NOTES FROM THE ‘PORT Vol. 74 for The Review-Mirror May.4.2016


Songwriters Circles are always a memorable time. Never seem to be the most popular of nautical excursions but I guess all I can say is you have to be there to feel the love. I just love the format and I personally love to pick three great musicians to perform with. I’m pretty lucky to be able to do that when I think about it! Friday at The Cove was one of those nights by the way. Emily Fennel brought her pseudo neo-soul pop tunes. Talked ’em up too! Emily is just Emily. I remember her from when our old band Bullmoose was battling head to head in Kingston rock and roll competition with a pregnant Emily Fennell at the head of her band at AJ’s Hangar. Crazy. Tom Savage has been a mainstay in my development. His inspiration as a true performing artist is remarkable, how he continues to write masterpieces of love, life and loss. Some of my first bass jams were played in Tom’s mom Anne’s basement. Hendrix’ Manic Depression and Zeppelin’s What Is and What Should Never Be. Tom is hitting the east USA with his love who might come back with a video doc but who knows. Wished he threw his acoustic version of Arizona in that night but his tune Rougher On Me destroyed me. And then Ali McCormick stepped up, with a bum leg, and danced the most of all four of us. Her tone and her tunes tell such a great story. I’m looking forward to see where the road takes her. I’ll continue to make these nights a necessity.

At the United Church, the Westport Arts Council’s Some Kind of Choir community choir and RDHS Jazz Band were off the charts according to many sources on Saturday night! I’m so happy to hear all the seats were full too! Play that music kids.

Pat Temple and Spencer Evans gave an eve of old school jazz sensibilities that would have impressed the kids in the band at the church! An honour to play on Pat’s tune called Impresario which was dedicated to my old teacher and fellow musician to all of us, Joe Chithalen. Pat had some hits on CMT a few years back. Nice job by a seasoned duo.

Josh Toal from The Key-Lites gets on the bass with Warren Spicer and his Plants and Animals. So great to hear their new tune called Stay on CBC’s Q on Friday morning! New record called Waltzed in from the Rumbling on Secret City Records. Parents now eh boys! Can’t wait to hear you live again soon I hope. Loved hearing this band in their early days at Divan Orange on their Mandatory Moustache Tuesdays. Always been a jaw dropping rock and roll band.

If you see Brian or Kim Ewart around, give them some love. They lost their puppy to Lyme’s Disease.

Leicester City wins Barclay’s Premier League. That’s a likelihood of 5000-1. They have equated it to a Canadian team winning the Super bowl. Storied stuff of legends. It’s become known as the the greatest upset in sports history. Agreed?

Saturday was my friend ReueBen DEGrooT’s (sp?) live CD release at the world famous Toucan! This is the place where they have spent the last few years honing their country/jazz/psych/prof Little Feat inspired sound! Such an innovative band.

Head Over Heels returns on Friday for an evening of music by luminaries like Townes Van Zandt and almost every great songwriter of the 1960s to now. Kevin Head himself is also great a guitar tech did you know that? 6-9pm

The one and only Petunia from Vancouver comes to The Cove on Saturday. I’m the first to admit I knew nothing about Petunia when Ali McCormick, the night’s opening act, suggested him to me a coupe months back. Wow have I been amazed at how many people who have come through of other known him and want me to say hi to them for them or are super excited that we have decided to have them here! Former McGill bass player Eddie Blake will be playing bass for him that night. This musical World just keeps getting smaller and smaller. All kinds know him! Is Thiel is definitely old time country with the little yodelling to boot. A quote says that his thing is like Hank Williams on acid. For any of you looking for something authentic, seems like this night is the night. 7-10pm

Sturgill Simpson and Chris Stapleton. Saying those names now and giving them accolades makes me feel like I am someone who is late to the party. It’s some pretty real country music, that for all of you who have listening to the sounds of men of The Highwaymen for years, this is where they left off.

Coming up at The Cove: May.13 is the 2016 Juno award winner for Best Blues Album, Harrison Kennedy. May.14 is Edmonton folk/pop songstress Colleen Brown with Eli Abrams of The Abrams Brothers fame. Balkan Trio May.14 North Crosby Community Centre. Jun.3 is Beatles in Bloom, a Westport in Bloom Fundraiser with Day Tripper Beatles Tribute from Montreal. The sounds of The Eagles come Jun.17 with the lads from Young Petty Stones. The onslaught of too many things to do in the region is about to begin…

So incredibly sorry to hear about the massive firestorm in Fort McMurray area. Devastating to say the absolute least. There are so many folk from the this area whose friends and family are situated in that area and industry. We wish everyone safety.

Shout out just got to go out to Mothers. What would we do without them? They’re the reason we are here. That alone is reason enough to celebrate at least one day per year. But I know most of you out there raking is your mothers more than just one day. When you become a parent, it becomes apparent how much you appreciate the love you get back from your children. Personally, I’m super thankful for how much love I have received from my mother and how much I love my wife has given our son. Take some time to reminisce about all of that kind of stuff this weekend with your mother. You won’t regret it.

Seamus Cowan