river gave the boat)

"His good luck streak continues with elegant string arrangements, sympathetic production and a soaring voice that reminds us what Rufus Wainwright and Hawksley Workman would sound like if they weren't such drama queens." MICHAEL BARCLAY, EYE WEEKLY, Discovery of the Week, Toronto, ON (for what the river gave the boat)

"He can put together a good pop and jazz combination, has got some excellent throaty projection and is one of the only artists I know that can throw chaotic improvisation into the middle of a catchy tune." Geordi Dent, Jazzonen, 104.1FM, Bergen, Norway (Review of Sketches from the sidewalk)

"Berube's soaring, warm vocals add an extra element to the vintage tones of his music, and when all the pomp is stripped away, his voice can obviously carry the album on its own if need be." Jaclyn Arndt, Soulshine - Canada's essential guide to new music (Review of Sketches from the sidewalk)

"Sketches from the sidewalk" makes you feel like you've been hit in the face with a cream pie after finding out that your wife of 17 years has been cheating on you." Jason Richards, NOW - Toronto's Entertainment Weekly, Rating: NNN

At 9 years old, he was among a dancing crowd of 10,000 watching the late South African pop star Brenda Fassie at Somhlolo Soccer Stadium, Swaziland, Africa. With apartheid still strong next door in South Africa, this concert reverberated on many levels: musically, socially, and politically. Mix this life-defining experience with Manitoban-Québécois roots, a stylistically diverse musical repertoire that eagerly lends itself to his modern-indie folk sound, the piano, accordian, guitar, and a voice that disarms his audiences, and you have the multi-faceted sound of Mark Berube.

Mark Berube and The Patriotic Few (based now in Montreal, Qc) are an eclectic group of musicians. All powerhouses in their own domains, they are Jesson Moen on bass and mandolin (Salmon Arm, BC), Patrick Dugas on drums and percussion (Quebec City, Qc), and Marie Michelle on cello and voice (Jonquiere, Qc).

Mark was a Peacedriven Songwriting Award Honourable Mention winner for 2006. His latest album, What the River Gave the Boat, has received critical acclaim across North America. The song/poem " Barber Shop" was part of the CBC documentary "Batlle of the bag".

He is also a proud member of The Fugitives. Their first album In Streetlight Communion was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award in 2007 as best album in the "Breaking Boundaries" category. He also composes music for dance and theater. Most recently, he worked with Leaky Heaven Circus, in Vancouver, BC. He received a Jessie Richardson Reward Nomination for the music he composed and performed in the project "Salome".

Mark has toured Canada, the USA, the UK, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, and Austria.

Performance highlights: Vancouver Folk Festival on stage playing piano with The Be Good Tanyas, Kevin Breit and Hawksley Workman, backed up Raine Maida's solo project on accordian in Toronto (November 2007), Montreal Festival Des Voix Ameriques (February 2006, 2008), Showcase performances at the ROXY and VIPER Room as part of MUSEXPO, Los Angeles, CA, The Great Escape Festival, Brighton, UK with Dan Mangan (May 2007), and performances at North by North East, POP Montreal, North by North West, and Canadian Music Week Showcase Festivals.

Mark Berube & The Patriotic Few

Recorded by Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Basia Bulat, Silver Mt Zion) live off the floor at Montreal’s Hotel 2 Tango, June In Siberia is the full length follow up to 2008’s What The Boat Gave The River. June In Siberia sees a departure for Mark Berube and The Patriotic Few (Kristina Koropecki on cello, Patrick Dugas on drums, and Amélie Mande... more info
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