NOTES FORM THE PORT Vol. 125

Rob Lutes and sidekick Rob MacDonald from Montreal crafted a blues set that teased a room full of aficionados. This guy Lutes can really be put up there with those terribly slick and cerebral blues players. MacDonald was hunched over a twangy resonator guitar, the likes of which we don’t see too much of on The Cove Stage.

Im honoured to open Festival of Small Halls at the Chaffey’s Lock Community Hall on Thursday. Thanks to the Ottawa Bluesfest staff especially Kelly Symes for offering me the spot. I don’t do this type of show that often, if ever. My tunes are like my collections. They are well curated, get filed away and sleep. I have to out an end to that and take up some of the offers my friends have made to help me record some of it. You never know. I’ll play some Spoon River as well as my own. Really impressed by the festival’s ability to generate a buzz for these shows. This one that I’m doing opening for Indie folk stars, Great Lake Swimmers sold out in a reported 20 mins! Guess social media works. Looking forward to some familiar faces and welcoming house. -9:30pm
The Cove favourites, Logan Brown and Taylor Angus will be opening for Jenn Grant on Friday at the same venue 7-9:30pm and at the Morton Community Hall Fred Penner with Barbershop Therapy is doing a Matinee starting at 3pm! www.thefestivalofsmallhalls.com

The Cove’s incredible weekly musical prowess of Shawn McCullough and his pied piper-esque show of musical upcoming talent continues this Wednesday under the name, Rack ‘ n Tunes 7-10pm. Cmon!
Jazz Night will be unbridled as the one and only musical workhorse Spencer Evans will be in full solo tormenting mode 8-10pm.
Finally, the sun has been beating down on the wonder couple Head Over Heels as of late. Let’s get intimate for yet another Sunday before the end of summer takes them away from us on the patio overlooking the unparalleled tranquility of Foley Mountain and Westport Pond! 12:30-3:30pm

Brockville has a band. And they like to play. They love to rock and they specialize in having nothing but fun. Healy & Orr have been a serious lighthearted fixture of the Leeds County music scene for years. They give he performance of their god given lives every time they get on stage, under a tent or roll from gunwale to gunwale on a Krock booze crooz! If you live classic rock and roll and want shout it out like you haven’t since you were a kid, get on the train and choo choo across the dance floor on Friday at The Cove. High energy power Trio, I’m TNT, I’m dynamite! 7-10pm $10 www.healyandorr.ca

Another Brockville dude returns to The Cove on Saturday. Need I say more than Jeff Callery? This time with his friend sidekick Gino! Feel good acoustic guitar music from a duo that kicks. 6-9pm.

Some crazy amazing Cove shows coming up too:
Sat.Sept.23 Between the Lines is an annually produced show by Head Over Heels/Liner Notes duo Kevin and Vanessa Head. They hand pick their favourites to blend into a songwriter circle. The last one had us crying and laughing. I’m sure this one will be of the same ilk…Wendell Ferguson, Rick Fines, Suzie Vinnick and Jenny Whiteley featuring her ace instrumentalist husband Joey Wright!!! Ouch, $55 + HST buffet and show…hurts is good.

Neil Young’s Hitchhiker album that he recorded one night in Malibu, California was just released on Friday! He wanted to release a record completely unadulterated or tampered with. Strictly rough tracking in the Tonight’s The Night vibe, Hitchhiker has a solo acoustic walk through of Powderfinger (Look out Mama there’s a white boat coming up the river…). The beauty of the recording is that it’s totally coffee house, uncut and under the influence. It’s take a lots of you know what to re-release something like this. Gems and chestnuts full.

I Love the 90’s at Krock was well attended by a Westport contingent. Rob Base, C & C Music Factory, Salt ‘n Pepa, Young MC and Vanilla Ice were the nostalgic hip hip pop star lineup. I was impressed to hear about this yet sad to hear about it so late. I mean, I’m not internationally known, but let’s talk about sex. Stop, collaborate and listen and don’t just stand there bust a move. Krock is really reeling in some big fish acts these days.

Westport Fall Fair was all about fun, kids and going that extra mile. I mean, first of all, what sunshine to soak up. The games were classic as were the prizes, food. I hear there was some homegrown music too. My wife and boys attended and saw many a local with the family. Some wonderful volunteerism in this town has lead to growing buzz about events like this. Keep. It.  Coming. Kids.

Had a great chat with Paul Millar today about some plans to help in the relief efforts for the hurricane of the south. I mean, some folks have really been ravaged and are really up the preverbal creek without a paddle. We saw so much on the Gulf coast feel the wrath of Harvey and Irma and some countries just don’t have anything to fall back on. Donate where and however you can. At least stay aware and appreciate how lucky you are in these times. My cousins in Houston are flooded and are tying to figure out the ground floors of their home like a ridiculous amount of residents there. Then there is my folks who have a boat down in Florida just north of heavily drowned Naples. Resorts on the north side of Cuba in the Cato Coco and Havana regions have been truly decimated. Friends whom we know have plans to vacation there will have to switch things up due to a destroyed causeway and air port. Then there is the storm surge that has killed most of the east coast of Florida all the way north of Norh Carolina so far. Most importantly though, it’s these little sovereign countries like Antigua and Barbuda as well as the tiny Sint Maarten and the Virgin Islands archipelago who are all about 95% flattened are clearly the saddest situations. Some have no parent countries to call upon. Some may not recover for years. Wouldn’t it be an absolute wonder if we could turn some heads with tidal effort!? Stay tuned and if you are a musical performer who might be interested in offering your time and service to this unprecedented cause, email me seamuscowan@gmail.com. Thank you all!

Give and you shall receive!


NOTES FORM THE PORT Vol. 124

Skip Prokop, the original drummer and band leader of Lighthouse has passed. Our friend Doug Allan as well as fellow performer and local friend Dr. Ian Jackson have been instrumental in introducing me to Lighthouse. Doug by suggesting former Lighthouse member Grant Fullerton to play The Cove stage and Dr. Ian J by singing “One Fine Morning” with the Spencer Evans Trio! Regardless, another Canadian legend down.

Friday night was a special one for me. Tom Savage had his first opportunity to present his new work, “Everything Intertwined” to the audience. We traded songs, ours and others. We sang, we picked, we laughed and jammed. A nice little highlight was a slinky funked out take of Dylan’s “I Shall be Released”. Nice to know things come round full circle and the chemistry stays strong. Can’t wait to do it again. Looking forward to the Tom Savage record release party on Oct.14 at The Mansion!

King of the Swingers tumbled into The Cove on Saturday night. Bang, bop, zippety do dah, hammer pow, ding! And then into it with the scraggly songs of these local cats who dig into old time like the way it was back then. The loudspeaker caught me off guard when I was told by Stu Pike in a distant muffled arresting voice “Seamus Cowan, Seamus Cowan, please report to the principle’s office”.

Rack ‘n Tunes will be back on at the same time and place this week! Shawn McCullough and his band of protégés and powerhouses will be making that thing called music from round about 7-10pm. The talent keeps coming!
Jazz Night with Spencer Evans Trio with the full band, hit me baby one more time this Thursday. Request a tune, any tune. Thansk for singing with us Smiley, Snake, Dr. J and Riley! Nobody get out alive! Note those new September/October hours 8-10pm!
This week, it’s “What the Heck Happened to Summer”! Wear your best summer outfit and get yourself put in a draw for a gift certificate to The Cove! Seriously, is summer still coming? Did it happen? Let’s make it happen this week.

Head Over Heels were rain checked at The Cove to Sunday this weekend and played the dreamy Monday end-of-the-Labour Day weekend gig. They will be back 12:30-3:30pm until the end of the month.

Rob Lutes returns this Friday to The Cove. This is one of the most remarkably intense and low volume players around. He has a knack for nimble and complex fingerpicking lines with a painful whisper in vocalizing. He is a true unsung Canadian legend whom we have the pleasure of hosting once again with his sidekick Rob MacDonald. The interplay between these two should have people shaking their heads in disbelief. 7-10pm $10. Reservations appreciated.

Jr. B Alumni weekend was a huge success as I understand it! From everyone in love with the Westport Arena, thank you to Jimmy Howard, the former Westport Rideau and current Detroit Red Wing! A new score clock will be purchased! Glad to hear this event happened as so many locals and their families have made hockey their life in his town. It’s truly one of the cornerstones of our community. Let’s go Rideaus!

Congrats to married couple and their family! Megan Kenney was married at The Cove. What a beautifully perfect mixed crowd and a perfect scenario to be indoors! Lovely people all around! Please come back and hang out!

Sending huge love on top of the masses already sent out from the people of Westport to Debbie and Delbert Adrain this past Sunday. An outpouring of community spirit and support was exhibited at The Legion. Such a great place to live isn’t it!? Think about it…


NOTES FORM THE PORT Vol. 123

With the amount of random unsolicited email requests for bookings that I get these days, I feel like you never know what you’re going to come across somedays. Then you check out an Australian blues behemoth like Lloyd Spiegel and you realize, hey, it’s not always who you know. Sometimes it’s great to embrace the randomness of the music business. Thanks to Sarah Porter for introducing us to Lloyd and his unprecedented abilities he brought to The Cove on Friday night. His uncanny style, even though ridiculously “notey”, is rooted deep in the Blues and the traditions of soul music like the best I’ve heard. Especially in the hallowed walls of our establishment. It was something to behold. Truly. Got to play a couple tunes backing him on bass. Bo Didley and the rest of it! He is co-owner of the Australian Cole Clark acoustic guitar company with endorsers like Jack Johnson and Ben Harper! Lloyd is way more a big thing than he let’s on. He lived and learned from Brownie McGee for god sake! He will come back and we will welcome him.

Logan Brown and Taylor Angus returned again to impress those al fresco ears on the Cove patio. Essential live but these folk are all over the net now. Albeit live! I’m really proud of these two. They are so young and their cunning sense of music biz entrepreneurship is growing. Look for them on social media…

Shout out to New Life Thrift store in Westport just two doors south of the Post Office on Main. Paul Millar and his many helpers and friends have donated items and time to provide an alternate shopping experience in Westport. Fun to hear about them giving back to the community and the Free Methodist church!

John Abercrombie has died. One of the world’s great jazz guitarists has passed on in body but his wealth of recordings displays his literally blistering saxophone-like lines and progressive songwriting. He played here at The Cove in September 2010 with my fellow music mates Chet and Jimmy Doxas. It was surreal. He was a force. Timeless.

I hear the Carlson Stage is to be the third stage of MUSICwestport next year. Little bit of a commute but nothing that a shuttle couldn’t handle.

Lyndhurst Turkey Fair Bluegrass extravaganza 2017! Have you checked out the lineup? I mean seriously. This is a boat load of Bluegrass and more…people. Coming Sept.16! www.turkeyfair.com

Whoa! Shawn McCullough and Rack ‘n Tunes is back this Wednesday for another summer smash. Shawn is living healthy these days but don’t let that stop you from having the Ribs!

Last full band Jazz Night of the summer happens this Thursday. Come out and celebrate! 9-11pm. Spencer solo every Thursday in September 8-10pm. Twin Brother Jeff will probably play the last Jazz Night of the season Oct.5…!

Tom Savage and I will play our brand of acoustic music this Friday on the patio of The Cove. Tom has really raised his profile with his latest record which may be available this weekend. His songwriting is strong and words even stronger. This is a deep character who constantly inspires. 5:30-8:30pm

King of the Swingers of Westport play their first ever show at The Cove on the Patio! Their mix of Old Time and Dixieland with a classic Hot Fives inspired quartet gives a good Red Bull dose of energy to any scene. 5:30-8:30pm

Change of Heart is on a 25th anniversary of “Smile” reissue tour across the country as we head into back to school and fall festival season. The band is one of those early true “alternative indie rock” god groups featuring Sir Ian Blurton (of C’Mon who played mine and my brother’s surprise 30th birthday at Duck’s!!! and Bionic, Blurtonia, Cowboy Junkies and more), John Borra, Glenn Milchem (Current Drummer of Blue Rodeo) and more.

Ugh! Uh! Ungh! Queens of the Stone Age have released another bomb. I love this band. So nuanced and tight like a tiger. Villains has made it to virtual shelves and is produced by Mark Ronson of Bruno Mars “Uptown Funk” fame and Adele. Even snuck some Dap Kings horns in there. Ungh! This record moves like and chuck wagon. www.qotsa.com

Speaking of Bruno, said that! Yes! Bruno Mars was a bouncing ball of soul and funk on Sunday at the ACC in Toronto. So glad I had a chance to see him. Like 21st century pop Michael Jackson/James Brown.
Celebrated our anniversary. Woodstock/Zeppelin kind of nostalgia trip tonight with my babe. I love her so much! Coming up 5 years honey…two boys later.

Houston. Praying for my cousins who live there and have been displaced like the rest of them. It’s a reality of our time. If you can, please do what you can to support and/or donate to any cause that might help the folks of south Texas.

Godspeed,
Seamus Cowan, The Human Being


NOTES FROM THE ‘PORT Vol.122

Thanks to Christine Jennings and her generosity in supporting the Westport Arts Council. Finding a whole night of music so that others might enjoy is something else.
The Peptides were the band and only just from Ottawa, they blew us all away with their striking, larger than life stage show and awkwardly appealing funky pop songwriting. Let’s do it again! www.thepeptides.com

The 11th annual MUSICwestport festival was a screaming, resounding, packed, overflowing, jubilant success! Of course, this is by the standards of our small town grassroots Festival. By all accounts, every single group and every corner of the village had some sort of activity throughout the day! Local businesses who support the village were of course at the heart of it all. The Soho stage once again had a bustling atmosphere which is really created a scene. If you took in the festival, thank a board member or think a business or feel free to visit www.westportartscouncil.com and feel free to learn more and/or donate!

Australian acoustic guitar blues virtuoso Lloyd Spiegel is ploughing through The Cove this Friday night! Should be a romper. I’m telling you this boy can manufacture some serious sound and his skill requires the word “mastery” to describe it properly. He learned and was inspired by blues and roots legend Brownie McGee within invited him to the US when he was 16 years old! From then, he is never look back and released records, toured relentlessly internationally and is ready to give your ears and eyes a work out on Friday. 7-11pm $50 + HST Buffet and Show www.lloydspiegel.com

Logan Brown and his wonderful partner Taylor Angus return to The Cove Patio stage on Friday. Phenomenal acoustic funk and soul! 5:30-8:30pm www.taylorangusmusic.com

Weekly at The Cove:
Don’t forget about Rack ‘n Tunes every Wednesday! It’s a night of Shawn McCullough who literally gives it all vocally and flat picking which morphs into an open mic session! 7-10pm every week… Enjoy the ribs!
Thursday is Jazz Night, the infamous, with Spencer Evans Trio. Andy Love is on drums for the next two weeks! 9-11pm
Sunday matinees with Mr. and Mrs. Head singing Love songs with melodies pure and true, they’re the real deal. 12:30-3:30pm

Great to be with old Montreal buddy Andre Bendahan and family a couple of weeks back! Still playing AND doing major video work. Grow that beautiful family man…

Tom Savage record release of his newest entitled Everything Intertwined. Sat.Oct.14 in Kingston at The Mansion. What a blast playing his music on the Festival Stage last weekend with Tony Silvestri and Bonz Bowering. Tom is a seriously prolific songwriter. He and I are playing the Cove patio stage on Friday, September 1. www.tomsavage.ca

So sorry to hear about the passing of these people:

Gerry Pankhurst was a local character. His dry sense of humour and strong sense of opinion always kept him interesting.

Gary Davis with the doorman for her business for a few years back in the early 1990s. Stern when he needed to be but mostly always smiling and giggling under that moustache.

Rita Moore. A lovely lady and cornerstone of the Traynor Norwood Adrain family. She just had her birthday party at The Cove in March. Henry played. It was a great day for her. She will be remembered fondly by her family and friends.

Thinking about the health of Tico Traynor and Quentin Norwood. Two more swell local dudes. Take it easy guys. Get better.

Love,
Seamus Cowan (jr?)


NOTES FORM THE PORT Vol. 120

John Huffman’s 60th was fun playing at the Chaffey’s Lock Community Hall on Saturday. They bday boy knows lots of locals as he is basically one from his early vacationing days. Good to see Guy Kelly, Malcolm, Joe, The Sprungs, The Goulah, Gay, Veronica, fold from The Socialist Pig. New Jazz Night band, Love and Goat Boy and myself took it to them. When Spence gets a good list of requests, there’s no stopping him. Cozy little party inside that little galley. I’m playing there solo opening for Great Lake Swimmers Thu.Sept.14 too.

John Wilberforce was back on a confusing weather night at The Cove Friday. Always a benefit to everyone’s ears when he is around.
Chris Murphy took to the plate Saturday at The Cove knocking out the East Coast home runs left and right. You can see why this guy was head hunted by Sean McCann of Great Big Sea to be his full time side kick.
Finally, Eric Uren came out Sunday night to brace the threatening weather of the patio. Some beautiful haunting slap back reverb on his vocal made the gig sound more Boss than usual.
Rack ‘n Tunes returns every Wednesday 7-10pm. Shawn McCullough is literally perfect as the host. In a word, he is inclusive. The reason so many come from far and wide.
Jazz Night is every Thursday 9-11pm. Spence Evans Trio with Seamus Cowan and Andy Love.
If you want to support some well known and loved friends of Blues on the Rideau, consider nothing else. Miracles for Breakfast: The Journey Continues by Lil’ Miss Debi and Danny Brooks is the story of their life and trials and tribulations. There is an Indiegogo Go Fund Me Program you can throw some cash at. Feel good story.
Honestly quite flattered and surprised to jointly accept the Westport Arts Council Volunteer of the Year award! Bringing the arts to the community on a scale we are
Happy to know that Henry Norwood and his ultra talented partner Wade Foster will be back at The Cove on the patio to get a deck wide foot stomp on and a tear in yer beer. Fresh off the boat from Halifax on a pseudo-honeymoon with his little love Kaileigh, he is sure to be inspired. Make a reso! 6-9pm
Saturday will be a heck of an ear opener for Tony Silvestri virgins. This kid is a prodigy. He plays keys like he could have been in Supertramp, sings like he could have been in Genesis and writes as well! The Belleviller has performed solo with jaw dropping command, rocked stages as a member of The Glorious Sons and has worked with Tom Savage now as a major collaborator. Come and see/hear for yourself! 6-9pm
A mention that my friend Brad Barr has released a couple new tracks on his new The Barr Brothers record, Queens of the Breakers. These people have a gift. Pride comes to mind. Check them out.
Finally, nothing more needs to be said!…

MUSICwestport. This annual free outdoor music festival is our flagship and most popular event attracting locals and visitors from far and wide—and that includes the musicians too! We continue to grow the festival but strive to maintain our roots and mission to bring music to our village and all those that join us over the third weekend in August of every year.

FREE Admission. Donations Appreciated.

Thanks to all of the local businesses and sponsors!

Schedule 2017 MUSICwestport Free Open Air Festival

Fri.Aug.18.2017

Kick Off Party @ The Cove

@ The Cove Country Inn, 2 Bedford St.

www.coveinn.com

$50 Buffet & Show

$20 Show Only (Seating available based what is left after Buffet & Show reservations)

7:00-11:00pm The Peptides (Pop Funk, Ottawa) www.thepeptides.com

Sat.Aug.19.2017

Little Rideau Farm Maple Syrup Stage

@ Soho’s Storage, 43 Bedford St.

www.sohosstorage.com

Free

12:00-1:00pm Kingston Ceili Band (East Coast Folk, Kingston) www.ceiliband.com

1:30-2:40pm Brea Lawrenson Band (Country, Carleton Place) www.brealawrenson.com

3:00-4:10pm The Barrel Boys (Bluegrass, Toronto) www.thebarrelboys.com

4:30-6:00pm Miss Emily feat. Rob Baker & Gord Sinclair of The Tragically Hip (Rock, Kingston) www.themissemily.com

Westport Village IDA Pharmacy Stage

@ The Cove, 2 Bedford St.

www.coveinn.com

Free

12:30-1:40pm Tom Savage Band (Rock, Kingston) www.tomsavage.ca

2:00-3:10pm The Grace Babies/Mae West (Funk, Montreal)

3:30-4:30pm A Fellow Ship (Indie Folk, Toronto) www.afellowship.net

5:00-6:30pm Kasador (Indie Rock, Kingston) Offspring of The Tragically Hip www.kasadorband.com

Wandering Minstrels Downtown Westport

1:00-5:00pm King of The Swingers (Upbeat Dixieland, Westport)

www.westportartscouncil.com

Be there or be an extremely long rectangle!