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.

Along with Oliver on lead vocals, guitarist Nelson Sobral and bassist Leandro Motta bring those sweet backing vocals, while drummer Troy Larabie lays down the flawless driving wheel.  They have all individually been playing music for a long time and it shows.  They have struck gold with this combination. The Celebration Army sounds like a band that has been around forever, and always will be.

On top of all this, the songs are great, written with groove and meaning mingled.  They write them as a band and Oliver adds the lyrics.

This Friday the stage at Heartwood will be rocking with The Celebration Army.  The opener will be The Bobcat Family Band, consisting of Richard Laviolette, Kevin Griffin, Dave Snider, Michael Snider, and Tommy Snider, doing Waylon Jennings songs.

Every local musician and live music fan should drop by Heartwood this weekend to congratulate Greg, Lisa and the staff and say thanks.  While you’re there, stay to hear The Celebration Army.

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