Massie Hall Promises a Great Summer and Fall Lineup of Talent

by Bill Monahan

NOTE: Click on the album covers to sample music by that artist

Massie Hall, in the little hamlet of Massie just east of Chatsworth, has a full slate of talent lined up for the summer season.  The community centre in Massie provides a small venue for these concerts.  They set up folding tables and chairs, with a small stage at one end of the room.  There is no bar, but snacks and soft drinks are included in the ticket price.

It’s a little stage but it features big talents.  Once a month on Saturdays through the summer and fall (and one Friday) a series of high quality performers are scheduled to play.  Tickets for the concerts cost $20 each but with every show offering exceptional talent, the opportunity to get a discount by buying tickets for three or more shows at a time is worth considering.

The series kicks off on April 28th with Beggars Road, with a mix of traditional and Celtic sounds blending vocal melody with powerful instrumental texturing to an original repertoire of songs that celebrate the natural beauties of our region.  The band evolved from The Shards, a group originally brought together by Bob Robins to perform his original, traditional-flavoured songs.  They feature vocals from Larry Dickinson and Justine Maw-Farrar.

The following month, Larry’s brother, Steve Dickinson, returns to Massie Hall for a much-anticipated concert.  After several years following musical adventures abroad, recording and touring with members of Bob Segar’s  Silver Bullet Band, Steve returned home last year to re-group and consider his musical future.  His concert last summer at Massie Hall packed the room with an enthusiastic crowd that was blown away both by his powerful singing and his original songs.  He doesn’t play often in the area, so this is a show that is a must-see.

On the Friday following Steve Dickinson, May 25th, Matt Epp stops at Massie Hall to perform a local concert before embarking on a June tour of France and returning in time to headline the Canada Day celebrations in Owen Sound at the Kelso Beach amphitheatre.  Through eight records, Matt Epp has developed as a powerfully poetic songwriter who also knows how to write a pop hook.  He’s developed an international reputation that normally would see him grace a much larger stage than the intimate space of Massie Hall.

On June 9th, My Sweet Patootie plays their last local concert before embarking on their annual U.K summer tour where they will be re-united with a growing fan base.  Their unique blend of roots-ragtime music with a vaudeville-styled stage patter makes a very entertaining show that also takes the audience to some heartfelt moments and displays the band’s exquisite musicianship.  The core duo of Terry Young and Sandra Swanell is joined by Paul Clifford on drums and percussion.

Two of Owen Sound’s most respected musicians and teachers, Paul Danard and Don Buchanan, team up with young guitarist Cody Zevenbergen who graduated in Jazz Guitar Performance from York University a few years back and currently plays with Frankie & The Wild Years, for a night of virtuoso jazz on July 7th.

Drew McIvor will be in concert on Sept. 15th.  His new CD, “Through The Tangle of Trees” was released earlier this year.  It’s full of cool grooves and pop hooks.  With a deft guitar style and a crooner’s voice, he hones his songs to their simplest essence to connect with listeners and delivers them with a relaxed, charismatic approach.

On Sept. 29th, Chris Scerri will be performing with Jon Zaslow and Victoria Yeh in a configuration he calls simply “Trio”.  Jon is an accomplished guitar player with his own recent CD, “One More Lumdy Lai” of his original songs.  Victoria is a violinist of wide ranging talents who can play anything from classical to avant-garde and everything in between.  The three of them combine to add a new flavour to classic rock favourites.

Suzie Vinnick, who will be at Massie Hall on Oct. 20, has won ten Maple Blues Awards and been nominated for three Junos.  She made a big impression with her first solo release, “Me ‘n’ Mabel” in 2011 and her audience grows with every new release.  In addition to being a great guitarist and singer, characterized by Paul Morden of The Sarnia Observer as “style and tenderness; gentle-sounding, well-crafted, personal songs from the folk-pop neighbourhood of Shawn Colvin and Rickie Lee Jones…” she is an award-winning songwriter who often collaborates with other artists.  Her latest release “Shake The Love Around” is an album of happy songs that she sees as an antidote to the darkness in the world.

The opening track on her album is “Happy As Hell”, co-written with Dean McTaggart, who will be featured at Massie Hall in the fall, on Nov. 3rd.  His long career includes penning hits for Wynona Judd (Heaven Help My Heart), Anne Murray, The Guess Who and Amanda Marshall, who topped the charts with his “Dark Horse” and “Birmingham”.  His latest CD is called “Shed My Skin”.  His appearance at Massie Hall is another case of a star much bigger than the venue.

The variety and quality of performances lined up for this season at Massie Hall guarantee a full season of excellent entertainment in an intimate venue.

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2 Responses to Massie Hall Promises a Great Summer and Fall Lineup of Talent

  1. Julia Fisher says:

    Hi, where would one buy tickets for the concerts ahead of time for the Massey Hall events?

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