Tag Archives: Trish and The Tractors

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 Lookout – May 25 to 28, 2017

Start your weekend at The Leeky Canoe tonight when a cast of local musicians will offer their individual interpretations of the songs of Bob Dylan, who celebrated his 75th birthday yesterday.  When Chris Scerri put the word out that he was dedicating tonight’s open mic to Dylan songs he received a flood of responses from performers so that the night is shaping up to be something of a showcase of local talent.  And to expand your Bob Dylan fix, get over to Heartwood Hall in Owen Sound on Saturday night to see and hear The Kreuger Band’s mix of Dylan covers and originals done in a style that is all their own.

If you’re looking for a different kind of vibe tonight, check out . SweetWater Jazz: An evening of Swingin’ Strings tonight at Heartwood.  The show was put together by SweetWater Artistic Director Mark Fewer who has teamed up with guitarist Nathan Hiltz, violinist Drew Jurecka, and Joseph Phillips on bass in what he calls a performance inspired by Grappelli and Venuti.  Sounds pretty sweet for fans of “le jazz hot”.

Veteran musician Pete Boynton will be at The Harbour Street Fish Bar in Collingwood tonight starting at seven.  He was the keyboard player for Tom Cochrane’s band Red Rider and has played with everyone from Bo Diddley to Alfie Zappacosta.

The Red Door Grille at The Meaford Motel has been steadily building a reputation as the place to see artists you may not have heard of but will never forget once you have.  Tomorrow night, its Romney Getty performing with Aisha Chiandet, offering harmonies that include Neil Young covers and originals on banjo and ukulele.  Romney has toured he has Canada, USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand, garnering reviews like “Wow, can this girl deliver a song or what!  Romney is a singer-songwriter from Canada and her very personal and soulful deliver of country and blues is totally spellbinding, ”  from Guitar Techniques Magazine and “…Truly the complete package…With enough sheer guts and charisma to cross virtually any genre barrier, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if Getty became the next major breakthrough from the Canadian roots rock scene,” from  Exclaim! Magazine.  This is your chance to see a major talent in Meaford’s most intimate venue.

When it comes to major talents in unexpected places, jazz fans can’t miss with a special performance by Russ Little on Friday night at the L. E. Shore Library in Thornbury.  After an early career that included touring with the Woody Herman Orchestra as lead trombone and later with the Count Basie Orchestra, he became an original member of Canada’s legendary Lighthouse, and through the early ’70’s performed in the world famous Boss Brass, while pursuing a very successful career as conductor/composer/arranger for major Canadian and American television networks.

Also on Friday night there is a very special evening in store for those who make their way to Massie Hall for a concert by Steve Dickinson, joined by his old friend Roger Williamson.  They are both local talents whose abilities soar far beyond our area.  Steve has returned home after touring England with a band that included former players from the bands of Eric Clapton, Bob Segar and Kid Rock and contributing to a tribute album of Frankie Miller songs that also featured Rod Stewart, Elton John, Huey Lewis and a who’s who of international stars.  Internationally respected as a vocalist, Steve will be telling some road stories and featuring his own songs on Friday night.

Meaford’s Jayden Grahlman, who is as busy as he is talented, is increasingly in demand both as a solo performer and sideman in a variety of incarnations.  He’ll be at Heartwood on Friday night joining the “energetic wave of psychedelic funkiness” that calls themselves Zuffalo, a band with four songwriters who put the emphasis on “community, positivity and fun”.

With all that going on there are still more choices (check the listings on the right).  Trish and The Tractors, whose following continues to grow by leaps and step dances, is hosting another of their  Country Dance nights at the Royal Canadian Legion in Owen Sound on Saturday night and Bill Murdoch hosts an old time Gospel Show at Hepworth Shallow Lake Legion on Sunday afternoon.

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The Thursday Outlook – May 11 to 14, 2017

Dave Hawkins is well known in Owen Sound but rarely plays in Meaford so Friday night is a good chance to catch him in a solo performance at The Red Door Pub at the Meaford Motel.  He’ll be sharing the night with Bill Monahan and John Brownlow.  Dave was co-owner and manager of the music store in Owen Sound which has now become Long and McQuade, and he has long been a supporter of local music.  He rarely plays events like this one which feature his impressive songwriting talents, but he regularly fronts (along with his wife Trish) the popular country dance band Trish and The Tractors.  Bill Monahan is seen occasionally at open stages singing his original songs, and regularly participates in the summer concerts at the harbour for Friends of The Library and The Meaford Stomp.  John Brownlow formerly fronted The Sportswriters and currently is working on a solo album at his home studio where he has produced some local artists.  This is the first time for the Red Door to be presenting an evening dedicated to songwriters, but it is an idea that has been catching on with other venues in the area.  The evening starts early at seven and runs to ten, with no cover.

The last artist that John Brownlow produced before immersing himself in his solo project was local singer-songwriter Greg Smith, who has a unique approach to songwriting, creating characters and narratives that carry over from one song to another.  Greg will be opening for Limestone Chorus tonight at Heartwood Hall in Owen Sound.  Limestone Chorus is a St. Catherines band with interesting instrumentation and three-part harmonies.  The name of their band, their former name Shore Thing, and their debut album Deer Friends, all alert you to a winning way with words as well as a focus on natural imagery.  They are also one of the bands that John Brownlow captured in his Epping Sessions series of music videos.  If you miss them tonight you can catch them over dinner tomorrow night at Bruce Wine Bar.

On Saturday night, The Bicycle Café in Flesherton features  East Back Line, a band so impressive that they had a road named after them.

The Collingwood Glee Club has a fun event planned for Meaford Hall on Saturday night with a variety show called Major Treble.  This award-winning group is presenting solo and ensemble vocal performances combined with dance.

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.