Tag Archives: Richard-Yves Sitoski

Multi-Artist Collaboration Inspired By Original Songs

On Friday, Jan. 12, at The Bleeding Carrot in Owen Sound, six creative artists will present their original works based on four songs.  The four songs are the work of Dave Hawkins.  He has recruited visual artists and short story writers to create original works inspired by these four songs and they will be presenting them to an audience on Friday.

This past summer, Dave mastered recordings of four songs he’d written.  While he performs regularly with the classic country band Trish and The Tractors, his original songs are something different.  His song writing has a nostalgic air to it, reflecting as it does various aspects of life, mostly looking back, evoking the past.  Dave performed his original songs a couple of times as part of a song writers’ evenings and found that audiences responded to his warmth and sincerity.  Having created studio recordings he felt the urge to make something more of the songs.

“I was pleased with the result and I’ve always wanted to have a song inspire a piece of art and also do short stories,” he says, “I’ve always been a water colourist and in the past I was in a short story group where we sat around a wrote short stories once a week. 

“I thought it would be fun to put those all together but then I thought I should get somebody out there who really writes short stories so I asked Maryann of the Ginger Press if she could suggest some writers for me because she’s in touch with a lot of local writers.  She put out the word and two people contacted me and I got hold of a couple of artists that I know and asked them if they would like to be involved and I was very lucky to have them sign on too.”

The result is this unique presentation of music, art and stories built around four of Dave’s songs.  The Bleeding Carrot is a very intimate venue where Dave had enjoyed success as part of one of the Songwriters’ shows and it’s ideal for this type of show.  It starts at 7:30 with a cover charge of $10 at the door.  No advance tickets will be sold and it’s a small room so it’s a good idea to get there early to get a seat.  As a bonus, you receive a copy of the songs to take home with you.

“I’ll be giving away a flash drive with four songs on it with admission,” he says, “There will be two songs and then intermission and then two songs.  There will be a song and then a short story or two will be read and then, of course, all through that you’ll be looking at a piece of art.”

He recruited two painters, one digital artist and two short story writers.

He had a special project for his brother “John who lives in Toronto, five years my senior, has been an artist all his life.   I asked him to get involved, so he’s doing digital art, which we’re going to show on a screen.  He’s done some fabulous stuff.”

One of the things that makes John Hawkins’ contribution special is that it is inspired by a song of Dave’s that evokes their summers together as kids.  The song, “When I Was A Boy” captures the innocence and wonder of youth when he used to camp out with John and his other brothers, their souls open to the universe expanding above them when they were “sleeping out under the stars”.  John has created a visual illustration of that.

“It’s just breathtaking.  He did two of them and said ‘Which one do you want to use?’  I’m going to use them both, I’m gonna flip them back and forth because they’re both just stunning.”

The Thursday Update – Oct. 12 to 16, 2017

Two new open stages are starting up in our area this weekend.  On Saturday afternoon, Amanda Dorey will be hosting an open stage at the Riverside Community Centre, and at Bridges Tavern in Thornbury, Josh Fletcher will be hosting an open stage on Friday starting at 8 pm.  These additions mean that aspiring performers and fans of the surprising grab bag that an open stage can be now have the opportunity to enjoy one every night of the week except Saturday and Monday.

In chronological order, the open stages nearby are The Barn Coop on Sunday at noon; Heartwood’s bi-monthly open mic Tuesday at 8; The granddaddy of all open jams at Ted’s Range Road Diner, and Bruce Wine Bar with Drew McIvor both on Wednesdays at 8; Chris Scerri at The Leeky Canoe Thursdays at nine; also on Thursdays, Dave Russell at The Corner Café and Craig Smith at CROW; Friday afternoon, at the Bleeding Carrot, Kelly Babcock hosts the open stage, and now on Friday evening there is Josh at Bridges and on Saturday afternoon Amanda at Riverside.   That adds up to a lot of free entertainment that mixes the best musicians in the area with undiscovered talents.

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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The Red Door Pub Showcases Songwriters

On Friday, May 12th, the Red Door Pub and Grille at the Meaford Motel will be presenting a showcase of three songwriters for a special evening.  Since it began to feature live music on Friday evenings, the talent booked into The Red Door has had a slightly different approach from other venues.  With an emphasis on jazz and classical players, it has provided an alternative to the primarily rock flavoured acts that are featured at venues like The Leeky Canoe, leaning more toward what’s known as a “listening room” where people come to quietly enjoy the performances.  And timing the shows from seven to ten on a Friday evening means that fans can enjoy these acts over a meal and still head down the street to The Leeky just in time to arrive when things are starting to happen there.

The great success of the recent Gallery Concert Series at Meaford Hall demonstrated a genuine appetite for a small quiet venue that features original music, with almost every show in the series a sell-out.  To focus on the original music of songwriters can be a bit of a challenge but it is clear that our area supports that approach.  In Thornbury, Bruce Wine Bar has a policy of featuring original acts only and their shows on the weekends attract a loyal audience, as does their open stage on Wednesday nights.  The many other open stages in the area also feature a lot of original talent.  Jon Farmer has presented special songwriter evenings at The Bleeding Carrot in Owen Sound and they too have drawn capacity audiences.

As you sit through and listen to the individual styles of each of these songwriters, you’ll find yourself engaged in the spirit of the songs, and the stories they contain.

The three songwriters featured on this inaugural songwriters’ night at The Red Door will be Bill Monahan, David Hawkins and John Brownlow.   Although they have different styles, they also have some things in common.  All three are prolific songwriters who have a lot of respect for the craft, and for their audiences, writing and performing to reach an audience with stories and reflections that will resonate.  And although they have made their livings in different ways, each has spent a lifetime immersed in music, providing support for other talents and motivated by a love of musical creativity.  Their love of music has led each in his own way to become an integral part of music development in the area.