Back in early summer of 2014, a number of folks in Haines Junction put on a community art happening in their backyards. In the evening they all gathered in one family’s garden to mingle and listen to a jam by local musicians as well as musicians from outside the village. The crowd was particularly enthusiastic about performances of two artists: Dominique Fraissard from the Slocan Valley in British Columbia and Jim Vautour from Whitehorse, Yukon. This event inspired local residents Heiko and Monika who live in a straw bale house to host a series of house concerts – they named it the “Straw Bale Sessions”. The first such session featured Dominique Fraissard which JAM Live! presented in its episodes # 24 and # 25.
Jim Vautour came up from Whitehorse for the second “Straw Bale Session” on November 1st, 2014, joined by his longtime friend Teresa Doyle from Prince Edward Island.
Jim moved to Whitehorse in the mid-seventies and was very active in the local music scene. Back then, Jim and his friend Manfred Janssen wrote “Land of Gold”, a song that is recognized today as the unofficial Yukon anthem. Just a few years after his arrival in the Yukon, however, Jim decided to concentrate on the development of his professional career and to spend as much time as possible with his family. He went into a long period of artistic hibernation.
It was not until 2011 when Jim’s musical creativity and the urge to perform gained new momentum. Suddenly he felt the need to catch up on lost decades of not being artistically creative. As a result, Jim wrote over 35 songs within a very short time, is currently recording his first album and he also performs. Jim says that he gets a lot of inspiration for writing songs from observing today’s ever-changing world.
Teresa Doyle is a vocal explorer with a lifelong passion for pushing the boundaries of her voice. She is endlessly experimenting with new vocal colours, extended vocal techniques, and vocal textures from other cultures. Her exploration has taken her around the world singing with indigenous people. Her repertoire reflects her journey but is always firmly rooted in the Celtic music and stories of her native Prince Edward Island.
Teresa’s eleven recordings on her label, Bedlam Records, have met with critical acclaim at home in the Maritimes, across North America, Europe and Japan.
Teresa and Jim have been friends for 40 years. So when Jim invited her to come up to the Yukon and join him for a few concerts in the Territory she happily accepted.