Posted by: beattieblog | December 6, 2008

Friends of Friends and the Best of Canada’s Folk Scene – Now America?

jacobandlily
Jacob & Lily (Caleb Friesen & Karla Adolphe)

One of the perks I’ve mentioned before of my past work as a pastor at The Seattle Vineyard was getting to network with friends and colleagues beyond our corner of the emerald city. My wife and I had the joy of hosting three young Canadians several years ago in Seattle. They were in Vancouver and wanted to buzz down to Seattle. A mutual friend, Tracy Howe, connected us and it was great to meet Karla Adolphe, Caleb Friesen and their friend Charis. A few years later they made a return trip as “Jacob and Lily” – this time percussion and guitars in hand riding high atop a giant RV driven by Karla’s airplane mechanic and husband, Gary Adolphe. This trip included getting to hear some of their phenomenal folk originals – they led the singing at church that Sunday and Karla popped over to our little youth group to wow the kids with a couple tunes. On of those songs was “Ruby” which she’d written in between their Seattle trips. It’s a song of pleading to a young prostitute to not “go downtown” and find a better way in the world. Now, you can’t just use one of your friend’s names in a song about a prostitute so they decided to dub the song after our beloved chocolate lab Ruby. Ruby of course was honored especially when the song made quite a splash in Canada getting major play on national radio in the great North. That pride was elevated yet again last night as we listened to Karl and Caleb on NPR. You can hear their live performance on Mountain Stage (including “Ruby” – she even mentions our dog – *blush*!) here. So we continue to be amazed by Karla and Caleb and their success as wonderful people and musicians (ask me some time about Gary and Caleb removing an old chimney to jump start our 2007 kitchen remodel. It’s likely the kitchen would still be in sad shape without them). Take a listen and then head over to your favorite online music distributor – and remember, folk music is the number 2 holiday gift behind large flat-screen televisions.

Here’s how NPR summed up their appearance a few weeks back:

NPR.org, November 21, 2008 – Singer-songwriter Karla Adolphe and percussionist Caleb Friesen make up the Manitoba-based duo Jacob & Lily. The night prior to this performance, the two participated in the international finals of the 7th Annual Mountain Stage NewSong contest for performing songwriters. The contest held six regional rounds across the U.S. and Canada, focusing on singers who write and perform their own original material.

Mountain Stage host and NewSong judge Larry Groce chose Jacob & Lily out of the five co-winners from the previous night’s finals to perform alongside Patty Loveless, The Dan Tyminski Band, Solas and Chris Knight.

With Adolphe’s powerful, passionate voice and steady guitar strumming combined with Friesen’s meticulous and driving rhythmic work, the duo builds a bold sound based around Adolphe’s songs, which explore the surreal wonders and natural emotions of life. “Ruby” appears on their full-length CD The Cathedral, while “Tiptoe Stomp” is included in a recent digital release, available on the duo’s Web site.

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