NOTES FROM THE ‘PORT Vol. 153
Chaffeys Lock & Area Heritage Society are starting their season again soon!
Starting off May 19th, the historic Chaffey’s Lock Community Hall will be jumping once again to the sounds of “Joe McDonald & the Walkin’ Hawks”. This is not Joe’s first time playing in Chaffey’s. Joe is a former member of the Ramblin’ Valley Band (now disbanded) who have entertained us for the past three Victoria Day Dances. Joe has put together a new band and a slightly different sound that we know you will love! He describes their sound as “a blues rival groove machine!” To top it off, Joe is bringing a well-known saxophone player, from the Ottawa Jazz scene, Richard Page, to play with them here in Chaffey’s! Tickets are available now – online for your convenience at www.onstagedirect.com/
Lots of great music at The Cove over the next bit coming into Victoria Day weekend. Wednesdays with Shawn McCullough will continue all throughout the year with Wings ‘n Tunes and the Open Mic. However, the last Wings ‘n Tunes be next week on Wed.May.16 with we have the guitar draw for a beauty of an acoustic from Nathan and all the generous cats at Long & McQuade Kingston! Wings ‘n Tunes will make the seamless transition to RACK ‘n Tunes and the Open Mic Thu.May.24 until Thanksgiving. Weekly it will be 7-10pm with big ol’ racks o’ ribs on special! Love them ribs.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you mothers who have brought all of us into the world. Only after being a father, could I have ever realized the shear intensity, dedication and motherly love that my wife Megan has given and provided to our two boys. She blows me away with her instinct and I’m so lucky to be raising my family with her.
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Happy birthday to my love, Meggie May Bomberry. She is amazing mother, dedicated worker, happy wife and she is a partner in life I’m incredibly lucky to have. I love you!
One of those world class bands is coming to town…Lonesome Ace Stringband on Fri.May.4! The GTA band features some bonafide ace players like John Showman on Fiddle from New Country Rehab, Chris Coole and Max Heineman from The Foggy Hogtown Boys. These men have given themselves to Old Time music and roots songs like few really do these days. It is a sound that harkens to the simple Appalachian days of old. It’s deep, Bluesy, clear, virtuosity, breathtaking, and can stir up the innermost feelings in all of us. They are touring their newest release “When the Sun Comes” having just returned from a run in the States stopping at Merlefest among other roots and Bluegrass festivals. Westport is insanely lucky to have them! I will be frank, I love to get this kind of music and more challenging music like this which may appeal more to different ears. Amazing thing I’ve noticed is that it’s the stuff you don’t much about that is usually one of the greatest trips. I urge Westport and its area residents to come and see this show. Come and take a chance. There will be old stories and new hot banjo licks, Fiddle slides, 3-part high and lonesome harmonies, and a most memorable night of music! Get transported to a different age.
7-10pm $15 @ The Cove.
The omnipotent rockstar of the Blues on the Rideau is returning May.11 and 12 for a weekend of great vibe blues music of the highest caliber! Mr. David Rotundo, old school performer extraordinaire, harmonica master and gruff singer, has sold out both nights. This weekend of shows ties up the series for the year. What an incredible 13th year it was! All of this musical resurgence in our area sort of started to happen around the time I moved back home from Montreal. Proud to be a part of it all. Rotundo was the first of the Blues on the Rideau musicians to invite me up on stage to jam a bit. It’s been a regular tradition almost every show now! That relationship has lead us to keep in touch philosophically and musically. He has a great soul and I’m proud to say that I will be playing a Matinee concert, and Acoustic Lunch of sorts, with him and some others at The Cove on Sat.May.12 12-3pm. The two night shows are now sold out due to high demand and the fact that he hasn’t been back in a couple of years. You see, here is an intangible about Rotundo. You just have to feel him in a room, or on stage! Maybe a Dylan or two. Thanks to our wonderful James Doran for another year of bringing the Blues to rural Ontario! It’s been an bewildering and emotional year for him.
The character who is Sandy Stubbert is about to release a folksy collection of songs, ones I recorded with her in January with Tom Savage, Bonz Bowering and Toby Silvestri.
Colleen Serson’s 50th birthday weeks aw almost over. Sounds like she was showered with love, kindness and good laughs. Enjoy your eastward trip!
I had the pleasure of playing County Pop festival in Picton on the weekend! Great upstart grassroots music festival featuring food and libation of Prince Edward County. I played bass for Miss Emily (Fennell) and she is just getting better. Powerful bluesy soul stuff coming from her own on her latest record, In Between. Some might be interested there is another hometown show Sat.Jun.16 at The Isabel Bader in Kingston!
Cute to see with Craig Jones on bass at The Waring House as we dined. Big ups to Kevin Head who sold out Acoustic Grill, our first dinner choice.
I hear Shawn McCullough is recoding again. Hope get my way into it! Haha! Wings ‘n Tunes returns this week 6:30-9:30pm. Almost the Guitar Draw from Nathan at Long & McQuade, May.16. The meat special will switch to Rack of Ribs, hence Rack ‘n Tunes on May.23. How clever of us!
Sending big amounts of love to Paul Herlehy and his family and friend. He suffered a heart attack last Tuesday night. He is showing signs of progress according to his family. He has been such a massive part of his community for years operating Home Building Supply and Foley Mountain Mercantile. Westport loves that boy. Get well and take the time you need Paul!
Thoughts to Derek Palmer and the loss of his dad. Stay strong bud.
Sending good loving thoughts to our great friend Rheanne and her family’s loss as well.
Shout out to Anthony Bourdain for shining light in the sense of community that he found in his visit to West Virginia. One hat respects the land and family and cultural traditions.
Toronto sports! Congrats to all those Leafs fans. Was a great year. I’m a Habs fan. Canada represent with the Jets!
As my grandma would say, “Kwitesuphishunt”.
Music, music all the time.
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A lot of people this week told me they appreciated the words I wrote last week. I feel like it’s all I could or at least what I could do for the loss of a friend. I also feel like something so sudden and shocking is actually the single best way for us to realize the weight of our own mortality. It’s just pointless for us all to not learn from this. And I don’t mean the tragedy of it all but the gift we all have to live long, wonderful lives with great purpose. To really and truly not swear the small stuff that gets under our skin. To look people in the eye and tell them you love them. It also makes me think about what it means to live this life. What is it all about when it is all said and done. It matters how much we give to each other and how much we put into caring. Life can get complicated, grinding and mundane. It can also get rewarding with little battles and wins along the way. Silent victories are always great aren’t they. I feel like Manfred was a character with these kind of traits in a lot of people’s lives. Judging by the turnout for his memory on both Wednesday and Saturday, we can only assume many folks loved him for who he was beyond how he was I mean that sincerely. The common thread to so many people’s accounts of him was that he was this and that but he helped me with something or gave me something and told me something that saved my butt or had some advice on how to do something the right way. He took some time and had some street knowledge. I’m proud to be known as his friend and I’ll miss him but I’m going to try to be a better person all the time now. Spend some time on little things. Learn some new old school tricks. Plant some seeds and grow a garden again. And spend lots of time with my boys.
Music. We heard some music on the weekend. At The Cove, we had a wild week. Wednesday was an outpouring of song for the memory of Manfred. We all sang our hearts out. I’m so glad so many attended.
Friday was Blues on the Rideau with the one and only Boogie Patrol. Fun band! Wow man. I’m talking Joe Cocker’s Canadian brother! “Dirty” Dan Shinnan was blowing his top. His vocal ways are super James Brown/Cocker scat style which lay more like a rhythmic instrument in the mix of the others but his presence is central. The band funks. It’s like a pleasing lost record of band with a mix of sound between The Crusaders, Bob Seeger and a deadly hard swinging blues band with literally Joe Cocker at the helm. It was a joy and fun to step on stage for a quickie on bass. PS, come back soon, Boogie Patrol. Saturday, the celebration life brought out some tributes. Shawn and I played a song that Manfred’s friend Cess wanted to hear called Gulf Road by James McMurtry. The song said it all on his life. I wrote a song for him too. Thanks to Burke Kelly for adding a buoyant version of This Ole House only the way you can!
When I was just getting the news about all of this info almost two weeks ago, I was in Palm Springs, California with my wife Megan’s Family. I have to admit I didn’t think much before I got on that plane. Not great I wasn’t grateful for a late winter escape but life is just so busy with everything, I didn’t have much time to think about it. Until I landed. What a desert oasis! The cooked mountains and Who-ville Palm trees, the Mod city architecture, the 100F temps and of course, vacation town pace of life. It’s a bedroom community to L.A. Literally a morning tour away to the big city, it was an original hideaway for the Hollywood elite. Now, many still come from there but it’s more famously known for golf, shopping and Coachella Festival as its in Coachella Valley. Just 15 minutes away, unfortunately with the fam and because day tickets cost around $500, we opted out. Doesn’t mean we didn’t want to put it all out on the line to see what we heard was a sonic and visual anomaly of a concert with Beyoncé on Saturday. Other attendees, Greta Van Fleet, Fleet Foxes, Post Malone and more. Will plan better next time. L.A. was a trip. Traffic city but all was good to view the sights like Crenshaw Blvd, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Hollywood Blvd and The Sunset Strip. My personal highlights were The Grove, Santa Monica and my return to Venice Beach and the Ferris wheel and especially a tour down Mulholland Drive through Laurel Canyon in Hollywood Hills. We even moved west, down, Ventura Blvd! This is star country where Zappa, Joni, CSN, Neil Young and so many more got their thing together. Thanks to our tour guide, Nick.
Around here, we have music this week at The Cove with Wings ‘n Tunes and the Open Miic every Wednesday. Friday is Spencer Evans Trio playing the gong, the goat and the funky. Buffet and show 7-11pm. Saturday brings the happiest lads in the biz back up to The Cove. Healy and Orr with sponsored vehicles! Dance to their tuneage. Best way to shake these feelings out. 8-11pm
Hey all, did you hear about our own Smitty Kingston! He wrote a song In response to the Humboldt Broncos tragedy a couple of weeks ago. It’s called Stick Outside the Door. “We love you all in different ways”, as he would say.
Take care until next week and don’t forget about literally one of the great Bluegrass band in North America called Lonesome Ace Stringband on Fri.May.4! 7-10pm Featuring the inspired John Showman on Fiddle.
NOTES FROM THE ‘PORT Vol. 150
Come out and have a toast to the life of Manfred.
Wednesday night at The Cove it will be Wings ‘n Tunes for Manfred. Many local folk will be out to show support and give generous donations to the helping pot for Jojo.
This Saturday April 21 at The Cove from 1-4pm there will be an official Celebration of Life for Mr. Manfred De Calvares. There will be friends, families, food, music with Shawn McCullough and friends and an open mic for offering memories. Please come and remember him with us.
Music by Chris Murphy will follow 6-9pm as the originally scheduled Smitty has had to postpone due to his recent successes with his song “Stick Out the Front Door” that he wrote in tribute to the memory of the fallen members of the Humboldt Broncos, which he played solo at the memorial in Edmonton Tuesday. Somewhat ironically, Manfred initiated the placement of the sticks out the front door at The Cove…
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Well, life is good. The Blue Jays are playing again. Spring IS coming. There are tonnes of threat events coming up in the area. Everyone is getting excited to have some warm weather events in their calendars. Isn’t it just wonderful?!
Happy to announce the 7th birthday of my great little nephew Sonny from down under! As always with this stuff, it’s hard to believe. Thriving little kid. Super into Star Wars and incredibly gifted athlete. Especially when it puts things into perspective with how long it’s been since brother Jeff and sister in law Kelly moved to Australia. I can’t wait to see their new place. They say hi to everyone by the way. One thing they both agree upon is the people they miss here in Canada. Enjoy the new house folks!
Lots of great tunes still being created by locals and focals at Wings ‘n Tunes and the now famous Open Mic at The Cove weekly on Wednesday. Pretty exciting to hear some real talent being cultivated on a regular basis. Come and support or perform! Planning on some new angles to this night so stay tuned. Hope you’ll all be happy with our ideas! In the meantime, just a reminder that it’s a pound of delicious wings with fries for $14 including top notch talent led by Shawn McCullough and the hardcore house band featuring Bill Parsons steady on drums, Mike Cochrane on guitar and personality and Shawn’s brother Dave on bass and family-band harmony! We can’t thank you lads enough for your jam spirit. Let’s hope to see lots of tourists and folks from the USA this summer. Always fun to throw some new blood into the pot and get some as lib collaborations up and running. Wednesday’s 6:30-9:30pm. Next Guitar prize giveaway: Wed.May.16! Look for new prizes this round as well!
This coming week at The Cove is the return of the smooth soul guitar and voice of John Wilberforce from Kemptville. He April Fooled me the other day. What a guy. Sorry I’ll miss you this time. Always love singing a tune or two with John. He is the only guy I know who has pulled out Lonely People by America besides me and my band! Acoustic rock and folk at its best. 6-9 this coming Friday.
Saturday sees the stage love of Head Over Heels back for your listening super pleasure. Their soulful attack of folk, jazz and blues standards as well as Kevin Head’s own dark horse classic writing is an evenings worth of lounge acting. Catch them live in the musical flesh on Saturday from 6-9pm. Reservations suggested. Announcing that this harmony wonder couple will be playing the patio weekly once again on Sundays from 12:30-3:30pm from May Long Weekend to Thanksgiving Long Weekend (always weather permitting). Looking at 6 years now…
Interesting the way that people’s mistrust with the security of our online presence, particularly on social media, is making so many people think twice about remaining to be online. Between hacking, personal data selling and being against overall time/life inundation, it’s like an exodus is arising. Makes you think twice about how we are going to communicate on a safe and democratic platform in the future doesn’t it? Read Chris Morris’ posts. Very entertaining.
Welcome back from the south Mary and Terry Cowan, aka Mom and Dad! That was a solid stint aboard Terryoke. A much deserved break in the land of easier living. Glad to see you back, as well as the other flock of snowbirds on their way up the eastern seaboard.
Next week at The Cove:
The coveted golden syrup of the legendary Garter and and the late/loved Delbert’s Sugar Shack will be generously donated and served once again to help raise money for the Lions Club Mobility Bus at the hugely popular annual French Toast Brunch from 8:30-11:30am! Make a big donation! It ALL goes to the charity…the BUS. We all may need it someday! Thanks to the volunteers and thanks to Garter for your Sweetness! Let’s beat 400 we had last year!
Emily Brown leads the charge with another Handmade Hearts Local Craft and Vendors Market. This Spring instalment will be the second in the series. Much success with the first one at Christmastime. 6-9pm on Thu.Apr.12. Some food is available and the $5 entry fee will be going to Westport Food Bank.
Logan Brown and Taylor Angus play their insanely convincing brand of Acoustic Soul Fri.Apr.13 6-9pm. And Henry Norwood entertains the best of the Jr. B’s and their families and friends Sat.Apr.14 8-11pm.
Just have to mention…Edmonton’s Boogie Patrol on Apr.20 for Blues on the Rideau and fan-fav Smitty is back Apr.21
Man, what an 8th for the Jays tonight vs. White Sox!
Send me your thoughts on music!