Tag Archives: Gustav’s

Bringing In The New Year With Live Music

If you’re looking for live music to bring in the New Year with, here are some local options:

(many of them are sold out already, so check before you go)

Higher Funktion will be bringing in the new year at Heartwood Concert Hall.  This is where you go to shake your booty and shake off the old year.  They’ll have the party favours, snacks and the midnight bubbly but best of all they’ll have the music of this band with their mix of funk, pop and even reggae.

You can get a taste of funk as well at the Owen Sound Legion where The Honey Hammers ring in the new year with dancing to some great musicians.  Led by the duo vocals of Sylvie Weir and Josie Elder, the band includes Kimmer T on bass, Mike Weir on drums and Trevor MacKenzie on lead guitar.

If you’re looking for a black tie gala to do it up right, join the Rat Pack at Gustav’s Chophouse at the Georgian Bay Hotel for a luxury dinner and dance.  Chef Jeff Anderson and his team have created some culinary delights for a special menu and on stage is MEMORIES OF THE RAT PACK with a tribute to the three most famous members of The Rat Pack: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. in two 50 minute acts with stories and songs. As a bonus, everyone gets a $10 cab voucher for a ride home from Ace Cabs.

The party band Switchbeat will be celebrating New Year’s Eve at the Harbour Street Fish Bar.  Take in the four-course dinner starting at 6 pm or come later just for the band, the party favours and the midnight champagne toast.  Switchbeat underwent at slight lineup change a month ago when founding member Jennifer Little left the band.

She’s been replaced by Nikki Ponte.  Born in Toronto, Nikki made a name for herself in Greece and Cyprus, where she came third in The X Factor, was signed to Sony, and competed in the Eurovision Song Contest.  Now back in Canada, she brings considerable chops to fill the gap in Swichbeat.

The Beckett Family returns to the Roxy Theatre for two shows on New Year’s Eve, one in the afternoon and one in the evening.  As a duo, Linsey and her brother Tyler have performed throughout Ontario with their blend of traditional country music, old time fiddling and step dancing. It’s a family tradition for The Beckett family who have been entertaining for three generations.  The show at the Roxy also welcomes special guests Kelly Prescott, Devan Ballagh and Stan Beckett.

Austin McCarthy Made The Most Of A Collingwood Summer

In the next few weeks Austin McCarthy will be finishing up his summer job and returning to school.  As a young singer-songwriter with an eye on a future career, his summer job has been to perform as often as possible in his home town of Collingwood.

“That was the goal for the summer,” he says, “to get comfortable performing for people in a variety of settings.  In all, it’s been 36 shows this summer.”

In the second week of May he returned from Nashville where he’d played an open stage at Bobby’s Idle Hour just to get a taste of performing in Nashville.  He’d gone there on a family pilgrimage with his parents  Mike McCarthy and Erica Prinn-McCarthy, a duo that plays often locally, alternating between just the two of them and full gigs with their band.  Austin grew up in this musical family and they are behind him all the way, with Erica acting as his manager and booking agent.   Since his early teens, Austin has honed his musical skills locally, winning the Collingwood Idol Contest in 2014 and finishing that same year in the Top 5 finalists of the CBC Searchlight contest.

Since returning from Nashville in May, Austin has played almost every day locally.  He’s played at The Huron Club, Lounge 26, Gustav’s, Brisges, Doneleigh’s, the Leeky Canoe, and through the remainder of the month he is the musician in residence at Crow Bar and Variety, a venue that didn’t even exist at the beginning of the summer.  He’s been part of the Port Music Festival, the Georgian Triangle Music Festival, the Music Market, Park It, and at the Blue Mountain Village mainstage. While honing his performing skills, he has also been gaining fans. “It’s been a great summer.  I have people coming up to me and saying ‘I saw you at such-and-such.’”

 Last week he played a sold out concert at the Simcoe Street Theatre, which was both a showcase and a fundraiser.

“All that money raised is going toward my upcoming EP” he says, “I’m going into the studio at the end of August.  It’s also a great send-off.”

In addition to joining his parents’ band on stage occasionally, he has been “playing with a band that has given the songs new life.”  It includes Mike Giles on drums, Dave Giles on guitar, and Trevor Robertson on bass.  He’ll be recording with engineer  Adam Fair at Tim Thorney’s studio, Villa Sound, in Singhampton.

“I’m not sure which style I’m going to fall into yet,” he says, “It’s mainly just where I’m at at twenty-one.”  He’ll be using the band and suggests, “I’d like to get some horns in there too.”

The recording is another step in the progress of someone who has clearly decided on music as a career.  He realizes that he needs a good studio recording in order to move on to the next step.  “An EP or a small album is like a business card,” he says.

Austin still has a year-and-a-half left in his studies at the Finance Program at the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University, and he’ll be returning to Montreal after his current residence at CROW ends on August 30th, but his home is clearly Collingwood and we can expect that he will be back playing local spots whenever he gets a break from school.  It will give all his local fans an opportunity to follow his progress as he moves forward in his career.  And before long the EP will give them something to listen to when he’s not around.

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The Thursday Outlook – June 29 to July 2

Things are really picking up now that summer is here.  Towns all across the country will be celebrating Canada 150 in their own way and in Meaford a big part of it will involve live music.  It’s like a weekend long showcase of local talent that includes an impressive youth contingent, and runs into Sunday with live music for the first time in recent memory at Memorial Park, and the second in the Friends of The Library series Sunday evening at the Rotary Pavilion.

Check this site tomorrow for a detailed look at who will be playing where and when.

Beaker Granger fans will want to make sure they catch Tin Man and The Flying Monkeys as part of the Canada Day celebrations, and get to The Leeky on Saturday night for River and Rock.

Meaford is also exporting some of its favourite performers to other locations nearby, with Greg Smith at Bruce Wine Bar on Friday night, Chris Scerri and his great band of all-stars at Blue Mountain Village on Canada Day.  The little girl who used to enthrall us in Meaford Harbour on Canada Day singing “Oh Canada” while we stood in respectful silence is a young lady now with her own original single just released: Emma Wright, with Jayden Grahlman, will be opening up ceremonies at The Village at Blue on Saturday afternoon with a concert, and later in the evening will be joining Chris and his gang.

Meaford Hall’s Terrace Thursday series kicks off this week.  It’s the popular series that pairs local performers with local restauranteurs for some al fresco dining and entertainment.  This week it’s the impressive duo Auburn Falling paired with The Kitchen, under the proud new ownership of Megan Robertson, who has long been an integral part of the local catering company.

On Friday, Romney Getty plays a make-up gig at The Red Door after having to cancel a previous engagement there when she was stricken with an illness, and Larry Jensen filled in at the last minute.

A really cool outdoor concert takes place over on Algonquin Drive in a back yard, featuring a triple bill with Bry Webb, Fiver and Jiants.

On Friday, Jimmy and the Extractions play a street party in Collingwood, while Luke Martin brings his soulful voice to Gustav’s in the evening and the Straight Shooter Band are back by popular demand to rock the Harbour Street Fish Bar.

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Thursday Update May 18 to 21, 2017

If you just can’t get enough of the McCarthy clan, you’ll get your chance this weekend full of inspiration from their recent pilgrimage to Nashville.  Austin is at Bruce Wine Bar tonight and at The Huron Club on Saturday, while Mike and Erica play Gustav’s on Saturday night.  Then Austin is back at The Huron Club on Sunday afternoon for their Sidelaunch Series.

Summerfolk has put together its annual tribute concert happening on Saturday at the Harmony Centre, with a bunch of local talents paying homage to The Tragically Hip.

With some great little venues presenting live music within a short drive from the lakeshore, this would be a good weekend to cruise around and check them out.

Start your musical weekend on Friday night at the Desboro Music Hall to see the virtuoso ukulele/cello duo James Hill & Anne Janelle with special guest prodigy Brontae Hunter opening.  This is one of those venues that is under inspired management and the quality of their offerings is well worth the drive to Desboro.

The Bicycle Café in Flesherton is gaining a reputation among both performers and music fans as a venue that goes the extra mile to provide quality entertainment.  In the past they’ve presented stellar shows from Culture Reject and Andrew McPherson and this Saturday they are featuring legendary folkies Fraser and Girard.

Allan Fraser and Marianne Girard played last weekend in Massie where a new concert season is ramping up for the summer.  This is another venue inspired by the love of live music.  Although they have nothing planned for this weekend, mark your calendars for Steve Dickinson next weekend on May 26th and Christina Martin on June 17th.  Steve was the first performer to play at Massie Hall when they started presenting music 13 years ago and when Christina Martin comes in June she’ll be freshly returned from a successful European tour.

In Durham this weekend The Garafraxa Café is presenting singer-songwriter Bry Webb, formerly of the indie band The Constantines.  This great little venue has been struggling with the tendency of artists to book nearby gigs within days of their Garafraxa appearances and it’s the case this weekend with Bry Webb, who is playing at Heartwood tonight.  Maybe you’ll want to see him twice, or you’ll just want to support a little venue that is far enough away from a big city that they have to draw from quite a distance if they are to survive.

The Garafraxa is starting a Sunday afternoon series this weekend with the Doug Tielli Trio and next weekend they will be featuring a Sunday afternoon with Deep Blue Honey which is the stage name of the impressive local poet Richard-Yves Sitoski and his wife Mary Little.

The more we support these venues that are a little off the beaten track the more we are opening up the possibilities for a variety of performers to visit our area.

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