NOTES FORM THE PORT Vol. 117

Thanks to Cindy Crank of the Chaffey’s Lock Heritage Committee for funnelling me information on it’s weekly events. Infused with soul and smothered in sass, leMeow is capturing the attention of some of Canada’s most respected music critics. LiVE 88.5 FM Music Director, DJ Noah said, “If you like Amy Winehouse, Fitz and the Tantrums, and Adele, you’ll dig leMeow!” Lead singer Gin Bourgeois is described as having the perfect combination of smoothness and grit to her voice, complemented by the funky bass grooves of James Rooke. Le Meow play Sat.Jul.22 and advance ticket are available online or at Brown’s Marina for $20. $25 at the door if still available. www.lemeowmusic.com
 
Heard Eric Uren was great for the Sunnyside annual Ride for Dad fundraiser. I understand owner Kevin Scott and his friend Buddy sat in with him for a set. Apparently Eric didn’t want to leave. They raised $1800!
Ran into old friend and Westport native, surfer/multi-boarder/dad/free spirit Matty “Dubs” Westcott! Dude is a lightbulb! He and his brother released a surf film called Good Morning Miyazaki! It has garnered lots of accolades in the business and I’m really proud of the broa who live side by side in Torino, BC! Would be great to see him again sooner than later…
 
Ila Vann gave it a good go on Thursday as the vocal guest to Jazz Night. What a pro! We got some funky soundsbrewing and then the boys from Ohio took over. The shirts came off and the John Cougar Mellencamp and Don McLean song-off was costly. Joe for mayor! #ilavann #northernsoul
Young Petty Stones was another trip. Thanks for packing the house with nostalgia seekers! I guess rock and roll won’t die. To be continued in December…#youngpettystones #mericuh
Strung out to Dry took it to the people on Saturday on the Cove patio. It was one of those perfect bug-less evenings with the smell of sweet flowers and wetlands in the air. The band definitely channelled some Dead feelings…
Some groups are playing a nice little mid-summer event at North Crosby Community Centre. It’s Music in the Park & Olde Fashioned Picnic & BBQ. Music by Turpin’s Trail 1-4pm and Irish Roots 4-6pm this Saturday at Shillington Park. Admission FREE. $ for BBQ. www.turpinstrail.com
 
Every Wednesday is Shawn McCullough rip roaring his awesome brand of guitar playing and high-headed vocularisms! 7-10pm Reserve if you wish to sit and eat too! www.reverbnation.com/shawnmccullough 
 
Every Thursday is a full plate of Jazz Night with some fresh mayhem and who knows what will happen. Spencer Evans thrives in this environment. Catch him weekly in his happy habitat with his fellow rhythm section beasts. 9-11pm Reservations are apparently a good idea. #goatboy
Friday is the return of one of the best power Trios of Ontario, MonkeyJunk! Juno award winners. No big deal. Hear these swamp funkers give their very best this Friday with a bunch of other boogie junkies. Delicious Buffet and Show $60 + HST 7-11? www.monkeyjunkmusic.com
 
Head Over Heels are the perfect food and drink accompaniment to your al fresco patio experience…and hey they will be there, miraculously, coincidentally, this coming Saturday night from 6-9pm and every Summer Sunday 12:30-3:30pm!!!
Here’s a fun listen. Jeff Beck owns it on his 2016 Loud Hailer. Big, low, squealing.
I listened to Donovan while writing this.

NOTES FROM THE ‘PORT Vol. 116

Going to be quick this week…
Landon Bedor. Such an amazing little musician from north in the Ottawa Valley. What can I say? This kid has practiced his craft and given his time to it. His folks and family and network of friends have stood by him with encouragement as you can see. Thanks for coming to sing some music at Rack ‘n Tunes for us. I know you were nervous and I know you were disappointed in your performance but I was thoroughly impressed, my man. I think the reason you were nervous is because you are a hard working young artist who cares about his work. I think that’s what you should be proud about. Come on back to Wednesday night anytime!
Dave Balfour and Johnny Richard administered a patio shot of love for the ages on Saturday night on The Cove Patio. Thank you for your smiles and chuckles and different and Nya from your hearts. He Fiddle, the son of the lute. The duo, the singer. The friends, the separation. Togetherness, with music in the centre.
Found out totally last minute that some of my musical friends were playing down at Opinicon Lake music festival this past Saturday. Oh Susanna, Luther Wright & The Wrongs and Chris Brown have all played in Westport and I think, area and was good to hear them playing some more!
Shawn McCullough continues to somehow finds time to slow roast Racks and Racks of Ribs…kidding!! The Cove kitchen does that but Shawn definitely gets things cooking on stage with his set, then the invite set of Open Mic goers then a jammer set…weekly at The Cove Wednesday 7-10pm. Cookin’. #rackntunes
Soul Singing Legend of the Northern Soul scene, Ila Vann is coming back for her annual set with Spencer Evans, Mike Sakell and myself. She is wonderful. A real one. A backup to the likes of Frank Sinatra, Kenny Rogers and Ray Charles, she is royalty. Not to be missed. Just wear your hard hat as the Joe Stevens annual Ohio road trip will be smearing through. Weekly at The Cove Thursday 9-11pm. #jazznight
Kevin and Vanessa, the love birds who battle the grackles are at a War of words with each other every Sunday on the Cove patio 12:30-3:30pm. #headoverheels
Tavis Triance and The Natural Way record now available Tonic Records out of Vancouver and at www.tavistriance.com. It’s a real record. As my Friend aptly revealed: Thanks for the Tavis CD. It’s rare to hear such vulnerability in writing these days, (or ever). Tavis has a story and the band has a sound. This combination has always pulled me in as deep as it can. And it will with you if you let it.
Happy for my buddy and fellow Young Petty Stones musician Jason Kent who, with his incredible skill and a little soul planning will be playing with Barr Brothers band this coming Saturday at Hillside Music Festival. At The Cove on Friday, the Young Petty Stones show on Friday is going to be sweaty and tight but the party will be ripe for summer.
Saturday coming is the annual trip of the ragged Dead/bluegrass kings of Kingstown.
Strung Out To Dry are rootsy with Chris Morris, Pete Josza and Chris Petersen and are all seasoned musicians who have a the traditional string music of the American south: folk, bluegrass, mountain music, Delta blues, etc. They perform original and traditional songs, instrumentals, popular and obscure covers, and a LOT of solos.
6-9pm in the Open Air on The Cove Patio.
#strungouttodry
Our local contingent at Ottawa Bluesfest on the big festival stages: Logan Brown and Taylor Angus, Brea Lawrenson with Shawn McCullough, Wade Foster and more. Congratulations! Fly high away like Bette Midler.
MUSICwestport feature! This week: speaking of Brea Lawrenson and her band, she is coming back to the festival to get her six shooters out and maybe a bottle of whiskey (coloured water)and show us what the real country stars do! Haha! Stereotypes aside, we have some country star power from Carleton Place. Guts and Glory is the newest single and video. She just keeps winning and you keep hearing her ditties in the box! Come and join her journey as she tells the old story through young eyes. Sat.Aug.19 afternoon outdoor stage show. Bring your lawn chair or a picnic!
There are so many beautiful songs to listen to in this short life…

NOTES FORM THE PORT Vol. 115

Fast times at Westport High this last weekend. Something else. Schooooool’s out, for, the summa! Schooooool’s out, fo, eva! I almost feel like it’s time for us to have a school’s out for the summer party. Back it is. Bring it on. The music is amazing outdoors these days. The patio is such a lively place to exist and hang out. Come outside and hear it!

The one, the only, Rueben DeGroot and a collection of his bag full of colourful characters in Rocket Surgery crowded the Cove Patio stage on Sunday. The sun shone, beer flowed and the tearful smiles were seen all over. Rueben is on his way out of Kingston after being a creative force on the scene. He has brought together so many through his wonderfully positive feeling, inspiring songwriting, inclusive band size and open mind. I loved spending time working on our Tribute to The Travelling Wilburys called We are Wilburys March 2015. It was all about pulling as much B-Side material together as possible! Thanks to Rob, Eli and Dan for the memories too. Roob Dean, you always have a place here at The Cove. C’Mon back soon and god speed you Blue emperor.

Thanks to all you folks who keep coming to strut your stuff and sing your guts out at Rack ‘n Tunes every Wednesday at The Cove. Shawn McCullough is all the more stronger for it. 7-10pm weekly

Jazz Night every Thursday is back and it’s bad. You know what I mean by bad, right? The drumming, the piano playing, the tunes, the pace, the 20 years. Come and dance! 9-11pm $5 weekly at The Cove. Reservations are a good thing.

Friday, Turpin’s Trail gave a patriotic set and I must say I was thoroughly inundated with goosebumps singing six-part harmony on The Northwest Passage. Thanks for your shows at The Cove guys!

Head Over Heels give their heart and soul and beam it from stage weekly on Sunday afternoons on The Cove Patio. There is always a new guitar. 12:30-3:30pm

Grant Fullerton formerly of the Great Canadian Rock and Roll Band Lighthouse will be a one man band on stage in the flesh on Friday night. He was here last year on the recommendation of our friend Doug Allan. Boogie Woogie and good on rock and roll are the staples on the menu with a few specials and jokes for good measure. 7-11pm at The Cove $10

Tennis demon and Dave Matthews fan Dave Balfour is one The Cove stage from 6-9pm probably with Fiddle firestorm Johnny Richard. He has been running the Open Mic at O’Reilly’s in Perth for years and has been instrumental Stewart Park Festival for many years as well. You’ll love them. 6-9pm

Paul Renz is a American great Jazz Guitarist who vacations in the area and hosts week long Jazz training day camps. Reasonable considering the amount of knowledge that can be acquired and meals included. 8am-8pm $250 per day. This year, famous Manhattan Transfer vocalist Cheryl Bentyne will be teaching you how to not only crawl up and down passing time scales and Melodic Minor modes but groove, jazz and jive through the music with others under Paul’s tutelage. Contact Paul at paul@paulrenz.com.

Queens of the Stone Age coming out with a new record sooner than later by Mark Ronson has produced Adele, Amy Winehouse, Bruno Mars, etc to name a few. What can I say, I love this scaly chameleon of a rock and roll band. Always have. Always will. They exemplify leadership in a weird way. Overtly, sometimes crushingly powerful yet cerebral and soulful. Funky and spun out. Always driving but unpredictable. Like AC/DC meets Jefferson Airplane? Looking forward to the latest record coming out and the Toronto show to follow, Sept.9.

Finally, wanted to mention how proud I am of my bud Steve Benner. At his 70th birthday at one of his favourite places, The Cove, he mentioned how I’m like another son to him. Well the feeling is mutual and you are definitely family to me man! Inspiring speech. Show ’em how it’s done Steve-O! 30+ years since we’ve known. So happy to be a part of your life and your family!

Thanks for having ears! Keep them open!


NOTES FORM THE PORT Vol. 114

As I walked in from work tonight, I realized once again how much I love my little family and how I live to be a dad. Turns out my eldest son is starting to figure out another element of his personal waterworks. And the other, well he just gazes at us as though he is some divinely inspired, wide smiling messenger of the future with emerald-eyed wisdom. Both were subject of a selfie video that Megan and the boys did to the song “Make you feel my love” by Dylan, Adele. Sam had never really heard it before but he did about as genuine and solid a performance of the song as I’ve ever heard (slightly biased). Long story short, the future is bright.

150 years. Despite the clichés, it’s really true that Canada is one of the greatest places to live on earth. We are so lucky to live in a place where so many in the world want to be. It’s sense of leadership through democracy and freedom, the value it places on our environment and green spaces and how deeply it cares for the well being of its people. I’m proud to be here and whenever I go away, I’m always grateful there is this haven to return to.

Wednesday Rack ‘n Tunes will be in full patriotic form with the songs both cover and especially original by the one, the only, Shawn McCullough Esquire! The man can play! 7-10pm or later…sing a song and you could win a guitar! www.reverbnation.com/shawnmccullough

Thursday will be a red and white evening of Can Con with your friendly Neighbourhood Jazz Night band of Spencer, Seamus and Rob! Come and celebrate music and improvisation with us! Requests always welcome! 9-11pm yadda, yadda, yadda!

On Friday, Turpin’s Trail are back to head the Pre-Party Canada Day in Westport! The East Coast flair and Celtic roots shine though as a clear Westport favourite on Friday! Happy to have them back at The Cove as a major tradition of the entertainment calendar! www.turpinstrail.com
Taylor Angus is at The Opinicon Pub from 7:30pm. www.taylorangusmusic.com

Canada Day will be above and beyond in size and scope everywhere this year and Westport’s annual Celebrations and Fireworks are no exception! Music all day with an Elvis impersonator, Dj and full on rock ‘n’ roll band! This year the celebration will take place at Rideau Vista public school with the bicycle parade and many other similar events of the past years at the beach. Of course, the final main event will blast off one thousand million dollars in fireworks…happy birthday! All day from 1-10pm
Head Over Heels will keep you thinking about and singing the songs you love that hold you close to your Canadian roots on the weekend as well. Saturday night 6-9pm on the patio! www.headoverheelsmusic.blogs.blogspot.ca
JW JUNO Jones plays 3pm on The Chaffey’s Lock waterside! Must be nice! www.jw-jones.com

Special Head Over Heels Canada Day Hangover Party on The Cove Patio happens on Sunday as their house gig keeps them on home soil after the night show. 12:30-3:30pm. www.headoverheelsmusic.blogspot.ca

Greg Ball joins Rocket Ball super hero forces with Rueben DeGroot on The Cove Patio from 12:30-3:30pm Mon.Jul.3, who is leaving the Kingston area sooner than later…friends and family welcome! We love you Roob! www.ruebendegroot.com www.gregball.ca

Miles Mosley, revolutionary upright bassist and composer. Seriously? Check him out! www.milesmosley.com

Kalil Bailey was super doop on Friday for his inaugural Westport gig. Keep it real my man!!!

Delorme brother singing Tennessee Whiskey was a beaut and the Marise/DJ playlist at wedding on Saturday was endlessly awesome. It’s still awesome…

Tavis E. Triance and the Natural Way (some members including myself of Spoon River) album release is officially set for Sept now that my good friend who was to have the record released on Tonic Records and tour for a couple of weeks through western Canada has had to cancel due to blowing his voice out. I wish him a speedy recovery and look so forward to the release later. Love! www.tavistriance.com

Be true to the game…hope I didn’t forget to mention anything super special this weekend!!!


NOTES FORM THE PORT Vol. 113

 
My friend Kate’s mother Jane Zurbrigg told me last weekend while we were up at her cottage that she used to bartend at the famous El Mocambo. She even said that she worked the famous concert Stevie Ray Vaughan there. All kinds of the blues bands that played there still play Blues on the Rideau at The Cove! Of course, if I’m writing about this somewhat obtuse bit of musical Canadian history here, clearly it floors me. El Mocambo was and always will be known as one of Canada’s great rock ‘n’ roll venues. Playing some big shows there with The High Dials are some notches in my musical career belt for sure.
Teagan McLaren’s band really shone once again at the Westport Arts Council thank you party in the park on Saturday called Fathers of Confederation Sizzlin’ Summer BBQ. She and her sister’s duet style get better all the time and nice to hear her give a shout out to The Voice of the Rideau competition for helping to give her her first big shot! Cool to chat with John, the owner of Centerstage Music in Kingston. He was the guitar player in the band again. Some nice little hot licks and a letter pick guard on his teal pine telecaster… If you can believe it, his music store hosted one of the greatest drummers in history couple of weeks ago. The great Dennis Chambers put on a clinic and should people how ridiculous is ambidextrous funkmanship really is. Dennis was part of A Drummer’s Dream, the NFB film that was recorded on Bob’s Lake a few years back. From Parliament to John Scofield, Brecker Brothers to Santana, easily one of the world’s most sought after guys. Can’t believe I missed it but was so much fun to have played with him in that barn by the water that night. Great to see old McGill mate Aidan on drums too…www.facebook.com/teaganmclaren
Logan Brown and Taylor Angus played their inaugural patio show at The Cove on Saturday. Of course they looked right at home! Moving to Perth I hear. Seems Logan has jammed with Kalil Bailey who is coming to The Cove on the patio on Friday night! Kalil, a food creator at Fieldhouse in Perth and a regular at Dave Balfour’s weekly Wednesday jam at O’Reilly’s will have his sweet semi hollow body guitar strapped on for an evening of acoustic soul! 6-9pm www.taylorangusmusic.com
Morgan Davis stunned the crowd with his mumbled wit and throw back Blues set that literally made you feel like you could have been in a deep southern kitchen with McKinley Morganfield or in an LA Jazz joint WITH Slim and Slam. Quirky and bare, his sound is of the legendary records. His just off tune tone soaked in classic blues language gives you more than you expected. What a treat to stand up beside him on his last set for run of tunes. Simple. All feel. All ears. The man from Nova Scotia was en route for 43 shows in 60 days. www.morgandavis.com
Emily Fennell and Spencer Evans trio brought the full spectrum of Jazz Night to the listeners who remained after the fundraiser on Thursday which raised over $15,000 for FOTA! Seriously amazing stuff! Congrats to the FOTA Board for the added dollars to the Arena and thanks to all who attended. The NHL alumni were gracious and humble. www.themissemily.com
Friend and musical force Tom Savage is so close he can taste the final copy of his new set of rollers. Totally looking forward to hearing the upcoming record of next big hits. I’m sure he played Adam and Alize’s wedding on Saturday…congratulations to him for finding love and going for it all the way! Tom and I will be playing Fri Sept.1.
http://tomsavagetrio.blogspot.ca/2017/06/new-album-on-horizon.html?m=1
Upcoming weekly at The Cove:
Rack ‘n Tunes continues to steamroll along the open tracks of music with engineer Shawn McCullough at the helm. Weekly amazingness from this man and the open mic beast it has become. 7-10pm Free www.reverbnation.com/shawnmccullough
Jazz Night is back in full mod swing with the trio of doom. This week, Mr. Treebot Andy Love is on drums and will no doubt sneak his character in there for some singing. 9-11pm
Head Over Heels are back to plays a double header on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Don’t miss them if you need a shot of relaxation and happiness in your life. Sun soaked tunes and singalongs. Sat 6-9pm. Sun 12:30-3:30pm. www.kevinheadmusic.blogspot.ca
I’ll end with a note about Robbie Robertson. His autobiography called Testimony talks how he was virtually thrust into the leadership role of the legendary group The Band. What struck me the most about the article was his quote about finding inspiration at an early age in life…
“I didn’t understand why people didn’t dream, big dreams, and have a wild imagination of what you could do in your life.” Thanks to my friend David Rotundo who has been continuing with me in an ongoing conversation about him and his band. There are always three sides to a secret. Looking forward to our gig together May.13 at The Cove.
Be the music, live the music.
#covemusic
#teaganmclaren
#dennischambers
#robbierobertson
#theband
#morgandavis
#headoverheels
#jazznight
#rackntunes