Folk musician George McConkey
george mcconkey  

Press Reviews: Musician George McConkey


Mike Stevens  
"George always knows how to get inside a melody or a song and make people feel what he's playing. He plays from his heart not from the page -- and that's where the best music comes from"

Harmonica George Launches New CD At Roxy  
Gabriola Sounder News
By Derek Kilbourn
Monday, March 16 2009

Take a little blues, some folk, a constantly stomping foot, throw in some Klondike spirit, and you’re halfway to a Harmonica George and Nathan Tinkham performance.

Better known as Harmonica George from his Yukon days playing in the Undertakin’ Daddies with Tinkham, George had the sold-out crowd stomping their feet and cheering and clapping with an enthusiasm usually reserved for the end of the concert.

And that was with the first two songs. Even Stevie B (laughingly) commented things might be a little rowdy for a Roxy crowd.

George’s final harmonica song before the intermission, Lost John, was extremely impressive. For anyone else breathing that fast, the words “hyperventilation” or “an anxiety attack” would come to mind. George definitely deserves his “harmonica” moniker.

The concert was the official release of George’s first CD Tin and Bone -- recorded and produced in Nathan’s studio on Gabriola.

If you get a chance to pick up a copy of the CD, find yourself a desolate stretch of road to cruise down and put it on and then pull over for Lost John, lest your stompin’ get you in trouble.

Tales of life in modern and historical West Dawson where George lives are well mixed with lyric-free tunes that George’s harmonica shines in.

And of course backing up almost every song is Tinkham’s steadily-strummed guitar.

You can’t help feeling like you’d like to head up to the Yukon to search for gold, canoe past Lake Labarge, and end-up in a seedy hotel bar swapping stories with other “summer people.”

Travel Yukon might want to hire George, just because of the infection of Yukon fever his music brings on.

This won’t be the last Tinkham performance this month -- Nathan is bringing his Wilf Carter show to the Roxy on March 24th. Tickets are at Artworks.

For more on George, look up his MySpace site,

Bruno Michel Switzerland
BRUNO MICHEL Switzerland "George McConkey is well known amongst his Swiss fans. For years, the canadian native has toured with the Undertakin' Daddies across Canada and the rest of the world - including Switzerland. As a songwriter, guitarist and - most of all - expert harmonica player, George was an integral part of the bands he has played with. It was a matter of time until he would have his own CD on the market. Now, Tin & Bone is here and its twelve songs, partial standards, partial self-penned, offer a nice sampler of George's skills.

As expected, the harmonica songs are dominating. After all, the harmonica is George's favorite instrument. Remarkable are the traditionals Swallow Tail Jig or St. Anne's Reel and his self-penned West Dawson. This is harmonica perfection at its best. But George is also a great singer and storyteller as he goes to proof in Up On The Dempster. My favorite among his vocal songs is Something Sent Me An Angel.

Beside McConkey, another Ex-Daddy can be found on the CD. Nathan Tinkham plays along with George and he also co-produced the album and recorded it in his own studio. I am curious when we will hear these fine musicians live on stage again. Since I live in Texas now, I might ride up to the Yukon Territory - but only once it gets warmer up there."

George McConkey Breathes Life Into The Harmonica  
Bill Polonsky What's Up Yukon
"In the hands and with the breath of a true acolyte it (harmonica) can equally express pain and joy with seemingly breathless abandon....check out the song Mariposa to see how a harmonica can sing. McConkey exposes us to an openness of tone and nuance from this instrument that take on the character and expressiveness of a butterfly itself. It has a halting bittersweet tone, but allows enough sunlight and warmth through to remind you of a summer -- in the middle of a winter -- afternoon."

"McConkey is a natural singer and songwriter...more than just a country singer, McConkey moves easily in the genres of folk and blues"

"Tin & Bone closes with an interpretation of Robert Services' The Song Of The Mouth Organ. Not only is it a rare treat to hear Service spoken aloud, but with McConkey's harmonica soundtrack the magic to the listener is doubled."

McConkey and Friends Fill The Hall  
Dan Davidson  The Klondike Sun
"It was standing room only....when Harmonica George McConkey took the stage for the hometown launch of Tin & Bone, his first solo music CD....George is known best for his harmonica work and really showed it off...sometimes switching through four instruments in a single song to get just the right sound for a particular verse. Notes were bent until they could go no further and extended until the audience gasped....Tin & Bone is a fine album that will bear repeated listening, but, like many performers, McConkey is at his best when he has an audience and the Saturday night show was one to remember."