Sunday Biscuits hosts Blocktreat this weekend

A few years ago I used to regularly attend a series in Vancouver called the Short Stack.

By Brandon Hoffman

A few years ago I used to regularly attend a series in Vancouver called the Short Stack.

I must admit that I stole a lot of inspiration from the series when we started putting together Sunday Biscuits with the Bean Counter.

Every week, the Short Stack would feature a couple musical acts and a feature pancake.

The pancakes got pretty wacky, as the series ran for an entire year (my favourite being rhubarb with balsamic reduction topping).

This is when I truly started to appreciate the value of a safe, comfortable space for creative experimentation.

Not only are spaces like this essential for any artistic community to grow, it can be incredibly entertaining from an audience’s perspective.

Now that we’re officially over the hump of the Sunday Biscuits series, I think I can officially say we’ve achieved our goal of making a space like this.

The acts that I am most looking forward to are the ones that have planned something special just for the series.

For instance, Sunday, Aug. 14 we have Slewfoot – a collaboration between Ian Rankin and his kids Jordan and Kerri.

I’ve seen Ian play in a ton of great musical projects since we were kids, so I can’t wait to see what the family band brings to the sessions.

Also, as Bush Party has been sweeping the Cariboo with its hard rocking jams, the Aug. 21 edition of Sunday Biscuits features the spin-off projects Gypsy Salami, and Devon Lee.

I’m glad I was able to bully Devon into stepping up for the supporting role, and can’t wait to see the bizarre and hilarious combo Gypsy Salami (aka Kevin and Natassja Honeyman).

But for this weekend, Sunday, Aug. 7, it will be I, your humble narrator, at the helm.

I’ve had a project called Blocktreat cooking away for a few years. Playing live, it can get pretty cacophonous.

I usually play with drummer and multi-instrumentalist Brent Morton behind the kit. Last weekend I managed to snag both he and Graham Serl, making for a double-drummer set at ArtsWells.

Even though it was everything I dreamed it would be, two drum kits might be a bit much for the atmosphere of the Bean Counter. For Sunday Biscuits, I will be doing things a little differently.

Blocktreat came out of a love for bluegrass and traditional music.

The songs are built out of the wreckage of cut-up bluegrass recordings.

By the time we get the songs to the stage, any hints of bluegrass tend to get twisted and contorted into undulating, beat-heavy soundscapes.

Specially for Sunday Biscuits, I’ll be keeping things a bit more organic (but just a bit). I’ve been dusting off a few traditionals for mandolin, guitar, and voice.

Expect a collection of mellow semi-acoustic folk tunes, that may or may not melt gradually into warm, electroacoustic mush.

Joining me for episode 5 of Sunday Biscuits is Chinese harp extraordinaire Angie Holdahl. If you haven’t caught Angie on this thing before I would highly recommend checking her out. She makes it look totally effortless while plunking out mesmerizing improvised instrumentals.

Sunday Biscuits is every Sunday. from now until the end of August. It’s a suggested $5 for music, and nobody will be turned away due to lack of funds.

The headliner will play at 10:30 a.m., and again at 12:30 p.m., with the supporting act playing at 11:30 a.m.

Come down for coffee, brunch and some sweet, sweet music between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.





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