Tag Archives: Blue Mountain Village

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.” 

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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Music Always Within Earshot This Week

The summer music season kicks off this week with the annual Peak To Shore music festival, with forty concerts squeezed into one week, spread through venues at Blue Mountain Village, Collingwood, Meaford and Thornbury.  This year it is better than ever thanks to the organizing efforts of Chris Scerri Presents.  There are some great headliners that include Irish Mythen at Meaford Hall on Wednesday, Sean McCann at Blue Mountain on Saturday and The Harpoonist and The Axe Murderer at Blue Mountain on Friday.

If you are visiting the area and want a real taste of the local music scene which is vibrant here all year round, Peak To Shore gives you a chance to see some of the artists who perform consistently in the neighbourhood, rotating around the many great local venues.  They include Karla Crawford, Drew McIvor, Winnie Brave, Tamica Herod, Jason Redman, Craig Smith, Drew Wright, Winnie Brave,  Jayden Grahlman, and Bored of EducationBambalamb Kid will be spreading the joy of music with his uplifting enthusiasm that brings the audience into his drumming display a couple of times during the series.  Chris Scerri with his Summit Band begins a summer long residency at the Coca-Cola  stage in the Village at Blue on Sunday and he’ll be joining the wrap party at Blue on Sunday night which features the Ted’s Range Road BandTed’s Range Road Diner in Meaford is without doubt the most important influence on local music with their weekly Wednesday jams that have been responsible for developing a lot of the local talent for a quarter of a century.  It is a place every visitor to the area should visit, not only on Wednesdays for the rocking jams but any evening to check out the unique wild game cuisine.

Larry JensenPeak To Shore also brings in a couple of venues that you may not have been to before to enjoy live music.  The most highly anticipated is the soft opening of Crow Bar and Variety in Collingwood.  This is a brand new venue in the area created by Steven Vipond, whose love of original music has made Bruce Wine Bar in Thornbury a favoured destination for fans and for touring artists alike.  Bridges Tavern in Thornbury is presenting live music again, this week featuring the celebrated local songwriter Larry Jensen as well as Jayden GrahlmanThe Corner Café in Thornbury is famous for the open stage on Thursdays hosted by Dave Russell and this week it is also featuring live music on Friday night.  The Northwinds Brewhouse in Collingwood is also featuring live music on Thursday with Winnie Brave.  There are also shows at The Simcoe Street Theatre, The Shipyards Amphitheatre, MJ Byrne’s Irish Pub, and The Leeky Canoe.

A variety of music genres are represented in the Peak To Shore series.  Blues is prevalent, starting with the local home of the blues, The Harbour Street Fish Bar, where Tamica Herod duets with Jerome Godboo, but also offering Grace at the Collingwood Museum, Jenie Thai and Al Lerman in separate shows at the Village at Blue.  A great reggae band, Too Nice, plays The Corner Café on Friday and there’s jazz from the William Sperandei Trio at Bayview Park on Saturday.

But Peak To Shore is not the only music happening this week.  Owen Sound will be running a street festival from Wednesday to Friday with music that includes Amanda Dorey, the Matrix Steel Drum band, and the excellent Kreuger Band.  Meaford Hall presents the first in its Terrace Thursdays with Franny Wisp and Her Washboard.  And the second annual Meaford Summer Concert Series begins on Friday night with Tomi Swick and The Strummers’ Union, Scott Almond and Eden Young.

There are two tributes to the famous Canadian painter Tom Thompson happening this week.  One will be on Friday with the Shipyard Kitchen Party at the Simcoe Street Theatre, with a Celtic flavour, and the other will be at the Historic Leith Church, Thompson’s birthplace, on Saturday, billed as a wake on the 100th anniversary of his death with David Sereda and Anne Michaels.

And it doesn’t end there, with concerts happening next weekend in Desboro and Durham.

This week the hills are truly alive with the sound of music.

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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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