NOTES FROM THE ‘PORT Vol. 76 for The Review Mirror May.18.2016


Blues on the Rideau at The Cove  is now complete for the 11th season! Nearing $60,000 in charity dollars. Between 8 and 10 shows per season of some of Canada’s best offerings in the blues world. Everything from traditional skanking to dance floor jive mastery, the nights have almost always been fully attended making it a winning party with which to participate. Looking forward to David Rotundo kicking off the next season September 23 and 24! Thanks again to all of the hard work by James Doran. You can keep in touch by joining the Choose the Blues mailing list or listen to the all blues DAWG fm radio out of Ottawa. James hosts his own show on Sunday nights.

I’m sure the Balkan String Trio gave an unforgettable performance for the ages at North Crosby. Would have liked to divide my time between the two. However, Colleen Brown and her musical companion Eli Abrams (cousin of The Abrams Brothers) gave a certifiably deep two sets to the crowd in house at The Cove. An after show minstrel session transpires for some locals. Joni Mitchell’s influence is present in her writing and her voice but only in the best way possible. Enjoyed playing bass on a few tunes with them as well. Felt like I could have played another ten. Songwriting is an art and finding your voice takes time. Mission accomplished with Miss Brown.

Allison Brown and Uncle Dan Henshall gave a wonderful afternoon performance. Something about a matinee with mandolin. We had every intention of hosting the duo outdoors to open the patio but it was not to be.
Freeman Daigle’s country sound brought in a cozy crowd to the Legion as well.

Wednesdays? Yeah, Wednesdays. Another big week for the jammers at Wings ‘n Tunes! The big guitar draw will be happening on May.25 aka the birthday of one Shawn McCullough. The week after will continue throughout the high season with Rack ‘n Tunes. Ingenious isn’t it? Every week for a few years now. 6-9pm at The Cove
Shawn McCullough’s video of his personally penned song for Fort McMurray has caught on like the wild fires he wrote about. It’s an admirable thing he continues to do by supporting and recognizing community and stories of his fellow brethren through song. Listen to it on his FB page. Congratulations Shawn!

The main event. Port for the Fort looks to be a rally of monumental proportions! For the sake of charity, we hope it surpasses the Syrian Refugee Appeal at the end of last year. This Thursday, folks from all around will have a chance to support the cause by donating or betting on the silent auction bolstered by local folks and businesses. The whole shebang is organized by a swath of massively hearted Westportians including volunteers from the local churches, Westport Arts Council and many others. Silent auction runs 7-8:30pm. Musicians and speakers will give their tributes during this time. Jazz Night with the Spencer Evans trio continues into its 19th year starting this night too. 9-11pm or maybe later. What a great way to ring it in with an event that will give back thousands to those in need in Alberta th ask to the Red Cross and the Government of Canada. Word is Ottawa Senators defensive star Chris Phillips will be in the house to tell the current story of Fort McMurray. He is a native of that city.

Excited for this summer to play a few shows and bring the new music and sound of what was Spoon River, back to the people of eastern Ontario and Quebec. Name is Tavis E. Triance & The Natural Way. A new record coming too. Should be complete by summer. Thanks to first timers to the group, drummer Bucky Wheaton and guitar player Brad Barr for joining in the project. Coming to MUISCwestport Festival Sat.Aug.20…

My old friend and musical madman JP Houston is going to be opening for Leon Russell (Joe Cocker’s musical director) Sat.May.28! I used to play bass with JP in his creative little troupe. It was sort of like Queen, Joe Cocker and Randy Newman all wrapped in one. I miss JP. He had a thing that doesn’t come along often at all. An old soul. If you are in LA and want to take sunset drive west of San Bernardino to Big Bear Lake, you know who will be there waiting to unfold their story in song.

Something special for me this week was the induction of Kim Bonner, Westport’s Woman of the Year, an award bestowed upon those who give themselves to the community and their peers in an overtly special way. Kim has been nothing short of an inspiration to me and my wife. She has opened up her heart and life to us and given much perspective to mortality through simple philosophy and reason. I’m so happy she and her husband Rick decided to move back to their hometown to experience this community again. I know many, many folk would agree her presence has been nothing short of amazing being a thoughtful volunteer and active friend. Congratulations. Well deserved Kim!

Coming Friday to The Cove patio is a quartet of an era gone by yet wield a sound that leeches put emotion through its timelessness. Westport’s StringTease consists of couple Chuck and Carolyn, new dad Dawson and guitarist Dave. Hear minstrels sounds, gypsy stomps, blues ballads and folky jazz sensibilities. A setting to behold for the patio. 6-9pm at The Cove

John Wilberforce returns Saturday night to The Cove with his highly entertaining brand of warm rock and roll and folk. Between the patio and the lounge. 7-10:30pm

The familiar, comforting sounds of Head Over Heels are back every Sunday on The Cove patio from 12:30-3:30pm
A day of rest with this soundtrack.

Sunday is the inaugural show for Toronto’s Jordan Galloway. A mixture of original pretty folk with some Led Zeppelin, James Taylor and Neil Young. 6-9pm at The Cove.

This week’s  Shout out goes to lyricist Macklemore. On the subject of opioids drug abuse, Macklemore was the first non governmental official to stand beside President Obama on his Fireside Chat sessions! It’s out of control. Big Pharmaceutical companies are having their way with patients this day in age. It’s just too easy to obtain this stuff illegally and get addicted. If a face like Macklemore can wake up some of the powers that be, all the power to him.