NOTES FROM THE ‘PORT Vol. 133

Sad to have to start this week this way, but what else to say other than we are sorry to hear about the passing of all of these wonderful souls. Obituaries allows the chance to reflect and help us realize the importance of value every moment in our life. For real!

The Weber Brothers canceled due to a death of a close friend, we will have them back. They were emotionally exhausted and didn’t feel they could get up on stage after playing benefit concerts all week for the family.
With the fondest of memories, the one and only patriarch Delbert Adrain passed away. Partner in Garter and Delbert’s Sugar Shack and loyal father and friend to do, so many. Hope he rests well now.
The laughing Scotsman Tony Dunlevy passed away too. This man used to find so much joy in calling me Rattler. A tricky joker, was always a gentle soul to me.
Theresa Kane passed. Condolences to the Kane clan.
Joe, the father of Stu DeKroon, died and was  the loving father of their family. Thoughts go to the Sceviour family too.
All pillars of our community. All will be remembered in the highest regard.

Malcolm Young, the AC/DC mastermind of rhythm succumbed from dementia…Back in Black is all that needs to be said.

Coming Wednesday is, you guessed it, Wings ‘n Tunes Church. Come a preach your tune at the open mic! 6:30-9:30pm

Saturday is one of the Village’s huge community events! The Santa Claus Parade is back! The parade route has been changed with to start at the Esso station and end at St. Edwards church parking lot. Santa Claus will be waiting inside in the gymnasium well hot dogs and goodies keep them warm outside. It’s an Olde Tyme theme and starts at 2pm. I hear there are four walking bands in the parade again this year. Line those streets! Henry Norwood and Shawn McCullough will hit the stage 1-4pm at the Cove for the always packed crowd pre-Xmas Party. Then Head Over Heels keeps us warm and close at night from 6-9pm. All day Christmas vibes at The Cove!

The 2nd Annual Billy Allan’s Big Ball Bash happened Saturday in Perth. Another in a slew of local fundraisers that just seems to continue to grow like crazy! It was at The Perth Legion where a sold out legion of Billy Allan’s fondest partied til the deep of night. This is a generous dood, a hell of a baritone and an inspiration of positivity to all those enough surround him. Congratulations my man! Oh, and who else but DoubleBack was rockin’ the face of the party faithful. Great charity too, Perth Hospital Foundation.

Pete McNichols chatted me up Saturday night when reminiscing and recognizing the fragility of mortality, told me of how after he lost his brother Mike, his buddy and Tragically Hip manager Bernie Breen gave him tickets to the last Hip show in Kingston. So generous of him not only for how coveted the tickets were but how uplifting that experience would be for his healing. I didn’t know this but Pete saw the Hip back at his Sydenham high school dances before they were anywhere near iconic. Thanks for sharing Pete. Life does flash before our eyes.

Julie and Shane Mooney were in on Saturday before they went to see their buddy Bobby Orr, brother of Randy Orr of Healy and Orr, in his band Country Rock at Lyndhurst Legion. What a situation!

I watched Arrival which reminded me of that mammoth of a mind blowing movie, Interstellar. There is a reality to this movie although it is so far from what we have ever or may never experience. Hit me hard. Mortality needs to be reminded to all of us of how precious it is.

Update: My 3 year old son Sam is now singing Eagles, Adele and Bruno Mars. And if you catch him at he right time with an encyclopedic version of kids car book, he will sit mesmerized listening to the snaking trumpet of Miles Davis! Who knows what is in store for this little dude!?

Watched the 2017 Americana Music Association festival celebration on WPBS tonight. Whoa. Lumineers, Van Morrison, Robert Cray, Graham Nash and so many more…

Roma Wing was in Monday with some of her offspring for a birthday celebration. A medley of You are my Sunshine, If you’re Happy and you Know it and other chestnuts of the day was the medley! So great to always see you and hear your voice!

Finally, The Cove lost a sister Monday. Diane Leduc-Doran passed. Beloved partner to Janes Doran of our long time running series Blues on the Rideau. Daughter, friend, caring soul, hard worker, warm greeter. A huge loss to so many who knew her, especially to her husband. We know your wings have you in full flight somewhere up there…Blues on the Rideau continues with the Blues, and nothing but the Blues with New York’s Tas Cru and Ottawa’s Wicked Grin.

Hug your loved ones.


NOTES FROM THE ‘ PORT Vol. 132

Movember has returned. In fact, we are half way through Movember 2017! I am continuing with supporting and growing my Mo for Movember under Seamus Cowan at ca.movember.com. Feel free to spread the word and help to spread some awareness and maybe some funds for men’s health.
Thanks and Love.
#SeaMo
Here is my father’s story which is the main reason for my efforts:
Diagnosed with mild prostate cancer in my early 60s, it was either watch and wait, Band-Aid it or take it out. Took the latter in spite of some negative aspects like ED as high as 40%. But I couldn’t imagine my life knowing that there was a cancer growing inside me, even if it was slowly. Opted for taking it out [prostatectomy] and have been very happy with that decision ever since. Had many men ask me my opinion as to what they should do and always told them of my choice without hesitation. There used to be this saying “You’ll never die from prostate cancer, you’ll only die with it!” We know now that this is not true and many friends of mine and yours, I’m sure, can attest to it’s incorrectness. Always had regular PSA tests and although not perfect, it is an indicator so anyone close to 50 years old should be doing it. A relative of mine was not and when I had my operation he had a PSA test done and it was over 30. They operated within 24 hours and he is alive and well today. Hope this will help anyone making their decision.
New Beck record is fonkeee! Pummelling new deep traxx. He seems to flip flop from the pensive psychedelia to scrap book funk records with samples laid on top of each other like plastic coloured light filters. It’s no secret his eccentric reputation in the music world and the fact that he is virtually known as a sonic pop scientist. His inhibitions have helped him lead the way within a musical pop culture that has definitely decided to safely stick to what it knows. Of course, we all know his most famous track Loser, his sound has exploded to an expansive universe that is 13 remarkable albums later.  The new record, Colours is chock full of a dance floor familiarity and slightly overdone sarcasm with some sick low end grooves and gang hand claps. It’s like Wow!
On that note, if you dig the quickly hip hop sound, ask me about my friend Tavis Triance. I might show you a sneak peek of the newest woodsy soul that his is producing in his cabin.
The lone trumpet call of The Last Post which we hear to symbolize the remembrance of those who did what they could to resist overwhelming odds and certain evil. We hear it annually with bowed heads or shoulders flown back. It’s the meditative sound of our appreciation for what we can’t imagine in order to have what we have.
Roger Merkley has been a rock and a wonder. Nice to finally see him at the cenotaph on Saturday to honour those who have fallen. Roger is continuing to operate Scotland Funeral. Let the rumours be put to rest.
The music was sweet this past weekend at The Cove. Logan and Taylor on Friday. As slick and Nubbsy as it gets. These two have it feeling like a true lounge when they are in the house. Turn the lights low…
Chris Murphy was as Chris Murphy as it gets but took it past his normal set a bit. Lee Traynor was in celebrating his 40h with his family and friends and the country requests were pouring in. He resumed in his Chris Murphy way! Nice packed house for the man.
This week, Wings ‘n Tunes continues with a slightly less rowdy crowd sans Hunter’s Ball. Shawn McCullough will head the night again. Basically 5 years ago now? Every Wednesday 6:31-9:38pm.
Friday is “Mr. Giving” Jeff Callery from Brockville. Such an underrated performer. Request his new/original tunes! Acoustic and a voice. Fajitas Pop-Up I hear too!
Saturday is the return of The Weber Brothers. Can’t stress how amazing this roots group is. Superior songwriting in the throwback vein. Think The Band meets the Blues meets old soulful rock and roll with unparalleled musicianship. Ryan the bassist is fan-freaking-tastic alone. Wonderfully zen characters 7-10pm $15 www.weberbrothers.com
Come on out for night to remember!
Blues on the Rideau continues next Fri.Nov.24 as well! 13th loyal year of it! This one coming features Tas Cru on lead guitar and vocal from New York! He will be backed by Ottawa’s Wicked Grin. All first timers! Let’s rock and roll! www.tascru.com
www.wickedgrin.ca www.bluesontherideau.ca
Don’t get me started on them Paradise Papers…

NOTES FROM THE ‘ PORT Vol. 131

Dave Scotland and Deborah Waddell. Two wonderful souls. We lost them way too early. So much more to live for but sometimes, people leave us too early. If nothing else, their shining spirits are a reminder to all of us still living and those about to be born on this lonely, floating ball of rock and water hat we have a duty to be great. We all have a chance to be amazing lovers of everything around us and everyone we meet. We need to remind ourselves of the reason these people have such a great effect on our lives. Deborah was a wonderful creative spirit and owner of on of Westport’s most attractive stores. A soft spoken lady but an incredibly determined person. Her husband Ken Rose has been a knight in shining armour. He started to narrate the day to day struggle of living in their situation like nothing I have ever read. He managed to connect with so many people due to his naked openness. I know for a fact that his writings have helped a lot of people cope through their own dire situations. His vision with love and his expression was astounding. The funeral was no different. Such a giving ceremony. Lots of people speaking but Ken’s words to have “everyone close their eyes and visualize the most beautiful things”, some late words he said to her. They were then presented with “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Kevin and Vanessa Head. A beautiful scene to send off.

And Dave, an incredibly buoyant soul. Latch onto him and you want sink. Walked into any room, bright with full confidence. Confidence that everything is great. Maybe everything isn’t actually great but in this moment, me seeing you, everything is truly great. A wonderful trait of a man who knew that positivity is the way. Hammer, as he liked to call me (or as I have learned, he called many affectionately), was a local wonder. With the funeral home, Dave and his man Roger Merkley helped many families throughout their most difficult times. His family and friends have been left in shock at how quickly his life mortal was taken. We morn but rejoice in how loving these people were to all of us. We move on but never forget.
Fitting that Remembrance Day is upon us. For the 150th, there will be a new location of the ceremony at the new cenotaph on the other side of Lockwood park. Some marching bands as well as Trin-Can Steel Drum Band will performing. Of course, this is a day to respect the memory of our fallen and we should all take a moment to hear the lone trumpet song of The Last Post in our heads and really think about what that means.
Sorry to hear about Scott Adrain’s car garage fire. Anyone who knows Scott knows that there was nothing but character in that garage is. Not only did he lose a lot of tools and mechanic gear, many of the items were personal heirlooms. We hope you can recover well Scottie.
Houston Astros take the World Series! Amazing feat considering the circumstances of the hurricane destruction of this past year. My cousins live in Houston and they are among the many who were utterly surprised at the strength of the storms which put their home fully under water. It’s incredible the power of sport to help pull together so many people and give them some internal strength. Congratulations to a city that was cut down.
Fats Domino has passed away. An icon of our time. He managed to hit the top of the pop charts 10 times in he latter part of the fifties. And only Elvis and James Brown could compete with 68 Hot 100 chart topping hits throughout his career. Blueberry Hill, Whole Lotta Loving, I’m Walking, Walking to New Orleans and more are just a few of those hits that defined the sock hop dance-floor craze. His creole roots with his ivory tickling bounce were so strong that once you heard it, you were hooked. And the world still is. With fans like Putin and The Fonz, I think his tunes are here to stay, next to the greats. I have played these tunes with Mr. Spencer Evans many times on our Jazz Nights. His ability to channel Fats is stronger than any I have seen.
Went to heck of a dinner party on Friday in Leslieville in east downtown Toronto at Lake Inez. We were supposed to go to Arcade Fire but decided that a friendly dinner was more constructive. Man did they have some big tunes on that first record Funeral though…
Noticing that 21st Annual Maple Blues Awards Nominations are able to voted upon now. Some notables popular Blues on the Rideau Series/The Cove artists that are being recognized are Performer of the Year – Angel Forrest, Electric Act – Boogie Patrol, Acoustic Act – Rob Lutes, Male Vocalist – Duane Blackburn and Female Vocalist – Angel Forrest, Songwriter – Monkeyjunk, Harrison Kennedy and Rob Lutes, Blues with a Feeling Lifetime Achievement Award – Danny Brooks, Alec Fraser, Michael Jerome Browne and SO, SO many more! Quite something! Register and vote if you like! www.mapleblues.ca
Next up at The Cove for Blues on the Rideau is a great international collaboration with Tas Cru (New York) fronting Wicked Grin (Ottawa)! www.bluesontherideau.ca www.tascru.com www.wickedgrin.ca
Wednesday continues with a Hunter’s Ball of sorts with Wings ‘n Tunes featuring Shawn “camouflage” McCullough! 6:30-9:30pm…
Friday is the quick return of the incomparable Logan Brown and Taylor Angus to the Cove. Acoustics soul, Neo soul, young jazz pop superstars… 6-9pm www.taylorangusmusic.com
Saturday is Chris Murphy at night. 6-10pm. You know him, you love him. Clearly, the show is basically sold out. Happy Lee Traynor.
Coming next weekend to The Cove is The Weber Brothers. Simply a must see act. If you are wondering who or what they are, look no further than their show if you love roots rock and roll music. Two front men are brothers, Ryan and Sam Weber from the Appalachians. Powerful players and deep songwriters. They dudes are road worthy too, backing the Elvis of Canada, Ronnie Hawkins! Sat.Nov.18 7-10pm www.weberbrothers.com
AND Happy Birthday to Mo. What a lady. One of the best! Nuff said. Love you!
Send me information on that thing they call local music, if you want…

NOTES FORM THE PORT Vol. 130

 

The Underground Railroad funk of Blackburn was back in he house on Friday for Blues on the Rideau. The sons of Big Smoke blues hero Bobby Dean Blackburn did their dad proud as they pumped through some nasty, beefy, low down blues music…they only way they know how. Thanks to Dick Christy’s colourful, steel trap memory, he remembers that Bobby Dean played a tune called Back to the Zanzibar at the Toronto Gentleman’s club called the Zanzibar. So much fun to hear the stories from Dick as he was really there! Felt good getting up on stage with the band to play a few tunes on 5 string bass too. Thanks to Roger Williams, great man! Solid hang after the show too. The horn section of Neil Brathwaite and Ted Peters really took it over the top too! Blues on the Rideau rules!
One last thing, wife of our BOTR promoter Diane Leduc-Doran made it to the show! She is still in need of a liver. If anyone knows of anyone who has type O blood, please get in touch with me!

Glorious Sons’ Brett diffuses fight! That’s right. The lead man of the torch bearing rock stars from Kingston noticed a fight brewing in front of the stage in the mosh pit. Most would stand kingly from above and denounce the violence. Brett jumped down in and started singing between them! And the stopped because they joined him in song! Must have been the White Noise. Thanks for the info Geoff Chown.

Duck’s Demolition by Terry Cowan
Used to be called Greenslade’s with Donnie and Marlene Greenslade as owners, and was originally a cheese factory before that. After that, the Sceviour family had a good, long run as Pier 42. Then Terry Bryan, Glen Doyle and Sammy McGregor bought the property, renovated it, called it Three’s Company and it was a popular bar and dining room for many years. The Cowan family changed the kitchen to the back wall and it became one room called Duck’s Roadhouse and bands like Ambush, Bullmoose, Printer’s Alley, See Spot Run, stingiest Kiss Cover Band EVER, Rick Smith and Free Beer, Mystic Caravan, The Cronies frequented the place! Other notables were Bundy’s hockey parties and mud wrestling matches, local pool league, after Jazz Night parties with Smitty and others on Thursdays and the annual Hunter’s Ball. Many a mixed crowd After about 8 years, George Thomas, a bar owner from Pittsburgh, bought it and ran it with his wife until he passed away. Terry Cowan was heard to say, ” It was very emotional to see our once thriving place that we owned reduced to rubble, as I’m sure Terry Bryan felt as well, but , “All things must pass”, as another George {Harrison} once sang/said. Dux Rox!!!

Light up Lockwood was out of control this year! Mildly creepy but warming to see all of the lit jack-o’-lanterns lining the ballpark. Congrats to all of the generous volunteers, local sponsors, carvers, Jake by the Lake and the annual Random Act of Pumpkins crew! Thank you for your constant community efforts Cynthia and John Pringle!

Coming up at The Cove:

Wings ‘n Tunes is back to make you grin from ear to ear with local guitar rock and country hero Shawn McCullough. 6:30-9:30pm every Wednesday…

Clap to the Celtic folk rock sounds of Perth’s Tom Watson on Friday from 6-9pm! This kid is a skill and stamina!

Saturday night is the homecoming wedding party of how old buddy Taylor Lynn! He and his wife Nicole will be havin’ a time with local friends and family.

The infamous Weber Brothers are back Saturday, November 18 for a rock ‘n’ roll roots show! You just say these guys are from

Baby Alice Khan born! Richie and Ashley do it again! What a little beauty sis for Flo!

Heartbreaking news about the Renfrew Jr. B hockey players who were in a fatal car accident the other night. The local hockey fraternity paid their respect. Sad when it seems so senseless. We must all be careful on the roads.

A note of respect to our beautiful friends in Toronto, the family of Craig Allen. He was the father of one of my wife Megan’s best friends. He died too soon and suddenly. . He left his family way too early. He had a massive smile and bubbly personality. He was one of the good guys that you want around. He will be missed massively. I’m so glad my lasting memory with him is with his family visit this summer.

Halloween was amazing tonight in Westport! What a scene on Spring Street near the arena! So many festive trick or treaters and off the wall spooky-ness and creativity from Chantal and Joel Kimmel at Papillon Press! Super fun night all around…Things have totally changed from 25 years ago since I was running around with the pack of wild dogs that were the Halloween Hooligans…Nice to get Freddie and Sam out on the streets to see the party!

Stay in love.


NOTES FORM THE PORT Vol. 129

Gord Downie

I think perhaps a lot of us are thinking, how does it all keep happening? How do we keep in during all of this loss? Is it become we are so informed but everything in the media and social media? I was watching long time coming on Friday night and I couldn’t believe how close I felt to that band. I’ve Love to so many bands so much but I’ve never known the artists themselves like I have tragically hip. Having a chance to actually have three of them perform at the Cove over the last few years as well as meeting one of them a couple of times. The one that I’ve still yet to meet with Gord. Maybe that sort of aproduct of his legendary status of being private. Maybe it’s just that I never had the chance. Regardless I think of all of the things that are going on in the world right now but seem to me strangely more front and centre to our daily lives than in years past. There is definitely a frustration and maybe a boiling point it seems imminent. But for Canada, it seems like by Gord being so thrust into the limelight that we are almost so lucky to have him and helping with this togetherness to go through everything. We had a release concert for the hurricanes in the self and so many people that play music we’re tempted it actually did pay tribute to the hip. In some Way it might seem like it’s taking away from the actual cause but in fact, he is legend in his way where exactly the tune to be the soundtrack on this location. Gordon was in inspiration miles beyond his music. In many ways and to a lot of people he is seen as the ideal human. All things equal, family, music, his fellow people, the oppressed, our world in general. That’s the way he saw things. Usually with a wacky sense of poetic humour in philosophical, even spiritual intelligence. The strange dichotomy between his music and his lyricism as always baffled me in its sense of maintaining The national appeal to literally all types of Canadians, and anyone else. It’s profound positivity will continue throughout the campfires, stages, bedrooms, classrooms, pow wows, record players of this earth. I would personally just like to say congratulations Gord Downie for being a wake up call this so many damn people. You made a lot of people smile through tears. Your howl now sits on the same throne as the best of them.
Blues on the Rideau with Blackburn Brothers from the Big Smoke coming this Friday! Deep, funky band not like many of the other group who come through in the Series. They’ve been coming for a long time every other year and it’s nothing but funk in their Blues! They are a band of brothers and dearly love their heritage. Soul music is at the heart of their show and which got them a Juno nomination last year! This band is worth it. Three big prizes for best Halloween costume too! 7-11pm $65 www.blackburnbrothersmusic.com www.bluesontherideau.ca
Incredible day of togetherness at The Beach  on Sunday with a hearty group of giving people! From the volunteers to the musicians to the wounded to the relaxed onlookers, thank you all for coming to support the afternoon! $6000+ was raised! Food, coffee, water donated! Thanks to Don and the Lions. Westport was rebuilt. Thanks to Lisa and Ha from the Red Cross keeping us up on where the money has gone to help internationally.
Faithful Friends will be having a Country and Gospel concert on Sun.Oct.29 at 7pm at Westport United Church. The members of the group are well known in the area. They include Chris Murphy, Jon McClurg, Glenn Foster and Mike Freeman. This will be a fun evening with a free will offering to help raise funds for a new church roof. Light refreshments will also be served. Thanks to Ruth Pedherney for the info!
My good buddy Al Wyse was married in Ecuador to his lady Alejandra last Saturday. 14 piece Ecuadorian band face them an authentic soundtrack! Would have loved to be there!
Old friend from Montreal Mikael Tobias has released a real mood piece here. Reminiscent of Elliot Goldenthal film scoring. A real accomplishment. There is pro feel here.
https://unitshifterrecords.bandcamp.com/album/absentia
Keep fighting the good fight!