Tag Archives: Emma Wright

Meaford Musical Community Shines In “The Last Waltz”

Review by Bill Monahan
featured photo courtesy of Patti Kendall

On Saturday night at Meaford Hall, “The Last Waltz – Meaford Style” was a celebration of our musical community unlike anything that has been seen before.  A complete sellout more than a month in advance, the show featured a cavalcade of home grown talent that was equal to any visiting talent that has graced this great venue, and the audience loved it.

The template for the show was the famous Martin Scorcese film from 1978 that documented the last concert by The Band, with all of the performers who had been part of that celebration represented here by local talents.  It was actually the 41st anniversary of the original concert, which took place at Winterland in San Francisco on November 25, 1976.  The film set the bar high for a group of local performers who had little more than a month to practice.  They rose to the occasion. The band was tight, often indistinguishable from their model, and each performer who contributed tributes to the other performers did a stellar job.  The energy from the audience matched that coming from the stage.

Jaret Koop photo courtesy of John Scerri

A few of the vocalists stood out with their ability to mimic the originals to an uncanny extent.  Drew McIvor’s take on Doctor John’s (Mac  Rebennack) “Such A Night” had that New Orleans drawl down cold, and Jaret Koop perfectly captured Rick Danko’s anguished vocals on “The Shape I’m In”.

Fran Bouwmann photo courtesy of John Scerri

Fran Bouwman did a great take on Joni Mitchell’s “Coyote” (and even looked the part), and Tom Thwaits version of Neil Diamond’s “Dry Your Eyes” sounded like the real thing.  John Hume reproduced not only the vocal parts but the keyboards (that beautiful Hammond organ sound) with fidelity.

Sandra Swannell photo courtesy of John Scerri

Others added their own special talent to the songs that reflected what they bring to music.  Sandra Swannell’s violin solos on “Acadian Driftwood” and the encore “I Shall Be Released”, and Emma Wright’s vocals on “Evangeline” were spine-tingling standouts.  Chris Scerri’s vocals, of course, are 100% his.  He’s a belter and his style made new versions of the songs he covered.

 

My Sweet Patootie and Emma Wright Join Cast of The Last Waltz

Chris Scerri is lifting the veil on more local performers who will be guests at The Last Waltz.  Along with the band that plays The Band, there are many other performers to reference as part of that concert. In this tribute, all of the performers will be local stars.  This week Chris announces that Emma Wright, Sandra Swannell and Terry Young will be on the program.

Canadian Folk Music Award winners Sandra Swannell and Terry Young, who live in Woodford when they’re not on the road, are currently preparing their annual Harp and Holly Concert Series.  They will joining one of the world’s foremost Celtic harpists, Sharlene Wallace for a series of concerts featuring baroque Christmas songs.  This is a side project from their main gig as My Sweet Patootie, the roots and ragtime band that’s attracting attention in the U.K. from their regular touring there.  Their annual Harp and Holly concert was born out of a love for timeless music that evokes something about the Christmas season that live in the hearts of all of us.  They’ll be playing concerts during the Christmas season at three local venues in Owen Sound, Colpoy’s Bay and Sauble Beach, as well as in Guelph and Oakville.

Being part of The Last Waltz, Meaford Style, gives Sandra and Terry a chance to share music with their community here at home.

“A sense of community,” says Sandra, “That’s what Martin Scorsese captured between the musicians, both on stage and off in the epic film The Last Waltz.” 

Two Communities Meet At The Arena

Two communities will come together at the Meaford Arena on October 12th, the date of the Home Opener for the Knights of Meaford hockey team.  For the first time, the game will be kicked off with the national anthem performed live.  The singers performing the anthem will from our local musical community, a practice that will continue through the season at all home games.

Emma Wright will be singing the anthem at the first game.  She is an obvious choice, not only because of her talent but because she has sung the anthem for several years at the Canada Day ceremonies in Meaford.

The idea originated with Jason Acres, Marketing Director for the team.

“Every year we try to make out program better,” he says, “In years past we’ve had a DJ, but this year we’ll be bringing in someone to sing the anthem.”

To find the singers to perform, Jason turned to Chris Scerri Presents.  Chris was happy to take on the task, a chance for him to do something different from the big shows that he has been bringing to our community.  For him, community is what it is all about.

“It’s a great way of bringing the two worlds together,” he says.  On the one hand it will make local music fans more aware of our local hockey team, and as he says, “hockey fans will learn to appreciate that there is a lot of live music and great local talent happening in our town.”

Meaford Hall is Brimming With Live Music This Fall

On Friday night, the last of the Meaford Summer Concert Series ended with a big Tom Barlow concert in the parking lot outside Meaford Hall.  But in the Opera House upstairs a full slate of great music is packed into the next few months.

The biggest show of the fall season, Jann Arden at Meaford Hall in October is already sold out, to no one’s surprise.  Already catching on with advance sales is the next big show from Chris Scerri, this time a tribute to The Last Waltz, a favourite concert movie from the seventies in which The Band featured an array of stars and friends.  For the Meaford Hall show, Chris has assembled the very best local talents to reproduce the excitement of the original, in a band comprised of Drew McIvor, Jayden Grahlman, Jon Zaslow, Beaker Granger, Jared Koop and John Hume .

While The Last Waltz uses local talent to reproduce the sixties, country music shows off our local country stars early in September at Meaford Hall in the Bruce Grey Country Jamboree Meaford Style.  Produced by Bognor Jam, the show is hosted by the True Country Show Band, who hosted last year’s Grand Ol’ Opry at the Music Hall of Fame Auditorium in Hepworth.  In addition to the True Heart Trio, this band of great country players will be backing up local Meaford talent.  Amanda Dorey and Scott Almond will both get a chance to perform in The Opera House with a great band.