The Yukon’s house concert circuit attracts some of the best folk and roots musicians in the country. Coordinated by the nation-wide Home Routes organization, it’s called the Aurora Trail and offers home-based venues in nine communities. Here are seven reasons why you should work a show into your plans:
1. It’s a great way to get an authentic experience of a community. For only $20 you’re invited into someone’s home to fraternize with locals over food and drink and well, really, really good music.
2. Eliza Doyle, banjo player for world-renowned folk group The Dead South, will heat up living rooms with her fiery finger-picking skills on a tour from February 6 to 16.
3. Meet Mr. Bojangles, the golden retriever of the Marsh Lake host-house, who curls up for a nap at the feet of the performers.
4. What else is there to do in Mayo—or Faro or Atlin or Haines Junction—on a cold weekday night?
5. If you’re really taken by a given performer, you can become a two-week groupie and follow the act through the rest of the shows in the Yukon circuit.
6. Because the musicians stay overnight at the host’s house, there’s never a rush for them to finish a show early and there’s generally a calm, intimate, pajama-party-like mood.
7. Yukon duo Grant Simpson and Annie Avery of Two-Piano Tornado were on a Home Routes tour in Northern B.C. when a power blackout rendered their electric pianos useless. An audience member convinced everyone to move the show to his house. Thanks to his acoustic stand-up piano, dozens of candles and several bottles of wine, everyone went home smiling.
Open up to open mic
Any given night, you can catch Whitehorse’s musical elite performing together at intimate open-mic venues. Witness Kim Beggs testing out a new song or Gordie Tentrees working out a bridge amidst a small, engaging crowd. Use this handy guide to sort through the overburden and find a live-music gem for every night of the week.