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

NOTES FORM THE PORT Vol. 112

I think this one might be called the Family column. Family, my family’s business and friends of ours who are families have been growing. It’s a vibrant time. Summer is warming up to us Ottawa Valley folk again. So nice of it to come around.
The Sin and Swoon family came through on Friday to melt our hearts with song. Forgot how much I love Mike O’Brien’s smile and spirit. I looked so forward to the return and was truly surprised and happy at the wondrous sound of his duo with his wife Michelle Tompkins! They are definitely on the right track. Their own school bluegrass country sound hit the mark with extreme accuracy. What a treat to have them with his mother and their boy Sonny too! Look to see them back sooner than later!
www.sinandswoon.com
Took a little run up to Lake Huron with my family. Old friends of my wife. Who knew Ontario’s West Coast could feel like little Northern California! Relaxed, lounged, swam and got some juicy jumbos! Thanks Chris, Kate, Jane, Hudson and Emmy!
Congratulations to my old Montreal brother Andre in the glorious birth of their tough little lion Léo(nard)! Viens ici quand vous êtes prêt! A great bass player and ridiculously talented videographer, Andre played in Krief/Black Diamond Bay for years.
So surprised yet happy to hear about the big day for another Montreal brother, Patrick Krief! Marriage suits you! Patrick is the ultra talented and review your guitar player in the great Montréal band The Dears as well as his own group Krief who played MUSICwestport last year…new solo record coming soon! www.krief.ca
 
Congrats to CFRC for reaching out to local emerging original talent and providing an open gate way to submit music for local radio airplay on 101.9 FM in Kingston, Queens University radio. Radio host Jens Trode has a show called The Permanent Waves radio show which it airs every Sunday morning from 11am-1pm. All genres welcome. Just send your MP3 format file to permanentwaves101.9@gmail.com. No profanity. www.cfrc.ca
 
Speaking of profanity, the new Tupac Shakur bio pic looks pretty real deal! It’s almost as if the casting crew found Tupac’s doppelgänger to play him in his own movie! Regardless, it’s nice to see effort being put into an accurate depiction of the roots of his life and this whole story. I was always amazed at the power of his voice. All Eyez On Me out Friday.
Rack ‘n Tunes roars down the road set to auto pilot this Wednesday at 7pm! Shawn McCulloughhhhhhhhh……
The truly great East Coast blues fisherman, Morgan Davis returns for is someone anymore trip to The Cove this Friday night! Honestly, this shows not to be missed! He has so much talent through his humourous lyrical blasts and stories. His relaxed, quirky acoustic blues finger-style play though and a whole host of interesting axes is also mesmerizing. He’s a legend to make sure that you so often. If you love greats like Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee and straight up acoustic blues, don’t miss him. 7-10pm $10 www.morgandavis.com
 
This Thursday it is a huge day for Friends of the Arena! Some NHL players will be in the house to meet and greet, autograph and be overall wonderful supporters to a great cause in helping to raise more funds for the rink. Thanks to Bob Scott, Mark Herlehy, Rick Smith, Marty Hawkins, Scott Blair and Mike Lynn and many others for helping to work on this great initiative! Music by Spencer Evans Trio featuring the force of nature Emily Fennell on soulful vocals! 6-11pm Buffet, Show and charitable donation $60. www.facebook.com/friendsofthearena
Saturday night at The Cove on the patio is the return of that pair who continue to impress all those local soul music lovers. Taylor Angus and Logan Brown have their first ever night actually on the patio! I have a feeling this will be one of their new favourite homes…6-9pm www.taylorangus.com
 
Also on Saturday is Hoedown in the Park this Father’s Day weekend! WAC presents the Father’s of Confederation Sizzlin’ Summer BBQ! With live music from Teagan McLaren Band (country/folk) and kids games, there is outdoor fun for the whole family. Bring your own picnic or snack on bbq favourites and drinks from our vendors. They’re not only celebrating fathers, we’re also celebrating our amazing volunteers and supportive sponsors who generously give to WAC throughout the year. 4-8pm www.westportartscouncil.com 
 
Sunday is Father’s Day and so if you’re looking for those take it easy comfortable sounds to celebrate, check out Head Over Heels on the patio at the Cove 12:30-3:30pm. www.headoverheelsmusic.blogspot.ca
MUSICwestport teaser for the week is for Tom Savage. I have a learned a lot about classic music from Tom in many ways. From my first few licks playing Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin in his basement to just recently recording his recent tracks in Kingston, his approach is always been true and raw. Through the headphones, the man is an overtly emotional case with his heart on his sleeve, exploring the human struggle of relationships, love and the family dynamic. His newest offering is admittedly a tad more open to pop sensibilities but there is a comfortable amount of diversity in style and feel that threads the story through the record. Just in the midst of finishing up some more edits, the record will be officially released within the month. I look forward to hearing the stage with him, Tony and Bonz.
 
After an incredibly well received show, the  omnipotent Young Petty Stones will be returning to The Cove stage on Fri.Jul.14! Had to mention it! The band not only wanted to get back on the busy Cove stage during  the summer months but it mainly just wanted to get back on the busy Cove stage during  the summer months and get back on the busy Cove stage during  the summer months. Eric, Jason, Rob and Seamus! Music of new young, Tom Petty, the Rolling Stones, Eagles and America….
Exciting news about the Festival of Small Halls show I’m opening solo Great Lake Swimmers at Chaffey’s Lock Community Hall Sept.14. Sold out in record time!
Kalil Bailey next Friday at The Cove! Go West young man! Look to hear a Barr Brothers tune or two!
Hearing what you’re layin’ down!

NOTES FORM THE PORT Vol. 111

NOTES FORM THE PORT Vol. 111

One of the most underrated acoustic guitar fingerpicking masters around was in Westport on Friday night. Terry Tufts is his name and terrifying new listeners and hippie folk lovers alike is his game! His fingers equipped with essential false fingernails danced all over a Gordon Lightfoot romp called (That’s what you get) For Lovin’ Me. A man with a certifiably strange yet clear sense of humour which translates into some of the lines and rhythms he plays. His vocal style peaks beautifully with his falsetto so pure and the jumble of lyrically packed teams he has in his set remind you of a hip-hopper. Looking forward to his return to The Cove this year.

Guts and God, Brea Lawrenson’s new music video is charting quite well according to friend and fan, Jeremy Barr. Brea has been working with players and writers out of Nashville as well as her band here in Canada. We wish her well and she climbs up the ranks in the Canadian country music industry…

Super special day for me on Saturday with a whole day of rock ‘n’ roll activity with Young Petty Stones. At one point I thought things might get stagnant but the beauty of the music keeps every night as good as the next or better than the last! Under the guitar/keyboard/Vocal leadership of Jason Kent, the band of myself, Eric Lawrance and Rob Radford thrives on a deep, well written tune with heavenly harmony and guitar uncontrollability. On top of the musical church which we celebrated, it was fun to see the house full of other milestone celebrations.

Weekly at The Cove:

Rack ‘n Tunes continues to roast people’s minds at The Cove from 7-10pm with Shawn McCullough on thunderous acoustic guitar and a whole hosts of great guests, stragglers, locals and passers by.

Jazz night will be dialled up with the solo, hungry Spencer Evans goat boy music machine from 8-10pm.

Head Over Heels looking to need to provide the engagement music soundtrack for your Sunday Cesar afternoon patio stop. 12:30-3:30pm. They have a new website in the works too!

Thu.Jun.15, unless you’ve been living under a proverbial rock, the NHL Meet the Pros Gala and FOTA (Friends of the Arena) fundraiser with Jazz Night featuring Emily Fennell will be happening. 50% of the proceeds go to the arena! Thanks to Bob Scott, Mark Herlehy and Rick Smith for working with me on this! It will be a silent auction, 50-50 draw and door prizes. But the the highlight of the night will be hosting five NHL stars/alumni who will be in the house to help fund raise. Thanks to the players like Carkner and Helmer who have donated items but I can’t be present. Some of the alumni in attendance will be Chris Phillips, Doug Gervis, Rick Smith, Rob and Murphy and Fred O’Donnell. Meet and greet and autographs at 6 PM, dinner at 7 PM and shoe around 9pm. www.facebook.com/friendsofthearena

Coming this Friday to The Cove is a special old-time country/Bluegrass show with the immortal Mike O’Brien and his wife Michelle. Romantically tight harmony, either opening acoustic fingerpicking and a sweet couple of people from Montreal. 6-9pm No charge. www.sinandswoon.com

And this Saturday, it’s John Wilberforce from up north of the seaway around Kemptville. You get the good feeling when John comes around again. Folks, rock, blues and a well curated song list.

www.johnwmusician.com

Learned last night that my new friend Mike was a DJ on Electric Circus on MuchMusic circa early 90s.

Gearing up for Summer Concert and Dance Chaffey’s Lock Community Hall? Sat.Jun.17, Old Man Grant comes through. These Bytown Swamp Stompers have a definitive greasy bluegrass style that as the trio going in all hands on deck. Gritty, it’s nice to see they are playing in dives where they fit in so well like Grumpy’s. $20 advance or $25 at the door if available. Doors open at 7pm. Contact Cindy Crank for tickets. www.oldmangrant.com

Don’t forget about the literally one and only Morgan Davis. A pot of acoustic blues Sun.Jun 16, 7-10pm

Talk to you next week!