River and Rock Trio at The Leeky Saturday Night

River and Rock, built around the singing and songwriting of Beaker Granger, will be rocking The Leeky Canoe as a threesome this Saturday, Sept. 17th, from 9:30 to midnight.  The trio includes Darrell Dennis on drums and John Hume on keyboards.

Darrell Dennis on drums

Darrell Dennis on drums (photo by John Brownlow)

The band came together around eighteen months ago when Beaker thought about all the songs he had written over the years and called in some friends to help him make something of them.  Along with Darrell and John, he had some help from Martin Rice and Johnny Roy, both well-known and accomplished local musicians, and River and Rock was born.

John Hume on keyboards

John Hume on keyboards (photo by John Brownlow)

Beaker was raised in Walters Falls and his whole life has revolved around music ever since he was inspired by hearing a scratchy recording of Louis Armstrong on his Great Aunt Isabel’s old gramophone when he was young.  He always wanted to play along and naturally gravitated toward drumming, but steered clear of piano lessons, having an aversion to formal training.  Through the 80’s and 90’s he spent much of his time on the road playing in bands, many of them tribute bands that carried him through a wide range of styles from Lynyrd Skynerd, to Neil Diamond and Johnny Cash.  These experiences informed his songwriting approach today.

Beaker with RPR

Beaker with RPR

More recently he has been with Owen Sound’s RPR teaming up with Steve Ritchie, Al Parrish and Rob Ritchie, about five years ago just after their highly respected band Tanglefoot called it a day. He contributes drums, vocals and sometimes guitar to the band, as well as his songwriting.  He tours regularly with the band through Canada, the U.S. and the U.K.

One thing that Beaker appreciates about local audiences is that they are broad minded enough to enjoy good music without having to pigeonhole it.  The variety of performers that come to play Meaford Hall, and The Leeky Canoe are testament to the wide ranging tastes of that audience.

River and Rock were a big part of the Canada Day celebrations earlier this year at the Market Square.  This is a chance to see them in a more intimate setting at The Leeky.

Here’s a brief video of Beaker’s tribute to Levon Helm, recorded live off the floor

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