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February’s Range of Great Music at Meaford Hall

by Bill Monahan

There’s something for everyone’s taste this coming month at Meaford Hall, from Canada’s Queen of R & B, Jully Black, to Grey County’s famous step-dancing fiddlers, The Beckett Family.

There is still one show left in January but it’s been sold out for quite a while.

Country star Gord Bamford, promoting his new record “Neon Smoke”, is on a grueling tour that has him playing every night in a different Ontario location through the first week of February, then heading coast to coast for the rest of the month.  After a show in Kelowna he’s heading straight out Australia where he’ll be spending the month of March on tour.  So far in this vast itinerary, the Meaford show is the only one sold out.

 

 

The Opera House will be filled with fun on Feb. 16th when the audience gets to Sing Along With Grease, that most sing-able of musicals.  Before the movie they put you through a vocal warm up, hand out props to use, and judge costumes of anyone who chooses to dress up.  You end up singing through the show with the whole crowd.  I got chills, they’re multiplying, and I’m losing control just thinking about it.

 

 

Classic Albums Live is bringing a note-for-note reproduction of the first Led Zeppelin album.  This album was completely recorded by the band before they approached a record label with it.  Jimmy Page and their manager paid for it, in order to have complete artistic control.  Atlantic Records signed them for the largest advance ever paid, for the first time straying from their focus on American R&B to take on a British band.  The record was on every turntable within my earshot all year in 1969 when it came out, with Robert Plant’s keening voice unlike anything we’d ever heard.

The Classic Albums Live company, created by Craig Martin, is comprised of world class musicians, many of whom augment their solo careers with these demanding reproductions.  They regularly fill Meaford Hall with their note-perfect re-creation of albums, taking on the most challenging of records, from Sgt. Pepper to Rumours.

The album will take up the first half of the show and greatest hits from the Led Zeppelin catalogue will fill the second half.

 

 

Success Has Been Chasing The Once

Since their inception in 2004 The Once has garnered Canadian Folk Music and ECMA awards, a pair of JUNO nominations and been named Artist of the Year by the Newfoundland & Labrador Arts Council. During that time, constantly touring the North America, The U,K and Europe, they have actually been searching for their own sound.  The trio built their audience through their renditions of traditional folk tunes but with the release of their latest recording, “We Win Some We Lose”, they have added drums, electric guitars and keyboard, and put the emphasis on their original songs.

It seems as if fate has pulled them to this place.  They met a decade ago in Trinity, Newfoundland, three actors doing summer stock.  Geraldine Hollett’s voice is the pearl in the oyster, supported by the voices and instruments of Phil Churchill and Andrew Dale.  They liked the sound they made together well enough to start gigging.  One day a stranger approached them, saying, “You sound great!  Here’s five thousand dollars.  Go make an album.”  So they did.

The Thursday Outlook – Aug. 31 to Sep. 4, 2017

A few outdoor music shows remain on the Labour Day weekend that marks the end of the summer season.  On Sunday evening The Friends of The Meaford Library will feature Dixieland  from Collingwood’s Regal Jazz Band beside the river in the Rotary Pavilion.  Up in the Blue Mountain Village the Coca-Cola stage has Alysha Brilla and The Brilltones on Friday night and Chris Scerri’s last Sunday night show with the Summit band for this season.

Alysha Brilla, at 8 Friday on the Coca-Cola stage in Blue Mountain Village, is a performer whose music is interwoven within her personal tapestry of creativity.    She is a multi-racial child of the Indian diaspora, born in Mississauga.   As a Canadian daughter of an  Indo-Tanzanian immigrant father and a European-Canadian mother, Alysha has grown up with a unique view of the Canadian cultural kaleidoscope.  In addition to her music, she is an arts educator;  TEDx speaker, YWCA mentor, and a general activist along the lines of cultural diversity, gender equality and inclusivity.  These themes that are reflected in alluring worldbeat songs.

The Thursday Outlook – July 20 to 23, 2017

It’s a lively weekend in Meaford with some great music on offer.

The second show in the Meaford Summer Concert Series is going to be an exciting one with Higher Funktion bringing a high energy collection of soul and funk tunes to get you jumping, full of great horn riffs and chunky rhythms.  Opening for them, Ragwax is offering a taste of his unique take on hot club jazz, swing and even be-bop, which he’ll extend later in the evening across the street at The Leeky Canoe.

The youth performer on the bill is Sophie Wensley, who will be accompanied by Jayden Grahlman on guitar.  Chris Scerri discovered her beautiful voice one night at an open stage at Heartwood Hall and immediately asked her to be part of this series. Sophie’s parents have Gio and Fran’s Italian Eatery across the street at 78 Sykes Street (the window says “Butcher Shop”), an ideal spot for dinner before the show at the Market Square.  This new restaurant has been creating a buzz with their delicious locally sources food and exceptionally friendly service, so far scorring 100% with every Trip Advisor review.