Tag Archives: Muddy Waters

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 – June 22 to 25

It’s a good weekend for Meaford fans of the harmonica, or to be more exact, blues harp.  On Friday night Al Lerman, founding member of Fathead, will be at The Red Door Pub and Grille from 7 to 10. With a 45 year history as a bluesman, playing harmonica, sax and guitar, and a shelf full of Junos and Maple Blues Awards, he’s the real deal.  He’s been around long enough to have sat in with the likes of Muddy Waters, Sunnyland Slim, and Willie Dixon.  Just as any true blues fan wants to hear those same songs over and over, you’ll want to hear him again and again, so head over to The Harbour Street Fish Bar in Collingwood to catch him tonight and then come hear him again tomorrow in the more intimate setting of The Red Door.

And if you were at The Harbour Street Fish Bar last night you were able to hear another blues harp great, Jerome Godboo, performing with Tamica Herod.  If you missed them or you just can’t get enough, make a point of being at The Leeky Canoe on Saturday, where they’ll be accompanied by guitarist Dylan Burchell.

Speaking of performers worth hearing again and again, one of them is Johnny Cash.  Although he’s gone his legend lives on in the form of tribute shows and one of the most highly regarded is presented by Jim Yorfido, who has a show called Johnny Cash: From Memphis to Folsom tonight at Meaford Hall.  June Carter will be represented by Jim’s wife Pam Yorfido, who is also renowned for her tributes to Tammy Wynette.  With the two of them and Marie Bottrell, it’ll be kind of an all-star event reproducing the talents of Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton as well.

With summer underway, it’s time for outdoor festivals.  Collingwood has a full lineup of local artists at the Port Music Festival happening Saturday and Sunday at the Shipyards AmphitheatreBambalamb will be heading up an kid-friendly festival of percussion at St. George’s Parish Hall in Owen Sound on Saturday afternoon.  And there’s the big ticket festival on Friday and Saturday at Kelso Beach called Summertime Blues 2017 with blues greats like Buddy Guy, Colin James, Matt Anderson and The Trevor Mackenzie Band, along with rockers The Sheepdogs and Teenage Head, with Bahamas thrown in for good measure.


One of the best bargains for fans of original songwriters is a program that showcases a triple bill.  Greg Smith has put together a special showcase featuring young talents Taylor Holden, From Forest and Field, Page Ballagh for a mere $10 tonight at The Bleeding Carrot in Owen Sound and on Sunday afternoon a PWYC showcase at The Garafraxa Café in Durham brings Bill Monahan, Dave Hawkins and John Brownlow back together for a triple bill of upbeat originals.

Jazz fans will perk up to hear that John MacMurchy Trio will be performing  with jazz vocalist Jocelyn Barth Friday night at the L.E. Shore Library in Thornbury.

And for something completely different, in a category all its own, Franny Wisp will be joined by Dave Loopstra and Bambalamb Kidd, along with a very special guest by the name of Glacial Erratic, will be bringing tuneful comedy to The Shelagh Fox Gallery in Thornbury on Saturday evening.

And that’s not all.  Peruse the listings at the right and you’re sure to find something to suit your taste and budget in this best of all areas to spend your first weekend of the summer

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Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer Bring Special Tuesday Treat for Blues Fans

The Harpoonist and The Axe Murderer are stopping at Meaford Hall on a Tuesday night, April 11th, as they tour to support their new album Apocalipstick.  They began their tour closer to home in B.C. and this week they’re making that long trek from Thunder Bay to Toronto to start the Ontario part of the tour.  An ideal stopover is at Meaford on Tuesday night.  Luckily for them they get to play the newly revamped Opera House, now with improved balcony seating and state of the art sound.  Luckily for local fans we get to see this west coast blues duo live in our own town.

The band’s name, like The Barenaked Ladies, is an attention grabber.  When you understand that the axe murderer means a mean guitar player and the harpoonist means “took my harpoon out of my dirty red bandana and was blowin’ sad while Bobby sang the blues.”, the name makes sense.

Shawn Hall and Matthew Rogers met in a Vancouver studio while recording a jingle for a pizza place in 2006.  Shawn worked as a microwave truck operator for CITY-TV Vancouver and Matthew already had a reputation as a “serious” composer, writing film scores and a commission from the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.  When they got together with their mutual interest in the blues, it clicked.  They started a duo, gave it what Peter Goddard calls “a wonderfully idiosyncratic, utterly unforgettable name” and immediately began to attract attention.

HAM also has great posters and cover art

They rigged up percussion that they could play themselves which made for a great live show as well as great blues.  They get their feet going with their foot drums and percussion while harpooning and singing.

They put their own twist on the blues.  “We take the blues and do something different with it,” they told Peter Goddard, “We take a lot of our inspiration from the really early blues guys like Robert Johnson who didn’t always play 12-bar blues, but had this rather skewed approach to the music. For us the blues is just a good starting point.”

Shawn is the front guy and the singer.  Michael writes the songs, creating an interesting process of channelling a lot of Shawn’s “crap that has gone on in my life in writing for me.”

Their first release in 2007 was entirely covers of traditional blues, their next release mixed in some originals, and by the time they released Checkered Past in 2012 they were getting into some interesting modern twists, their different influences coming out in their work.

Mike Usinger  in his 2012 Georgia Strait review said, “Where Shawn Hall and Matthew Rogers differ from the industry blueprint on Checkered Past is that they actually sound like they might have been to the Mississippi Delta. Or at least sat down and listened to a Robert Johnson boxed set from start to finish. The first thing you notice on the emotive opener, “Shake It”, is that these guys come off as traditionalists with no desire to fix something that ain’t broken.”

Watch them perform “Shake It” with Dawn Pemberton on Exclaim! TV. September 10, 2015.

Gian Karla Limcango summarized the band’s appeal in the Vancouver Weekly:

“Many bands have incorporated the elements and style of blues in their music but The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer does it traditionally. Inspired by the pioneers and masters of blues such as BB King, John Hurt, Bling Willie McTell, Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson, they have innovatively crafted their sound to its bluesy perfection, always returning to their roots and the roots of music. Sticking to the format of the original blues performances which is having just one or two guys singing, playing the guitar and stomping their feet, just made this duo a true blues act. Ultimately, HAM introduced the old sound to the new generation and showed everyone how blues should be played”.

You will be hearing the name a lot as The Harpoonist And The Axe Murderer continue to attract attention, inevitably moving on to bigger venues.  Thanks to Canadian geography we have a lucky chance to see them at Meaford Hall this Tuesday, 8 p.m.

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Click on the album cover to hear music from The Harpoonist and The Axe Murderer: