Tag Archives: Leeky Canoe

‘Tis The Season, Fa-la-la-la-la

It’s that time of year again when choirs raise their voices in song and Christmas specials abound.  Live music takes on a special flavour this time of year.  Here’s a guide to some of what’s happening around our area.

Meaford’s longstanding Women’s Choir, The Goldenaires, presents their annual Christmas concert at the Meaford United Church on Sunday afternoon.  The choir is under the direction of Catherine Robertson and features special guests the Beaver Valley Concert Band, directed by Don Robertson.  The show starts at 2:30 pm and admission is by donation.

Tonight at The Historic Gayety Theatre, classical guitarist and five time Juno Award winner Liona Boyd presents “A Winter Fantasy”, featuring music from her 2014 Christmas album accompanied by guitarist and vocalist Andrew Dolson.   This is her third Christmas themed work.  The first one, entitiled “A Guitar For Christmas”, was the first classical album to go platinum in Canada, establishing her as Canada’s “First Lady of the Classical Guitar”.

Scott Almond and Eden Young Featured at Meaford Summer Concert Series

When this year’s Meaford Summer Concert Series kicks off this Friday, opening for Tomi Swick and The Strummers Union will be Meaford’s country star, Scott Almond.  Like all of the opening acts in the series, he will be playing at the Leeky Canoe afterwards.

Born and raised in Meaford, Scott Almond has been playing country music in the area for about twenty years.  He was in his early twenties when he took up the guitar, inspired by Stompin’ Tom and Hank Jr., as well as by his uncle and his cousin who would play around Christmas time.  He learned from them and played some fall fairs with his uncle.  His starting point was at open stages, at Ted’s Range Road Diner, at The Gateway in Collingwood and at The Dark Side in Owen Sound.  Eventually he played around campgrounds, house parties, and assorted jamborees.

In 2004 he put together a CD called This Hard Land and it led to a gig at The International Plowing Match that year as well as distribution in Europe.  He had a band at the time called The Nighthawks but he was advised to put out the record under his own name.  He had to pass up an opportunity to go on a European tour when his songs were getting airplay in the Netherlands because, as a working man, he just couldn’t afford to leave his job.  He’s still hoping to get another chance to record, especially a song he wrote about the attack on the World Trade Centre called “End of Humanity”.

“You never know what kind of energy you’ll see around me when I’m playing on stage,” he says, “It’s all about entertaining people and seeing the smile on their face.”

Every show in the Meaford Summer Concert Series will include a local young performer and Friday night it will be Eden Young, lead singer of Cry For Ophelia, a band that was included in last year’s Summer Concert Series and went on to win the GBCS Battle of The Bands earlier this year.  In that same contest, Eden won special mention for her guitar playing.  Eden will be performing solo, doing a few of her favourite covers, accompanying herself on acoustic guitar.  She says, “I’m a little bit nervous but I’m really excited about it.”

This and all the shows that are part of the Meaford Summer Concert Series are free in the Market Square beside Meaford Hall running from 7 to 10 pm.  Bring along a camp chair and a non-perishable food donation for the Golden Town Outreach.  A space has been set aside inside Meaford Hall so that the concert can still go on if it rains.  Afterwards, head across the street to enjoy more music from Scott Almond.

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Canada Day Weekend of Live Music in Meaford

From Friday night to Sunday night, there is music almost non-stop in Meaford and most of it is free.

In addition to a whole lot of music, Canada Day in Meaford will be buzzing with activity including a pancake breakfast, a parade with a military display, the Golden Town Cruisers classic cars, the apple bin race on the river, and fireworks when it gets dark.

Romney Getty has toured he has Canada, USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand, garnering reviews like “Wow, can this girl deliver a song or what!  Romney is a singer-songwriter from Canada and her very personal and soulful deliver of country and blues is totally spellbinding, ”  from Guitar Techniques Magazine and “…Truly the complete package…With enough sheer guts and charisma to cross virtually any genre barrier, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if Getty became the next major breakthrough from the Canadian roots rock scene,” from  Exclaim! Magazine.  She’ll be at The Red Door Friday from 7 to 10, along with Tim Irvine. No Cover.

A triple bill, with Bry Webb, Fiver and Jiants happens at 118 Algonquin Drive, starting at 7 pm and running until around midnight, a unique backyard concert with three unique and intriguing folk artists.  There’s no cover but they ask you to pay what you can, suggesting $10, and bring along a chair or a blanket, as well as the kids.


Two young bands that have made their mark both at the high school GBSS Idol and at last year’s Meaford Summer Concert Series will be playing at Market Square on Saturday afternoon.  Cry For Ophelia and The Ted Brownlow Band will each be doing sets between 1 and 3 in the afternoon.  No cover, bring a chair.

Tin Man and The Flying Monkeys, Meaford’s own supergroup, with Martin Rice on guitar and lead vocals, Stuart Narduzzo on lead guitar and harmonica, Johnny Roy on bass and Beaker Granger on drums.  They’ll be playing in the tent beside Meaford Hall from 3 to 5 on Saturday afternoon, where the Rotary Club will be providing beer, wine and hot dogs.  No cover and there are chairs provided.

Later in the afternoon at the Rotary beer tent, country music reigns with Scott Almond playing from 5 to 6 pm and Amanda Dorey from 6 to 7.  Both of these local performers possess vocal talents that have the authenticity of classic country and their repertoires range over all the favourites from that era as well as more contemporary selections.

Shane CloutierAs evening of Canada Day arrives, you can enjoy another free concert by a great band, this time at the Rotary Pavillion down by the harbour.  The great guitarist Shane Cloutier will be playing from 7 to 10 with his band that includes Johnny Roy and Clayton Skinner.  There will be a licensed bar.  Then head over to the Leeky Canoe for River and Rock from 9 to midnight, Beaker Granger‘s band that features a lot of his original songs.

On Sunday afternoon, for the first time in recent memory, there will be live music at Memorial Park to entertain campers and locals from 2 to 5 with some old-fashioned country.  Bill Monahan has a special set of songs that include songs from Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell, and Patsy Cline with some Elvis and Carl Perkins thrown in, while Amanda Dorey is back with her beautiful renditions of a spectrum of country songs from the past to the present.  It’s another free concert, bring a chair or a blanket.

Cap off your weekend on Sunday evening back at the Rotary Pavilion at the harbour where the second in the annual Friends of The Library summer series features the sentimental sounds of The Browns Music Time Machine starting at 7.  There is no admission but they’ll be passing the hat to collect donations that go toward Meaford’s library.

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Pablo’s Farewell Concert

On Tuesday, June 27th, Pablo Pardavilla will be performing a special solo concert at Meaford’s GBCS in the Music Room beginning at 6 p.m..  The event is open to the public and there is no cover charge.

Pablo is one of many international  exchange students that have come to Meaford this year.  He arrived just before the school year started and will be leaving the day after it end, and he has made quite an impression.  Not long after his arrival, when his English was still a little tenuous, he took on a speaking part in Meaford Community Theatre’s annual Remembrance Day show at Meaford Hall.  He helped sell candied apples at the Scarecrow Invasion and Family Festival.

Pablo is a high achiever.  His school grades have consistently been in the high 90’s. His photos of the GBCS fashion show were published in The Meaford Independent.  He entered a snowman making contest sponsored by the student exchange program and won first prize (a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey with his name on the back).  He entered a poetry contest in his native Galicia, Spain and won first prize (for the fourth year in a row).

He has pursued his musical interests while in Meaford.  Classically trained in the saxophone since the age of seven, he participated in both junior and senior orchestras at the high school, as well as the jazz band, and competed in the Battle of The Bands.  At Christmas time, he did a performance of “All I Want For Christmas” at the Leeky Canoe’s open stage (the video of which has been viewed more than a thousand times on You Tube).  At the final concert of the year, music teacher Patrick Delaney, expressed his delight in having him as a student.

“A lot of exchange students come in and they have a shy persona about them,” he said, “not Pablo!  He took the music room and the music program by storm.  You should hear him practise because he’s never satisfied.  Every note must be perfect.  Even if it’s a whole note that has to be held for sixteen beats he wants that note to be the best whole note he’s ever played.  This semester I’ve had the honour of working with him in two classes and it’s been a spiritual enlightenment for me to hear him play every day.”

Mr. Delaney introduced Pablo to play a featured solo at the concert, a modern composition by Ryo Noda that would be a challenge for a sax player at any level.  To illustrate it’s difficulty, the sheet music was projected on the screen in the auditorium.

“This is the most radical sheet music I’ve ever seen,” said Mr. Delaney, “This is not your do-re-mi, ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb’.  This is filled with trills, embouchure, technique that he has to do throughout the piece.  I sat in stunned fascination as this person played this piece for me a few months ago.”

At his concert on Tuesday, Pablo will perform this piece along with some familiar jazz and classical pieces.  This is Pablo’s farewell gift to Meaford, just a few days before he returns home to Spain, although he has vowed that he will save every euro to be able to return for a visit next summer.

Mr. Delaney summed up the feelings of the GBSS students and the community when he said, “We have thoroughly enjoyed having this charming young man at our school.  We know his flight leaves at the end of June and we will miss him dearly.”

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