Tag Archives: Higher FunKtion

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She’s been replaced by Nikki Ponte.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.

The Thursday Outlook – Sept. 28 to Oct. 2, 2017

Live music fans have some tough choices to make on a very busy Thursday night tonight.

Meaford Hall presents Measha Brueggergosman tonight on a return visit.  This year she has released a memoir called “Something is AlwaysOn Fire”, reflecting on the ups and downs of her life in opera on the world stages.  Her work is not restricted to opera.  On stage she explores spirituals, gospel hymns and jazz standards, following her own personal path.  Earlier in the year she released “Songs of Freedom”, a collection of songs that, as she told Vision TV, “were born out of a time when my people were oppressed and needed to find a way not only to communicate with each other, but also to express themselves”.  Selections include Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, Got Tell It On The Mountain, This Little Light Of Mine, He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands and, Amazing Grace.  With her four-piece band, she usually mixes in some jazz standards like My Funny Valentine. All of these elements will combine tonight to give the audience a sense of the things that are most meaningful to her.

 

Fans of local talent are excited about the CD release party tonight at Heartwood Hall in which Drew McIvor performs his new recording with a 10-piece band, with an opening set by Luke Martin.  Drew will have copies of “Through The Tangle of Trees” hot off the press for sale at the concert.

Piano man Tyler Yarema, who specializes in stride piano and boogie-woogie, will be joining Tamica Herod and The Harbour Street Band tonight at the Harbour Street Fish Bar for what is sure to be a rocking show.  Tyler will be back in Collingwood a week from tonight with a special concert at The Historic Gayety Theatre.  He and Chuck Jackson, lead vocalist for the Downchild Blues Band, play a lot of duo dates together and at next week’s concert they will be recording a live CD in a celebrative event that gathers a number of friends to join them.

This Saturday at The Gayety Theatre, rockabilly fans will be treated to a performance by Robert Gordon, voice of the rockabilly revival that engulfed England in the late 70’s.  Celebrated for his authentic sound, his debut album paired him with Link Wray, a guitarist who didn’t mimic the early rockers but actually was one.  Gordon’s repertoire spans early Elvis, Gene Vincent and others from that era who defined a new sound that disappeared all too quickly for some people.  His show in the town that hosts the world’s largest annual Elvis festival, should attract a cohort of discerning fans.

Heartwood’s Second Anniversary With The Celebration Army

This weekend Heartwood Music Hall is celebrating its second anniversary.  It takes courage and faith in your local audience to create a venue like this dedicated solely to providing live music concerts.  The fact that Heartwood has reached this milestone is good news for local music fans.

A large upstairs room with a proscenium stage at one end, a good sound system and a good tech, built for music, is a rarity in this area, and before Heartwood there was nothing like it in Owen Sound.  There’s a dance floor at the front, tables for four and stools at a shelf along the walls, and a conversation area at the back by the bar.  It was designed for the enjoyment of high energy music and, from The Peptides to Higher Funktion, the venue has provided consistent high-energy entertainment for two years.

So it makes sense that to celebrate their anniversary, they’ve brought back the Toronto band, The Celebration Army, as part of a two-day celebration.  This is the band that rocked the Boxing Day party.

Their debut eponymous recording was released just this past February but the band sounds much more mature than that.  They can set up a groove the way that The Band did, but instead of that blend of rustic voices, The Celebration Army has one of those lead vocalists that make you stop and pay attention.

Apparently, a Canadian Idol judge told Oliver Pigott he was the most talented performer to ever audition for the show.  Listen to any Celebration Army song and you’ll hear what he means.  He can take on any vocal style and deliver it in a compelling way.  The band is one solid groove behind him and they layer beautiful harmonies on every song.

Local Players Excited To Be Doing The Last Waltz

The latest production at Meaford Hall by Chris Scerri, a tribute to The Last Waltz scheduled for November 25th, is a bit of a departure from his previous productions.  Up to this point he has put together variety shows that combined local and imported talent, built mainly around the talents of musical director Tyler Yarema and others from the Port Credit area that Chris has introduced to Meaford.  This time around it will be all local talent, some of the best that our area offers, under the musical direction of keyboard player John Hume.

For each member of this tribute band, The Band and their iconic farewell concert both hold special significance.

“It was a magic moment in music history,” says Chris Scerri, “that allowed for some of the most influential modern day artists to get together for the ultimate Jam.”  He adds that the DVD of the concert movie is one which, “I can watch time and time again, and continue to be inspired by both the musical talents and the show itself.”

The Last Waltz was the name Robbie Robertson gave to the farewell concert of The Band, performed on American Thanksgiving Day in 1976 at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco.  A film of the concert by Martin Scorcese was released in 1978 and was hailed by film critic Michael Wilmington as “the greatest rock concert movie ever made – and maybe the best rock movie, period”  Time bears that out, with the influence of the movie being felt almost forty years later.