Previous events

CANCELLED: Sarah Jane Scouten

Take Note! Music House, address given upon reservation, Barrie, ON

Sorry to say, we've had to cancel this show. Hopefully Sarah Jane will be able to make it back sometime soon!

The Take Note! Music House is happy to be welcoming Sarah Jane Scouten – “a sterling example of the top grade Americana coming out of Canada” [Folk Radio UK] back to Barrie on Friday, November 16 at 8:00 pm (doors open at 7:30). Requested donation is $20, with all proceeds going directly to the artists. You may reserve your seat by emailing or calling 705-305-1687 (address given upon reservation – downtown Barrie, near the courthouse).

Sarah Jane Scouten (

“Drawing upon traditional melodies that almost biologically are instantly singable, but combining them with emotions, sentiments and stories that are relatable even now. Stan Rogers was able to do it, Ron Hynes was able to do it, Kate McGarrigle was able to do it – and Sarah Jane Scouten is able to do it." [Tom Power, CBC q and Deep Roots]

At age 5, Sarah Jane Scouten was sitting on the dining room table, singing “Lace and Pretty Flowers,” by Canadian country-folk musician, Willie P. Bennett. Hank Williams and Stan Rogers were her greatest inspirations, both a staple at Sunday morning pancake breakfast and afterward, while singing bluegrass and gospel music with her father on Bowen Island, BC. Her talent for performing came naturally, and as chance would have it, so emerged a knack for songwriting. Bringing us up to date, Sarah Jane Scouten is an internationally touring songwriter, loved by audiences across the Northern Hemisphere.

“Sarah Jane Scouten showcases a major talent and a whole lot of versatility" [No Depression]

With flavours of Lucinda Williams, Nanci Griffiths and Iris Dement and a wealth of early country music, the three-time Canadian Folk Music Award nominee and Western Canadian Music Award nominee's songs are faithful to a long-standing folk music tradition. Often spilling over into modern themes that are outspoken and edgy, her songwriting tackles issues from poverty and midwifery to tongue-in-cheek heartache songs and unabashed Canadiana. A traditionalist at heart, Sarah Jane Scouten shows her signature flair for the roots of roots music. With respect for these roots, she writes from her own perspective, playing with style to create her own distinct voice. This songwriter is known for hitting hard and close to home, then laughing it off.

“When the Bloom Falls From the Rose showcases [Scouten's] agile voice, ruminative songwriting, and love for classic country, indie pop, and everything in between." [American Songwriter]

Sarah Jane was discovered by Vancouver label Light Organ Records when she was cold-called into the studio to make an EP with producer Andy Bishop as part of a series of releases, coined The Railtown Sessions. She has since teamed up with the label and released her third full-length album, “When the Bloom Falls From the Rose”, recorded in Toronto with veteran Canadian producer Andre Wahl (Hawksley Workman, Jill Barber) in 2017. The album includes ten original songs, ranging in style from classic honky tonk to indie-folk rock, and two virtually unknown traditional Western Canadian songs, discovered on crackly recordings in university archives and given new life through Scouten's haunting arrangements. Developing a big, lush sound on the album, Scouten comes into her own as a songwriter and performer, drawing from such modern approaches to country music as Sturgill Simpson and Emmylou Harris' iconic album Wrecking Ball, produced by Daniel Lanois.

If you think you have Sarah Jane Scouten figured out, you haven't heard anything yet.

Joe Jencks and Maria Dunn

Take Note! Music House, address given upon reservation, Barrie, ON

The Take Note! Music House presents two of North America’s strongest preservers of the spirit of folk music, Joe Jencks and Maria Dunn. Their concert takes place on Sunday, October 28 at 7:00 pm (doors open at 6:30). Requested donation is $25, with all proceeds going directly to the artists. You may reserve your seat by emailing (address given upon reservation – downtown Barrie, near the courthouse).

*** Please note that the Take Note office will be closed and the phone not accepting messages until October 23 – after that, you may also reserve by calling 705-305-1687. (Do not be alarmed if I don’t respond to emails until the 23rd, either – I’ll confirm everyone in order of post date.)

“The key to the future is people joining in. The music of Joe Jencks captures this essential spirit. Joe is a fantastic singer who carries on the traditions." [Pete Seeger]

“[Maria is] an arrestingly powerful singer-songwriter from Canada who writes great historical and social commentary." [Rich Warren, Sing Out! Magazine]

Joe Jencks and Maria Dunn have teamed up for a select number of concerts featuring songs of hope, courage, love and triumph. From Chicago, IL and Edmonton, AB respectively, these performing songwriters represent the finest traditions in music that is socially aware, musically engaged, and filled with heart and purpose. Spanning numerous musical styles and multiple generations, they bring together diverse perspectives into a unified presentation that invites people to sing, laugh, heal, and be inspired to joyfully celebrate their own journey and convictions. Maria and Joe have each won numerous awards for their work, and have been recognized internationally as preeminent in their field. Come join us for an unforgettable evening of stories and songs!

Joe Jencks (

“Climb inside the songs of Joe Jencks, and you meet real people. His lilting melodies and warm, caramel tenor draw us closer to the stories he tells. Jencks finds the humanness that binds us to the people in his songs!” [Scott Alarik, WUMB]

Joe Jencks is an international touring musician, award-winning songwriter, and celebrated vocalist known for his performances of musical beauty, social consciousness and spiritual exploration. A 20-year veteran of the international Folk circuit, Jencks has released 15 CDs in that time. Merging conservatory training with his Irish roots and working-class upbringing, Joe delivers engaged musical narratives filled with heart, soul, groove and grit. Blending well-crafted instrumentals and vivid songwriting, Jencks serves it all up with a lyric baritone voice that has the edgy richness of a good sea-salt caramel.

Joe’s most recent solo CD – “The Forgotten: Recovered Treasures From The Pen of Si Kahn” - contains 14 previously unrecorded songs from American Folk legend, Si Kahn. Joe recorded the CD in Canada, with famed producer Ken Whiteley, and the collection of songs represents a return to Joe’s more traditional Folk roots in both theme and musical styles. Celebrating the lost legends of hard working people from New England textile mills to Appalachian coal mining towns, from the Civil Rights movement to forgotten industrial towns in the Midwest. The Forgotten shines a welcome light on the lives of people whose experiences still need to be told and remembered.

Jencks’ 2017 release – “Poets, Philosophers, Workers, & Wanderers” debuted as the #1 CD on the International Folk DJ Chart, also garnering recognition for #1 Song and #1 Artist. Additionally, the recording spent eight weeks as the #1 CD on Sirius XM Radio’s Americana Chart. With arrangements that blend sparse acoustic performances with Copeland-like orchestral tapestries, and encompass Celtic, Blues, and Traditional Folk styles, this CD reflects the depth of Joe’s musical knowledge and diversity of influences. In addition, guest artists including: Ysaye Barnwell (Sweet Honey In The Rock), Cathy Fink, Harpeth Rising, Tret Fure, Reggie Harris, Edie Carey, Jon Carroll and many more. This long awaited collection of songs represents Joe’s finest work to date, both as a vocalist and as a songwriter.

Having penned several #1 Folksongs including the ever-relevant “Lady of The Harbor,” Jencks has become a fan favorite throughout North America. Co-founder and primary vocal arranger for the harmony trio Brother Sun, Joe is also in demand as an arranger with over 30 appearances as a guest vocalist on various studio recordings.

From coffeehouses to Carnegie Hall, Jencks has made a mark on the American music scene, singing and telling stories that educate, illuminate, and uplift.

Maria Dunn (

“…remarkable singer-songwriter, think of her as a distaff Woody Guthrie.” [Mike Ross, Edmonton Sun]

2017 Juno-nominated songwriter Maria Dunn draws deeply on the folk tradition of storytelling through song. Melding North American roots music with her Scottish-Irish heritage, she sings about the resilience and grace of “ordinary” people, past and present.

“…one of our most important and vital singer-songwriters.” [Roddy Campbell, Penguin Eggs]

Her latest recording “Gathering” (Nominee - 2017 Juno Award, Nominee - 2017 WCMA, Winner - Edmonton Music Prize) celebrates love—the love of family, community and humanity that connects us and fires our actions to make the world a better place. Her previous album “Piece By Piece” (Nominee – 2013 Canadian Folk Music Award) pays tribute to immigrant women working at a Western Canadian clothing factory. Maria's other independent CDs include: “The Peddler” (Nominee – 2009 Canadian Folk Music Award) and “For A Song” (Nominee – 2002 Juno Award), all produced by Shannon Johnson (of 2007 Juno-winning band The McDades).

In addition to developing and touring four multimedia people’s history shows, “On The River” (with Indigenous women’s trio Asani), “Packingtown”, “GWG: Piece by Piece” and “Troublemakers: Working Albertans, 1900 – 1950”, with videographer Don Bouzek, Maria performs (solo, duo, ensemble) at festivals and theatres in Canada, Europe (UK/Ireland Tour 2017, 2015; Netherlands Tour 2011, 2010) and USA. Media features include: Bravo TV (The Carol Project), CBC National Radio (Sunday Edition), CKUA Alberta, and BBC Radio Scotland. Her songs are published in the “Rise Again” songbook, “Sing Out!” and “Penguin Eggs” magazines and recorded by other artists including Niamh Parsons, The Outside Track, and Bob Bossin.

Scott Cook

Take Note! Music House, address given upon reservation, Barrie, ON

The Take Note! Music House welcomes back prairie balladeer Scott Cook on Wednesday, October 3 at 7:30 pm (doors open at 7:00). Requested donation is $20, with all proceeds going directly to the artist. You may reserve your seat by calling (705) 305-1687 or emailing (address given upon reservation – downtown Barrie, near the courthouse).

"He sings his heart and soul, and in doing so lets light flood into your own... Truly one of Woody Guthrie's children." [RnR Magazine]

Scott Cook (

"Scott Cook has distilled his travels down into songs powered by a sharp eye for imagery, a healthy dose of humanity, and that unforgettable voice, that at the same time intones the rigours of the road and the most comfortable couch you have ever slept on." [David Francey, 3x Juno-winning Canadian songwriter]

Scott Cook has been living out of a van or a backpack for the last eleven years, touring almost incessantly across Canada, the US, Europe, Asia, Australia and elsewhere, and distilling his experiences into straight-talking, keenly observant verse.  

"As good a modern folkie as we have these days.  A voice perfect for the genre.  An understanding beyond the norm."   [No Depression]

His fourth independent release, "One More Time Around", was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award, and its opening track "Pass It Along" won the Folk and Acoustic category in the 2013 UK Songwriting Contest, with UK magazine Maverick Country naming him "one of Canada's most inspiring and imaginative storytellers".

He's currently touring in support of his sixth studio album, "Further Down the Line", which earned Cook his second CFMA nomination (English Songwriter of the Year), and comes packaged in a 132-page book containing a look back, in words and pictures, on his last decade of full-time travel.  

Cook is one of the hardest-working DIY troubadours on the road today, averaging over 150 shows and a dozen festivals every year since 2007.  All the hard miles notwithstanding, he still believes that songs can change your life, and your life can change the world.

House Music for the Huronia Symphony Orchestra

Take Note! Music House, address given upon reservation, Barrie, ON

This is a special production in collaboration with the Huronia Symphony Orchestra. For those of you asking when you'll ever get to hear me play at one of my house concerts – ta daa! I'll be playing some of my own music, as well as sitting in with one of our regular patrons and volunteers, Edward St. Moritz. (I'm also enjoying quite the chuckle at being described as "one of Barrie's prominent patrons of the arts"!) Here's the HSO's press release:

Join community musicians at a fundraising house concert in the intimate atmosphere of one of Barrie’s historic homes for the benefit of the Huronia Symphony Orchestra.

One of Barrie’s prominent patrons of the arts has invited musicians into her home for an afternoon of music. Community musicians from Barrie and across Simcoe County will present a diverse assortment of classical, jazz, and folk, donating their time and talents to benefit our local community orchestra.

Conductor Oliver Balaburski and board members will be on hand to talk about the exciting new season and future plans for the orchestra.

Tickets are $25, including coffee, tea and snacks. Attendance is limited to 40 people, and tickets must be purchased in advance.

Date: Sunday, September 23, 2018 Time: 3-5 pm

Location: To be revealed - because this is a private home, we can’t give the address publicly in news releases or media. We’ll tell you when you call or email to buy your ticket. We can tell you that it’s a fabulous house, and our host presents a regular series of house concerts. You’ll be impressed).

For tickets/information, call 705-521-4752 or email

About the Huronia Symphony Orchestra (HSO)

The HSO is a 55 piece community orchestra, in its 52nd season, under the direction of Oliver Balaburski. Presenting five concerts a year in Barrie’s Collier Street United Church, this year’s program highlights include Beethoven’s timeless Pastorale Symphony (No. 6), Brahms’ triumphant and final symphony (No. 4), our annual family concert featuring players in HSO’s Youth Program, A Night at the Opera, and of course, our infamous Christmas concert.

The HSO’s professional conductor together with 5 professional section leaders support and direct 50 accomplished community musicians who volunteer their time and spend every Sunday night during the season rehearsing.

Your support of Huronia Symphony Orchestra keeps orchestral music growing and thriving in Barrie and Simcoe County.

National Steel CanAfrica Blues Tour

Take Note! Music House, address given upon reservation, Barrie, ON

The Take Note! Music House kicks off its 2018-19 season with the National Steel CanAfrica Blues Tour, featuring Doc MacLean and Albert Frost. The concert takes place on Friday, September 7 at 8:00 pm (doors open at 7:30). Requested donation is $20, with all proceeds going directly to the artist. You may reserve your seat by calling (705) 305-1687 or emailing (address given upon reservation – downtown Barrie, near the courthouse).

National Steel CanAfrica Blues Tour 2018 (

Ride shotgun on an epic, blues road tour as Doc MacLean and Albert Frost unite in a four wheel, continental drift. Mixing delta with west Africa, Son House with Ali Farka Toura, electric with acoustic, new stories with old… This Canadian-African collaboration will surprise and delight as it rolls out across nine Canadian provinces.

Doc MacLean and Albert Frost. One guy played with Son House, the other with Ali Farka Toure. So now now, CanAfrica Blues: a playful, yet respectful collaboration by these unique, yet complimentary artists– each of whom mix traditional and contemporary blues and roots music from their own continents.

On the ground, it's an old school, vintage road adventure: the National Steel: jamming a big Lincoln across the continent, stopping in places large and small from coast to coast. "No venue too large, too small, too grand or too humble." Songs and stories lived in the moment. Africa and North America in joy and sorrow. CanAfrica Blues.

Named as one of the top sets at South Africa's massive, 2017 OppiKoppi festival.

Albert Frost (

Cape Town based, 2017 SAMA (South African Music Association) Album of the Year winner, Albert Frost has performed with international artists such as Ali Farka Toure, Finley Quaye, Vusi Mahlasela and Ginger Baker. He has toured with Simple Minds, REM, and has supported the Rolling Stones.

As a guitarist, singer, songwriter, and producer, Frost has been a celebrated figure in the South African folk, blues, roots and rock music scene for over 20 years. The Fender endorsed artist romps fearlessly and joyfully between electric and acoustic guitars of every description, as well as surfacing occasionally on keyboards or drums.

The remarkable pleasure Frost finds, invents, and simply conjures from the music is not to be missed.

Doc Maclean (

During more than 40 years of touring, Doc MacLean has performed with a who's who of first and second generation blues, roots and gospel artists such as Sam Chatmon, Peg Leg Sam, and Blind John Davis. Among many others, he has supported Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Muddy Waters, Johnny Winter, and BB King.

As a songwriter and storyteller, MacLean has recorded with members of the Canned Heat and Mavis Staples bands. Blues Revue once called him "the Prince of Darkness”. People Magazine (Jan 2018) covered his most recent journey across Africa, describing him as a "beautiful storyteller" and an "inspiration" to Township musicians.

This old school troubadour lives on the Blues Highway – self driving to hundreds of shows every year, and sometimes busking the places in between.
©2016-7 Take Note! Promotion