Tag Archives: The Skydiggers

Catch the Live Music Today

Let’s hope the roads stay clear today and tonight.  If it’s a good night for driving you can catch a lot of great live entertainment either within downtown Meaford or just a short drive away.

Seven cellists bring a random act of Christmas music to The Frog Pond for lunch

If you happen to be in Owen Sound this morning, stop at The Frog Pond at 11 a.m. to hear seven cellists play Christmas music.  It runs through the lunch hour so grab something to eat.  If you are a real early bird, rambling about the city at 10 a.m. the cellists will be running through their repertoire at Heartwood Hall and you’re invited.  It’s a random act of Christmas music with love from seven cellos and they are even bringing song sheets you can borrow.

Jessy Bell Smith joins Andy Maize and Josh Findlayson as today’s Skydiggers

Meaford Hall’s concert tonight is a presentation of Presented by Inside The Music. It’s The Skydiggers’ famous Christmas show, something that’s been a tradition, usually at The Horseshoe in Toronto, for many years now.  This is the first time they’ve taken the show on the road. Tickets are $46.70 at the box office and the show starts at 8 pm.

When Meaford Hall lets out don’t leave town without stopping at The Leeky Canoe across the street to hear Craig Smith.

If you enjoyed Joe Huron at The Red Door Grille in Meaford last night, you might want to head over to Collingwood tonight to catch him with his trio McAndrew, Huron and Moore, filling out his sound with drums and sax at The Huron Club.

In the opposite direction, all around the bottom of the bay to Owen Sound, The Heartwood Concert Hall is always a good bet for good music in a great casual venue.  The Sons of Perry are there tonight with Marshall Veroni.

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Joe Huron Inaugurates Meaford’s New Jazz Venue

This Friday make your way to the Red Door Pub and Grille to enjoy the jazz stylings of Joe Huron.  Chris Scerri is at it again, making good on his promise of bringing more live music to downtown Meaford.  The Red Door Pub and Grille in the Meaford Motel is the ideal venue for the jazz and classical stylings that Chris hopes to introduce here, with a small intimate atmosphere and tasty menu items.  This will be the only booking of this type for December but in January it will become a regular Friday night feature from 8 to 11.

Starting with Joe Huron sets the bar high.  He has earned a reputation over his long career for what CitizenFreak.com calls “distinct voice on the guitar that reflects a calm introspection behind a curtain of strong melodic play. Delivering warm tones; he expresses all that is true with an unhurried approach of a seasoned player. For the listener, we are all but happy to relax with his overall intent of inclusivity.” Meaford had a small taste of his virtuosity last September when he was at The Leeky Canoe accompanying Virgil Scott.

Originally from Arnprior, his musical family encouraged his ambitions.  He studied guitar in B.C. and Toronto. Joe played in the Diana Wood Quartet from 1990 to 1998, performing at the Montreal Bistro in Toronto.  For the past twenty years he has lived in Barrie, making his living from performances and teaching music.  His Sunday afternoon jazz at Fitzy’s Crabshack in Barrie has become legendary for the quality of the musicians who come to sit in with him.

Here’s a little sample of his guitar playing:

This is great news for Meaford.  A new live music venue with a different flavour of music adds to our choices for an evening out in Meaford.  Now that Captains Corner has finished up its live Friday nights for the season, you can enjoy live music just a block down the street at The Red Door.

Enjoy Joe Huron from 8 to 11 Friday, Dec. 10, 2016.

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The Skydiggers’ Christmas Road Trip

On Saturday, Dec. 10th The Skydiggers are coming to play at Meaford Hall.  This Toronto based band has been woven into the tapestry of Canadian music since the 1980’s.  Early in their career they established a tradition of putting together a special Christmas show.  This year they have taken it on the road.  For their Meaford show, they promise to provide a blend of Christmas tunes and their signature songs from their catalogue.

The Spadina Hotel where The Skydiggers were born

The Spadina Hotel where The Skydiggers were born

Back in the 1980’s the Cabana Room was at the top of a steep staircase in the old Spadina Hotel in Toronto.  While the hotel at that time was well past its prime, the Cabana Room was a vibrant gathering place for the new generation of Toronto bands that was developing a kind of folk rock amalgam with socially relevant original songs.  The new phenomenon of music video produced as a promotional tool was in its infancy and Toronto’s CITY-TV was ahead of the trend with a late night show hosted by Christopher Wren that featured music videos, with occasional visits from Mike Myers playing the part of a Scarborough kid (later famous as Wayne of Wayne’s World), and videos from local bands mixed in with those from international artists.  Hal Harbour on CFNY radio gave local bands airplay and interviews.  Local music writers like Karen Gordon and Howard Druckman followed the local scene, spotlighting up and coming new talents.  It was a scene that gave birth to Blue Rodeo, The Cowboy Junkies,The Rheostatics and others.  Into that scene Andy Maize and Josh Finlayson came to create The Skydiggers

“It all started in the beverage room of the Spadina Hotel. That is essentially when the band came together.” says Josh in an interview published on Maple Music.com., “Andy and I performed there as a duo as part of Andrew Cash’s Monday night series called Acoustic Meltdown. When Andrew released his debut album and could no longer host the night, we took it over. We put an ad in Now Magazine answered by Ron Macey, and together with Wayne Stokes and Andrew’s brother Peter Cash, who was quietly writing some amazing songs, Skydiggers were born.”

“We cut our teeth there” adds Andy. “It forced us to come up with new songs every week and it prepared us for what was to come. What you hear on Spadina Hotel is a young band finding its voice and recorded from the audience with a single microphone. We have always been conscious of documenting where we were at as a band, which is why we still have so much unheard material. So a dozen years after those Monday nights at The Spadina Hotel, and after many miles on the band odometer, we revisited the idea of a live album. We recorded a number of sets at The Sidetrack Cafe in Edmonton for There & Back, but it wasn’t until we recorded our annual Christmas concerts at The Horseshoe Tavern that we felt we captured the energy that had kept us going for so long.”

Now they are bringing that energy to a Meaford audience, seasoned by years on the road, and with a few lineup changes.

Jessy Bell Smith joins Andy Maize and Josh Findlayson as today's Skydiggers

Jessy Bell Smith joins Andy Maize and Josh Findlayson as today’s Skydiggers

One of the changes was the addition of vocal support from Jessy Bell Smith, an artist originally from Guelph who, in 2014 released her first album, “The Town”.  Reviewers called it “gorgeous”, likening her to iconic vocalists like Aretha Franklin, Norah Jones, Etta James and EmmyLou Harris.  You may have seen her at Heartwood Hall back in October when she shared a bill with Richard Laviolette and The Country Parade.

Whether you are a transplanted Torontonian who still holds a place in your heart for The Skydiggers or a fan of harmonies and meaningful lyrics, this show is something you won’t want to miss.  We can be grateful that The Skydiggers included us on their Christmas road trip.

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