Category Archives: Songs

“Lily Of The Valley” by James McLaughlin

James McLaughlin

James McLaughlin performs his original songs and covers at various open stages around Meaford and the surrounding area.  Many of his songs have a quirky, stream of consciousness feel to them, set in intricate guitar stylings.  This is his first attempt at something in the line of a country song, with a simpler structure than his past creations, but still that aspect of mystery in the lyrics.

James first picked up the guitar when he lived in Canmore, Alberta, working as an electrician’s apprentice.  He had been a saxophone player until one day he discovered a singer-songwriter from near his home town in Paris, Ontario, named Ross Tracey.  He still considers him to be one of the best songwriters he has ever heard, and that first encounter made him decide to sell his sax and buy a guitar.

In Canmore, James worked for Intrawest, the company that operates the Blue Mountain Ski hills.  When his company transferred him to Collingwood he found a residence in Meaford and has been appearing locally since then.

This is the second in a series featuring local songwriters in simple video performances.  Also check out “Cold Fish” by Zoe Young. 

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Catch Sean Cotton Thursday At The Leeky

Sean Cotton

This Thursday, October 6th, Sean Cotton will be performing at The Leeky Canoe.  A central figure in the music scene in Muskoka and son of country singer Neil Cotton, Sean brings years of experience and his own sound to his music, drawing from influences as diverse as Bill Withers, Van Morrison and Waylon Jennings.

Having spent many years touring as a duo called The Undesirables with Corin Raymond, and working as a sideman on recording projects, Sean settled in Burk’s Falls and immediately began to become involved in the local Muskoka music scene.  He formed a cooperative called Tree Ring Records with several other area musicians with the goal of recording and promoting local talent.   He’s brought his experience to bear as a record producer, radio host, arts community developer, and performer.

He’s rigged up his guitar case to double as a percussion instrument with a microphone set inside the case and a cymbal placed on the other end as he drums with his feet.  Along with original tunes inspired by life in Muskoka, he covers classics in Pop, Rock, Blues, Country and R&B genres.

Sean has been an important part of the Eaglewood Folk Festival for the past five years.  In this video clip from the festival, he performs his original song,  “I Don’t Mind The Rain”:

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September’s Top 5 Videos

It’s fun to look back at the end of each month to re-visit some of the live music we enjoyed here in Meaford.  This site is often illustrated with video links to You Tube, to give you a sense of what to expect when you go out to catch someone live.  Although the songs included here were all performed in Meaford in this past month, the videos (with one exception) are from previous performances or produced music videos.

#5 – “Bonnie and May” by Allison Lupton. It was just last night that Allison performed with Ian Bell and Shane Cook at the Historical Leith Church, providing a taste of virtuoso traditional folk music.

#4 – “Cold Fish” by Zoe Young.  Count yourself lucky if you get to see Zoe perform live.  She’s a young woman just graduated from high school who hasn’t made music her prime objective, but this original song is witty and charming and deserved to be shared.  We recorded it in the sunroom of her home in Meaford.

#3 – “Carolina” by Larry Jensen.  An Owen Sound based singer-songwriter who has earned a great deal of respect over the years for his original songwriting, Larry Jensen visited Meaford this month for an evening at the Leeky Canoe.  In this clip he is accompanied by Pete Devlin, a local guitarist who has also gained respect locally for his inspired and sensitive guitar work, usually on display at the Wednesday jams at Ted’s and often featured at The Leeky Canoe.

#2 – “All The Time” by Bahamas.  Playing to a sold out crowd earlier this week at Meaford Hall, Afie Jurvanen, who goes by the name of Bahamas, delivered sensitive songs with some ethereal guitar work.  This beautiful song was featured in a TV ad that boosted his profile in the U.S. and Canada.

#1 – “Cows Around” by Corb Lund.  It’s impossible to pick a Corb Lund song that is better than the rest.  He played a rollicking show to a boisterous crowd this month at Meaford Hall.  He’s played here before and chances are he won’t be back, not because he doesn’t love playing the Opera House (who wouldn’t?) but because he is gaining popularity so fast he is likely to move to much larger venues before long.

This Top 5 video list has become a monthly indulgence on this site.  If you want to revisit some of the great music from the summer, check out August’s Top 5 Videos and July’s Top 5 Videos.

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Allison Lupton

The Leith Historical Church is a fitting venue for a concert this Friday evening with Allison Lupton, Ian Bell and Shane Cook.  All three are renowned practitioners of traditional folk music.  Allison is admired for her sensitive vocals as well as her songwriting.  She won the English grand prize for her song “One More Day” in the Songs From The Heart competition of 2015.

Shane Cook, Allison Lupton and Ian Bell

Shane Cook, Allison Lupton and Ian Bell

She started her career as a traditional folk singer in the band Killiecrankie which was regularly featured on CBC Radio’s legendary Max Ferguson Show and she has performed at various festivals and venues including Mariposa and Lunenburg.

Multi-instrumentalist and composer Ian Bell

Multi-instrumentalist and composer Ian Bell

Ian Bell is a multi-instrumentalist with a stellar reputation among folk aficionados as a songwriter and composer as well as sideman.  He has released several CDs, the most recent of which is a collection of traditional songs and chanteys from the age of commercial sail on the Great Lakes, called “Forget Me Not”.  His compositions are part of many CBC radio and TV broadcasts and he even played a small role in “Road To Avonlea”

Award winning fiddler Shane Cook

Award winning fiddler Shane Cook

Shane Cook’s fiddle playing crosses cultural boundaries representing Irish, Scottish, Quebecois, Texan and Bluegrass styles in the old time fiddle tradition.  As a Canadian he is the only foreigner ever to win the U.S. Grand National Fiddle Championship.  He has release six solo recordings and toured extensively not only in Canada and the U.S. but in the U.K. Ireland, Germany, China and Taiwan.

Allison’s song “Bonnie and May” was included in the repertoire for the 2016 Kodaly Choral Festival, which included approximately 1000 children from the Waterloo Region District School Board with 500 students performing each night.  Allison’s band was given a guest spot to lead the choir for “Bonnie and May.”

The concert, Fri., Sept. 30th starts at 7:30 p.m., general seating $20.  Tickets are available at the Roxy Theatre box office or the door.

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