Tag Archives: Freeman Dre and The Kitchen Party

Clap For The Sinners Choir

This Saturday, CROW Bar and Variety in Collingwood is bringing The Sinners’ Choir to town.

The best bands are always those that evolve naturally from a shared love of the music they play.  That’s the case with this trio, in which players from three generations have come together to blend their talents.  They also blend their voices, with an easy harmony that falls sweetly on your ear.

Working as a full-time musician, as with any job, can wear on you.  The thing about musicians, though, is that more often than not when they take a break from their regular gig, their idea of relaxation is to get together with somebody else and play something different.  That’s how this band came together.  Their shared joy in what they do is so infectious that it has led to another regular gig for them.  Their private jam sessions became public with a longstanding residency at The Rex in Toronto.  As the public caught on to their sound, they found themselves having to set aside the occasional date at the Rex to take other offers, for which they are increasingly in demand.  And now they are bringing their sweet harmonies to the sweet air of Georgian Bay.

The most seasoned pro of the group is bass player Terry Wilkins, whose name will be familiar to any fan of 80’s Toronto rock and blues.  He was already established in Australia in the 60’s with a popular band called The Flying Circus.  When they tried their luck in San Francisco, a chance meeting with members of McKenna Mendelson Mainline brought them to Toronto.

Making Toronto his permanent home, Terry played bass with Rough Trade from 1978 to 1982 and did stints with Lighthouse and David Wilcox.  At the same time he played with a variety of visiting artists of wide-ranging styles, including Dr. John, Maria Muldaur and Levon Helm.  Consistently working through the decades, he has worked more recently with Freeman Dre and The Kitchen Party.

Drummer Adam Warner has a similar history of being an in demand player, except he started a couple of decades later.   He’s been around, playing at legendary clubs like The Cavern in Liverpool, CBGB’s in New York, and has played at a command concert for Paul Anka and birthday celebrations for the Queen of Holland.  As a writer and composer, he has released solo works, composed musical backdrops for David Suzuki, and performed or recorded with various members of The Barenaked Ladies,The Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo, Sloan, Great Big Sea, Big Sugar, and Moist.

Guitarist Adam Beer Colacino was busy growing up while his bandmates were making their  international reputations.  He’s worked with Devin Cuddy, Whitney Rose and members of Downchild Blues Band.  He’s teamed up with blues guitarist Fraser Melvin and an 8-piece horn section in the The Melvin-Colacino Band.

The band takes turns on lead vocals, with the other two providing harmonies, as they mix it up with originals that reflect the wide-ranging experience and tastes of the players.  When a band loves playing together as much as these three obviously do, it is always a delight for the audience.

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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.

The Thursday Outlook – Sept. 21 to 25, 2017

At Kimberley Hall, just down the road from Meaford, a special art show is running all weekend and on Saturday night it will include live music from some local favourites.  East Back Line, with Paul Woolner, David Marshak, Beaker Granger, and Tom Thwaits, will be on hand along with Chris Scerri’s new band Horseshoes & Handgrenades with Jon Zaslow, Beaker Granger, Erik Vandeweerdhof and as a special guest, violinist Victoria Yeh.  The music is just part of a weekend-long celebration of local visual artists billed as “Apple and Art”.

If you can time it right, be on Hurontario Street in Collingwood today at 12:30 and you’ll be treated to a special pop-up concert with Tyler Yarema and Chuck Jackson at one of the pianos that are set up on the sidewalk.  This is part of the promotion for a show that these two blues veterans have planned at The Historic Gayety Theatre on Oct. 5th.

Saturday night on Hurontario street it’s the annual Collingwood Art Crawl which includes live music in the evening from the Mike McCarthy Band. 

Parkdale Funk To Fill Heartwood Hall This Weekend

This Saturday, K.C Roberts and The Live Revolution are bringing “Parkdale Funk” to the Heartwood Concert Hall.  The Parkdale neighbourhood in Toronto has a reputation as a breeding ground for lively and varied musical talent, and some of them have been bringing that special energy here to Southern Georgian Bay.  Last week at Heartwood it was Freeman Dre and the Kitchen Party, this week it’s the 8-piece funk band Live Revolution, winners of the 2007 Toronto Independent Music Award for the best live act.  Heartwood Hall is the ideal venue for a band like this; no other room in the area can accommodate the kind of energy this band delivers.  Exclaim! Magazine raves that Parkdale Funk 1 is filled with “wickedly contagious grooves…truly smoking J.B.’s- and Tower of Power-inspired horn charts, sick guitar soloing and colourful keyboard touches.”

In 2011 the band turned to crowdfunding to finance a double album called Parkdale Funk 2: Sides, and their fan base was so strong that they raised over $26,000, more than three times the budget of their two previous releases combined.  It allowed them to bring in over forty friends to help out on the album, a testament to the vibrancy of the Parkdale music scene.  As Roberts told Michael Warren at Exclaim! at the time, “We’re eight people, and then all of the sudden there are all these people in the room for different things. It doesn’t feel like a band that’s just hiring strangers, it feels like people we know, our friends. I think the craziest biggest parts were the strings. I’ve never had strings on anything I’ve ever done, and it was like 12 strings — eight violins, two violas, two cellos. That sound, you hear it all the time, but when you hear it and it’s something you wrote, it’s like “holy cow!” There was also this day where we had a big band day. That sound was just so powerful and so smart and encompasses all of these different harmonic things. So to have that in a room was unreal. It was a really cool artistic project and it seemed like all the people we knew in the community around us came and helped.”

Coral Andrews of the Waterloo Region Record raved, “From Robert’s masterful wah-wah guitar riffs to the band’s sassy, savvy wall of horns, KCLR has the essence of retro-funksters Earth, Wind and Fire, Sly and The Family Stone, and Tower of Power mixed with the hip-hop cool of Red Hot Chili Peppers, plus the happy-go-lucky performance flair of Jamiroquai.”

This is a band that knows how to fire up a party.  In 2005 when they played North By Northeast, a Toronto festival where bands come from all over to try to catch the eye of industry professionals, they placed Top 5 in Chartattack.com’s report card reviews.  When they celebrated the release of the double album at the Mod Club in Toronto, they played for more than four hours, rocking until quarter after two in the morning.

Sounds like a great way to kick off a summer weekend!

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Click on album cover to preview or download Parkdale Funk 2 sides: