Anyone who was at our November edition of the Sooke Folk Music Society’s Coffee House will no doubt remember two very talented ladies who graced our open stage and just blew everyone away. That was our first exposure to Sue Hansen and Rose Birney, known collectively as Wire Tap. They will be our featured performers at this month’s Coffee House on Saturday, March 15.
Sue Hansen and Rose Birney would be only too happy to be known as Hot Chicks with Hot Licks, but the reality is they tend to lean more toward Hot Flashes. Having met one another in a guitar shop in late 2012, they formed Wire Tap in 2013 to play songs from the Indigo Girls, Del Shannon, Bob Dylan, Parachute Club, Danny Whitten, Phoebe Snow and Luba. Yup, that’s right, a repertoire just as mixed up as these two will likely forever be.
As youngsters their individual lives followed similar paths. By the late 60s/early 70s, both managed to get their hands on guitars, with which they drove their friends and families back and away. After all, it’s not an overnight endeavour to teach oneself to play. In fact, their combined ages, rather, their combined experiences have developed a rap sheet too long to list.
Sue Hansen has been drawn to music, voice and instrument since she was young. At approximately 10-years-of-age, she managed to get her hands on an old arch-top guitar, painted blue and white.
With only a Chet Atkins song booklet Hansen taught herself to play it. Because she was unable to read the little black dots splotched around the staff lines, she was forced to make up melodies to match the chords shown. That was the beginning. In the decades that followed, her admiration for music itself has certainly grown.
“One of the main respects I have about music,” said Hansen, “is that when given an opening, it can quite effectively bridge human emotion with our physical world, as well (as) to one another.”
Born in West Vancouver and raised for a time in Montreal, Rose Birney returned, as soon as she was able, to the West Coast to work in radio and explore her passion for music. Birney is an accomplished musician both singing and playing mandolin, guitar, bass and harmonica. Birney has been a two-time songwriting delegate to the B.C. Festival of the Arts. Her talents include repairing brass instruments and giving mandolin lessons. She has also played in several local groups including Chattering Class and Four On The Floor.
There was no question that little Rosie and Susie definitely had their sights on becoming musicians when they matured. Somewhere down the time-line they realized that it just wasn’t going to be possible for them to do both. Oh well… who really needs to grow up when playing is so much fun! So you see, they’re not in it for security or money… no, no no! If Wire Tap won the lottery they would definitely continue to play long after the money ran out.At least one thing remains clear and in focus however, and that is their respect of the magic and fun that music can be. Those invisible wire-vibrations might just ignite your vocal chords or perhaps take you back to another place you experienced some time ago.
The lines are open and the welcome mat is at the doorway. Join in, tap along, and connect in the spirit of song and fun.
Please join us for what will definitely be a wonderful evening of music and entertainment. It takes place this Saturday, March 15 at Holy Trinity Anglican Church on Murray Road. Doors open at 7 p.m. with open stage at 7:30 and our feature at 9.
Submitted by Dave Gallant