November 13, 2010, a balmy Saturday night. I arrive in time for soundcheck. I find a table right at the back of the back room where the stage is (on the other side they were playing mostly 1980’s music on a stereo system). I order food and a pitcher of beer, I take the available seat and eat the nachos I ordered, since they had just run out of chili.
I’m at a vegetarian restaurant-licensed venue in the Plateau Mont-Royal called Le Cagibi. (Corner of St. Laurent & St. Viateur). The venue reminds me a lot of the legendary Old Phoenix, except with a liquor license and live music. Tonight is a night of folk music.
From where I’m sitting, I have a perfect view of a support beam that holds up the ceiling. I’m directly in front of the stage otherwise. I turn around and look at the cigarette machine – now, a distroboto machine, and scan it for anything interesting. There isn’t anything. And I’m listening to the soundcheck and telling the bands and sound guy which levels to adjust.
On with the show.
The first act was a solo performance from Toronto-based folk songstress Abigail Lapell. This was the first time I had seen her perform and she sang and played her electro-acoustic guitar beautifully.
Next up was Gabe Levine. He played guitar and had a backing band consisting of David on Drums and Keiko on the fender Rhodes organ.
â€¦And then the main attractionâ€¦ Jordi Rosen and friends!
Jordi Rosen and her band, who played their first gig in this configuration, consisted of Jordi Rosen on lead vocals, keyboard and accordion, Dave Lines on guitar, Ingrid Wissink on violin and Marissa on flute, clarinet, saxophone and bodhrÃ n. Plus special guest star Annabelle Chvostek on mandolin and backing vocals.
All in all a fun filled evening of folk music, with good food and lots of beer, an obstructed view and a full house of happy audience members.
Profile of Jordi Rosen by Cassie Doubleday