Tag Archives: Steven Vipond

Tom Wilson Shares a Stirring Story of Family Secrets Mixed With Songs

by Bill Monahan
Feature Photo by Donna Harper

On Tuesday, Feb. 20th, CROW Bar and Variety in Collingwood is presenting the first of “The Crow Sessions” dinner shows, where they bring an artist who combines story with song and encourage the audience to, as Steven Vipond puts it, “Shut up and listen.”  These shows are special enough for the audience to set aside their chatter and do just that.

And the kickoff in the series is very special by any measure.  Tom Wilson of Blackie and The Rodeo Kings, will talk about his memoir, “Beautiful Scars” and sing songs related to the story.

“I’m kind of out for the next year-and-a-half or so concentrating on doing  what I call literary recitals, consisting of either what I’ll be doing in Collingwood which is piano accompaniment and myself, all the way up to a 21-piece orchestra which I did last month in Hamilton and will be doing in Ottawa and Calgary, etc.  This is me being able to combine the story of my book along with the music that I’ve been writing for the last year around the book.”

And what a compelling story that book contains.  Since its release last year by Doubleday, “Beautiful Scars” (the book, not to be confused with the song or the album of the same name that Tom has recorded) has impressed critics.

The Thursday Outlook – July 6 to 9, 2017

The second annual Meaford Summer Concert Series starts this weekend, Friday at 7 in the Market Square in Meaford, featuring Tomi Swick and The Strummers’ Union, Scott Almond, and Eden Young.  It will be adding to the party atmosphere in downtown Meaford, where the Urban Slide is set up again this year on Nelson Street.  The Leeky Canoe is presenting Scott Almond after the concert in the Market Square on Friday and on Saturday will be bringing in The Drew Wright Trio.  The great music continues on Sunday evening at the Harbour Rotary Pavilion when Bored of Education performs as part of the Friends of the Library Series.

For something a little different tonight, you might want to check out the Story Slam at Heartwood Hall in Owen Sound.  Organized by Meaford’s Diana Young, this is a follow up to the first one which was a great hit.  The idea is that several people will tell short, true stories that are ten minutes long and judges will declare a winner.  The event also features music from Honeymoon Phase, Dave Hawkins, and Keray Wonch.

With the Peak To Shore Festival in full swing, there is a lot of music happening tonight everywhere.  At the main corner in Thornbury, it’s King Cuddy at Bruce Wine Bar and reggae from Too Nice at The Corner Cafe.  You can spend the evening at the Coca-Cola stage in Blue Mountain Village enjoying Karla Crawford and then Luke McMaster.  Or head around the bay in the opposite direction to see The Kreuger Band performing as part of the downtown Owen Sound Streetfest.

On Friday and Saturday night, make sure you stop by CROW Bar and Variety, the brand new venue in Collingwood, to show your support for one of this area’s most energetic and enthusiastic music promoters, Steven Vipond.  As part of the Peak To Shore festival, he is presenting Craig Smith on Friday and King Cuddy with Delta Days on Saturday.  CROW is where the Casbah used to be at 18 Huron Street.  A new venue like this is going to add an exciting new dimension to the area music scene and all it takes for it to succeed is a loyal audience.

At the Historic Leith Church on Saturday night there is a unique and intriguing appreciation of the life and work of Tom Thomson presented in poetry and song by David Sereda and one of Canada’s leading poets, Anne Michaels, supported by a quartet of some of Owen Sound’s finest musicians.

At Heartwood on Saturday night, The Lifers, consisting of sisters  Liv and Anita Cazzola, will treat listeners to the kind of vocal harmonies that can only come from siblings, on a triple bill with Oh Geronimo,  one of the top 25 National Finalists in the CBC Searchlight 2016 competition, and Meaford’s Greg Smith, master of unique short-story style songwriting and intricate guitar work.

If the weather is nice, there’s no better way to spend Sunday afternoon than chilling in Owen Sound’s beautiful Harrison Park listening to a selection of old-time music.

No matter where you go to hear music this weekend, you will be missing some really great music somewhere else, so peruse the listings at the right of this page and choose what suits you best, and for more details check out Monday’s post.

Return to Front Page for today’s update

Music Always Within Earshot This Week

The summer music season kicks off this week with the annual Peak To Shore music festival, with forty concerts squeezed into one week, spread through venues at Blue Mountain Village, Collingwood, Meaford and Thornbury.  This year it is better than ever thanks to the organizing efforts of Chris Scerri Presents.  There are some great headliners that include Irish Mythen at Meaford Hall on Wednesday, Sean McCann at Blue Mountain on Saturday and The Harpoonist and The Axe Murderer at Blue Mountain on Friday.

If you are visiting the area and want a real taste of the local music scene which is vibrant here all year round, Peak To Shore gives you a chance to see some of the artists who perform consistently in the neighbourhood, rotating around the many great local venues.  They include Karla Crawford, Drew McIvor, Winnie Brave, Tamica Herod, Jason Redman, Craig Smith, Drew Wright, Winnie Brave,  Jayden Grahlman, and Bored of EducationBambalamb Kid will be spreading the joy of music with his uplifting enthusiasm that brings the audience into his drumming display a couple of times during the series.  Chris Scerri with his Summit Band begins a summer long residency at the Coca-Cola  stage in the Village at Blue on Sunday and he’ll be joining the wrap party at Blue on Sunday night which features the Ted’s Range Road BandTed’s Range Road Diner in Meaford is without doubt the most important influence on local music with their weekly Wednesday jams that have been responsible for developing a lot of the local talent for a quarter of a century.  It is a place every visitor to the area should visit, not only on Wednesdays for the rocking jams but any evening to check out the unique wild game cuisine.

Larry JensenPeak To Shore also brings in a couple of venues that you may not have been to before to enjoy live music.  The most highly anticipated is the soft opening of Crow Bar and Variety in Collingwood.  This is a brand new venue in the area created by Steven Vipond, whose love of original music has made Bruce Wine Bar in Thornbury a favoured destination for fans and for touring artists alike.  Bridges Tavern in Thornbury is presenting live music again, this week featuring the celebrated local songwriter Larry Jensen as well as Jayden GrahlmanThe Corner Café in Thornbury is famous for the open stage on Thursdays hosted by Dave Russell and this week it is also featuring live music on Friday night.  The Northwinds Brewhouse in Collingwood is also featuring live music on Thursday with Winnie Brave.  There are also shows at The Simcoe Street Theatre, The Shipyards Amphitheatre, MJ Byrne’s Irish Pub, and The Leeky Canoe.

A variety of music genres are represented in the Peak To Shore series.  Blues is prevalent, starting with the local home of the blues, The Harbour Street Fish Bar, where Tamica Herod duets with Jerome Godboo, but also offering Grace at the Collingwood Museum, Jenie Thai and Al Lerman in separate shows at the Village at Blue.  A great reggae band, Too Nice, plays The Corner Café on Friday and there’s jazz from the William Sperandei Trio at Bayview Park on Saturday.

But Peak To Shore is not the only music happening this week.  Owen Sound will be running a street festival from Wednesday to Friday with music that includes Amanda Dorey, the Matrix Steel Drum band, and the excellent Kreuger Band.  Meaford Hall presents the first in its Terrace Thursdays with Franny Wisp and Her Washboard.  And the second annual Meaford Summer Concert Series begins on Friday night with Tomi Swick and The Strummers’ Union, Scott Almond and Eden Young.

There are two tributes to the famous Canadian painter Tom Thompson happening this week.  One will be on Friday with the Shipyard Kitchen Party at the Simcoe Street Theatre, with a Celtic flavour, and the other will be at the Historic Leith Church, Thompson’s birthplace, on Saturday, billed as a wake on the 100th anniversary of his death with David Sereda and Anne Michaels.

And it doesn’t end there, with concerts happening next weekend in Desboro and Durham.

This week the hills are truly alive with the sound of music.

Return to Front Page for today’s update

Russell deCarle Coming Thursday To Simcoe Street Theatre

Next Thursday, April 20th, Russell deCarle will be playing the Simcoe Street Theatre in Collingwood, with special guest Greg Smith.

The Simcoe Street Theatre is a intimate 100 seat blackbox theatre in downtown Collingwood.  In a Facebook post last June Nadia Mear wrote, “Simcoe Street Theatre is an absolute GIFT to the community of Collingwood and for audiences in Georgian Bay in general. Unique, independent and really special theatrical performances seem to be their mandate. Kudos to Anke and Rick who opened and run it. Well done!!”  It seems an ideal setting for a performance where the focus is on the songs.

Greg Smith, a young singer-songwriter from Meaford, has been enjoying a growing reputation locally since returning from his year in Budapest where he has made a name for himself.  He has a unique approach to song writing.  He creates song cycles where the characters and the narrative extends through several songs.  His musical settings are dynamic with liberal use of alternate tunings and filigreed finger work, and his vocals add a real cinematic aspect to his performance which suits the songs.  A dark theatre will be the perfect venue to hear his work.

And then when Russell deCarle comes on we’ll hear the distillation of forty-five years as a growing musician just coming into his prime.  He’ll be with his favourite guitar player Steve Briggs and they’ll be doing a lot of songs from the new (soon to be released) album that he is excited about.  Alone In This Crowd has a “southern soul sound” he says, which sounds like a natural for his voice.  Even though he’s played for most of his life in a country band, his vocal style leans more toward soul singers like Ray Charles and Arthur Alexander.  There’s still a lot of country in his voice, and it puts his vocal style in its own space.  Southern Soul is right where it belongs.

“I don’t do a lot of country,” Russell says, “My music is informed by what I listen to.  I love great pop music.”

“I’m feeling good about my writing,” he says, and you can hear the enthusiasm in his voice when he talks of this latest recording project with Steve Briggs.