Tag Archives: Jaret Koop

Meaford Musical Community Shines In “The Last Waltz”

Review by Bill Monahan
featured photo courtesy of Patti Kendall

On Saturday night at Meaford Hall, “The Last Waltz – Meaford Style” was a celebration of our musical community unlike anything that has been seen before.  A complete sellout more than a month in advance, the show featured a cavalcade of home grown talent that was equal to any visiting talent that has graced this great venue, and the audience loved it.

The template for the show was the famous Martin Scorcese film from 1978 that documented the last concert by The Band, with all of the performers who had been part of that celebration represented here by local talents.  It was actually the 41st anniversary of the original concert, which took place at Winterland in San Francisco on November 25, 1976.  The film set the bar high for a group of local performers who had little more than a month to practice.  They rose to the occasion. The band was tight, often indistinguishable from their model, and each performer who contributed tributes to the other performers did a stellar job.  The energy from the audience matched that coming from the stage.

Jaret Koop photo courtesy of John Scerri

A few of the vocalists stood out with their ability to mimic the originals to an uncanny extent.  Drew McIvor’s take on Doctor John’s (Mac  Rebennack) “Such A Night” had that New Orleans drawl down cold, and Jaret Koop perfectly captured Rick Danko’s anguished vocals on “The Shape I’m In”.

Fran Bouwmann photo courtesy of John Scerri

Fran Bouwman did a great take on Joni Mitchell’s “Coyote” (and even looked the part), and Tom Thwaits version of Neil Diamond’s “Dry Your Eyes” sounded like the real thing.  John Hume reproduced not only the vocal parts but the keyboards (that beautiful Hammond organ sound) with fidelity.

Sandra Swannell photo courtesy of John Scerri

Others added their own special talent to the songs that reflected what they bring to music.  Sandra Swannell’s violin solos on “Acadian Driftwood” and the encore “I Shall Be Released”, and Emma Wright’s vocals on “Evangeline” were spine-tingling standouts.  Chris Scerri’s vocals, of course, are 100% his.  He’s a belter and his style made new versions of the songs he covered.


Local Players Excited To Be Doing The Last Waltz

The latest production at Meaford Hall by Chris Scerri, a tribute to The Last Waltz scheduled for November 25th, is a bit of a departure from his previous productions.  Up to this point he has put together variety shows that combined local and imported talent, built mainly around the talents of musical director Tyler Yarema and others from the Port Credit area that Chris has introduced to Meaford.  This time around it will be all local talent, some of the best that our area offers, under the musical direction of keyboard player John Hume.

For each member of this tribute band, The Band and their iconic farewell concert both hold special significance.

“It was a magic moment in music history,” says Chris Scerri, “that allowed for some of the most influential modern day artists to get together for the ultimate Jam.”  He adds that the DVD of the concert movie is one which, “I can watch time and time again, and continue to be inspired by both the musical talents and the show itself.”

The Last Waltz was the name Robbie Robertson gave to the farewell concert of The Band, performed on American Thanksgiving Day in 1976 at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco.  A film of the concert by Martin Scorcese was released in 1978 and was hailed by film critic Michael Wilmington as “the greatest rock concert movie ever made – and maybe the best rock movie, period”  Time bears that out, with the influence of the movie being felt almost forty years later.

The Thursday Outlook – March 23 to 26, 2017

Larry JensenThere’s a special event at The Heartwood in Owen Sound tonight with a showing of a film called Spirit Unforgettable.  It was filmed in 2015, following the band Spirit of The West as they prepared to their concert at Massey Hall, part of their farewell tour necessitated by lead singer John Mann being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease.  The film was screened at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in April 2016.  Adding resonance to the evening, the film will be preceded by a performance by Larry Andreas Jensen, a songwriter who is particularly known for his poignant evocations of people in struggle.

itinerant troubadoursExtraordinary guitarist and singer-songwriter Shane Cloutier will be bringing his original songs and energies to The Red Door Grille and Pub in Meaford on Friday night.

The dinner shows at Bruce Wine Bar on Friday feature the former frontman for Harlan Pepper, Dan Edmonds, making his solo reputation on the strength of his modern take on retro sounds and sources.

There are too many good things to choose from on Saturday night in our area.

At The Leeky Canoe in Meaford, WKRP is a small group that features some of our area’s most impressive talents: Jaret Koop will front the band on lead vocals and bass. On guitar is the legendary Trevor MacKenzie with Mike Weir on drums, both from Maple Blues Award winning band The MacKenzie Blues Band.

Another Meaford talent, newly arrived to the area, is singer-songwriter Michael O’Connell.  He’ll be performing with his impressive little band Culture Reject at The Bicycle Café in Flesherton.

And a phenomenal blues player, Conor Gains, with his band Ramblin’ Moon, will be rocking the Marsh Street Centre in Clarksburg on Saturday night, another fund raiser for the volunteer run organization.  A Saturday night at Marsh Street is loads of fun.

Check the listings on the right of this page for other great options to help you celebrate the first spring weekend of 2017.

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Hot Vibes at the Corner Cafe

More than the burgers are sizzling at The Corner Café.  Tonight it is Dave Russell with his weekly open mic and tomorrow night the latest coming together of local talents, calling themselves K.E.G. Stand.

exteriorWhen the Corner Café and Grille opened on the corner of Highway 26 and Bruce Street this past April, it was conceived as a place where people could meet and enjoy a community spirit.

sub floor at Corner Cafe

Locals signed the sub-floor during renovations as a symbol of the venue’s goal to become a community hub

The building was purchased and renovated by Randy Litchfield and local restauranteur Adam Politeski was brought in to manage it, with the emphasis on good food and a welcoming atmosphere.  What better way to create a community than with live music?

Facilitating this trend, busy and talented musician David J. Russell came on board to host a weekly open mic on Thursdays.  The magic of an open mic is that it attracts talented musicians from around the area to come out and meet an audience and it attracts music fans to come and see what’s new as well as to enjoy again their favourite performers.  It then becomes the seed of a new branch of the local music scene. The secret of a successful open mic is a welcoming atmosphere, which was the intent of this venue from the start, and an amiable host.

Dave Russell - have guitar, will travel

Dave Russell – have guitar, will travel

Dave Russell is not only amiable but he is an outstanding guitar player and singer (he is also a great songwriter although he puts little emphasis on that aspect of his talent).  Every musician and music fan in the area knows and admires Dave who is one of the busiest players around.  He plays all over the area, often several times a week and often in support of non-profit events.  When he is not performing solo he is fronting his band The Rockafellers.  In addition to his open mic at The Corner Café, he is one of the rotating hosts at The Barn Cooperative (formerly on Sundays, now on Saturdays) open mic in Meaford, and also co-hosts with Chris Scerri about once a month at his open mic at The Leeky Canoe.  He has a warm way of encouraging the talent in others and is always willing to lend his guitar playing to enhance another’s performance when asked.  He is one of those performers that you could watch every night of the week and never tire of it.

The Thursday night open stage starts at 9 tonight and runs “until whenever”.

Jayden Grahlman, Jaret Koop and Rob Elder

Jayden Grahlman, Jaret Koop and Rob Elder

Tomorrow night, three of the area’s most inspiring talents come together in a combination they are calling K.E.G. Stand.  That stands for Jaret Koop, Rob Elder and Jayden Grahlman.  Jaret Koop, who everybody knows from Long & McQuade, and who has played at The Leeky Canoe, is on bass.  Rob Elder, who headlined one of the Meaford Summer Concert Series this year, is on drums.  And front man on guitar is Jayden Grahlman, extremely talented guitar player, singer and songwriter.  A wicked combination!

K.E.G. Stand will be performing from nine to midnight on Friday, October 21st.

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