Welcome to the world of Beaucoup Chapeaux!
Voted “Best Live Music in Nevada City” (their home base in Northern California), the music of Beaucoup Chapeaux springs forth from the accordion, violin, oboe, English horn, tenor guitar, plectrum banjo, clarinet, bass clarinet, piccolo, dobro, 5-string banjo, voice (and anything else they pick up) and the combined spirits of four extraordinary musicians. “Beaucoup Chapeaux plays a mixture of music that oozes with joyful world overtones… If you like your music with an old world European quality and played straight from the hip with no excuses, look no further as this will be your cup-otea and then some!” --Mikail Graham, DJ, event and record producer, writing in KVMR Radio’s “Top Picks 2011” review.
Having sold out their last two concerts in San Francisco--the Red Poppy Art House, and the Pacific Avenue House Concert--Beaucoup Chapeaux, the Northern California quartet is enjoying the roll.
Beaucoup Chapeaux’s origins began one fall morning in 2008, when the owner of a small French café in Nevada City heard Maggie McKaig singing and playing her accordion at the farmers market. A few months later, she invited Maggie to play in the café on Valentine’s Day. Maggie agreed, but said she would like to bring a few others to play with her. And so, she gathered two extraordinary musical friends and cohorts: Luke Wilson, with his tenor guitar, banjo, and dobro, and Murray Campbell, with his violin, oboe, and English horn. Despite blizzard conditions that shut down most of the county, people filled the café that snowy Valentine’s. The music was a big hit. The café owner was thrilled, and asked the trio, “Would you come play on Friday nights?” And so, we did.
A few weeks later, the very eclectic new music composer and musician Randy McKean was in the audience. After listening to the first set, McKean asked to sit in--he just happened to have his clarinet with him--and his bass clarinet too. We began to play, and the mix was by all accounts, magical. And so, McKean joined the band. With a wide array of musical backgrounds and instruments, the name Beaucoup Chapeaux, which means, roughly, “many hats”, seemed a good fit. Four years and 350 or more gigs later, with two tours throughout Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, we seem to be doing something right.
“Together we’re creating an atmosphere that some people call magic. It’s like a voyage every Friday. It’s alive!” --Genevieve Crouzet, owner, Nevada City Classic Café, in the the February 2013 Nevada City Advocate.
As so many who experience Beaucoup Chapeaux often express--Americans and European alike—hearing our band makes one feel like you've come upon the coolest café in Europe.
Along with our originals, inflected with our jazz to folk influences, our repertoire includes what we feel are gloriously haunting and wildly beautiful tunes from France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Serbia, Macedonia, Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, as well as American jazz and folk music. We released our first CD in 2011, have sold out the 1000 copy first run, and are currently working on another for release later this year.
Audiences seem to adore us, and this music. We project a very authentic joie de vivre. Our café gig has become certainly one of the most, if not the most popular attractions on Friday nights in Nevada City. And it's not just about music, it's as much a community hub, the place locals bring their friends to, where they can experience the essence of the bustling and artsy community of Nevada City. That Beaucoup Chapeaux has become one of the most sought after groups for events in Nevada County, an area that overflows with incredible artists, is a testimony to our work and our dedication--and let's hope to our talent!
In the February 2013 edition of the Nevada City Advocate, journalist Laura Brown interviewed the aforementioned Mikail Graham about the band: "I think they are one of the great bands in the area,” Mikail went on to state that Beaucoup Chapeaux has reinvigorated the town’s local Friday night music scene beyond bar and dinner clubs. "There’s nobody else doing what they do and doing it with as much fun, gusto and just enjoyment as they do.”
In the same story, Sands Hall, an successful author, playwright, professor, and musician had this to say about us: “All in all, they are each one of them uniquely talented; as a collective, they are an astonishing juggernaut. What Beaucoup Chapeaux is up to in that little cafe helps knit our community."
We do all this in our little community, yes, and we do it wherever we play.
As one Facebook fan wrote: “This band is scary good -all virtuosos, all acoustic, they drive the teeming bistro bonhomie in a petit cafe and wherever they go.”
More sweet words:
There's a lot to like about this group, but the central idea seems to be fun. Some cuts are sentimental and even schmaltzy, but never to excess, and never without a touch of underlying grit. Go on, tap your feet, dance, you won't find a thing here to defeat that mood. When the sun's not shining, I play this CD and out it comes, in my car or in my kitchen. But at the same time, I'm left musing on deeper things too. Life's promises and disappointments to go with life's pleasures.
Not that any recording could beat seeing Beaucoup Chapeaux live in the exuberant, free-flowing, Friday night atmosphere of Nevada City's Classic Cafe. Still, we can't always be there, so here's a way to fill the gap."-- Bill Pieper, CD Baby reviewer.
---A very magical niche---
"Beaucoup Chapeaux has created a very magical niche with this music. It's a feel, an ambiance, something lovers can whisper behind and get up and dance to. It is so much Parisian Bistro or Italian Cafe, part Circus, and is very eccentric, and all of that, we love about it! Bravo, Beaucoup Chapeaux!" --Eleanore MacDonald, on CD Baby
"Wonderful lively music, reminiscent of the Greek tavernas I used to visit so long ago. Spirited and very professional close your eyes and enjoy!"--Parsons, on CD Baby
On with the accomplishments and accolades:
Our wonderful friend, the late and lamented Utah Phillips, very kindly introduced Luke and Maggie one time as "two of the finest musicians, singers, and songwriters performing today." Luke and Maggie were 2010 featured artists for the Nevada County Composers Cooperative, Premier Showcase Artists at the 2009 FARWest Folk Alliance Conference. Maggie's song, "War is a Business" was featured on a November 2010 edition of "Democracy Now". She was thrilled about that. Her instrumental, "Flora's Waltz," placed 6th out of 5000--that's right, 5000 entries for Best Celtic Instrumental in the Just Plain Folks 2009 Music Awards in Nashville, TN. Beaucoup Chapeaux's first CD, the 2011 release, "A Night at the Classic Café" was a 2011 KVMR Radio Top Pick. Then the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce voted us best live music in Nevada City. Very fun!
You want more bio?
Maggie McKaig has performed with many very fine musicians including two time Grammy winner Mary Youngblood, Alasdair Fraser, Utah Phillips, Michael Zisman, Bill Douglass, Paul Kamm and Eleanore MacDonald, Emily Klion, George Brooks, Darcie Deaville, Ron Casat, Bill Eaglesham, Sands Hall, Peter Wilson, and Ivan Najera. She gained much of her adventuresome spirit growing up roaming wild throughout California’s Santa Cruz Mountains. For many years she was primarily a guitarist, singer, and songwriter, having begun serious study and playing at 11 years of age. That adventuresome spirit and nearly insatiable curiosity have led her to play in accomplished fashion many genres of music: rock, folk, blues, classical, country, bluegrass, newgrass, Canadiana, Americana, Jazz, Celtic, and her current fascination, Euro Café/Gypsy Jazz.
A certified Orff Schulwerk teacher, for many years Maggie helped many hundreds of children discover their inner musician and performer in schools and summer theater camps in Northern California and Alberta, Canada.
For thirteen years she directed youth musical theater in San Francisco, CA, and was fortunate to work and perform with Miguel Santos, Monica Bermudez, Ricardo Diaz, Zakariya Diouf, Naomi Washington, Laura Elaine Ellis, Nader Shahin, Amina Goodyear, Susu Pampanin, Danny Duncan, Mestre Beicola, Mary Dollar, Jo Krieter, Aunty Linda Pi'ilani, Carlos Gonzalez, Ed Holmes, Janet Koike, Carolyn Brandy, Michelle Jordan, and Nat Keefe, among others. She has also performed on street corners, ships, beaches, mountain tops, cafés, tavernas, pubs, attics, basements, barns, bars, museums, cemeteries, peace marches, benefits of all kinds, on many festival and concert stages.
Maggie now devotes herself entirely to writing stories and music, and playing music, and when not doing that, takes care of a five acre farm and catering to the whims of a 35 year old horse, four dogs, and two cats. And then there's Luke. She also has a WordPress blog, "Maggie's Notes and Peregrinations: Farm Tales and Musical Tours".
Quite active in the Nevada City, CA community where she makes her home, Maggie and her partner of many years, Luke Wilson, who have lately taken up Tango dancing, are perhaps most proud of their two very fine grown sons.
Oshawa, Ontario born Luke P. Wilson has been performing for more than 40 years. He spent the early 1970's in England and Europe, and recorded an album with partner Jesse P. Morin for Capitol Records called "Peaceful Company". During his two years in the UK, Luke performed with all sorts of interesting musicians, notably Major Wiley.
From 1974-1985, Luke performed with many of top Canada's top folk, country, and country blues musicians such as Valdy, Diamond Joe White, Ian Tyson, Ken Hamm, members of Prairie Oyster, Ron Casat, and Bill Eaglesham. One of Calgary's top session players from 1976-1985, he recorded dozens of commercials, and played on many albums. His own bands included Buckdancer's Choice and Lost in the Colonies, and he was also a member of the Backline Orchestra.
In California, Luke has performed with a wide variety of musicians. Aside from his longtime partner Maggie, Luke has added lent his extraordinary sensibilities to the music of Utah Phillips, Alasdair Fraser, Saul Rayo, Kimberly Bass, Sands Hall, and many, many more. As has often been said, Luke is a musical secret weapon. His improvisational skills are legendary. Luke also works as a record producer, and has helped midwife dozens of albums to life. For over 35 years, he has worked as a luthier, building, repairing, and restoring stringed instruments in his shop, Wolfnote Studio.
From Carlops, Scotland, Murray Campbell moved to Nevada County early in 2005, and has performed and recorded with many Northern Californian musicians since. His brilliance playing on violin, oboe, and English horn has added to the work of Paul Kamm and Eleanor MacDonald, Alasdair Fraser, Kipchoge Spencer, Issac James, Vermillion Lies, the Belfry Brothers, ChickenBonz, and Randy McKean's ew music ensemble Bristle, with Lisa Mezzacappo and Cory Wright. Murray also plays in Mezzacappo's String Band. Having been both traditionally and classically trained as a musician in Scotland, Murray also studied in the Hague for a number of years, and currently performs with both the Auburn Symphony and the North State Symphony Orchestra.
Making his home on the North San Juan Ridge area of Nevada County, CA, Murray also holds a B.Sc degree in mathematical physics.
Just for fun.
And last, but certainly not least:
Iowa born Saxophonist/clarinetist/composer Randy McKean has performed with rockers Poi Dog Pondering, David Rice and Teratoma, took part in the premiere performance of MacArthur Genius award recipient Anthony Braxton's Tri-Centric Orchestra at the Kitchen in New York City, and has toured Taiwan as part of James Fei's alto saxophone quartet.
His most recent activities include his new music ensemble, Bristle, which includes Campbell, as well as Lisa Mezzacappo, and Cory Wright. In 2012, Randy's piece, "Orchestrium", was performed by the Music in the Mountains Symphony Orchestra in a collaboration with the Nevada County Composers Cooperative, of which he is a member. Randy is also a member of the performance collective Gardyloo; noise improv trio Me & Alex Ross, with guitarist Ross Hammond and percussionist Alex Jenkins; avant-folk duo GraVIE, with Murray Campbell; the chamber jazz duo Off Center, with guitarist David Dvorin; and appearances with Alex Jenkins, Sound Immersion, Ludi Hinrichs, and Dan Plonsey's ensemble Daniel Popsicle.
Randy received a B.A. in Jazz Studies from Coe College, where he studied with Paul Smoker, and an M.A. in Music Composition from Mills College, where he studied with Anthony Braxton, David Rosenboom, and Maggi Payne. He has lived and worked in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City.
Since 2002, Randy and his family call Grass Valley, CA, home, where he and his wife Lindsay try to keep up with their two very talented and active teenagers.
Maggie McKaig - Guitar, voice, Accordion
Luke Wilson - voice, Dobro, tenor guitar, PLECTRUM BANJO
Murray Campbell - Violin, voice, oboe, English horn
Randy McKean - voice, flute, bass clarinet, Clarinet, Picollo, Clarient
--A Night at the Classic Café 2011
--Edge of the World. 2008
--Storm Sessions. 2006.
The Celtic Wonder Band:
--Small Wonder. 2004
--Grand Promenade. 2003
Lost in the Colonies:
--Lost In The Colonies. 1984 (Produced by CBC. Engineered by Don Pennington at CBC in Calgary, Alberta.)
--Peaceful Company. Luke P. Wilson and Ron Paul Morin. 1971 for Capitol Records. London, England.
Places you may have seen us, or some of us, in the last few years:
The Red Poppy Art House, San Francisco, CA
Music in the Mountains at the Nevada Theatre, with Musical Art Quintet, Nevada City, CA
Pacific Avenue House Concerts, San Francisco, CA
The Nevada City Classic Café, Nevada City, CA
The Matrix Coffeehouse, Chehalis, WA
The Alberta Street Public House, Portland, OR
The Seattle Broadway Sunday Farmers Market
The White Rabbit, Seattle, WA
The Original El Burrito, Bend, OR
Tease, Ashland, OR
Greek-Blue on Granite, Ashland OR
Soliz Conklin House Concert, Olympia WA
The Festival of Quartets, Grass Valley, CA
Aubergine After Dark, Sebastopol, CA
Blackbird Café, Point Reyes, CA
The Emerald Tablet, San Francisco, CA
Shine Café, Sacramento, CA
Medieval Fantasy Festival, Vacaville, CA
Left Coast Folk Presents, Berkeley, CA
KVMR Holiday Party, Nevada City, CA
The Stone House, Nevada City, CA
The Miners Foundry, Nevada City, CA
St. Joseph’s Cultural Center, Grass Valley, CA
Café Mecca, Nevada City, CA
Greenlife Ecofest 2011, 2012, Grass Valley, CA
Bear Yuba Land Trust Gala Concert Grass Valley, CA
Polly’s Paladar, Nevada City, CA
Solune Winery, Chicago Park, CA
Nevada City Winery, Nevada City, CA
The Tin House, Grass Valley, CA
Living Lands Agrarian Fest, Nevada City, CA
The Mandolin Café, Tacoma, WA
River Hill Farm, Nevada City, CA
Briar Patch Coop Holiday Party, Grass Valley, CA
The Old Five Mile House, Nevada City, CA
Summer Thymes Café, Grass Valley, CA
FAR-West Folk Alliance, Irvine, CA
Brownsville Mountain Festival, Brownsville, CA
The Ridge Stop Café, North San Juan, CA
The Press Club, Portland, OR
Naos Lounge, Seattle, WA
The Olympia Farmers Market
Fresh Start Café, Shelton, WA
The Ironwood Stage, Calgary, Alberta
The Duncan Garage Showroom, Duncan, British Columbia
The North Country Fair, Alberta, Canada
Calgary Folk Festival
Edmonton Folk Festival
Strawberry Music Festival
B.B. King's Blues Club, Nashville, TN
California Worldfest, Grass Valley, CA
Theatre and Restaurant, Port Townsend, WA
Plough and Stars, San Francisco, CA
Don Quixote's, Santa Cruz, CA
Hotel Calla del Piccolo, Monte Argentario, Italy
Muricciaglia, Tuscany, Italy
Mississippi Pub, Portland, Oregon
Cozmic Cafe, Placerville, CA
Conor Byrne's Pub, Seattle, WA
Regina Folk Festival
Thunder Bay Festival
Stage Door Cabaret, Mount Shasta, CA
Under Paris Skies
Valley of the Moon Waltz
La Franska Valsen
Road To Baltimore
Band, café celebrate 5 years of fantastic Fridays
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Valentine’s Day marks the fifth holiday anniversary and fourth year that Beaucoup Chapeaux has roman...Valentine’s Day marks the fifth holiday anniversary and fourth year that Beaucoup Chapeaux has romanced local fans with European-style gypsy music in a French bistro setting at the Nevada City Classic Café.
Every Friday night Tapas plates, crepes and wine pass freely among friends and neighbors in a room ringing with laughter, music, singing and dancing.
“Together we’re creating an atmosphere that some people call magic. It’s like a voyage every Friday. It’s alive,” said Genevieve Crouzet who owns the restaurant with her husband Kirk Valentine.
A project that began on a snowy Valentine’s Day during a city power outage has blossomed into a weekly event that draws a strong following of locals.
Since their first experimental days at the Café, the band’s popularity has grown. In four years, Beaucoup Chapeaux has performed more than 350 gigs including two Pacific Northwest tours.
“I think they are one of the great bands in the area,” said Mikail Graham. He says the band has reinvigorated the town’s local Friday night music scene beyond bar and dinner clubs.
“There’s nobody else doing what they do and doing it with as much fun, gusto and just enjoyment as they do,” said Graham.
Beaucoup Chapeaux, which roughly translates to “many hats” plays music you might hear in a Persian Café or Greek Taverna. Some have called their performance a free trip to Europe without ever having to set foot out of Nevada County.
“That’s part of what I think so many of us respond to. That we are experiencing, on a Friday night in an old mining town in northern California, the kind of thing that’s been going on for centuries in cafes from Athens to Naples, Paris to Dubrovnik,” said local writer, musician and theater director Sands Hall.
Maggie McKaig plays accordion with her “entourage” as she calls the band: her husband of 35 years Canadian Luke Wilson on tenor guitar and plectrum banjo, Scotland born Murray Campbell on violin, oboe and English horn and on clarinet, bass clarinet and piccolo is Randy McKean. The band plays high-energy music with no amplification.
“It’s going to pick them up out of the doldrums at the end of the week,” Campbell said.
Far from purists, Beaucoup Chapeaux plays a mix of old traditional tunes from a wide swath of Europe as well as original music with many influences such as Django Reinhardt and American jazz and folk.
“We’ve always pushed boundaries on any genre of music,” said McKaig, who raised two children and recorded seven albums with Wilson.
Jokingly referred to as the “Improv King” of the band, Wilson doesn’t read music but “hears things that no one else hears.” McKaig led a successful singer/ songwriter career prior to Beaucoup Chapeaux. Campbell is a classically trained musician and McKean is an accomplished musician and composer. Beaucoup Chapeaux is a continuum of other projects band members have worked on together over the years.
“All in all, they are each one of them uniquely talented; as a collective, they are an astonishing juggernaut,” said Hall who makes a point to stop by the café to eat, or sometimes just to catch a few songs on the way to a movie or play.
“What Beaucoup Chapeaux is up to in that little cafe helps knit our community,” she said.
A lot of what the band does is improvised and they never play a set list. It is meant to capture the spirit of a band traveling throughout the café culture of Europe. Friday nights at the Classic Cafe are filled with nostalgia and romance.
“It’s the biggest local music secret with good food there is,” Wilson said.
Playing for quiet listening concert audiences is quite different from the boisterous and chaotic atmosphere of a café where there is a certain amount of experimental risk. The music changes from a dinner backdrop to a lively improvised performance.
“I think we have a lot more freedom to get crazy in the café,” said Campbell.
The band is known to stroll through the café, instruments in hand encouraging diners to get in the spirit of the moment and join in.
“I get their attention. I leap up and sing a song and we roam around,” said McKaig.
Urged by their fans, the band recorded, “A Night at the Classic Café” and the following summer took their music on the road, touring festivals, coffee houses and art galleries in Oregon, Washington and the Bay Area.
In April they will play at San Francisco’s Red Poppy Art House and plan to release a second recording later this year.
World travelers and European visitors alike gravitate to the band’s music. One couple remarked how they didn’t find the experience they were looking for in Europe until they returned to the Nevada City Classic Café, said Wilson.
“We must be doing something right. It makes people feel good,” McKaig said.
To learn more visit: www.facebook.com/BeaucoupChapeaux/info, www.ncclassiccafe.com/
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5 Stars! There's a lot to like about this group, but the central idea seems to be fun. Some cuts ar...5 Stars!
There's a lot to like about this group, but the central idea seems to be fun. Some cuts are sentimental and even schmaltzy, but never to excess, and never without a touch of underlying grit. Go on, tap your feet, dance, you won't find a thing here to defeat that mood. When the sun's not shining, I play this CD and out it comes, in my car or in my kitchen. But at the same time, I'm left musing on deeper things too. Life's promises and disappointents to go with life's pleasures.
Not that any recording could beat seeing Beaucoup Chapeaux live in the exuberant, free-flowing, Friday night atmosphere of Nevada City's Classic Cafe. Still, we can't always be there, so here's a way to fill the gap--
Classic experience on Friday nights Restaurant brings European flavor to downtown Nevada City
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By Laura Brown Nevada City Advocate Those who stroll past the Classic Café on Broad Street on...
By Laura Brown Nevada City Advocate
Those who stroll past the Classic Café on Broad Street on a Friday
evening will hear European gypsy music, conversation and laughter waft
out invitingly into the night.
A look inside will reveal a bustling French bistro-style atmosphere with
a Nevada City slant. Old friends fill the place each week to eat crepes
and Tapas specials, drink wine and listen to the lively acoustic music
of Beaucoup Chapeaux.
It all began nearly three years ago on Valentine’s Day, when husband and
wife owners Kirk Valentine and Genevieve Crouzet began a tradition that
was meant to offset the doldrums of a grim economy.
“We needed something to cheer up,” Crouzet explained in her heavy French
With a vision to find an accordion player, Crouzet was thrilled when she
first heard Maggie McKaig playing at a Saturday farmer’s market.
A few months later during a power outage on a cold, snowy evening,
McKaig joined by her entourage – 33-year partner Luke Wilson and band
Beaucoup Chapeaux members – warmed the café with their music for the
“Right at the beginning it was just magic,” said Peter Wilson, a local
musician who has played with the band on various occasions.
“It was great. People loved it. They discovered the place,” Crouzet said.
These days it’s difficult to find an empty chair or table most Friday
nights in what was once the downtown Nevada City diner known as Moores.
Besides McKaig with her accordion and Luke Wilson on tenor guitar and
banjo, the band includes Scotland-born Murray Campbell on violin, Randy
McKean on clarinets and additional violin by Margot Duxler.
The key to the magic is the “utterly unamplified” acoustic ensemble,
said Peter Wilson.
It’s the right amount of sound for the room – not too loud, nor quiet
either – allowing people to carry on conversations yet tune into the
music if they feel moved to.
“Unamplified music by nature is way more intimate,” Peter Wilson said.
A diverse following has surfaced over the years during the community
party, from surgeons to stone masons and everyone in between. Over the
years, the band has watched couples meet and fall apart and unlikely
friendships grow in the cafe.
“It’s not like anything else that goes on in Nevada City,” said Murray
Campbell. “It’s got it’s own kind of feel to it.”
More than just background music, the performers are known to get up from
their seats and “stroll” and dance about the crowded room by night’s
end. A dancer of many years, Crouzet is known to join in song. Crowds
dance, clap and stomp feet in time to the music.
“It’s not fragile. It’s a pretty robust scenario,” Campbell said.
Though the band brings a following of fans, many regulars were
introduced to the music through the café. Some of the regulars can be
classified as “Europhiles,” folks who have been to Europe, love the
culture and long to return.
“That’s a comment we hear a lot, it reminds them of a café in Paris.
It’s like a cheap trip to Europe,” McKaig said.
The band plays European roots music from 50 and 60 years ago, heavily
influenced by American Jazz. Old favorites like Under Paris Skies and
tunes found in European films like Bread and Tulips are popular.
“A lot of the music we play is older, traditional music,” said McKaig.
“What I hear is the roots of Bluegrass and Country. It’s all there,”
said Luke Wilson, a luthier and musician who has played a wide range of
music for 50 years.
Fans of the community party must wait an entire week before returning,
adding to the specialness of the occasion.
“There’s almost like a Brigadoon quality to it,” McKaig said, comparing
the Friday night scene to that of the old German tale of a magical
village that appears only one day every hundred years.
Those looking to satisfy their palate can choose dishes inspired from
Crouzet’s French roots like Coq au Vin and Tarte Tatin and Valentine’s
American influence like the Prime Rib Crepe. Rounding out the meal is a
wide array of wine and beer to choose from.
Crouzet says her skills in the kitchen stem from her birthplace.
“Every French woman knows how to cook. You are kind of raised in a place
where everyone loves to cook,” she said.
Far from stale, the relationship between the musicians and café owners
has grown richer over time, Crouzet said.
“We realize we have the same vision with people. It’s giving joy and
happiness. Food is a way to reach out and music is a way to reach out,”
For more information, visit www.ncclassiccafe.com or
Laura Brown is a freelance writer. Contact her at 401-4877 or
Beaucoup Chapeaux A Night At The Classic Cafe INDEPENDENT
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A mainstay on Friday evenings at The Nevada City Classic Cafe eatery for the past several years, Bea...A mainstay on Friday evenings at The Nevada City Classic Cafe eatery for the past several years, Beau- coup Chapeaux play a mixture of music that oozes with joyful world overtones that has prompted their fans to exclaim that the group's music "can get them to Europe in mere seconds." I have to wholeheartedly agree as these four musical friends have truly found their stride with this fabulous record. If you like your music with an old world European quality and played straight from the hip with no excuses, look no further as this will be your cup-otea and then some! beaucoupchapeaux.net
NC Classic Cafe at Wild and Scenic
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As central as the films are here at Wild and Scenic, the community-centered nightlife is also a vita...As central as the films are here at Wild and Scenic, the community-centered nightlife is also a vital part of the festival experience. At Nevada City’s Classic Cafe I found a capacity house enjoying wine, French cuisine, and the eclectic sounds of Beaucoup Chapeaux. The cafe is like a little magic portal that awakens not only our senses, but our sense of appreciation as well.
Simple, delicious cuisine at the Classic. By Patti Bess. Special to the Union, January 19, 2011
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It was a dark and stormy night. Oops! That's been done before. It was a dreary Friday. It had be...It was a dark and stormy night. Oops! That's been done before.
It was a dreary Friday. It had been raining all week, and I'd finished my library books. Cabin fever was about to engulf us. My husband, David, and I invited a friend to share in our boredom, and the three of us strolled down Broad Street.
Suddenly we were accosted by a musician coming out of a small café. Hey, what is this? North Beach? Paris? We stepped inside. The café was redolent of garlic and butter. The tables were full and people were singing along with the musicians. We were immediately transported to a boisterous, vibrant Paris bistro — just what we needed to lift our spirits!
The menu at the Classic Café is quite simple and affordable. Crepes or quiche and salad, and French fries that are perfectly crisped as only the French can do are a few choices. The bouillabaisse is to-die-for with a cream base instead of tomato. There are several delicious dessert crepe options also.
Beaucoup Chapeaux plays European café music every Friday. The band consists of Maggie McKaig who is wild on an accordion, Luke Wilson playing tenor guitar, Murray Campbell on violin, and Randy McKean on clarinet.
Seven years ago Kirk Valentine and Genevieve Crouzet bought Moore's Café which had been in business on Broad Street for many years. Their plan was to open a bakery and had made arrangements with a French baker to bring his family over, but the baker and his wife decided they wanted to raise their family in France, not California. Kirk and Genevieve now owned a restaurant without a plan.
They kept it as the classic American café that it was, but began adding their own French influence — lunches and all-day American breakfasts with a fabulous French crepe. Their cook, Alphonso, worked at Moore's and continues to be the foundation of their kitchen today. Two years ago Genevieve had the idea of turning the café into a classic French bistro on Friday nights and the place has been jumpin' ever since.
Growing up in France, Genevieve earned a degree in biology and physiology. She was a dancer in Paris, but always dreamed of moving to San Francisco. Then in the 80s she did indeed move there and studied massage. Shortly after that she met and married Kirk Valentine.
Kirk began his career(s) as an aerospace engineer and worked on the Gemini and Apollo projects. When the money for space exploration dried up, aerospace wasn't as mentally stimulating and the financial stresses of the industry were not fun. Kirk moved on and found himself as the owner of a sail boat company. Here he also got to dabble in another of his creative passions — food. He helped to establish a restaurant at the facility for their sailing club in Pt. Richmond.
When their son was born, Genevieve and Kirk wanted to move out of the Bay Area. Nevada City was the place.
The restaurant continues to be fun for both Genevieve and Kirk, and it shows. Their goal is to offer a good value for your money (and a raucous crowd too). The employees also help them to spend more time with their son, Sean.
Nevada City Classic Café is open for breakfast and lunch, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., seven days a week. The bistro is open Friday nights from 6 to 9 p.m.
Patti Bess is a local freelance writer, cookbook author and a radio host on KVMR-FM. E-mail her with questions or for more information at email@example.com.
Maggie McKaig and Luke Wilson-- much more than two plain folks
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Lemonade: Maggie McKaig and Luke Wilson-- much more than two plain folks Thursday, September 2...Lemonade:
Maggie McKaig and Luke Wilson-- much more than two plain folks
Thursday, September 24, 2009
By Jesse Locks
Special to The Union
This summer has been a busy one for folk duo Maggie McKaig and Luke Wilson.
They performed along with good friend Peter Wilson, as the Wilson Triplets at the California WorldFest, lead a successful Friday night series at the Nevada City Classic Cafï¿½, and recently returned from Nashville, Tenn., where they were nominated for Best Celtic Instrumental and showcased at Just Plain Folks, the world's largest independent music awards. For a couple that vowed 30 years ago that they'd never play together, they are continuing to make music that moves listeners and audiences.
McKaig and Wilson have been familiar faces in the local music scene for over two decades. Together they have released five albums and performed with an array of notable players including Utah Phillips, Alasdair Fraser, Saul Rayo, Tom MacDonald, Sands Hall, Charlie Brock, Joe Fajen, Kimberly Bass, Mariee Sioux and two-time Grammy winner Mary Youngblood on a variety of stages across the country, but neither were quite prepared for the magnitude of the world's largest grass roots music organization known as Just Plain Folks.
ï¿½We didn't really have a clue how big this thing was,ï¿½ explains McKaig when I catch up with her by phone from her home outside of Nevada City. ï¿½I've never submitted my music for an award, but Derek Sivers of CD Baby suggested we do it and I really respect him and his business. It didn't cost anything, so I thought why not?ï¿½
Just Plain Folks is a community of over 51,500 songwriters, recording artists, music publishers, record labels, recording studios and engineers, producers, publicists and journalists, music retailers and about every other type of member of the music industry. Their mission is to provide ï¿½a network of cooperation and inclusion for all musicians.ï¿½ They also host the world's largest independent music awards where volunteers screen up to 42,000 albums and 560,000 songs in nearly a hundred different genres.
McKaig's original tune, "Flora's Waltz," made the top six ï¿½ï¿½ out of 2000 entries ï¿½ï¿½ of "Best Celtic Instrumentals," but the icing on the cake came when she and Wilson were one of the few groups asked to perform at the awards ceremony last month in Nashville. Over 500 people from 80 different countries were in attendance.
ï¿½We had such a blast. It was a fun night of non-stop music from musicians all around the world,ï¿½ says McKaig. ï¿½Everyone was exchanging their information and CDs.ï¿½
McKaig and Wilson have also been selected to showcase at the Far West Folk Alliance Conference in November, an opportunity she believes made possible by the Just Plain Folks Festival.
ï¿½In this youth orientated business of music, it is pretty mind boggling that an awards ceremony like this exists. Judges are not looking for who is the next big thing, rather they are listening for a piece of music that moves them.ï¿½
(Lemonade is cool and refreshing, usually sweet and a little bit tart. Jesse Locks is a freelance writer. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Press, Promoters, Peers, and Audience Reviews
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Utah Phillips introducing Maggie and Luke on May 9, 2004, at the Mother's Day Concert, Unitarian Uni...Utah Phillips introducing Maggie and Luke on May 9, 2004, at the Mother's Day Concert, Unitarian Universalist Church, Grass Valley CA. "Two of the finest folk musicians, singers, and songwriters performing today."
Response to their new CD "Storm Sessions":
Really quite a delight to listen to!
---Jimmy James, DJ, KBCS Radio, Bellevue, Washington
This is a great CD, with a really warm and live sound!
---Che Greenwood, DJ. KVMR Radio, Nevada City, CAI
We listened to Storm Sessions (GREAT TITLE) all the way through. It’s wonderful, Maggie! I LOOOOOVE it, and especially love “Everything”. It’s so moving, and the music is incredible--I mean, ALL the music is AMAZING and that song to launch what follows it is brilliant. You should all be so proud. The bass is subtle and thorough and a fabulous addition. My deepest congrats to you and Luke for a gorgeous new element on this earth. THANK YOU!
--Sands Hall, author, playwright, actor, musician. Nevada City, CA
Your music... It's beautiful!
---Donna Konsorado, musician and music promoter, Lentzville, Vancouver Island, Canada.
I have to tell you,........ I had received your CD in the mail, had chance to listen to it in the coming days. I brought it up to Terrali, and had put it in my CD drawer for the proper moment. Well, as it happened,...... I was sitting on the deck reading the weekend paper (it was a beautiful warm, sunny morning at that) and had put some CD's into the player, yours being among them. Well,......when it came on, and the strains of "Everything" started, ...I stopped. I was so taken with emotion that I just started bawling (culmination of thoughts and emotions) , and WHAT a beautiful love song. I have played it about a hundred times tonight.
--Alice Leon, musician, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Is this just a really good recording, or are you really this good?
---Jared Mannis, the Buffalo Gap Brewery booking agent, Portland Oregon.
I really love the new CD! It has such a warm, great sound.
---Saul Rayo, musician, Cuchina Del Mundo
Responses from promoters and audiences from the "Pacific Prairie Tour 2006":
World class music!
---Tom O'Hara, owner Stage Door Cafe and Cabaret, Mount Shasta City, California
...Featuring Luke Wilson, Maggie McKaig, and Murray Campbell, truly fine musicians of the North State, this will be a memorable evening.
You guys sound great. Tell me when you'll be back.
---Sunny Jaynes, Mississippi Pizza Pub booking agent, Portland, Oregon
We definitely want you back next year--in a much better spot!
---Inger Jorgensen, booking agent, A Midsummer Dream Arts and Music Festival, Ashland, Oregon.
---Ariella St. Clair, booking agent, Ashland, Oregon.
Your music is fresh and forward! A wonderful concert
---Debra Ward, artist, Calgary Alberta, after the Perrenoud Ranch Solsitice Festival.
I heard only wonderful reports on your set. I hope you'll be back another year!
--Carole Weatherall, artistic director, North Country Fair, Alberta.
Response to Maggie and Luke's 2005 Winter Solstice concert:
"It was a great evening! For over 15 years, Maggie McKaig has remained one of my favorite musicians and songwriters. Unceasingly original and provocative, the landscape of work is unfailingly refreshing and thought provoking."
--Carolyn Crane, Radio Journalist, Nevada City, CA
That night was so magical. It was all that I hope the holidays and solstice to be, but often aren't. An incredible spirit of warmth, joy and community pervaded the room. The music was fabulous. Thank you for that!.
--Maxima Putnam Kahn, Grass Valley, CA
-----We heard the Maggie McKaig & Friends night at Cooper's Thursday was standing room only. Congrats to such terrific performers.
--Pam Jung, The Grass Valley Union Newspaper
Response to Grand Promenade:
“The CD is gorgeous...an awesome job in writing, playing and putting thoughts and passions out to share with us!”
---Lou Johnson, Dos Almas Music
And from CD Baby:
"If you like folk/celtic music, give this CD a listen. Listening to this CD is a real pleasure. The music and lyrics are clearly the work of a seasoned musician, steeped in the folk/celtic tradition. The back-up musicians are also of high caliber and help to make good music that much better. In particular, I really like "Brigit's Song" and "Cave of the Swimmers." If you are already into this genre of music, give this cd a listen. You won't be disappointed. "
-- David Fitts, Lexington KY
”Small Wonder” reviews from CD Baby:
****Who knew I would like this so much???
Reviewer: P. Adams
I love the collection of music. The vocals are angelic and the instrumentals are excellent. When I am at home working on the computer this CD has a very calming effect on me. There hasn't been a week gone by that I haven't listened to it.
****Wonderful blending of harmonies, a musical journey worth taking
Reviewer: J. Pellizzer
A wonderful selection of traditional and new songs; the vocal harmonies ring with feeling and the instrumentals whisk you away. There are tunes for everyone, from the timeless Celtic pieces to the timely "War is a Business". You'll find yourself wanting to learn the lyrics, so you can sing away with them! It's very impressive and enjoyable. So far, "Up In The Air" is one of my favorites.
And more reviews on “ Small Wonder”
" Another project that caught my attention was the new release by the Nevada County-based Celtic Wonder Band: Small Wonder These are folks who look and sound like they spend a lot of time at Renaissance fairs. If so, it's time well-spent, because this is easy on the ears: traditional English, Irish, and Scottish folk tunes, and originals that match them in style, performed by folks who are comfortable singing in harmony together."
--Christian Kiefer , Sacramento News and Review
"Beautiful guitar work."
--Steve Tuey, Kansas City, Mi
"Absoultely beautiful instrumental work, especially the guitar. Great vocal blends also."
--Steve Baughman, San Francisco, Ca.
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June, 2009 "We were delighted with your show on Saturday... it was really a pleasure to host all ...June, 2009
"We were delighted with your show on Saturday... it was really a pleasure to host all of you.....i loved hearing your stories.....and your music has such wonderful variety! I played your CD loudly last night.....and enjoyed it thoroughly! It is so exciting for us to play the music and have a better understanding of what it might mean..... Anyways....you guys are really splendid together and we hope to see you again. Maybe you can come visit your gourmet chefs again and join us for another show as well!" Berkeley, CA house concert hosts Audrey and Milton
Edge of the World Best of 2008
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Edge of the World--Storm Session This is one of those albums that gets better the more you play i...Edge of the World--Storm Session
This is one of those albums that gets better the more you play it. At first the song writing stands out. The songs are â€œWorld Musicâ€-you can hear Americana, Celtic, Gypsy, Middle Eastern, eastern European influences weave their way through the CD. Maggie McKaig has written, or co-written 10 of 11 songs and instrumentals that cover topics ranging from gods, heroes, mere mortals, mythical beasts, and mayflies.
Later, you start to notice the little extra touches that the band adds to the songs that make the songs magical at times. Between the four members of the Storm Session band; Maggie McKaig and Luke Wilson, with Murray Campbell and Michael Zisman, they play a wide variety of instruments including guitars, accordions, banjo, tenor guitar, dobro, lap steel, violin, oboe, English horn, fretted and fretless bass, mandolin. This is a wonderful locally produced album by seasoned veterans that deserve a larger audience.
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Edge of the World Maggie, Luke, and the band have set out a fabulous feast. Every song on the...Edge of the World
Maggie, Luke, and the band have set out a fabulous feast. Every song on the CD is uniquely wonderful and the range and variety a delight. Lyrics, vocals, and instrumentals are individually great and blend together just right. Simply Transporting. Just don’t ask me which is my favorite song—it’s so hard to choose when they are all so good.
--author: Randall Buechner
WOW! I just couldn't get enough of this album! It's a rare integration of music and lyrics supported by exquisite musicianship. It's nothing short of sparkling brilliance and originality! Keep recording, you guys! We need more music like this!
--author: Matilda Katz
This CD’s broad texture results from Storm Session’s consistent originality, passion, and imaginative instrumentation. It’s a treat for ears, mind and heart.
--author: Jeff Kane
Wonderful music, heart touching and inspiring. I will never forget the first time I heard Maggie sing at Coopers three years ago. I was so moved by her words, voice and passion that it took me to another place. This CD does something magical like that too. You have got to add it to your collection.
--author: Mollie Wilmot
Concert weaved with local historical tales
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Published: August 30, 2009 10:12 pm print this story Concert weaved with local historical...Published: August 30, 2009 10:12 pm print this story
Concert weaved with local historical tales
McKaig family descendent playing at Arts Council Thursday
CUMBERLAND — The Allegany Arts Council will host musicians Maggie McKaig and Luke Wilson, two California natives. But this performance, though the pair are from across the country, will be closer to the heart of Cumberland natives and area history lovers.
McKaig is not just a talented singer, songwriter and instrumentalist, but also has ancestrial ties to Cumberland and the McKaig Foundation.
“The McKaigs were a prominent family but, in 1870 my great-great grandfather, William Wallace McKaig II, was shot and killed on Baltimore Street by the brother of Myra Black, the woman William had supposedly gotten pregnant,” McKaig said. “This became a very high profile trial in which the murderer was acquitted on the grounds that he was defending his family’s honor.”
McKaig said the whole scandal plunged the rest of the family into a tailspin in some way, including William McKaig’s son, Reginald, who moved to Salt Lake City and was never heard from again. She said the historical society in Cumberland thought the last McKaig had been William Wallace McKaig III, whose estate established to McKaig Foundation.
“But the historical stories aren’t the only thing I find interesting, but also the parallels between my ancestrial history in Cumberland and what has happened with my branch of the family,” she said. “I also became fascinated with Myra Black and wondered whatever happened to her and her son.”
McKaig said these stories, along with the historical data she and her sister have dug up, have also inspired her in her musical career.
“The songs I’ve written about my ancestrial ties here aren’t just the stories, but also inspired songs from other things I’ve drawn from my history here,” she said. “The first ballad I worked on was basically a story of Myra and Willy. When I first started writing it, it was with the idea that my great-great grandfather was a scoundrel, but then I had to go back and re-write it based on the facts that I actually had. So who knows, maybe he was a scoundrel but maybe he wasn’t, we don’t know the truth.”
McKaig said soon after finishing this ballad, Myra Black’s voice came to her and McKaig wrote a ballad based on the woman’s story.
“This was more of presenting the facts but also intuitively trying to fill in the gaps; I had a vision of Myra leaving Cumberland with this baby in her arms and I put that vision into song,” she said. “The next song, ‘The Road to Baltimore,’ is through Reggie’s voice. His voice came to me and why he went to Salt Lake City, why he was a troubled man, why he had to leave and having to make a new life.”
These songs, along with “Christmas Bells,” based on a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and other popular 19th century songs, will be preformed Thursday night, which she calls “Cumberland Suite: A Family History — Music of Love and War.” During the performance, her sister and her husband will be reading excerpts from Priscilla Beall McKaig’s journal and trial transcripts of William Wallace McKaig II.
“First of all, I’m hoping people will take away the concept that, in so many ways, people are the same whether it be in their hopes, aspirations or both,” McKaig said. “I also want people to think about their family histories and how they are passed down. Sometimes, especially when we don’t know the, people keep reliving the same situations. It’s almost like what we inherit from out ancestors is sometimes much deeper than we realize. The connections that occur and the information I’ve gotten has made me realize how connected we all are, even though we may seem very different in many ways.”
McKaig said she also wants people to realize how profound the implications are today.
“Though these are 19th century stories, there are still so relevant today,” she said. “And I like to get people thinking about their own histories. I’m a true believer in the saying ‘it’s hard to know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve come from.’ If we don’t know a lot about our history you seem to commit the same kind of errors and mistakes over and over again.”
Maggie McKaig and Luke Wilson’s music encompasses Celtic, American, gypsy, central, Eastern European, bluegrass, country, jazz and folk music. One of McKaig’s original instrumentals has been nominated for best Celtic instrumental by Just Plain Folks, the world’s largest organization of independent musicians. Both attended the awards banquet in Nashville on Friday before traveling to Lexington, Ky., and then on to Cumberland.
The concert is set for Thursday at 7 p.m. in the community room at the Allegany Arts Council, 9 N. Centre St.
For more information about McKaig, or to hear samples of her music, visit her Web site at www.maggiemckaig.com.
Contact Tess Hill at email@example.com.
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Couple celebrates 30 years and 5th album
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By Sands Hall Thursday, March 13, 2008 Thirty years ago, Maggie McKaig took hold of the horn of...
By Sands Hall
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Thirty years ago, Maggie McKaig took hold of the horn of her saddle and the handle of her guitar case and headed to Alberta, Canada, where she worked as a ranch hand during the day and on her musical guitar chops and songwriting at night. One day she wandered into the shop of Luke Wilson, luthier (one who makes or repairs stringed instruments) and musician. Somewhere in the process of his fixing some aspect of her guitar and playing the banjo for her, they fell in together. Now 30 years, two sons and five albums later, they are still going strong.
Friday, they'll celebrate those 30 years and that fifth album, "Edge of the World," at a concert at the Nevada City Odd Fellows Hall. Once known as folk, the music their band Storm Session plays is now classified as world music.
Says McKaig, "You'll hear a collection of songs and stories that cover gods and goddesses, heroes, mere mortals, mythical beasts ... and mayflies, to name a few. You may find yourselves dancing to jigs, tangos, polkas and reels."
The artist is expressing her Russian ancestry with some new tunes, such as the lovely "Mazurka," and commemorating a trip the couple took to Italy with "Neptune's Garden," "Travelers" and "Tutto Va Bene." At least 10 instruments - accordion, guitar, tenor guitar, banjo, dobro, violin, oboe, English horn, electric bass and mandolin - will be used for their special sounds.
A year ago, during a thunderstorm, the story goes that Luke leaned in to kiss Maggie just as lightning zigzagged across the sky outside their home - a sign, perhaps, of the spark in their marriage and an extraordinary partnership? Sounds right. See it for yourself, starting at 8 p.m., 212 Spring St.
Tickets may be purchased in advance for $15 at BriarPatch, After the Gold Rush Records, the Record Connection and Cherry Records (in Auburn); $20 at the door. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 470-9615 for more about the concert; online at www.myspace.com/stormsession for more about the band.
Are you really this good?
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Is this just a really good recording, or are you really this good? ---Jared Mannis, the Buffalo Gap...Is this just a really good recording, or are you really this good?
---Jared Mannis, the Buffalo Gap Brewery booking agent, Portland Oregon.
Fan Mail for Storm Session concert and CD's
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--We are so happy that we ventured out and to your show last night. Thank you. It was beautiful....--We are so happy that we ventured out and to your show last night.
Thank you. It was beautiful. Lovely, lovely.... Poignant, funny, touching, wacky, eccentric, grounding... A great night.--Eleanore MacDonald
--Warm, evocative, moving, loving, shining was the evening, and so are the two of you. Congratulations on your marriage and your life and your music and your friends and friendship -- and a new and fabulous CD.
--I really enjoyed being part of your music Friday night. It was such an enjoyable evening with a beautiful gathering of folks.
--It was so wonderful to see the two of you just shining up there, glowing with all your new beautiful music and your adventures, and your friends there to celebrate you. I am very glad to be one of those friends. You played beautifully and with heart. Thank you for sharing your music with us all.
--I loved every minute of you and your man's concert! Your song at Pioneer Park was amazing too, you are on a roll.--Karen Leigh Sharp
--We love the CD!!!
--What a lovely collection of songs, what heartfelt musicianship and ease with a large crowd! I am in awe of you two, and when you sang your love song, I kind of lost it. Thank you for putting on an inspired musical evening. Bravo!
--It was such a fabulous show!!! …it was a great crowd, a true testament to your quality. You have much to be proud of!!
--You guys were awesome! We were so happy to be able to be there! We've been listening to the album over and over and it just gets better and better!
Storm Session at Monterey Live!
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Storm Session takes an eclectic mix of folk, jazz, classical, newgrass and traditional Scottish to m...Storm Session takes an eclectic mix of folk, jazz, classical, newgrass and traditional Scottish to make their own unique blend of tunes. With experts such as Murray Campell, a Scottish violinist, Michael Zisman, a jazz bassist, to intensify their sound, it’s Maggie McKaig and Luke Wilson, a couple who have been married for thirty years, that really push forward the effort, looking to their personal life and ancestry for inspiration.
Trist Annada Medly Gm
I Love Paris Gm/G
Café De La Morte Dm
Minor Swing Am
Valley of the Moon G
Politico Hasapiko A
La Bruxa/Galician Waltz Am
Dracevka Oro D….
Chella La Cm/C
Dark Eyes Dm
Mere Mortals Cm
Scythian Steppe Am
Le Denicheur D
Come Now Children Am
Gipsy Song Gm
Vai Devrai Am
Varanski Cocek D7
Ta P’tite Flamme Am
O Mythos G
La Vie En Rose F
Kolos Darino and Galona C/Cm/D
La Franska Gm
Under Paris Skies Dm
Salvador Dali and Me Cm
Lepa Jela Dm
Il Gato D
Acana Mlada Nveste Gm
Trugnala Rumjana D
Wallachian Suite Dm
L’Historia De Un Amor Am
Xotis Romanes Am
Chitarra Romana Dm
Stand By Me A
U Krushevo Ogin Gori G