Tag Archives: Steve Dickenson

Steve Dickinson Returns to Massie Hall

A review by Bill Monahan of Steve Dickinson in concert at Massie Hall on May 26, 2017

Steve Dickinson played to an enthusiastic crowd on Friday night at Massie Hall.  It’s a small venue, with a capacity of under a hundred and it was packed with fans to see Steve, accompanied by Roger Williamson, in what was in effect a homecoming concert.  Steve had been the original performer to play at this venue thirteen years ago when it began holding monthly concerts as fund raisers.  Since then he’s been to Detroit and England playing with some of the top rock players around.  It was clearly a treat for him and the audience to have this special concert that mostly consisted of his own originals.  One side of the room had a fair sprinkling of friends he’s played with and co-written with and there was a bit of kibitzing coming from them through the show.  But the great thing about a show at a place like Massie Hall, where no alcohol is served (although there are free drinks and snacks provided) is that the audience is quiet and attentive, allowing a performer like Steve to tell some stories and sing songs that mean something to him and to the audience, without being drowned out by conversation.

There was plenty of conversation before the show began and the room has the type of acoustics that sound like a rushing waterfall when it is filled with people talking.  But as soon as someone stepped on the stage an expectant hush fell over the room and the audience was tuned in.

Steve took us through a journey of songs, starting with “Marlowe Lindsay” a song inspired by a man who led a lonely bachelor’s life after being rejected by the woman he loved.  He had to include a couple of Bob Segar songs because, although he’s never met the man (something he’s purposely avoided to keep his original image intact) he has spent a lot of time with members of his band and he grew up learning about songs by listening to Bob Segar records.  His versions of Segar songs, “Roll Me Away”, “Night Moves”, and “Turn The Page” flawlessly evoked the originals.

Much of the first set consisted of songs he had co-written with friends from the area, some of whom were in the audience.  They range from personal reminiscences to all-out rockers.  There were stories to go along with them, some of which he told just half of knowing that there were people in the audience who would automatically remember the rest of the story, having been there.  Other stories related some of the harder aspects of playing in the big time where the sharks are constantly circling and ready to take an Owen Sound boy for a ride.  What every song had in common was that it was delivered by a powerful and nuanced vocal talent.

Originals like “Common Man”, “Good Old Days” and “Ten Summers Past” stand out as evocations of growing up in the area.

Roger Williamson was able to fill in a few of the stories, having been there himself, and his electric guitar accompaniment added texture to the songs and power to the rockers, which came off pretty well considering the lack of drums and bass.

Steve’s versions of a couple of Frankie Miller songs highlighted what a great songwriter that guy is, and makes it clear why so many A-list performers were anxious to be part of a tribute album.  He linked together a song of Frankie’s called “Ain’t Got No Money” and Bob Segar’s “Fire Down Below” which is based on it, showing the debt Segar owes to Miller, and he did a great Miller song called “I’d Lie To You for Your Love”.

The show ended in a standing ovation and an encore, filling the little hall with enough excitement to raise the roof.

Massie Hall is an ideal venue to hear songwriters in an intimate, quiet venue.  It’s well worth taking the country roads to get there.  The next concert offering at this venue will be Christina Martin on June 17th, freshly returned from her European Tour.  It too will be a bargain for music fans.

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Check out Steve Dickinson’s music by clicking on the album cover:

The Thursday Lookout – May 25 to 28, 2017

Start your weekend at The Leeky Canoe tonight when a cast of local musicians will offer their individual interpretations of the songs of Bob Dylan, who celebrated his 75th birthday yesterday.  When Chris Scerri put the word out that he was dedicating tonight’s open mic to Dylan songs he received a flood of responses from performers so that the night is shaping up to be something of a showcase of local talent.  And to expand your Bob Dylan fix, get over to Heartwood Hall in Owen Sound on Saturday night to see and hear The Kreuger Band’s mix of Dylan covers and originals done in a style that is all their own.

If you’re looking for a different kind of vibe tonight, check out . SweetWater Jazz: An evening of Swingin’ Strings tonight at Heartwood.  The show was put together by SweetWater Artistic Director Mark Fewer who has teamed up with guitarist Nathan Hiltz, violinist Drew Jurecka, and Joseph Phillips on bass in what he calls a performance inspired by Grappelli and Venuti.  Sounds pretty sweet for fans of “le jazz hot”.

Veteran musician Pete Boynton will be at The Harbour Street Fish Bar in Collingwood tonight starting at seven.  He was the keyboard player for Tom Cochrane’s band Red Rider and has played with everyone from Bo Diddley to Alfie Zappacosta.

The Red Door Grille at The Meaford Motel has been steadily building a reputation as the place to see artists you may not have heard of but will never forget once you have.  Tomorrow night, its Romney Getty performing with Aisha Chiandet, offering harmonies that include Neil Young covers and originals on banjo and ukulele.  Romney 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.  This is your chance to see a major talent in Meaford’s most intimate venue.

When it comes to major talents in unexpected places, jazz fans can’t miss with a special performance by Russ Little on Friday night at the L. E. Shore Library in Thornbury.  After an early career that included touring with the Woody Herman Orchestra as lead trombone and later with the Count Basie Orchestra, he became an original member of Canada’s legendary Lighthouse, and through the early ’70’s performed in the world famous Boss Brass, while pursuing a very successful career as conductor/composer/arranger for major Canadian and American television networks.

Also on Friday night there is a very special evening in store for those who make their way to Massie Hall for a concert by Steve Dickinson, joined by his old friend Roger Williamson.  They are both local talents whose abilities soar far beyond our area.  Steve has returned home after touring England with a band that included former players from the bands of Eric Clapton, Bob Segar and Kid Rock and contributing to a tribute album of Frankie Miller songs that also featured Rod Stewart, Elton John, Huey Lewis and a who’s who of international stars.  Internationally respected as a vocalist, Steve will be telling some road stories and featuring his own songs on Friday night.

Meaford’s Jayden Grahlman, who is as busy as he is talented, is increasingly in demand both as a solo performer and sideman in a variety of incarnations.  He’ll be at Heartwood on Friday night joining the “energetic wave of psychedelic funkiness” that calls themselves Zuffalo, a band with four songwriters who put the emphasis on “community, positivity and fun”.

With all that going on there are still more choices (check the listings on the right).  Trish and The Tractors, whose following continues to grow by leaps and step dances, is hosting another of their  Country Dance nights at the Royal Canadian Legion in Owen Sound on Saturday night and Bill Murdoch hosts an old time Gospel Show at Hepworth Shallow Lake Legion on Sunday afternoon.

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Steve Dickinson Revisits His Roots at Massie Hall

Local music fans, and particularly fans of Bob Segar, have a real treat in store this Friday at Massie Hall with a concert by Steve Dickinson.  This is a return to his roots for Steve, who grew up in nearby Elsinore, learning his vocal chops by listening to the records of Bob Segar among others.  He was the first performer to play at Massie Hall thirteen years ago when a local non-profit group bought the historic schoolhouse from the school board to create a community centre and local musician Pete Miller (May Contain Nuts) approached them with the idea of putting on concerts there.  “If I remember right,” says Steve, “I sold him the PA there.”

Steve served on the board of Summerfolk and performed there.  “For many people it seems performing at Summerfolk is seen as the pinnacle for them,” said Steve, “but I saw it as a launching pad”.  He went from there to showcases in Nashville and, over the years has recorded four albums of his own songs.

Steve had grown up playing music locally.  “Steve Richie (Tanglefoot and RPR) was the drummer in my first band,” he says.  He played around a lot with a group that included Rob Richie (Tanglefoot and RPR), Sandra Swannell (Tanglefoot and My Sweet Patootie), and Roger Williamson, who will be joining him at this concert.

“He is a great talent,” says Steve, “He and I have done some duos over the years and I feel very fortunate that he will be sitting in with me.”  Performing at Massie Hall this time around was suggested to him by Bryan Leckie (The Kreuger Band) and his is looking forward to the opportunity to play some of his own songs in an acoustic performance.  “I’m glad I’ve got some new material to play,” he says, “I’m going to tell some stories about my escapades and sing my songs.”

He also appreciates that this area is a hotbed of exceptional talent, and it’s changed since he was young, with a lot more venues open to original music.

And he has some great stories to tell.  His most recent adventures include singing on a tribute album of songs written by the legendary Glasgow songwriter Frankie Miller, joining a stellar international cast that includes Willie Nelson, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Joe Walsh, Huey Lewis, Kid Rock and many more household names.  The fact that Steve, the only Canadian and not exactly a household name, was included in the project speaks to his talent, particularly his powerful voice.