Tag Archives: Canadian Folk Music Awards

CROW Sessions Spotlights Stephen Fearing

By Bill Monahan

On Tuesday April 24th, Crow Bar and Variety in Collingwood presents the third in its special series of dinner shows, this time featuring singer-songwriter Stephen Fearing.  The early dinner-show format, with the admonition, “Shut the F@#k Up and Listen”, is designed to give audiences extra insight into the artists featured with a mix of stories and songs.  Part of the show on Tuesday will be an interview on stage conducted by writer and broadcaster Jeff Woods “asking some of the hard questions”.

Stephen Fearing, a veteran singer-songwriter, winner of  two Juno Awards, a Canadian Folk Music Award and a West Coast Music Award, has been building an international reputation since the release of his first self-titled, self-produced cassette in 1986.  He is probably best known as one of the founding members of Blackie and The Rodeo Kings, but during his decades with them he has continued to develop a solo career that includes collaborating with the Northern Irish singer-songwriter Andy White, almost two decades as a solo artist on the prestigious True North label, conducting songwriting workshops, and producing records by other artists that include Suzie Vinnick’s Juno-nominated “Happy Here”, for which he co-wrote most of the songs.

“When I started in this business it was a very different landscape and certainly there was a lot more emphasis put on just being one-dimensional,” he says, “You know, ‘don’t confuse the audience’, just be the thing that the record company is trying to sell you as and stick to that.  I think a lot of musicians have an interest to try different things, not just other styles but collaborating, performing with other players gives you a chance to try a different hat and that kind of thing.  The way the business is working now, you’ve really got to be able to spread yourself around, do different things, multiple income streams.  But just from a selfish point of view of keeping yourself interested, the more ways you find to can skin a cat, as it were, the better.”

Like a lot of veteran artists, Stephen Fearing has lived through the seismic change in the music industry that occurred with the advent of the Internet, and he’s learned to adapt.  He’s live through the change from the days when a musician was seen as “somebody who rolls out of bed at noon and picks up a guitar and then is just kind of magically transported to the show and then to a party afterward,” to the way things are now, “when so much that needs to be done is the artists’ job.”

Sharlene Wallace Brings The Harp to Harp and Holly Christmas Concerts

Sharlene Wallace, one of Canada’s most prolific and influential harpists, winner of several international awards, is making room in her busy schedule this Christmas season to play a number of “Harp and Holly” concerts in our area.

 

“I love the Harp and Holly show,” she says, “I have been sincerely looking forward to this all year.”

Harp and Holly is a special musical journey created by Terry Young and Sandra Swannell several years ago.  In what has become a Christmas tradition, it will include a number of concerts starting this Sunday in Sauble Beach and including stops in Guelph, Colpoy’s Bay, Wasaga Beach and finally Owen Sound just a few days before Christmas.    With Harp & Holly this world-class trio blends Celtic, New Age and Baroque sounds to immerse audiences in the magic of the Christmas season.

 “It’s all beautiful music, a really beautiful uplifting show,” says Sharlene, “The arrangements are very interesting and a nice combination of tunes.  I absolutely love this show a lot.”

Lemon Bucket Orkestra Brings The Party To Meaford

The Lemon Bucket Orkestra will be at Meaford Hall tonight as part of their recent tour to promote the release of their latest album.  It promises to be a highly energetic and entertaining evening from this 12-member band that began as a lark and has gone on to win awards and international acclaim for their mix of traditional Klezmer music with originals.

The roots of klezmer music go back to the a Jewish tradition from Eastern Europe when itinerant musicians called klezmorim provided dance music for weddings and other celebrations.  The music is so lively and celebrative that it continues to enchant audiences today as it constantly evolves with musicians blending it with other genres.  It arrived in North America via Jewish immigrants around the turn of the twentieth century and made friends with jazz.  The Lemon Bucket Orkestra brings a “punk” sensibility to it, in the sense that it is open-ended and creative, retaining tradition while infusing a modern dynamic.

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.”