Humanizing artists and facilitating musical discovery


Matt Foster singing alongside Vince Andrus, his partner for Odd Couples March 16, 2017. THE PROJECTOR/ Eden Carter

The focus of local talent is apparent every Thursday at Times Change(d) High & Lonesome Club. Two local professional musicians who have never played together before are chosen to play the next “Odd Couples” show.

The event was recently created by John Scoles, owner of Times Change(d) High & Lonesome Club, and is sponsored by Half Pints Brewing Co.

Local musician, Sheena Rattai, recently hosted Odd Couples with JD Edwards, another local musician. She says the experience is similar to workshops at Canadian music festivals.

Vince Andrus plays during his Odd Couples set with Matt Foster at Times Change(d), March 16. 2017. THE PROJECTOR/ Eden Carter

“What ends up happening is there are some really magical, musical moments. There is this freedom that comes with being spontaneous and having no expectations,” said Rattai. “It definitely facilitates new musical adventures.”

Rattai and Edwards had circulated the music scene for years. Rattai said that she doesn’t often have the opportunity or the courage to collaborate with musicians she admires in the city.

Rattai sings regularly with the Winnipeg folk band Red Moon Road. But her heart lies in a different genre. Growing up as the daughter of a preacher and a church music director, Rattai was raised on gospel and soul.

“I had no idea she could sing like that,” said Dwayne Duek, a long-time employee, performer, and visitor of Times Change(d). “I have seen her play with Red Moon Road plenty of times but hearing her play with JD blew me out of the water.”

The show pushed Rattai musically off stage. A push from Edwards made her sit down and finish a song she had been meaning to write for ages. The first line is, “Mamma is a gospel singer.”

“I think it’s a f***ing good song. I wrote it on the Monday and we played it on Thursday,” said Rattai, whose mother came to the show and heard the song’s debut.

Matt Foster and Vince Andrus are preparing for their Odd Couples set today.

“It’s fun to be thrown into it,” said Foster, a member of Winnipeg band The Crooked Brothers.

Both men are smiling and sipping their beers before the show begins.

“Oh it’s really cool, making music, odd songs. I’m not sure we’re a ‘hot’ couple though,” said Andrus with a wink.

You can catch the Odd Couples musical collaborations every Thursday at Times Change(d) High & Lonesome Club, free of charge.