Slowpitch Jam

The Soda Crackers

The Swingin' Doors


Highrise Lonesome

Sue's Bio









2. Gasoline and Matches (B. & J. Miller)
3. Hallelujah I Love Him So (R. Charles)
4. Blue Railroad Train (A. & R. Delmore
5. Blackberry Rag (Doc Watson)
6. If I Had You (I. King & T. Shapiro)
7. Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring (H. Hipkins)

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Recorded live off the floor by Brad Turner in Deep Cove, BC.
Cover design by Paul Norton. Photography by Colin Goldie.

Sue Malcolm - guitar, vocals
Don Fraser - guitar, resophonic guitar, vocals
Stu Macdonald - acoustic bass, vocals


SHADES OF BLUEGRASS COVER1. Dark As The Night, Blue As The Day (W. Monroe) 3:48 [MP3]
2. Elephant Mountain (D. Fraser) 3:19 [MP3]
3. Tear My Still House Down (G. Welch) 4:17
4. From Now On (J. Beazley) 3:10
5. Forget Me Nots (V. Smyth, D. Fraser) 2:42
6. Sleepwalk (S.A. Farina, J. Farina, A. Farina) 3:54
7. Blue Railroad Train (A. & R. Delmore) 3:10 [MP3]
8. Cold Wind Blowing (D. Fraser) 4:53
9. Pineapple Express (D. Fraser) 5:21
10. Wall Around Your Heart (V. Smyth) 4:11
11. Old Daingerfield (W. Monroe) 4:53
12. Love Hurts (B. Bryant) 3:32
13. You’ve Got To Carry On (S. Malcolm, D. Fraser) 4:40 [MP3]

Produced, engineered and mastered by Victor Smith at Freemantrax.
Design by Paul Norton and Sue Malcolm. Photography by Colin Goldie.

Jay Buckwold - banjo
Don Fraser - resophonic guitar, vocals (acoustic & electric guitar on 13)
Stu Macdonald - bass, vocals
Sue Malcolm - guitar, vocals
Vic Smyth - vocals, mandolin
with guests
Linda Bull - violin (10)
Jamie Fraser - drums (13)
Michael Fraser - violin (9)


With the release of Shades of Bluegrass, Highrise Lonesome expands their musical palette to cover an even wider canvas. Vocals are beautifully framed by shimmering dobro, melodic banjo, mandolin, guitar and bass. This second collection of songs features six new originals, including a tribute to musician and social activist Bob Rosen (You’ve Got To Carry On), as well as fresh new renderings of old favourites. “... a scintillating second outing for Highrise Lonesome.” - Jim Burnett - In The Pines, CFRO 100.5 fm.


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Or if you prefer, the CD is available from the iTunes store and


ONE WAY STREET COVER1. Highway Of Love (Vic Smyth and Don Fraser) [MP3]
2. Rocky Road Blues (Bill Monroe)
3. Gone So Soon (Vic Smyth)
4. Use It Or Lose It (Don Fraser)
5. Dragonfly (Sue Malcolm) [MP3]
6. The Salish Sea (Don Fraser) [MP3]
7. Dagger In My Heart (Vic Smyth and Stu MacDonald)
8. Underhill Road (Vic Smyth)
9. Wrong Turn (Vic Smyth and Don Fraser)
10. Just Someone I Used To Know (‘Cowboy’ Jack Clement)
11. Big Black Eye (Jay Buckwold) [MP3]
12. Walk On, Brother (Don Fraser and Sue Malcolm) [MP3]

Produced and engineered by Kris Boyd at Vancouver Live Sound Studio. Additional tracks recorded at Bob Tardiff’s house. Mastered by Graemme Brown at Zen Mastering. Cover photo by Colin Goldie.

Sue Malcolm - vocals, guitar, clawhammer banjo on 5
Vic Smyth - vocals, mandolin, rhythm guitar on 8
Don Fraser - vocals (lead on 4), resophonic guitar, lead guitar on 4, 8 & 12
Jay Buckwold - banjo (except on 5 & 12)
Stu MacDonald - vocals, upright bass


The band comprises several well-known figures in West Coast bluegrass: dobroist and multi-instrumentalist Don Fraser, who has been a stalwart in Vancouver’s music scene for over 40 years; banjoist Jay Buckwold, who founded and runs the B.C. Bluegrass Workshop; and lead singer and guitarist Sue Malcolm, known for leading the slow-pitch jam at the Workshop. The recording also features Vic Smyth on mandolin and vocals and Stu MacDonald on bass and vocals. The recording’s sound is up-front and well-balanced, and the band is impressive instrumentally. Fraser’s playing on the Dobro© is simply outstanding; Buckwold’s banjo playing is authoritative and original, and he pulls good tone out of his Huber banjo, and Smyth’s mandolin is punchy. Vocally the group really shines, particularly Malcolm’s vocals, which are powerful and appropriately bluegrass-y (including a yodel ending on “Blue Night”). Smyth’s lead vocals are excellent, although perhaps lacking the “high lonesome sound” of traditional bluegrass, and Fraser’s lead on one song is funky. The harmony singing is good, although again, less hard-edged than traditional. Highrise Lonesome chose to populate their album with mostly original tunes, a pretty gutsy strategy that would have backfired if the songs were weak. However, I can report to you that they succeeded, because their original material is generally strong and worthwhile. The material ranges from traditional bluegrass to ragtime (Fraser’s “Use it or Lose It”), to old-timey (Malcolm’s lovely “Dragonfly,” complete with her clawhammer banjo playing), to vaguely klezmer-ish (Fraser’s tasty instrumental “The Salish Sea”), to gospel (Fraser and Malcolm’s “Walk On, Brother”). They also included two bluegrass/country standards, Bill Monroe’s “Blue Night” (which should more accurately be attributed to Kirk McGee, but who am I to quibble?) and Jack Clement’s “Just Someone I Used to Know”. One Way Street is an enjoyable album that deserves multiple listenings. It really grabbed my attention. Highly recommended. - Michael Corcoran, Canadian Folk Music, April 2012 (

Highrise Lonesome is a contemporary-flavored bluegrass band from Vancouver, BC, and One Way Street is their latest compact disc comprised mostly of nicely-constructed original numbers like “Dragonfly,” “Use It Or Lose It,” “Big Black Eye”, “The Salish Sea” and the gospel piece “Walk On, Brother.” Also featured is Sue Malcom’s treatment of Bill Monroe’s “Rocky Road Blues” along with the Cowboy Jack Clement country classic “Just Someone I Used To Know.” Highrise Lonesome has been described as a group of city dwellers steeped in the classic sounds of bluegrass, and the contents of One Way Street certainly bears this out. - Bluegrass Unlimited, USA

They're a Vancouver bluegrass band featuring Sue Malcolm, plus Vic Smyth, Don Fraser, Jay Buckwold and Stu MacDonald. These are almost entirely originals, including "Dragonfly," inspired by Malcolm's work with the Crossroads Hospice Society, and the instrumental "The Salish Sea," but they managed to slip Cowboy Jack Clement's classic "Just Someone I Used to Know" in there. Freewheeling stuff where everybody's having a good jam. Rating: B - John P. McLaughlin, The Province, Vancouver.

Don't let the title fool you! On their new CD "One Way Street" the members of Highrise Lonesome ain't about to be boxed in by those highrise canyons. No sirree, instead they break new trails in bluegrass, old time and roots music with classic-inspired originals, strong singing and instrumental prowess. It's quite the ride! - Jim Burnett, aka The Stern Old Bachelor, In The Pines, Vancouver Co-op Radio 102.7

SUE MALCOLM + TONY TRISCHKAPhoto: Bluegrass banjo master TONY TRISHKA looks happy with his copy of the new release!


You can order right on this page through PayPal, using your account with them, or any major credit card.

If you are in the Vancouver area, it's available at Highlife Records at 1317 Commercial Drive (604-251-6964).

The CD is also available from iTunes and


The members of Highrise Lonesome are city dwellers steeped in the classic sounds of bluegrass. Although they may make brief detours off into the side streets of old-time and roots music, they always return to the bluegrass superhighway. Sparkling vocals are a major part of the sound, with the harmonies of Sue Malcolm and Vic Smyth as the centrepiece. This release features ten classic-sounding originals showcasing instrumental prowess with innovative arrangements. It’s a bluegrass road trip. Enjoy the ride.

When we embarked on this CD project, our collective songbook of orginals was limited to a handful of songs. Something about the group creative process spurred us on. The CD presents ten new compositions.

Some further comments on selected tracks:
♦ Highway of Love - The hard-drivin' track that inspired the name of the CD
♦ Dragonfly - Inspired by Sue’s work with the Crossroads Hospice. The symbol of the hospice is the dragonfly, and represents transformation.
♦ The Salish Sea - Don’s tribute to the naming of the waters off the coast of British Columbia and Washington State, honouring the First Nations people.
♦ Big Black Eye - Jay’s ill-fated baseball career inspired this great banjo tune.
♦ Walk On, Brother - Sue’s ideas combined with Don’s artful writing resulted in another hospice-inspired song about the healing power of walking.

This recording is dedicated to the memories of Rob Fowler and Bob Tardiff.


HIGHRISE LONESOME COVERRecorded at New Wine Studio in California and featuring Janet Beazley, Chris Stuart, Paul Shelasky, Garry Stevenson, Eric Uglum, Mason Tuttle, Westy Westenhoffer, Marshall Andrews and Ivan Rosenberg.

1. Blue Night (Bill Monroe)
2. Let's Be Sweethearts Again (Betty Chaba)
3. Right or Wrong (Sizemore/Gillespie/Beise) [MP3]
4. Red Clay Halo (Gillian Welch)
5. Highrise Lonesome (Sue Malcolm) [MP3]
6. You Don't Know Me (Cindy Walker) [MP3]
7. You're There (Fred Rose)
8. Amber Eyes (Sue Malcolm)
9. Pretending I Don't Care (Jimmy Martin)
10. I've Got A Right to Cry (Joe Liggans)
11. River of Jordan (Trad.)
12. Blueridge Mountain Blues (Trad.) [MP3]

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"Fine stuff." - The Vancouver Province .

"It's a gem. This is the real deal." - Victoria Times-Colonist

Sue Malcolm is a Vancouver treasure. -

"The music caught me by surprise, delighting me at every turn." - Robert Meme, Bellingham DJ .

"It’s simply a marvelous collection … one of those “don’t miss” albums." - Country Music News.

Music seems to flow naturally from her, and not for reasons of commerciality or ego. She simply has a way of connecting with people that is genuine." - Penguin Eggs.

"There are only a few albums I want to listen to over and over. Highrise Lonesome is one of them. Put [it] at the top of your shopping list." - Victory Music Review.

To read the full reviews, go here.

To read French reviews, go here.


Well folks, here it is - my very first CD project – High Rise Lonesome. This has been an amazing creative process! It all started at the British Columbia Bluegrass Workshop in Sorrento, BC, when I roomed with Janet Beazley (banjo player with Chris Stuart and Backcountry) for two solid weeks in 2003. In between teaching, we ate a lot of chips and salsa, drank some beers, and talked recording.

For several years, students of my Slow Pitch Jam workshops and people I met at festivals I attend, have been asking if I have a CD for sale. It never occurred to me to make a solo CD, since I've always been part of a band. My current band, False Creek is a part-time project for all members and not quite ready to record. I've made CDs with my previous bluegrass band, Rhythm Roundup, and my kids' group, The Buddy System. I don't consider myself a solo artist, so it just didn't seem like an option.

However ... Janet managed to convince me over those two weeks, all the chips and salsa, and beers, that it was a good idea. Not only that; turns out Janet is a fine producer. She has produced both of Chris Stuart and Backcountry's stellar recordings, 'Saints and Strangers' and 'Mojave River', Ivan Rosenberg's solo album, 'Back to the Pasture', and Eric Uglum's gorgeous recording 'Shenandoah Wind.' All were recorded, mixed and mastered at New Wine studios in Hesperia, California, with engineer Eric Uglum (of Lost Highway).

But what really sold me on the idea was when Janet whipped out her portable studio and demonstrated how it works. At that time she was working on Eric's project; editing and tweaking things whenever she had a bit of time on the road. I was blown away by the clarity of the sound, the portability of the whole system, and Janet's masterful use of the ProTools program. She helped me realize that in a solo project with some very good studio musicians, I could showcase all the styles I've enjoyed playing and singing over the past twenty some-odd years, and create something that really represents what I love to do.

It’s taken close to a year to put it all together, including two trips to New Wine Studio; first to record the vocals and most recently to mix and master. Janet and I did tons of pre-production work via email. I sent working tapes, and we chatted back and forth about ideas, personnel, song choices, and arrangements. Janet arranged and recorded all the instrumental sessions, fitting them in whenever people were available. It was tricky working around the touring schedules of two very busy bands – Chris Stuart and Backcountry and Lost Highway, during the height of the season. All the members of CSB were involved – Chris on rhythm guitar and harmony vocals, Janet on banjo and harmony vocals, Mason Tuttle on bass, and Ivan Rosenberg on dobro. Marshall Andrews played bass on several songs and Paul Shelasky added fiddle and mandolin as well as rhythm and lead swing guitar. In fact, Paul played so much on this recording, it should be called Sue Malcolm and Paul Shelasky. Having been Paul’s next door neighbour for long periods of time at the BC Bluegrass Workshop, I have heard him telling his students countless times about the importance of style. He certainly demonstrates this beautifully on this CD.

Janet recorded most of the tracks at New Wine Studio, but also did sessions in various locations on the road, including the BC Bluegrass Workshop at Sorrento BC. My False Creek bandmate, Garry Stevenson did some fabulous guitar solos there, and Paul Shelasky did his rhythm guitar tracks for three swing tunes. Paul ended up purchasing the beautiful archtop guitar that luthier David Sohn had loaned him for the session. Back at New Wine Studio, Paul added some gorgeous lead solos with his new instrument.

I am thrilled to have this great group of musicians help me put together this collection of songs the way they really should be played. There are bluegrass songs with a traditional hard-driving sound, old-time country ballads complete with twin fiddles, three western swing tunes, and one slow country ballad. I’ve included two originals – High Rise Lonesome, and Amber Eyes. I’m particularly excited about Let’s Be Sweethearts Again, a beautiful country song written by the late Betty Chaba (McDaniel), and never before recorded.

P.S. Go here to see lots of candid shots of the making of the CD.