Tag Archives: The Harmony Centre

‘Tis The Season, Fa-la-la-la-la

It’s that time of year again when choirs raise their voices in song and Christmas specials abound.  Live music takes on a special flavour this time of year.  Here’s a guide to some of what’s happening around our area.

Meaford’s longstanding Women’s Choir, The Goldenaires, presents their annual Christmas concert at the Meaford United Church on Sunday afternoon.  The choir is under the direction of Catherine Robertson and features special guests the Beaver Valley Concert Band, directed by Don Robertson.  The show starts at 2:30 pm and admission is by donation.

Tonight at The Historic Gayety Theatre, classical guitarist and five time Juno Award winner Liona Boyd presents “A Winter Fantasy”, featuring music from her 2014 Christmas album accompanied by guitarist and vocalist Andrew Dolson.   This is her third Christmas themed work.  The first one, entitiled “A Guitar For Christmas”, was the first classical album to go platinum in Canada, establishing her as Canada’s “First Lady of the Classical Guitar”.

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.”

Thursday Update May 18 to 21, 2017

If you just can’t get enough of the McCarthy clan, you’ll get your chance this weekend full of inspiration from their recent pilgrimage to Nashville.  Austin is at Bruce Wine Bar tonight and at The Huron Club on Saturday, while Mike and Erica play Gustav’s on Saturday night.  Then Austin is back at The Huron Club on Sunday afternoon for their Sidelaunch Series.

Summerfolk has put together its annual tribute concert happening on Saturday at the Harmony Centre, with a bunch of local talents paying homage to The Tragically Hip.

With some great little venues presenting live music within a short drive from the lakeshore, this would be a good weekend to cruise around and check them out.

Start your musical weekend on Friday night at the Desboro Music Hall to see the virtuoso ukulele/cello duo James Hill & Anne Janelle with special guest prodigy Brontae Hunter opening.  This is one of those venues that is under inspired management and the quality of their offerings is well worth the drive to Desboro.

The Bicycle Café in Flesherton is gaining a reputation among both performers and music fans as a venue that goes the extra mile to provide quality entertainment.  In the past they’ve presented stellar shows from Culture Reject and Andrew McPherson and this Saturday they are featuring legendary folkies Fraser and Girard.

Allan Fraser and Marianne Girard played last weekend in Massie where a new concert season is ramping up for the summer.  This is another venue inspired by the love of live music.  Although they have nothing planned for this weekend, mark your calendars for Steve Dickinson next weekend on May 26th and Christina Martin on June 17th.  Steve was the first performer to play at Massie Hall when they started presenting music 13 years ago and when Christina Martin comes in June she’ll be freshly returned from a successful European tour.

In Durham this weekend The Garafraxa Café is presenting singer-songwriter Bry Webb, formerly of the indie band The Constantines.  This great little venue has been struggling with the tendency of artists to book nearby gigs within days of their Garafraxa appearances and it’s the case this weekend with Bry Webb, who is playing at Heartwood tonight.  Maybe you’ll want to see him twice, or you’ll just want to support a little venue that is far enough away from a big city that they have to draw from quite a distance if they are to survive.

The Garafraxa is starting a Sunday afternoon series this weekend with the Doug Tielli Trio and next weekend they will be featuring a Sunday afternoon with Deep Blue Honey which is the stage name of the impressive local poet Richard-Yves Sitoski and his wife Mary Little.

The more we support these venues that are a little off the beaten track the more we are opening up the possibilities for a variety of performers to visit our area.

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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.