Cam Neufeld
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Cam Neufeld

Band Folk World

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Jun
23
Cam Neufeld @ MacDonald Hotel

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Apr
08
Cam Neufeld @ Sidetrack Cafe

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Mar
18
Cam Neufeld @ Ramada Inn

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

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Music

Press


Paintings paved the path for Cam Neufeld’s aural improv
CAM NEUFELD CONNECTION
W/ The John Henry Band and Kevin Cook, Sat, Nov 19, 8 pm, Bonnie Doon Hall, Tickets $12 in advance at Myhre’s Music and Blackbyrd Myoozik, $15 at the door.
For his latest album, Live at Bonnie Doon Hall, local violinist Cam Neufeld used the abstract paintings of Marianne Watchel to inspire his compositions. "I’d get up to write early in the morning," Neufeld explains, "go down and look at a painting for a while. It was almost like stream of consciousness, or a dream state."
Titles like "Phoenix #3" and "Holy Near Collision" make a direct link from painting to song, but Neufeld mostly used his study of the paintings as a passing point of reference in his own writing.
"The energy of the painting is not a direct thing, like a colour doesn’t indicate a certain note," he says. "It’s just a kind of vibe that you get from a painting that you can use as a beginning inspiration."
To ensure that the proper level of improvisatory skill was attained, Neufeld used friends and band mates like Ben Sures, Jim Hepler, Mo Lefever, Chris Smith, John Newton, Thom Golub and Dwayne Hrynkiw to realise his vision. As is to be expected from work by Neufeld and his accomplished and eclectic sidemen, Live at Bonnie Doon Hall is a grab bag of tangos, jigs, waltzes, swing numbers, blues-all performed with verve and immaculate taste. Neufeld will be celebrating the release of his album at the very same hall that he recorded in, using most of the same musicians that he recorded with, both as back up band and in the opening acts.
"There were flaws in the playing, but there were also moments that can’t be caught, except in a live situation," he says. "Live there’s the energy of the crowd, the interplay of the musicians, and that’s what I’m most interested in-so I try to create situations where that happens. Of course, it helps to play with guys like [bassist] Thom [Golub] and [drummer] Dwayne [Hrynkiw]." - Tom Murray - See Magazine




It’s been said you can tell a lot about people by the company they keep. On his new concert recording Live at Bonnie Doon Hall, violinist Cam Neufeld has eight of the finest players from the cities roots and jazz scenes on board for what he calls The Cam Neufeld Connection. It’s a reflection of just a few of the varied creative associations he’s made over the past two decades.
“It’s been a really good scene for me in Edmonton” he says. “ What I like is the mingling of genres too, like people from the jazz world who play with the country and folk people. It just seem really supportive and songwriters can draw on people from all these different areas. It’s a very eclectic mix and that keeps it really interesting for me.
In the end, the most intriguing part of the entertaining live disc has to be how the string man connects to so many different musical genres from Gypsy swing to jazz, Celtic, country, bluegrass, tango, Middle -Eastern melodies and more. Neufeld’s imaginative improvisations are the key that keeps it happening over the 57-minute 14 track set of original tunes recorded late last March.
The idea to put out the show on CD hadn't occurred to Neufeld until Bonnie Doon Folk Club’s Hugh Smith made the suggestion. Engineer Mike Tully had a multi-track machine on hand and after the fact, the violinist came to realize that the live show had the sort of spontaneous feel he wanted.
Along with Neufeld’s versatile violin, the show involved percussionists John Newton and Dwayne Hrynkiw, bassists Thom Golub and Jim Hepler and four guitarists; Mo LeFever Chris Smith, Kevin Cook and Ben Sures. Most tracks feature three or four of five players at a time, most often with Hrynkiw and Golub serving as the de facto rhythm section.
Neufeld grew up around Medicine Hat hearing a mixture of jazz country and opera around the house. He took up guitar at an early age and finally switched to violin at 21. After listening to a lot of horn players, he figured it was the one string instrument that would let hem bow something similar to those horn lines. Alone the way he picked up banjo and mandolin.
Although he was writing instrumental tunes from his early 20’s, Neufeld says improvisation was his main interest.
“It was the freedom of it, the idea of creating in the moment and the challenge of being able to play spontaneously. It seemed to me that improvising was such a useful skill because it would allow you to fit in with just about anybody and traveling around I was always meeting different musicians so I got to play a lot of different styles.”
After spending a few years traveling around the praires, Europe and Mexico, Neufeld wound up in Edmonton to study at MacEwan college. For the past decade, he’s made a living solely from music, playing and teaching. During his time in Edmonton, he’s been part of many different groups including Swing Manouche, the Digs, Back Porch Swing, Crooked Creek and most recently the John Henry Band (part of the CD release party Saturday), and he has worked and /or recorded with solo performers like Andrea House, Andy Northrup, Kevin Cook and many others.
He continues to find creative inspiration in many corners, most recently in oud music and also in visual art. As Neufeld explains in the illustrated liner notes, his search for fresh aids to improvisation has led him to draw increasing influence from painters over the last few years. Maybe that’s one reason his music can generate imagery in the listener.
- Rojer Levesque Edmonto Journal


Discography

2005 The Cam Neufeld Connection
"Live At Bonnie Doon Hall"

“In the end, the most intriging part of the disc has to be how the string man connects to so many musical genres from Gipsy swing to jazz, celtic ,country ,bluegrass ,tango, middle easrten melodies and more. Neufeld’s imaginative improvisations are the key that keeps it happening...”
Roger Levesque - Edmonton Journal

1999 - Beats Crime
Working with a former member of The Fractals, Jim Hepler, Cam has recorded a sampling of his meandering through a rich musical landscape; offering original tunes that reflect this diverse musical interest. His CD "Beats Crime" was released in June 1999, at the Sidetrack Cafe, Edmonton. "Beats Crime" was nominated for Outstanding Instrumental Recording at the Prairie Music Awards 2000 in Saskatoon,Saskatchewan.

Photos

Bio

Twenty years ago, Cam was on the road with the Caravan Stage Company playing fiddle, mandolin, and guitar. Since then, he has played bluegrass with the Grassland Boys out of Saskatchewan, did a stint with Doc Leonard's Road Apple Revue and Musical Remedy Co. in Manitoba, and played Irish music with Coel Na Gael in Alberta. Other bands he has worked with include Crooked Creek, The Fractals, and as a sideman for many groups ranging from straight ahead country to free improvisation. He's busked across Europe and Canada. In addition to The Cam Neufeld Trio and his solo show, Cam plays with the honkey-tonk and western swing band, John Henry, The Jim Findley Trio, Backporch Swing and the Hot Club influenced Swing Manouche.
Together with Thom Golub and Dwayne Hrynkiw , the Cam Neufeld Trio plays original music that has been described as “a grab bag of tangos, jigs, waltzes, swing numbers, blues-all performed with verve and immaculate taste”

Thom Golub lives and plays in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He started playing string bass professionally about a decade ago and has never looked back. Around this period he rediscovered a fondness and aptitude for composing music. He started with what was native to his experience – jazz and improvisation. As years went on he became very interested in writing classical or ’New Music.’ For the last five years he has pursued this avenue and received performances and recordings by local, national and international artists.

Dwayne Hrynkiw took part of his musical training at the Percussion Institute of Technology in Los Angeles in the early 1980’s. Since then the multi-talented, open-minded drummer has explored a huge range of stylistic permutations in the music world. Studying Afro Cuban, West African, and other cultural entities, he has developed an understanding in many genres of music, and continues to pursue percussive challenges of artistic expression.