Tag Archives: Thornbury Paper

Multi-Artist Collaboration Inspired By Original Songs

On Friday, Jan. 12, at The Bleeding Carrot in Owen Sound, six creative artists will present their original works based on four songs.  The four songs are the work of Dave Hawkins.  He has recruited visual artists and short story writers to create original works inspired by these four songs and they will be presenting them to an audience on Friday.

This past summer, Dave mastered recordings of four songs he’d written.  While he performs regularly with the classic country band Trish and The Tractors, his original songs are something different.  His song writing has a nostalgic air to it, reflecting as it does various aspects of life, mostly looking back, evoking the past.  Dave performed his original songs a couple of times as part of a song writers’ evenings and found that audiences responded to his warmth and sincerity.  Having created studio recordings he felt the urge to make something more of the songs.

“I was pleased with the result and I’ve always wanted to have a song inspire a piece of art and also do short stories,” he says, “I’ve always been a water colourist and in the past I was in a short story group where we sat around a wrote short stories once a week. 

“I thought it would be fun to put those all together but then I thought I should get somebody out there who really writes short stories so I asked Maryann of the Ginger Press if she could suggest some writers for me because she’s in touch with a lot of local writers.  She put out the word and two people contacted me and I got hold of a couple of artists that I know and asked them if they would like to be involved and I was very lucky to have them sign on too.”

The result is this unique presentation of music, art and stories built around four of Dave’s songs.  The Bleeding Carrot is a very intimate venue where Dave had enjoyed success as part of one of the Songwriters’ shows and it’s ideal for this type of show.  It starts at 7:30 with a cover charge of $10 at the door.  No advance tickets will be sold and it’s a small room so it’s a good idea to get there early to get a seat.  As a bonus, you receive a copy of the songs to take home with you.

“I’ll be giving away a flash drive with four songs on it with admission,” he says, “There will be two songs and then intermission and then two songs.  There will be a song and then a short story or two will be read and then, of course, all through that you’ll be looking at a piece of art.”

He recruited two painters, one digital artist and two short story writers.

He had a special project for his brother “John who lives in Toronto, five years my senior, has been an artist all his life.   I asked him to get involved, so he’s doing digital art, which we’re going to show on a screen.  He’s done some fabulous stuff.”

One of the things that makes John Hawkins’ contribution special is that it is inspired by a song of Dave’s that evokes their summers together as kids.  The song, “When I Was A Boy” captures the innocence and wonder of youth when he used to camp out with John and his other brothers, their souls open to the universe expanding above them when they were “sleeping out under the stars”.  John has created a visual illustration of that.

“It’s just breathtaking.  He did two of them and said ‘Which one do you want to use?’  I’m going to use them both, I’m gonna flip them back and forth because they’re both just stunning.”

Drew McIvor Plays Thursday Night At The Leeky Canoe

Drew McIvor plays The Leeky Canoe this week for Thirsty Thursdays, when they feature buy one get one burgers, and half price wings after 9 p.m., which is about when Drew will be starting.

Drew hosts open mic at Bruce Wine Bar, photo by Jodi Birch VanDyk

Well known in the area as a musician as well as a singer-songwriter, Drew has been in dozens of local bands over the years.  Currently he hosts the Wednesday night open stage upstairs at The Bruce Wine Bar, a weekly event that is gaining a reputation for great musicianship where he is often joined by the likes of Jay D. Stiles on keyboards, Jayden Grahlman on guitar and the Bambalamb Kidd on percussion.  The open mic is also known for the preponderance of original songs.  “We promote original singer-songwriter style music” owner Steven Vipond recently told Richard Sitoski of the online Thornbury Paper, saying“There are a lot of open mics in the area, [and while] we do have a lot of people who come out and do covers, we still try to promote original material.”

Whether it is covers or originals Drew McIvor excels in both areas. Having figured in bands as diverse as  reggae-acid-funk combo House of Velvet,his own band ElectroNova, Mambo Nation, Nicehaus, the Mackenzie Blues Band and Drew McIvor and the Soul Drivers, he is at home in a variety of styles, with a smooth vocal style that is reminiscent of Sam Cooke.  He’s played keyboards in a tribute to The Band called King Harvest, as well as on the great 2014 album Slam! Bam! by the MacKenzie Blues Band, to which he also contributed an original song “Ain’t Tryin’ To Hide”.

His catchy single “45’s and 33’s” garnered airplay on CBC, making him a finalist in their annual CBC Searchlight contest.  John Brownlow created a high quality video of the song:

He’s also had some interesting adventures as a producer.  Last Christmas he was the creative force behind Wiarton teen Steenika Gilbert’s Christmas song “Christmas Wish List”. Drew coached her to frame her original song in a retro doo-wop style, and in addition to playing all the instruments on the single, he helped get radio and press exposure for his guitar student.

“Steenika’s got a voice that’s absolutely timeless,” he told the Owen Sound Sun Times last year.  She can sing in a way that evokes images of the 1940s, the 1950s, the 1960s. She’s a natural; some people got it and some people don’t and she’s got it in spades. She’s got a golden voice, man.”

Drew McIvor is a musician’s musician who can appreciate the talent of others partly because he has so much talent himself. And he’s an easy guy to get along with.

“I have to say it was one of the best hours of live radio I’ve ever produced,”said Jan Hall of Folk Roots Radio after featuring him as a guest on her show, “ Drew is such a natural and open guy, it was a real pleasure to interview him.”

Although he is always busy, and usually performing somewhere in the area, it is relatively rare for him to play here in his home town in Meaford.  He did one of the sold-out Terrace Thursdays this past summer for Meaford Hall but this may be his first night at The Leeky, so this is a performance worth catching.

Return to Front Page for today’s update