We had the pleasure of attending Stuart Mclean’s Vinyl Cafe 2011 Christmas show the other night. For those of you already familiar with his work, you’ll appreciate that the highlights of the evening were (not one, but) two brand new Dave and Morley stories and the musical performances, including several songs from (new to us) Hawksley Workman. Four of the last 5 years, Stuart Mclean’s Christmas show has marked the start of our holiday season. There’s something about Stuart’s voice, the Canadian musicians, the family atmosphere in the audience, the laughter, and Dave and Morley’s Christmas adventures that sets just the right tone for the start of December. Of course, we have our favourite seats…left or right of center, front row of the permanent seats (not the orchestra seats), right on the aisle so that our youngest enjoys a great view of the stage and has an unobstructed line of sight to witness Stuart’s energetic gestures when he’s telling a Vinyl Cafe story. And it’s always fascinating to learn, via the prize giveaway assisted by a cute kid from the audience (actually 3 cute kids this year: Callum, Grace and Laura), that the audience age ranges from infants to 90+ year-old fans!
For those of you not yet familiar with Stuart Mclean, check out the official website at CBC. Journalist, award-winning and best-selling author and radio personality, Stuart’s weekly radio show reaches nearly a million people each week via CBC, Sirius Satellite and a number of public radio stations in the U.S.A. He also has a weekly Vinyl Cafe podcast, available via iTunes or the CBC website. Our iTunes library now includes well over one hundred “Dave and Morley” stories and they are family favourites during road trips, and just the right length for the one-hour (or so) drive to hiking trailheads in the Canadian Rockies.
Since Stuart began touring the Vinyl Cafe in 1998, one of the constant features of the show has been to feature lesser-known Canadian musicians. Past favourites of ours include Danny Michel and Matt Anderson. This year’s show featured Hawksley Workman, and we truly enjoyed his original, story-telling lyrics as he performed songs from his newest album “Full Moon Eleven”.
If you haven’t already discovered the quirky, family-friendly, creative, humourous world of the Vinyl Cafe, download just one podcast and give it a try. And if you’re already a fan, you’ll know you’re in for a treat when the new “Dave and Morley” stories hit the radio waves. Enjoy!
PS – Apologies in advance, but the ability to link to other websites seems to be broken this morning, so you’ll have to use your favourite search engines to find “Stuart Mclean Vinyl Cafe” on the CBC website or to check out the musicians mentioned above.