Tag Archives: Cameo Blues Band

Chuck Jackson’s All Star Band Plays Meaford Summer Concert Series

By Bill Monahan

On Friday, July 27th, Chuck Jackson and The All Stars headline the second concert in the free Meaford Summer Concert Series, at Market Square in downtown Meaford (beside Meaford Hall).

Chuck Jackson, from his home base in Port Credit, has become familiar to fans of the blues in the Southern Georgian Bay area, where he has brought his talents to a number of different venues, with different band line-ups.  He is a highly respected blues singer and harmonica player, honoured in 2002 with a Blues With A Feeling Award from the Toronto Blues Society in recognition of his distinguished career.  He’s also won Maple Blues Awards in 1999 and 2007 for Male Vocalist of the Year.

Chuck Jackson with Donny Walsh of Downchild

Although he originally made his name as lead singer of the Cameo Blues Band, he joined the Downchild Blues Band in 1990, replacing their original vocalist Hock Walsh, and has been touring with the band ever since, along with contributing original songs to the band’s repertoire.  His All-Stars line-up usually includes Michael Fonfara and Pat Carey from Downchild as well.  He has often teamed up with Tyler Yarema, including a duo concert last year which packed the Gayety Theatre in Collingwood as a Chris Scerri Presents event.

In addition to his busy career as a performing musician, Chuck is the founder and director of Port Credit’s popular annual fall bluesfest, called the Southside Shuffle, which has been running for twenty years.  He relishes the opportunity through the festival to introduce some new acts to a devoted audience alongside the well-known headliners.  In an interview last year with Mississauga News, he pointed out the he had introduced Jimmy Bowskill to the festival when he was just eleven years old, and since then Bowskill has gone on to win Maple Blues Awards and has become a member of the Sheepdogs.

Chuck Jackson and Tyler Yarema

Chuck Jackson and Tyler Yarema

It’s expected that Tyler Yarema will join the All-Stars for the show in Meaford, which starts at 7 pm and runs rain or shine.

Opening for the band will be Sophie Wensley, a rising local talent with an engaging R & B style.

Be Part Of A Recording at The Gayety with Chuck Jackson and Tyler Yarema

It will be a special event on Thursday Oct 5th when Chuck Jackson and Tyler Yarema record a live CD at The Gayety Theatre in Collingwood.  The show starts with a set at eight which will be recorded for the CD, but the party starts much earlier and goes beyond the recording.

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Cocktails at 6:30 get you primed for the show with a chance to talk to other concert goers and to Chuck and Tyler while enjoying the music of Jenie Thai (yes, Jenie Thai!).

The second set after the recording will be a big jam with friends of the duo.  If you’ve seen the shows that Tyler has directed at Meaford Hall or The Marsh Street Centre, you know how exciting these jams can be.  And if you’ve seen any of those shows, you also know that the energy level will be bouncing off the ceiling with the evening’s master of ceremonies, Virgil Scott.

“I think of it as an event rather than just another show,” says Tyler, “It’s a chance for people to be part of something.  It’s just going to be a fun show with a lot of audience participation.”  That means if you’re loud enough you might end up on the CD too.

Grand Re-Opening Event at Meaford Hall

Meaford Hall will be overflowing with talent this weekend when they officially celebrate the Grand Re-Opening after the completion of the balcony renovations.  From Friday through to Sunday the hall will be resonating with high quality concerts.

Friday night, An Intimate Evening With Sean McCann, presented by Irish Mountain Music promises to be a moving and inspiring show featuring the former Great Big Sea founding member accompanied by Chris Murphy.  Having played and toured with Great Big Sea for twenty years, he lived to tell about it and has come out the other side with a fresh and optimistic approach to his music.  He almost drowned in The Great Big Sea, a party band “where every night is Friday night” and 90% of the songs are odes to drinking.  As great as that band was, Sean realized after many years that the predominating theme of the band was enabling him as an alcoholic.  He had to quit drinking to save his own life and, unfortunately, it meant he had to remove himself from the band.  In the process he confronted the demons from his own youth, reconnected with his family and started over, taking full control of his own life.  His songs still have that wonderful Celtic flavour of the big rock but now the celebration is about living a life fully awake to the possibilities.

Saturday night Chris Scerri and friends celebrate with Rockin’ the Hall Volume 2.  This show features the same amazing lineup of musicians that rocked the hall at Christmas, with Tyler Yarema, Gracie, Virgil Scott, Victoria Yeh and Emma Wright.  The difference this time is that instead of sticking to a theme as they did at Christmas each of these artists will be doing the kind of music that means the most to them.  “We’ll showcase what each of us as a performer loves to do best,” says Chris.  While each of them is capable of adding a unique charm to any style they take on, imagine how great they will sound when they follow their own hearts.  They will be backed up by a killer rhythm section featuring Manteca drummer Charlie Cooley, Chuck Jackson’s All Stars bassist Garth Vogan and Cameo Blues Band (and Mississauga Walk of Fame inductee) John Bride on guitar.  As if that’s not enough, the show will also feature as a special guest local guitar phenom Jayden Grahlman.  Volume One rocked the hall but this show, for sure, is going to ROCK THE HALL!!

This weekend is a true celebration of what Meaford Hall does best, bringing together unique and original talent that you would be unlikely to see outside of a large metropolis.

Anyone who is familiar with Tania Tagaq shakes their head in wonderment when they hear that this unique and in demand performer will be performing at Meaford Hall on Sunday night.  If you watched this year’s Juno Awards you saw her open the show with A Tribe Called Red.  She has won not only Juno Awards but the prestigious Polaris Music Prize which annually singles out the most innovative artist in Canada.  Tanya Tagaq is a throat singer from Cambridge Bay (Iqaluktuutiaq), Nunavut, Canada who has collaborated with Icelandic superstar Bjork and toured with the Kronos Quartet.  Robert Everett-Green in the Globe and Mail summed up her unique aural art form:  “Her fusion of song, Inuit throat singing, electronics and free improvisation feels beyond time and place, yet it’s also highly personal.”  If you miss her performance this time at Meaford Hall not only will you miss experiencing something in music that you’ll find nowhere else, but it is very unlikely that you will get a chance to see this extraordinary talent in Meaford again.  Having her here for this celebration is kind of like winning the lottery.