Tag Archives: Tom Cochrane

Danny Michel Brings School Night Mondays To Crow

by Bill Monahan

Monday is the one night in the week when live music doesn’t happen.  When Danny Michel decided to rectify that six years ago at the Dakota Tavern in Toronto he was bucking conventional wisdom.

“Everybody said I was crazy,” he says, “nobody will come on a Monday.  It turned out to be the opposite.  People loved that there was something happening on a Monday.  But it was early so they could be home by around 9:30.  The other thing is that there was no competition.”

The first series he did at the Dakota sold out for eighteen weeks in a row.  He always invites friends to join him and his band.  The Dakota series included a who’s who of artists, including Sarah Harmer, Jim Cuddy, Ed Robertson, Tom Cochrane, Amelia Curran, and Royal Wood among others.

“It’s created for no other reason than for musicians, friends, to get together to play and enjoy it.  The rest of our lives is all stressful gigs that are about your career and trying to sell tickets.  I kind of missed that whole thing about getting together just to play for no reason.”

Danny Michel has a habit of thinking outside the box with his musical projects.  The empathetic nature of his songs mirrors a career that follows his heart.

The Thursday Lookout – May 25 to 28, 2017

Start your weekend at The Leeky Canoe tonight when a cast of local musicians will offer their individual interpretations of the songs of Bob Dylan, who celebrated his 75th birthday yesterday.  When Chris Scerri put the word out that he was dedicating tonight’s open mic to Dylan songs he received a flood of responses from performers so that the night is shaping up to be something of a showcase of local talent.  And to expand your Bob Dylan fix, get over to Heartwood Hall in Owen Sound on Saturday night to see and hear The Kreuger Band’s mix of Dylan covers and originals done in a style that is all their own.

If you’re looking for a different kind of vibe tonight, check out . SweetWater Jazz: An evening of Swingin’ Strings tonight at Heartwood.  The show was put together by SweetWater Artistic Director Mark Fewer who has teamed up with guitarist Nathan Hiltz, violinist Drew Jurecka, and Joseph Phillips on bass in what he calls a performance inspired by Grappelli and Venuti.  Sounds pretty sweet for fans of “le jazz hot”.

Veteran musician Pete Boynton will be at The Harbour Street Fish Bar in Collingwood tonight starting at seven.  He was the keyboard player for Tom Cochrane’s band Red Rider and has played with everyone from Bo Diddley to Alfie Zappacosta.

The Red Door Grille at The Meaford Motel has been steadily building a reputation as the place to see artists you may not have heard of but will never forget once you have.  Tomorrow night, its Romney Getty performing with Aisha Chiandet, offering harmonies that include Neil Young covers and originals on banjo and ukulele.  Romney has toured he has Canada, USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand, garnering reviews like “Wow, can this girl deliver a song or what!  Romney is a singer-songwriter from Canada and her very personal and soulful deliver of country and blues is totally spellbinding, ”  from Guitar Techniques Magazine and “…Truly the complete package…With enough sheer guts and charisma to cross virtually any genre barrier, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if Getty became the next major breakthrough from the Canadian roots rock scene,” from  Exclaim! Magazine.  This is your chance to see a major talent in Meaford’s most intimate venue.

When it comes to major talents in unexpected places, jazz fans can’t miss with a special performance by Russ Little on Friday night at the L. E. Shore Library in Thornbury.  After an early career that included touring with the Woody Herman Orchestra as lead trombone and later with the Count Basie Orchestra, he became an original member of Canada’s legendary Lighthouse, and through the early ’70’s performed in the world famous Boss Brass, while pursuing a very successful career as conductor/composer/arranger for major Canadian and American television networks.

Also on Friday night there is a very special evening in store for those who make their way to Massie Hall for a concert by Steve Dickinson, joined by his old friend Roger Williamson.  They are both local talents whose abilities soar far beyond our area.  Steve has returned home after touring England with a band that included former players from the bands of Eric Clapton, Bob Segar and Kid Rock and contributing to a tribute album of Frankie Miller songs that also featured Rod Stewart, Elton John, Huey Lewis and a who’s who of international stars.  Internationally respected as a vocalist, Steve will be telling some road stories and featuring his own songs on Friday night.

Meaford’s Jayden Grahlman, who is as busy as he is talented, is increasingly in demand both as a solo performer and sideman in a variety of incarnations.  He’ll be at Heartwood on Friday night joining the “energetic wave of psychedelic funkiness” that calls themselves Zuffalo, a band with four songwriters who put the emphasis on “community, positivity and fun”.

With all that going on there are still more choices (check the listings on the right).  Trish and The Tractors, whose following continues to grow by leaps and step dances, is hosting another of their  Country Dance nights at the Royal Canadian Legion in Owen Sound on Saturday night and Bill Murdoch hosts an old time Gospel Show at Hepworth Shallow Lake Legion on Sunday afternoon.

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Heartwood Presents An Intimate Evening With Danny Michel

This Thursday Danny Michel will be playing at Heartwood Concert Hall in Owen Sound.  He’s touring to promote his new album, “Khlebnikov”, a recording that is special in many ways, the least of which is that it may be the most northern album ever recorded.

Danny was invited by astronaut Chris Hadfield who invited him to join Generator Arctic, an expedition in the Arctic Ocean aboard the Russian ice-breaker Kapitan Khlebnikov with scientists, photographers, writers, videographers.

In an interview with Tom Power on CBC Radio’s Q The Music, he explained, “The goal was for all of us to go up there, experience the arctic and to come back and share it with the rest of the world.”  His job was to write a song about it.  “I can write more than one song in eighteen days,” he said, so, ensconced in his tiny cabin, he created an entire album’s worth of material, recruiting as session musicians Colonel Hadfield and the vessel’s dishwasher.  He brought the recordings back to civilization with him and, collaborating with multiple award winning composer Rob Carli, created this singular album.

Joseph Mathieu of Exclaim! calls it “a pensive album that illustrates a nautical and northern life. It’s all majestic scenery with well-oiled machinery at the forefront, with a story of picturesque fishing villages, ancient graves of explorers and even the dreams of the Russian crew.”

Danny told Aaron Tang of Killbeat Music, “One evening at 4:00am I woke to massive muffled booms and thuds of the Khlebnikov lurching through the Arctic ice,” recalls Danny. ”Too curious to sleep I put on all of my gear and went outside to see what was happening. There alone, at the bow I witnessed one of the most glorious moments of my life. Under an endless sky and midnight sun, I watched pieces of ice the size of tennis courts break, flip, and bounce around like bowling pins under the hull of the mighty Khlebnikov. Later that day I wrote “24,000 Horses”

Danny Michel was a natural choice to capture this expedition in song.  His musical output has always reflected his love of the planet.  He describes himself as “an environmentalist, pacifist, romanticist and space enthusiast.”  In 2011, he created “The Ocean Academy Fund”, helping raise scholarships for the Caye Caulker Community School, a small non-profit community high school in Belize. To date, he’s raised over $70,000.00 for the school and volunteers there.

He is also a fireball of creative energy who expresses himself in a variety of projects that bring together musical friends.

He created and single-handedly produces  “Dan’s Space Van” ,a web-series that takes place in an original customized 1978 GMC Vadura (airbrushed in a Star Trek theme), featuring interesting people and musical guests who perform in the van’s diamond quilted, crushed red velvet interior.

He also created a special series at Toronto’s Roots Rock mecca, The Dakota Tavern, that he calls “School Night Mondays”.  He’s given life to the slowest night of the week for any venue with a “relaxed early show for no other reason than friends playing music”.  It’s been sold out for eighteen weeks in a row, with guests that have included Sarah Harmer, Jim Cuddy, Col. Chris Hadfield, Ed Robertson, Tom Cochrane, Royal Wood, Whitehorse, and more.

Danny Michel’s music is a gift, an art and a joyful celebration of life, sure to brighten up a cold Owen Sound winter’s night this Thursday.  Doors open at 7:30 and the show starts at 8:30.  Most tickets, priced at $25, are available on line, with a limited number of hard copy tickets available at Heartwood Home, just below the venue.

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