Revelstoke music lovers rejoice! You no longer need to wait until July to hear great live music somewhere other than in a bar. Slated to be a monthly affair, Revelstoke’s first coffee house was a huge success, hosted on Saturday night by the Revelstoke Folk Music Society at the Revelstoke United Church.
Yelps and applause abounded in the church basement – packed with music enthusiasts of all ages – where new and experienced performers were welcomed to the stage for three songs each. The atmosphere was one of genuine enjoyment and support – which is perhaps unsurprising, considering the immense amount of musical talent that graced the stage.
Mike Shaver opened the night with two original songs played with only an acoustic guitar, his voice and a tapping foot. He was joined by Steph Webster and her stunning vocals for a third song. Webster also joined event organizer Denis Severino during his upbeat set of original and cover songs.
Severino was thrilled with the event, which has been his labour of love for the last two months. “It was great to see people coming out of the woodwork of the Revelstoke music community,” he said. “It’s nice to have a place to foster that.”
The talented Shaver, Severino and Webster trio have gained some popularity in town playing weekly gigs at bars, but the lesser-known Maggie Davis surprised the crowd with soulful renditions of “Whiter Shade of Pale” and “Me and Bobby McGee.”
Matt Potter played some mean guitar solos and sang harmonies with both Gabe Taylor and Doris Folkens on their sets.
Crowd favourite Sister Girl showed off their experience with a fun set that had the audience clapping throughout the 45 minutes they were onstage. They showcased a funny new song about being a truck driver’s wife, and did a beautiful a cappella harmony on “Seven Bridges Road,” made popular by the Eagles.
Another surprise highlight of the night was an excellent set by three RSS students: Alex Wadey on guitar and vocals; Jacob Wallach on drums, didgeridoo and harmonica; and Hannah Brackenbury on vocals.
Mike Brown played a heartfelt set, followed by Rob Milne and Joan Robertson who founded the Sunnybrae coffee house 13 years ago, which the Revelstoke event was modelled after. Milne and Robertson’s “Dumb Cluck Farmer,” sung with Severino and Webster – and Shaver on kazoo – really brought the energy out from the crowd.
Coffee house veteran Milne called Saturday’s event “the best one I’ve been to in a long time.
“Everyone was sucked right into the music,” he added.
“There’s a great energy,” said Robertson. “It’s great for the community.”
The night finished off with Matthew Carter performing three original songs, one of which he played with three of his children singing backup.
The Revelstoke Coffee House is scheduled to continue on the fourth Saturday of every month, also at the United Church. The next will be held on February 26.