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SPIRIT OF RASPUTIN’S – OTTAWA’S FOLK MUSIC SOCIETY

Bluegrassers The String Masons join musical couple Azalea at Westboro Masonic Hall on October 21

Rasputin Press Photo

Bluegrass duo The String Masons will share the bill on October 21 with husband-and- wife folk-pop team Azalea at Westboro Masonic Hall. The concert continues the Featured Artists Series of Spirit of Rasputin’s, Ottawa’s folk music society.

The String Masons are singer-guitarist Paul Roberto and singer-mandolinist Gilles Leclerc, who are also bandmates in the Ottawa bluegrass group The Dusty Drifters. As a duo they play acoustic blues, swing and country as well as bluegrass, combining vocal harmonies with rich instrumental work.

Paul, originally from Belleville, has made his mark on the Ottawa bluegrass and traditional scene. Lynn Miles, when appearing with him at the Blacksheep Inn, praised Paul as one of her all-time favourite singers and guitar players.

Gilles grew up in the Ottawa area with a father, brother and uncles who were all musicians and fans of old-time country music. He’s worked with many folk and roots artists and has been nominated as guitar player and mandolin player of the year by the Central Canadian Bluegrass Association.

Here’s a kitchen duet by The String Masons.

Azalea are the folk-pop pair Benjamin and Mia Hackett of Hamilton. A songwriting session began their partnership in life and music, and they’ve developed a harmony- based style that they describe as “romantic, young and fresh, with whimsical elements throughout.” A number of their songs create a “Gypsy-Americana” style that combines North American folk traditions with eastern European Gypsy vocalizing.

Pop Culture Madness Magazine said, “With live looping, instrument changes, and powerhouse vocals in perfect harmony, Azalea delivers more than you would expect from a duo!”

Benjamin and Mia tour extensively around Ontario; they have released three albums and a single together. Soon to be released is their new CD album Gypsy’s Moonlight Motel, which will be available for sale at the concert. Here’s an inside look at how they’ve been working on it.

Showtime is 8:00 pm on Saturday, October 21 at the Westboro Masonic Hall, 430 Churchill Ave. N. at Byron. Doors open at 7:30.

Tickets are $20, available online at rasputins.ca.
A few tickets may be available for cash at the door. But seating is limited, so advance purchase is recommended.

Further information: comms@rasputins.ca