Tag Archives: The Epping Sessions

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 Red Door Pub Showcases Songwriters

On Friday, May 12th, the Red Door Pub and Grille at the Meaford Motel will be presenting a showcase of three songwriters for a special evening.  Since it began to feature live music on Friday evenings, the talent booked into The Red Door has had a slightly different approach from other venues.  With an emphasis on jazz and classical players, it has provided an alternative to the primarily rock flavoured acts that are featured at venues like The Leeky Canoe, leaning more toward what’s known as a “listening room” where people come to quietly enjoy the performances.  And timing the shows from seven to ten on a Friday evening means that fans can enjoy these acts over a meal and still head down the street to The Leeky just in time to arrive when things are starting to happen there.

The great success of the recent Gallery Concert Series at Meaford Hall demonstrated a genuine appetite for a small quiet venue that features original music, with almost every show in the series a sell-out.  To focus on the original music of songwriters can be a bit of a challenge but it is clear that our area supports that approach.  In Thornbury, Bruce Wine Bar has a policy of featuring original acts only and their shows on the weekends attract a loyal audience, as does their open stage on Wednesday nights.  The many other open stages in the area also feature a lot of original talent.  Jon Farmer has presented special songwriter evenings at The Bleeding Carrot in Owen Sound and they too have drawn capacity audiences.

As you sit through and listen to the individual styles of each of these songwriters, you’ll find yourself engaged in the spirit of the songs, and the stories they contain.

The three songwriters featured on this inaugural songwriters’ night at The Red Door will be Bill Monahan, David Hawkins and John Brownlow.   Although they have different styles, they also have some things in common.  All three are prolific songwriters who have a lot of respect for the craft, and for their audiences, writing and performing to reach an audience with stories and reflections that will resonate.  And although they have made their livings in different ways, each has spent a lifetime immersed in music, providing support for other talents and motivated by a love of musical creativity.  Their love of music has led each in his own way to become an integral part of music development in the area.