Tag Archives: The Gayety Theatre

A Night To Remember At The Gayety Theatre

Review by Bill Monahan of Tyler Yarema Chuck Jackson concert Oct. 5th, 2017

With their show last night at The Gayety Theatre in Collingwood, Tyler Yarema and Chuck Jackson wanted to record a live CD that would capture the excitement of their live shows when they perform as a duo.  They succeeded.  The theatre was filled with fans who showered them with an outpouring of love from start to finish.

It was clearly as exciting for the performers as it was for the audience.  They approached the show with the discipline required to assure that it resulted in a good recording but that didn’t stop them from pulling out all the stops to fill the room with energy.

“I’ve been performing for forty-seven years,” said Chuck, whose regular gig is as vocalist and harmonica player for the Downchild Blues Band, while taking a sip between songs, “ and this is the first time I’ve drunk water on stage.”  After a pause, he added, “And the last!”  He also said it’s the first time they have performed with a set list.  Each of them has such a wide-ranging repertoire and they’ve been playing with each other as a duo long enough that they usually can wing it on stage, following their whims.

The Thursday Outlook – Oct. 5 to 9, 2017

Fraser Melvin will be playing at The Leeky Canoe on Saturday.  If you were lucky enough to catch the performance from Jenie Thai as part of the Summer Concert Series this year, you saw Fraser as part of her crack band.  He is a busy and talented blues guitarist, arranger and singer who, in addition to playing with Jenie Thai, has two other bands that he calls his own:  The Fraser Melvin Band, a quartet that countrifies Jimi Hendrix tunes and plays funk versions of Dylan; and The Melvin-Colacino Band, an 8-piece outfit with a horn section that plays Funk and R & B.  He will be on his own at The Leeky but, if you saw his solo turn during Jenie Thai’s set, you already know that’s something to see.

If you want to make an evening of Meaford live music on Saturday, you can catch Owen Sound duo Anyway Susan, featuring Kevin Ross and Mark Moloney, from 7 to 10 at The Red Door, and then walk up the street to enjoy Fraser Melvin.

Tonight is the big show at The Gayety Theatre in Collingwood, where  Tyler Yarema and Chuck Jackson will be recording a live CD.  It’s a full night with a reception beforehand that will feature Jenie Thai and a second set (after the live recording of the duo) that will be a jam with musical friends that include the evening’s Master of Ceremonies, Virgil Scott.

Whitehorse-based singer-songwriter Kim Beggs will be at Heartwood tonight.  This is a stop on a long winter tour that will take her across Canada in support of her new album, “Said Little Sparrow”.   New Canadian Music calls her “one of the most respected artists on the Canadian roots scene,” adding  “Beggs’ eloquent songs or her strong, supple voice that occasionally suggests Lucinda Williams”.  For this date she will be supported by Corin Raymond, JUNO-nominated Toronto singer-songwriter whose songs have been covered by, among others, The Good Lovelies, The Strumbellas, and The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer.  The Globe and Mail has said, “Corin Raymond is a storyteller who by the end of the night you’ll have known your whole life.”  This double bill is a must-see for fans of Roots/Americana music.

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Be Part Of A Recording at The Gayety with Chuck Jackson and Tyler Yarema

It will be a special event on Thursday Oct 5th when Chuck Jackson and Tyler Yarema record a live CD at The Gayety Theatre in Collingwood.  The show starts with a set at eight which will be recorded for the CD, but the party starts much earlier and goes beyond the recording.

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Cocktails at 6:30 get you primed for the show with a chance to talk to other concert goers and to Chuck and Tyler while enjoying the music of Jenie Thai (yes, Jenie Thai!).

The second set after the recording will be a big jam with friends of the duo.  If you’ve seen the shows that Tyler has directed at Meaford Hall or The Marsh Street Centre, you know how exciting these jams can be.  And if you’ve seen any of those shows, you also know that the energy level will be bouncing off the ceiling with the evening’s master of ceremonies, Virgil Scott.

“I think of it as an event rather than just another show,” says Tyler, “It’s a chance for people to be part of something.  It’s just going to be a fun show with a lot of audience participation.”  That means if you’re loud enough you might end up on the CD too.

Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar at The Marsh Street Centre

This coming Saturday, Feb. 18th, the Marsh Street Centre in Clarksburg will be presenting a fundraising concert featuring Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar.  Centred on the vocal power of Samantha and her backup singers, Sherie Marshall and Stacie Tabb, this is a band that straddles the lines between soul, blues, gospel and country.  Of course that’s not really a stretch when you consider that those genres are really just different shades of the same music – music that comes from a deep inner authenticity to reach out and touch an audience.

If you review the band’s press clippings, and those of its predecessor, The Haggard, you’ll find that the constant refrain is enthusiastic praise for Samantha Martin’s voice.  Her vocals have been compared most often to Janis Joplin, but also to  singers like Mavis Staples, Etta James, and Tina Turner.  This is fitting because these singers have always been among her favourites.  In making these comparisons, reviewers emphasize the group’s authenticity, with phrases like “this is a group that just gets it, gets it all,” and “this truck driver’s daughter is the real deal”.

It seems like the blues has pulled her like a magnet to get to this point.  She grew up in Lion’s Head and migrated south to Owen Sound, where her earliest recordings were made with the help of Trevor and Tara Mackenzie of The Mackenzie Blues Band, resulting in the 2004 EP, “Fade”.  She began to write her own songs in 2005, and moved further south to Toronto, where she was originally introduced to audiences there at the C’Est Wha? Open stages, and then found a home at The Dakota Tavern.  In 2008 she recorded her first full length CD, “Back Home”, produced by Derek Downham.

Members of the Kensington Hillbillies helped form her first band The Haggard.  Ostensibly alternative country, her vocal style pulled it more toward the blues spectrum and the eventually it morphed into Delta Sugar, bringing along guitarist Mikey McCallum from the first band.  In the studio they relied on hand claps and foot stomping to provide the percussion but that became difficult to sustain live (“It was hard for me to catch my breath” she explains) so they added drummer Dani Nash.  This is the lineup that will be performing at The Marsh Street Centre.

Samantha Martin has a voice “that grabs you by the throat while causing the hairs on the back of your neck to tingle”

“As a five-piece,” she says, “we are really, really tight.”  While horn sections and drums and bass are often the meat on the bones of soul music, Samantha finds that there is an advantage to leaving a little more space in the sound.  “Somebody will come up and say, ‘I really liked such and such a song, you should add a pedal steel to make it more country’, and then someone else will come up and say ‘you should add horns’ – and they’re talking about the same song.”  People hear what they want to hear when she gives them room to do so.

But leaving that space, she says, is “a double-edged sword.  It makes me hard to market.” On the other hand they can rock the house with the best of them or “do a 1 a.m. set at a festival, or play a house party without compromising what we do”.  She adds, “The simpler it is the bigger it sounds.”

And it’s a sound that works.  She was pleased to be asked by Colin Linden to join Blackie And The Rodeo Kings on stage at Massey Hall in a few weeks to sing a song from their “Kings And Queens” album, a sold out concert that kicks off their latest tour just before they too come to the area to play The Gayety Theatre in Collingwood.

When this sound and this voice fills The Marsh Street Centre next Saturday night, to be sure a lot of people will experience what reviewer Kerry Doole, writing in Exclaim!, calls “a force of nature, one of those voices that grabs you by the throat while causing the hairs on the back of your neck to tingle”.

Visit http://www.marshstreetcentre.com/events-cmql for tickets.

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