ENTERTAINMENT & SPECIAL EVENTS
If you’re looking for some music to spice up your time in Westport, The Cove is the place for you to set yourself down. We bring in the best we can find and keep a healthy mix on rotation. From Blues to Jazz, Rock to Folk, Country to Bluegrass, Soul to Funk, we love it all. In the warmer months, larger performances and full band shows take place on our Lounge stage while solos, duos and small groups play to the patio crowds. When it gets cooler, all shows happen in the Lounge.
Always best to call ahead for reservations so you have a seat too! 613.273.3636
To discuss a gig, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, number, email, web/social media links, particular dates you might want to play and anything else we might need to know about you. We appreciate your request but know that we can only book a limited amount of acts. Thank you for your understanding.
Check out our CALENDAR of EVENTS below for the next show! Click on the MONTH to view monthly listings.
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RUEBEN DeGROOT “Leaving on a Rocket” Last Westport Show with GREG BALL!
July 3, 2017 @ 12:30 pm - 3:30 pm
“…for a long time that is. Rueben is leaving on a rocket to the wild west. Beloved musical rootsy chameleon of Kingston has put an indelible mark on the local scene. Has has played countless shows with his every growing and shrinkin group, Rocket Surgery troupe at The Toucan in Kingston and has provided a huge creative head to the musical side of the city. Revered by many, he will be missed in this area. All hail Rueben!” – Seamus Cowan, Spoon River/Bullmoose/The High Dials, The Cove
“Rueben deGroot has a vast arsenal of themes and ideas for a seemingly endless amount of excellent songs. His phrasing and melodic ideas are as strong and flawless as his clever lyrical choices and although comparisons can be made and influences seen, there is nothing predictable about his music and approach to songwriting. He is destined to make a lasting impression on many listeners in what will surely be a long and fruitful career.” – Luther Wright
“What a voice!” – Sarah Harmer
“Don’t let this cowboy-hatted hottie fool you, he ain’t just country. DeGroot infused his tunes with elements of folk and jazz to create music that most country nay-sayers could enjoy.” –
In recent years, performer / songwriter Rueben deGroot’s audacious musical eclecticism has won over audiences throughout Canada. Born and raised in Vancouver, Rueben learned to play guitar after falling in love with the music of Janis Joplin, Steely Dan, and Little Feat. After high school, he spent six years in Edmonton, where he played in bands and started songwriting. Rueben’s chance encounter in 2001 with songwriter Cameron Latimer led to their formation of The Seams, a Vancouver-based roots rock band that also included Steve Dawson and Adam Dobres (later of Outlaw Social). Following his departure from the band in 2005, Rueben continued to refine his craft over the next few years, writing dozens of songs.
In 2007, he settled in Kingston, Ontario, and gradually assembled his current backing band, consisting of guitarist Dan Curtis, bassist Elijah Abrams, drummers Rob Radford, Daniel Chalmers and Mark Fraser, and keyboardist Josh Lyon. The band is sometimes joined by a killer horn section featuring Bunny Stewart and Benjamin Perosin. Vocalist Christina Foster sings backups, as well as by other guests including friends Sarah Harmer and Spencer Evans.
Rueben’s high-energy, marathon concerts at the Living Room and at other Kingston venues soon established him as a local favourite. His well-received 2008 EP, The Winter of Our Discotheque, brought him even more popularity. Since then, Rueben and his band have averaged one hundred performances per year, and they’ve shared stages with Sarah Harmer, The Jack Grace Band, Michael Kaeshammer, Hey Romeo, Chris Brown (Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, Chris & Kate), and Daniel Lanois and The Derek Trucks Band. Rueben has also produced albums for Kingston performers The Gertrudes and Christina Foster.
Rueben’s songs, which have been featured on the television shows jPod and Robson Arms, encompass a wide variety of musical genres, including outlaw country, jazz, soul, folk, boogie woogie, western swing, garage rock, southern rock, and early 60s pop. He explains, “I have no respect for generic boundaries. They’re silly. Each of my songs is every genre it needs to be. Sometimes that means cramming a lot of genres into a given song. I want to evoke the whole range of feelings in the listeners, and you can’t do that by limiting yourself to one kind of music.”
The narrators of Rueben’s songs are as varied as the musical genres he draws upon. “I never write about myself,” he notes. “My characters most often originate in overheard conversations. They come from disparate walks of life and cultures. The only thing they share in common is that they’re almost always underdogs. From some perspectives, they’re life’s failures, but not from my perspective.” Whether he’s writing about a forlorn operator of a cement mixer, a rogue Wall Street trader, or a down-on-his-luck con man, Rueben sets himself apart from his songwriting contemporaries by balancing the poignant with the whimsical, the profound with the quirky.
2010 saw the release of his first full-length album, Hey!, co-produced by Canadian alt-country icon Luther Wright. Reviewing the album, one critic wrote, “Hey! contains echoes of John Prine, the Band, early Bruce Springsteen, Lyle Lovett, Dwight Yoakham, even Buddy Holly. And yet his music is so much more than the sum of his influences. It represents an ongoing dialogue with them, and through that dialogue, he realizes an artistic voice of singular power. . . For all the strengths of the album, it is chiefly deGroot’s exuberance that wins us over — an exuberance for the musical traditions his songs embody and frequently transcend and for the cast of assorted vagabond who populate those songs. Hey! is one of the finest roots albums of recent years.”
Rueben has followed up Hey! with Pine (2011) and Rocket Surgery (produced by Dan Cutrona, 2013) and another full length album is about to be released that was recorded at North of Princess Studios in Kingston, Ontario.
Set against a backdrop of lean, straight up rock and roll with a hint of country haunting the edges, Mr. Rightplace – Kingston, Ontario-‐based singer/songwriter, Greg Ball’s sophomore record on Ching Music – is as personally revealing as it is universally appealing. Ball has a knack for drawing listeners into his songs and stories immediately and nowhere more so than on the album’s title track; an open letter to his girlfriend’s ex that, like any good story, hooks listeners from the very first line when Ball sings, ‘For you she’s the one that got away, for me, she’s the one that stayed.’ While you could label many of the tracks on Mr. Rightplace love songs, rather than the dreamy, airy brand of love you’d normally associate with that description, Ball’s tunes concern themselves more with the real triumphs and misunderstandings people encounter when dealing with their spouses, partners and exes on a daily basis. Although some of Ball’s lyrics are drawn from personal experience, others depend heavily on the observations he’s made over the years as an ‘Alcohol Transfer Technician dealing with Consumer Affairs and Public Relations,’ he says: “When you’re tending bar you see people at their absolute best and absolute worst. There’s a lot of drama, and a lot of the songs on Mr. Rightplace are about situations and moments that just stuck with me over the years.” Consequently, Mr. Rightplace covers a lot of emotional ground; from highly personal tracks like ‘Jackie’s Song,’ where Ball describes burying a family member’s ashes among the trees he’d planted for her in past years, to songs like ‘My Forte,’ a song written entirely from the perspective of a bar patron Ball noticed staring down his ex’s new boyfriend all night. The stories Ball tells are often influenced by his tendency to be in the right place at the right time, he adds; a factor that’s also had an impact on his development as a songwriter/recording artist. “There’s a lot of charm in the little things help you along the way,” he says, referencing the experience that prompted him to pick up a guitar and start writing songs in the first place. “I remember sitting around a campfire as a kid and watching the girl I liked fall in love with a camp counselor who was singing and playing guitar and I was like, ‘Right, I’ve got to get on board with that.’” Based on that experience, Ball taught himself to play guitar, began writing his own material and playing with a variety of bands in his hometown of Stratford, Ontario; relentlessly honing his chops as a writer and player and “sponging off of other people’s musical knowledge,” he says, laughing. In 1995, he left Stratford and headed west to take a gig with a Vancouver-‐based band. Unfortunately, soon after he arrived, the band parted ways. Still, Ball stayed on in Vancouver, tended bar and developed his chops as a performer during a weekly house gig at a pub on Robson St. called McKenzie’s Cabin. There, he found ample raw material for new songs, but by 2001 had begun looking for new sources of inspiration and decided to spend the next six months traveling and songwriting in Southeast Asia, Bali and Australia.
Although he had a job waiting in Vancouver when he returned to Canada, his travels left him tapped out, so instead of heading west he picked up a bartending gig in Stratford. Soon enough, however, he picked up stakes again and moved to Kingston with his new band, The Harpies. But while Kingston boasted a thriving independent music scene and offered The Harpies an ideal location to hub out of for gigs in Montreal and Toronto, after recording their debut album in 2004 the band split up. Again, Ball stayed on in his adopted hometown to gig with a variety of local acts and – during a Christmas charity show – met Tragically Hip guitarist and Ching Music founder, Paul Langlois, by chance – thereby setting the stage for the next phase of his development as a singer, songwriter and recording artist. After the gig, Ball and Langlois partied into the night and, later, when Langlois and fellow Ching Music artists Jim Tidman and Jeff Montgomery formed the Campfire Liars Club in 2010 they approached Ball and asked him to join. “Paul and I started hanging out a bit, but mostly on stage. As a bartender, I’d see him around town, but one night we were headed somewhere and I asked if he wanted to give my music a listen.” Impressed, Langlois offered to release Ball’s 2011 debut record, Excessive Until August, and the two have continued to work together ever since. Like Ball’s debut, Mr. Rightplace dwells heavily on love and loss, but in a way that’s more focused, lyrically and sonically; a product of his growing confidence as a songwriter, the contributions his touring band – multi-‐instrumentalist Joe Carscallen, drummer Rob Radford and bassist Paul Müller – and Langlois’ ability to capture the urgency and immediacy of their sound in the studio. “I chipped away at Excessive Until August with my producer, Zane Whitfield, over the course of a year and a half without the band,” Ball says. “It was sort a rainy day record. But for Mr. Rightplace, we just went in, set up and did the beds with the band in two days, which really helped us refine our sound.” That sound, however, is primarily a product of Ball’s chops as a storyteller and his ability to mine virtually any experience – even the effect of a Brown Recluse Spider’s bite Ball likens to the symptoms people experience when they first fall for someone on ‘Her Bite’ – for raw material and inspiration. The result is a set of songs that are raw, real and unfailingly honest – all characterized by an urgency that reflect Greg Ball’s talents as a vocalist and songwriter and storyteller in equal measure.
< NIGHTLY LIVE MUSIC + EVENTS CALENDAR >
EVERY SUNDAY with HEAD over HEELS (Blues/Folk/Jazz Acoustic Duo, Gananoque) 5-8pm
EVERY TUESDAY with ERIC UREN (Folk/Rock, Westport) 5-8pm
EVERY WEDNESDAY with RACK ‘n TUNES + OPEN MIC with SHAWN McCULLOUGH & FRIENDS (Country/Rock…or whatever you want to play!) Perform and get a chance to win a Guitar from Long & McQuade Music of Kingston. 5-8pm