Friday, 6 March 2015

March 28: A roaring end to March with The Young Novelists

The folk and roots music world can sometimes be seen as synonymous with the singer-songwriter genre. But there are those who forge a different path, like Graydon James and his bandmates, the Young Novelists.

This six-piece group (alex dodd, graydon james, shawn jurek, john law, mike paddags, and  laura spink), take full advantage of the richness that extra people, voices, and instruments provide.

Their music is full of joy and intensity and tenderness, and these musicians bring a wonderful grasp of their instruments and how to play together from the softest pianissimo to thunderous crescendos.

So far, they've produced their debut EP, a small town eulogy, and a full-length recoding, in the year you were born in 2012. And later this spring, their latest project made us strangers will hit an unsuspecting world with the rich harmonies and great songwriting that is now expected, but with some new textures to the sound.

And you can preorder this new record RIGHT now. Just go to their PledgeMusic site to get in on the fun, with anything from the record to a dress-shopping excursion with vocalist / percussionist Laura Spink up for grabs.  

Don't miss them! Here's a taste of the Young Novelists from the Wood & Wires video series:

Graydon James & The Young Novelists- Hear Your Voice from Wood & Wires on Vimeo.

Send March out like a lion! See you then.

WHO: The Young Novelists
WHEN: March 28, 7:00 mingle, 8:00 music
WHERE: 214 Northwestern Avenue, Ottawa (Directions:
HOW: Buy Tickets: Suggested donation $25. Drop off cash or a cheque, or e-transfer using Interac or Paypal to

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy Jeremy!

We're just waiting for Santa to arrive tonight, but Cat already knows what her belated birthday 
present is going to be: our first house concert of 2015 will feature the inventive and deceptively entertaining Jeremy Fisher!
Jeremy is a recent returnee to Ottawa, and 2014 saw him release The Lemon Squeeze, his seventh album. What makes Jeremy an ideal BobCat performer? He's got a distinctive voice (he says "sounds like Simon, looks like Garfunkel"), he's got considerable skill on guitar and piano, and his songs range over a broad range from pop-inspired tunes to broadwayesque story songs with a mix of sincerity and sly wit that is captivating. 

He's toured the country by bicycle and by less fun means of transportation, he's toured with such notables as Xavier Rudd, Sarah Slean, Peter Katz, and Danny Michel, Cat loves him (Bob too), and if you haven't discovered him yet, you will be a fan by the end of the night. 

WHO: Jeremy Fisher in concert at BobCat House Concerts 
WHEN: Saturday, February 21, mingle at 7, music at 8
WHERE: 214 Northwestern Avenue, Ottawa 
  • BYOB and a snackish dish to share if you like (soft drinks always available) 
  • Food bank donations are gratefully accepted and passed on 
  • Suggested donation $20, all proceeds always go to the artist. You can use Paypal or Interac to send money directly by email to bob dot ledrew at gmail dot com, or mail us a cheque or drop off cash at the house.  
See you next year!

Monday, 1 December 2014

Recognition for BobCat alumni makes us grateful

Saturday night marked not only a house concert for us with the fantastic Jory Nash (the songs from his new album are among the best I've ever heard of his, and he is a fine writer indeed), but the end of Canadian Folk Music Awards Week in Ottawa.

10 years ago, a small group of some of Canada's most important people in the world of folk music created these awards, and since then have put in countless hours (and probably more than a few of their own bucks) to keep the CFMAs vital and to put on great events across the country.

This is the place where Canada's folk community can celebrate the richness of our music creators and the achievements of those who've recorded over the previous year, handing out 19 awards.

As house concert presenters, we occupy a very privileged position. We get to welcome some of Canada's and the world's most skilled musicians into our homes and introduce them to our friends, neighbours, colleagues, and acquaintances in a uniquely intimate environment. And over our 37 concerts,  we have become friends with a lot of the people who've come to perform at our house. So seeing some of our musical friends get nominated or win a CFMA is a reminder to us of just how lucky we are and a source of great happiness.

This year, six BobCat alums were nominated for a CFMA: Quique Escamilla, Gathering Sparks, Jadea Kelly, Amanda Rheaume, Shari Ulrich, and Jill Zmud. Three of those nominees were chosen by a jury as the best in their category this year:

Quique Escamilla: 2014 CFMA for World Solo Artist

Amanda Rheaume (with cowriter John MacDonald): 
2014 CFMA for Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year

Shari Ulrich: 2014 CFMA for English Songwriter of the Year 
and for Vocal Group of the Year as part of the High Bar Gang 

We've been lucky to walk away from every concert feeling as if we've experienced and shared something very special. And if this sort of recognition helps spread the word about our folk scene to new audiences and pushes performers to do even more striking work, then I'm all for it. 

Congratulations to the CFMAs, to all the nominees and the winners, and especially to our BobCat friends. And (this will be the only time in history where I will quote Abba) thank you for the music. 

Sunday, 30 November 2014

SOLD OUT! Happy BobCat Holidays! Join Lynn Miles and band for "Songs for the Darkest Night."

DECEMBER 1 UPDATE: WE ARE FULL! If you've sent a message, I'll be back to you, but we are filled up and will be putting a waiting list together. 

We don't normally do concerts in December, but rules are made to be broken, n'est-ce pas? And when you have an opportunity to present Lynn Miles with new songs, you DO NOT say no.

In the event you don't know Lynn Miles's work, suffice it to say that she is one of the greatest musicians and writers to ever come out of Ottawa. This December, when her NAC show "Songs for the Darkest Night" was announced, it sold out VERRY quickly.

So we are thrilled to present a 'preview' of that show at BobCat on December 19. There will be a band, there will be beauty, there will be laughter, and perhaps even a tear or two. AND there will be a run on these seats.

Don't wait. This will be a special night with a wonderful performer, and it will  sell out quickly.

We always accept donations for the Ottawa Food Bank, but we particularly want to urge you to bring a non-perishable food item or a cash donation to this show. 


WHO: Lynn Miles with full band present "Songs for the Darkest Night" 
WHEN: Friday, December 19, 7:00 mingling and 8:00 music 
WHERE: The BobCat Elfhouse, 214 Northwestern Avenue 
HOW: (to reserve) -- email BobCat. Suggested donation for this show is $35. Prepayment necessary by cash, cheque, or Interac or paypal e-transfer using the BobCat email. 
WHAT: BYOB and some seasonal snackage. Stay tuned for waiting list information. 

Monday, 3 November 2014

NEXT SHOW! Jory Nash returns November 29

Back in January 2010, we just about killed Jory Nash. Well, we stressed him out, by getting him to come and play at the house after driving through a fierce snowstorm. But now, with a new record on the way, we're getting him here (hopefully) before the snow flies!

Jory Nash brings a distinctive voice to his songs -- both as a singer and a writer. He's recorded seven albums to great acclaim and national recognition, and he's toured extensively in Canada and in the United States. He's currently working on album number eight, and he'll have a whole batch of songs from the album to preview for YOU on November 29. Join us, or you'll miss this:

WHO: Jory Nash and at least one hat
WHERE: BobCat Soul House, 214 Northwestern Avenue, Ottawa
WHEN: November 29, mingling from 7, music 8
WHAT: Suggested donation $20, plus feel free to bring your own booze and/or some snacky type of food (and a Food Bank donation, if you feel so inclined)
HOW: You can drop off cash or a cheque at the house, or send an e-transfer via Interac or Paypal to bob dot ledrew at gmail dot com.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Next BobCat: Gathering Sparks April 12!

We are more than excited for our next show. If you were to name a roots music supergroup, I'd nominate Gathering Sparks. This new trio of musical friends features three performers that have impressive individual resumes. Together, we (and you) are promised an evening of amazing instrument-switchin' folk music at its best.

Eve Goldberg is perhaps best known as the composer of "Watermelon Sorbet", the theme to CBC's "Richardson's Roundup." One friend describes Eve as a true folk singer. I agree.

Jane Lewis is another superb writer, keyboardist, and singer. And her partner Sam Turton brings virtuosic guitar skills and a voice and style steeped in gospel, blues and soul to the mix.

This promises to be a wonderful evening of inspiring music. Don't miss it.

WHEN: April 12, 2012, 7:00 mix, 8:00 music
WHERE: 214 Northwestern Avenue, Ottawa
Suggested donation: $20, ideally in advance, either by dropoff, Paypal, or Interac transfer. BYOB, and something snackish to share if you like.

See you there (or is that here?)! 

Monday, 20 January 2014

WAITING LIST MODE! Jill Zmud and friends, February 8

Lovely Jill Zmud performs
at BobCat February 8
UPDATE JAN 30: WE'RE GONNA CALL THIS FULL. If you haven't gotten in touch yet we can create a waiting list and put you on it, in case there are cancellations. Thank you so much for being eager listeners. 

When we started doing house concerts, we decided that when a concert was happening during someone's birth month, we would let that person pick the artist. Of course, that only really works for the Cat half with her February birthday.

But she's made some amazing choices over the years -- Penny Lang, Good Lovelies, Amy Campbell, Missy Burgess, Peter Elkas...

And 2014, the 7th-anniversary show for BobCat House Concerts, she's done it again with a return engagement from the superb Jill Zmud.

Jill Zmud is a slightly late starter, musically speaking. She spent much of her youth pursuing other arts. But when she took up music, she quickly made up any lost ground. Her 2009 record " we quietly drive by" was a little piece of crystalline beauty, with songs that brought the sultriness and the gospel inflections over her to the forefront, and music that was artfully made by her, guitarist Chris Page, producer Dave Draves, and Christine Mathenge and Jerusha Lewis of the Voices of Praise Gospel Choir.

Since that album, she's been making music and working on non-musical projects as well. And as I write this post, she's recording the long-awaited second album.

On February 8, Jill and some friends will join us for a celebratory evening full of torch-folk-inspired smiles, sly giggles, and full-on laughter. It will be a joyous evening. And you should be there.

WHO: Jill Zmud and Friends
WHERE: BobCat Birthday Parlour, 214 Northwestern Avenue
WHEN: mingling at 7, music at 8
WHAT: suggested donation of $20, all proceeds to artist.

We encourage you to make your donation in advance as we often have a full house, and we want to ensure the artist is given a full audience and a full envelope. You can drop it off, or you can use PayPal or Interac to transfer money to us at this email.

As always, your donation to the Ottawa Food Bank is gratefully accepted, and we encourage you to bring your own alcoholic treats and a snack to share.