Tag Archives: Tara MacKenzie

The Thursday Outlook – Sept 7 to 11, 2017

The Red Door Pub in Meaford is the place to be on Friday night when John Brownlow will be previewing and selling advance copies (at a discount) of his new double CD called “The Summertime”.  He’s planning an official release party soon with a full band but on Friday he’ll be sharing the evening with a couple of our area’s coolest young performers, Greg Smith and Max Breadner.

“Iris” – 5 song EP from Greg Smith

Greg Smith’s EP “Lily” was produced by John at his Epping Studio.  “He’s a really unique songwriter,” John says, “He’s got an old head on young shoulders.”  Greg Smith writes songs that, taken collectively, tell a long form story and he delivers them with a complex rhythmic guitar and dramatic vocals.  The Red Door will be an ideal setting to be able to follow the tale he weaves.

Max Breadner has impressed local audiences since he was quite young and now that he is a teenager he is getting around more to open stages and is writing his own songs.  He is part of the upcoming youth talent wave in Meaford that includes performers like Emma Wright and John’s son Ted who has his own Ted Brownlow Band.  This small room is also a perfect setting for Max’s talents.

John Brownlow is highly regarded by local musicians not only for his writing and producing skills but for a series of videos he created called The Epping Sessions.

Rob Elder, the subject of one of those videos will be playing this Saturday at Massie Hall, another great little venue to be able to really enjoy the music.  It took just a single Sunday afternoon for Rob to create a multi-track recording of a song for his Epping Session, playing every instrument.  On Saturday night at Massie Hall he promises to bring “smooth acoustic ballads about girls and things, to his ‘jump out of your seats and dance’ multi-layered, live-looping.”

The Thursday Outlook – June 15 to 18, 2017

It’s always special when Victoria Yeh joins Chris Scerri at the Thursday Night Leeky Open Stage as she will tonight.  She is usually willing to play along with anyone who asks and she is so talented and adaptable she adds a sheen to anything she accompanies, no matter what the style.  The Leeky open mic starts at 9 now instead of 8 pm.

Don’t forget the other open stages that happen throughout our area every week.  There are so many talented musicians locally an open stage is always a good bet.  It makes for a great night out during the week, and there’s never a cover.  Also on Thursday, Dave Russell regularly rocks out at the Corner Café open stage in Thornbury.  Sunday afternoons at The Barn Coop are always inspiring, and on Tuesday nights Brianna McGowan hosts at Molly Blooms in The Village at Blue.  Wednesday’s at Bruce Wine Bar is always crowded with Drew McIvor hosting an open mic.

Then there’s the granddaddy of all open mics every Wednesday at Ted’s Range Road Diner, the place where our area’s most impressive musicians learned their chops over the many years it’s been happening.  Last night was a particularly auspicious night because Tara Mackenzie, indisputably the best vocalist for miles around (many miles, including the GTA) was able to perform again after being sidelined for many months by a concussion.  This is good news for fans of the Mackenzie Blues Band, which may soon see them back in full force, with the combination of killer guitar from Trevor Mackenzie and those incredible vocals from the Tara.

Other legendary local favourites, Tinman and The Flying Monkeys, will be at The Leeky on Saturday night.

Saturday night also brings some impressive artists, fresh from European tours, to some out-of-the-way venues in the area.  Christina Martin will be at Massie Hall on Saturday night, with a special appearance from Matt Epp.  And in Desboro, Ben Kunder and Sarah MacDougall join forces at the Desboro Music Hall.  They toured Ireland, Italy, UK, the Netherlands last fall and now they are in our area.

Friday night the place to be is Heartwood Hall to dance to K.C. Roberts and the Live Revolution, an 8-piece funk band that has excited fans and critics for years, being  compared to  Earth, Wind and Fire, Sly and The Family Stone, Tower of Power, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Review the listings on the right side of this page to find a long list of favourites who play often in our area so you can go check them out for the first time or revisit what you know will be a great performance.

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The Thursday Outlook – May 4, 2017

If you’re planning on going to see Jamie Baxter at The Red Door in Meaford tomorrow night you’d better get there early.  Last time he played there the place was packed.  Not only does he rarely perform here in town but it is rare to see anyone who can play virtuoso level classical guitar like he does.  He starts at seven and it’s all over by ten so bring your friends and grab a table early.

Jon Zaslow is a quiet and unassuming singer-songwriter but he is an excellent guitarist and impressive songwriter and singer.  He’s part of a trio called The Travelling Thornburys.   He’ll be co-hosting the jam at The Leeky with Chris Scerri tonight.  Saturday night at The Leeky, Bored of Education, Meaford’s most popular party band, is playing their big catalogue of songs from several eras.  That will be a good place to keep up the energy after Chris Scerri and friends rev you up at Meaford Hall with Rockin’ the Hall, Volume 2.  This is the same bunch that blew the roof off the Opera House at Christmas and this time they’ll be each playing the music that means the most to them.

Rockin’ The Hall, Volume 2 is part of the Grand Reopening Event running from Friday through Sunday at Meaford Hall.  Friday night is An Intimate Evening With Sean McCann.  Since leaving Great Big Sea and setting his own course, Sean has applied his talents to music that is more personal and moving but still imbued with that distinctive Newfoundland flavour.  And then on Sunday you’re in for a very rare treat with the world renowned throat singer/electronics performer Tanya Tagaq.  When you’re at Meaford Hall, check out Adventure Canada, who are co-sponsoring the weekend and donating a trip to Sable Island to be auctioned off for the benefit of the Meaford Hall & Culture Foundation.  Place a bid, or just talk to them about their outstanding wilderness tours, contextualized by the presence of musicians, writers and others who accompany every expedition.

So much great music, so little time!

Why not make it a Jayden Grahlman weekend?  He’ll be a special guest at the Rockin’ The Hall show on Saturday, but you can catch him doing his own thing at Bruce Wine Bar on Friday.  Then on Sunday afternoon he will be augmenting a big band show with Great Lake Winds at Central Westside United Church in Owen Sound.  This is the annual spring concert of Great Lakes Winds, an ensemble of brass, woodwinds and percussion players of all ages specifically created with the goal of developing talent.

The development of choral talents is celebrated as well this weekend with Tara Mackenzie’s various choirs and her drum ensemble both tonight and tomorrow in a concert at The Harmony Centre called Songs From the Big Blue Marble.  These groups as well as the Great Lakes Winds welcome new participants.

Important Cultural Landmark Celebrates Birthday with Harmony Palooza

This week the Harmony Centre in Owen Sound will be celebrating its fifth anniversary with a pair of special variety shows that showcase the many groups that have made use of the centre since it undertook its present role in the community.  The shows they’re calling Harmony Palooza will feature choirs, instrumental ensembles, dance, drama and drums.  One performance will take place on Friday, March 31st, beginning at 7 p.m. and an encore presentation will be performed as a matinee on Sunday, April 2nd, starting at 2 p.m.

Located at the former Knox Church at the corner of 9th St. E. and 4th Ave. E. in Owen Sound, the Harmony Centre was created when two churches amalgamated leaving the beautiful 150-year-old building empty.  A group of concerned citizens created a charitable organization and bought the building, transforming it into a vibrant community centre with a triple purpose of allowing a venue in which community groups can share, create and perform.  It has been a great success with around a thousand people per week making good use of the building.  Everything, from finances to building management and maintenance is taken care of by volunteers.  Through a variety of fund raisers in their five year history, the group has managed to completely re-do the roof and refurbish the building’s boiler system.

In the basement of the building there is a 190 seat dining hall which provides free dinners five days a week to approximately 100 visitors each day.  It is operated by OSHARE (Owen Sound Hunger and Relief Effort), a non-profit group made up from members of several congregations of Owen Sound churches.  Proceeds from next weekend’s concerts will go toward providing accessibility for the basement dining hall.  Although ticket prices are set at $15, which in itself is a bargain, a pay-what-you-can policy ensures that no one will be turned away.

The venue houses the Grey Bruce Suzuki School of Music and Big Sisters and Big Brothers meet there as well.

Several choirs will be part of the show.

The Georgian Bay Children’s Choir, founded in 1986 by Mrs. Marylou Tremills, allows children to experience the joy of group singing with genres that include sacred, secular, folk and world music, with an emphasis on Canadian content.

photo courtesy of John Fearnall/Good Noise

Tara Mackenzie, highly respected vocal coach and lead vocalist for the award-winning Mackenzie Blues Band, uses the Harmony Centre for several of her community music projects including the famous Rock the Sound adult choir, an a capella choir and a drum workshop.  All of these groups will be represented at the concert.

In 2015 the Fiddlefern Country Dancers, which provides monthly music, dance and dance calling workshops in partnership with the Georgian Bay Folk Society, initiated a special open stage Tuesday nights at the Harmony Centre open to musicians who like to play traditional instruments.  They will be showing off their talents as part of the show.

Once a month the Georgian Shores Songwriters’ Circle meets at The Harmony Centre to try out song ideas and get supportive feedback from fellow songwriters.  They will be represented at the big show by three regular participants, Bill Monahan , Greg Smith and John Brownlow.

Owen Sound Little Theatre, which mounts plays every year at The Roxy in Owen Sound uses The Harmony Centre as their rehearsal space.  This June the group will be presenting Billy Bishop Goes To War, a musical which tells the story of WWI flying ace and Owen Sound war hero Billy Bishop.  The production commemorates the 100th anniversary of Bishop receiving the Victoria Cross. It will be represented at Harmony Palooza with a soliloquy from the play performed by Matt Evans.

With so much happening on so many fronts The Harmony Centre represents a cultural explosion that brings together people from Owen Sound and surrounding towns to celebrate community and culture strictly for the fun of it

Be there Friday evening at 7 or Sunday afternoon at two to enjoy the celebration, which will culminate in a big singalong of Oscar Peterson’s “Hymn To Freedom” and serving a celebratory cake!

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