Gopher Baroque
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Gopher Baroque

Kingston, Ontario, Canada | INDIE | AFM

Kingston, Ontario, Canada | INDIE | AFM
Band Folk Acoustic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Comments on Show/Performance"

Live From The Loft Sarnia, H. Nicol: "With or without instruments, Gopher Baroque filled the loft with sweet songs that captivated the audience, and kept toes tapping.
Their lyrics weave words into stories that are a pleasure to the ears."

Wasaga Under Siege: Dr Quimby
"I have never seen a group play off their audience as well".

Royal Botanical Gardens - Hamilton: R. Luciw "It was a sight for sore eyes to see you entertaining the patrons - The enthusiastic style of your performance was an inspiration for me". - Multiple People

"CD Review/Comments by Individuals"

From: Ron Getz Subject: Thanks!
"The CD arrived this morning, Dawn, and went right into the player. Great variety of styles, themes and instruments, a lovely blend of voices, and there isn't a weak track on it. I'll send more specific comments once I've had a chance to listen carefully to the lyrics, but for now I'll just say that my favourites are "Walking With Sarah" and "Herschel Island Shanty". Rousing songs!"

From: Roger Jame, Musician
Thanks for the Shipwrecked Whisky CD, it's a beaut!!! I give it three exclaimation points. That's the first I've heard you with Joe Grant. That's a nice chemistry. Great Bodhrán playing, Smuggler's Song was my fav.This Kipling boy is going to go far, I think. Nice drumming in Fuller Brush Man too, sounded like you hired Mel Mercier for that one. I've never had a chance to tell Joe, "Fire and Guns" is one of my all time favorite songs. So well written and sung, I love tunes about those first dodgers, especially from New York, the old guys, we calls'em. - Multiple People

"Talk about an evolving sound!"

To: Dawn Callan / Gopher Baroque
Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2006


I have enjoyed your sound from the first time I heard you ...what an evolution!...the music has continued to evolve and has been a pleasure to listen to all along the way...

The order that I purchased your music was: In the Best of Traditions, Too Many Fish in the Sea, Holdin' Down the Fort and now...Shipwrecked Whiskey!! I look forward to hearing you live as opportunity presents!

What I think is awesome ... is the calibre of songwriting talent and ability that exists in the members of G.B.!... "Shipwrecked" showcases all of your talents in a wonderfully inviting way. Each song begs a further listen! If you're interested, my favourite songs are: Somewhere in France (this newer release is THE BEST!!!), Shipwrecked - wonderfully showcases the vocal talents within G.B. and Selkirk Settlers' Lullaby - well, I'd never heard it. I have heard some of Joe's work and continue to be amazed by his unbelievably incredible talent(s)!!!

... I have the greatest respect and appreciation for all of you...
- M & D WOOLDRIDGE - Re-enactor Review

"Shipwrecked Whisky We Love It!"

J and M. Moenck: House Concert Promoters/Producers
A Listeners' Song by Song Review Shipwrecked Whisky:
What a wonderful and varied collection of songs. I've listened through the whole CD at least 5 times, so I nearly know it "by heart." Can't choose a favorite -not ever- but there are dozens of fabulous moments that stand out and echo -- use of flute and whistle in amazing places, like Selkirk Settler's Lullaby and Quand j'etais chez mon pere, the unbelievable percussion (including vocal effects) on Fuller Brush, huge multi-voiced vocal chorale sound on Hershel Island (more than three voices, --there must be!), I could go on all morning, but must get to work. I sang Walking with Sarah in the shower this morning!
The title track opens and showcases what I might call “the basics of Gopher Baroque,” with great story, solid vocal harmonies, guitars, and mandolin. The lyrics are fulsome and fun, while telling of an engaging and true historical oddity, a songwriting coup d'état.
Herschel Island Shanty Su belts out the lusty lead on this whaling shanty, with a wonderfully full a cappella chorus, with open chords delivered by what seems like more than three voices. Dawn has a poetic ear that can’t be beat for fitting melody to her words. Let’s all sing along!
Songwriter Listen for the strengths of the harmony vocal and Dawn’s clear, clean mandolin accompaniments on this one. The story takes us on a meandering fantasy for a life that reaches for depth, accepts what cannot be, and yet finds satisfaction. With its catchy chorus, Songwriter makes a fine anthem to restless contentment.
Fuller Brush This just might be the smartest musical arrangement in all of my listening experience. Synchronized with drum, percussion, harmonica, and three voices, this old-timey fun song makes me want to don a flapper dress and dance! Joe’s harmonica work is bouncy and brilliant, and the vocals delivered with verve. What fun!
Donald and the Phantom Piper We should be so lucky as to always hear that phantom piper that can guide us safely when we feel lost at sea. I love this dreamy song with its floating guitar notes and ethereal harmony, all rounded off with the sweet breath of Su’s flute.
Somewhere in France Su sings a gorgeous lead on this new arrangement of a Gopher Baroque signature song. The harmonica accompaniment calls up the essence of a village “somewhere in France” during WWI. Beautifully felt and sung.
Quand j’étais chez mon père While I have no idea what this lovely French traditional song means, I am easily lifted back 400 years, as if on the flight of a magic carpet. The balance and movement of the rhythm is entrancing. There’s a single verse with Su and Dawn in vocal duet that soars as sweetly as you’ll ever hear!
Burn Ye Fiddles Burn Frightfully fun! Again, huge music comes from deceptively simple (but masterful), arrangement, the story of a priest who decides to burn all the evil violins in the parish. The punch line comes at the end, with a rousing round of the traditional Canadian fiddle tune “Cock of the North.”
Roll Down the Logs This deep-toned song is a great balancing piece for the CD, dark and tragic, with the reminder of the hazards of the working life. In the end, it’s the woman in this song who lives with the consequences of the men’s dangerous work.
Hold Your Fiddle Low, Joe Backwoodsy and droll, and, if you know Joe’s fiddling style, out-rightly endearing, the lyrics offer a manifesto from the grandfather who taught him to play the fiddle held low. Picture the possibility of a square dance followed by a howling original fiddle tune.
Smuggler’s Song Dawn delivers this Rudyard Kipling poem with perfect melodious inflection. Fabulous effects in drumming and (clip-clop of horses hooves, --by mouth?) percussion, and the vocal harmony is fine.
Selkirk Settler’s Lullaby Tender lullaby painted with the lightest of lovely flute-whistle duet. This new vocal harmony arrangement is perfection, and Joe’s lead vocal is appropriately plain and sweet.
Walking with Sarah I found myself singing this one in the shower. This tribute to the courage of travelers on the Underground Railroad just asks for a sing-along, and is open for endless harmonic variations, gorgeously rounded out here by the Sarah chorus. A perfect ending! - Moenck's House Concerts

"Music Review"

“Gopher Baroque played to a full house recently and did not disappoint. The band's strengths lie in their soaring harmonies and the sheer fun and energy they put into their performance.” - Pix Press

"The Canadian Folk Music Bulletin"

“All three band members are good singers and produce some lovely harmonies. They draw on both North American and celtic influences, moving effortlessly between traditional love songs, rousing “sing along” material and songs with a distinctly country feel. Great entertainment for any age!” - Nan Colledge

"January 2006 Pre-release CD Industry Review"

Music Critique Quotes: Gopher Baroque
Pre-release cuts from: Shipwrecked Whiskey

Musicality: “From the very first note, it is clear that the members of Gopher Baroque have talent. Their songs are well-arranged, the instrumentation works perfectly together, and their vocalists have great voices.”

Originality & Creativity: “The members are definitely creative. Their songs tell a story and bring the listener to a new place each time.”

Marketability: “Their songs are good, their band is good and their EPK is very professional. Keep up the good work!!”

- CNC Music Productions 01/2006

"If GB EVER comes to a venue near you - you MUST go!!!"

Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2006

- Oh oh! We are SO lucky!

- If GB EVER comes to a venue near you - you MUST go!!! "

- (These) Canadian musicians go straight into our hearts with such
kindness and fantastic musicianship!

- Most of the setlist was from their new CD - Shipwrecked Whisky - Everyone should definitely go to their website & purchase this cd!

- Walking With Sarah is one of the most moving songs I've ever experienced at a concert. The audience is invited to participate in this song of hope and courage, and they do - with incredible levels of intensity and outpouring of spirit. I don't really feel I can do justice to this song - you'll just have to experience it yourself.

- They played a few songs that were not on the CD - among which was "An Old Man Came Courting Me". This is an old, old song, but given umm... such flair?... by Dawn :)! (If you know the song, try to imagine the accompanying hand motions...)

- Saturday's show at Crossings at Carnegie was again superb. The vocal harmonies, the talented instrument playing, the on- (& off-) stage interactions and banter, all contributed to yet another fantastic evening with Gopher Baroque.

- Sunday's show (house concert) quite lived up to the promises delivered at their two previous shows in MN. Warm, open, generous singing and playing, enriched by the knowledge that what we were hearing was coming straight from the hearts and experiences of our new friends in Gopher Baroque.

- As an extra treat, not only did we hear three Gophers, but we got to hear a chip-Moenck jump in with a guest appearance: Jim Moenck joined Joe for "Cock of the North," a traditional Canadian fiddle tune at the end of "Burn ye Fiddles Burn." Skillfully done and a treat to watch the two of them play together!

- For those who want even more GB *and* to hear Terry Snider, you should also pick up Holdin' Down the Fort.

- FComments About three consecutive shows in Minnesota by: Melissa Iverson

"Perkasie Pennsylvania"

It is so much fun to watch 3 unique individuals like yourselves blend their individual talents so tightly like you do…
We received many expressions of appreciation for the glimpse of Canadian culture that you shared with us. Since there is much more that you could teach us and because some people missed seeing you, another trip to Perkasie Patchwork is imperative. You make great ambassadors for Canada. Your excellent musicianship and exceptional personalities make me think that either Canada or the US should pay you to come down this way - Ray Hunsberger


NEW CD AVAILABLE: Shipwrecked Whisky
Buy Online:

CD: Holdin' Down the Fort
Buy Online:

Other Recordings: In the Best of Traditions; Fish in the Sea; Gopher Folk; Gopher Kids



Award winning, Ontario based (Kingston/Denbigh/Ottawa) Gopher Baroque has offered their unique performances for sixteen years.

Entertaining all ages from main stage at the festival to intimate coffee houses, they are quite suitable in a variety of show formats. From the amplified stage to the acoustic walk about, these performers are comfortable, knowledgeable, flexible and fun to work with.

Gopher Baroque also designs and presents Living History and Re-enactment roles for schools, museums, festivals, period events and private celebrations.

Gopher Baroque focuses on one thing: entertainment! Working hard to please their audience, these energetic entertainers respond to the folks out front to ensure that your crowd gets the great music they came for and more!

Sets flex with the needs of the crowd and event, and may begin with a foot stomping a cappella tune, offer a beautiful, gentle traditional ballad then have you laughing in your seats with their off beat (or on beat) humour!

Dawn Callan, Su Callan (yes, they're sisters) and Joe Grant each have a strong individual reputation and style of music/lyric composition which has combined to create a unique blend of thought, word and sound together.

Gopher Baroque is known for their "Canadiana folk eclectic"! They like to perform for a variety of audiences of all sizes and ages. The Gophers write and perform what feels right for them so they can comfortably and confidently provide their audiences with an experience they will enjoy.

What a proud bunch! Gopher Baroque has earned three honours: They won the ‘morbid song of the month’ contest so many times that the event was cancelled and the musicians were presented with mini caskets!

They are honoured to have a North American Folk Alliance award for education through folk music.

In 2003, they were chosen to showcase at the North East Region of the North American Folk Alliance conference.

Factor awarded Dawn Callan with four new songwriter’s grants for compositions featured on our CD “Holdin’ Down the Fort”.

The song "It's Colder Tonight" from "Holdin' Down the Fort" was also selected for publishing in the Canadian contemporary Poetry Compilation "Surfacing" as an example of a Canadian Ballad. Dawn is also a Founding Member Laureate of the International Society of Poets.