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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.

 

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.