NOTES FROM THE ‘PORT Vol. 77 for The Review Mirror May.25.2016

Summer is in full swing again. Westport’s pot of flowers is being waters yet again by the streams of wealth of tourism. We thank you. And we thank that sparkling sky. This year’s Victoria Day Weekend was the first in recent memory where it seemed like a Mid Summer’s Dream. Music on the patio was a focus. The gypsy folk sounds of Westport’s own StringTease haunted and howled from garden stage of The Cove on Friday night. Head Over Heels returned with their weekly sweet Sunday soul spot in the early afternoon. At night, Toronto rocker Jordan Galloway gave an inspired evening of pretty pop. To cap it off, Jessica Warden brought some Celtic fiddlin’ holiday Monday live to the sunny patio. The Ramblin’ Valley Band played at the Chaffey’s Lock Community Hall on Saturday. The bluesy bluegrass rock and rollers did it up right for a full house!
Last week, Wednesday was the penultimate Wings ‘n Tunes session with boy wonder, Shawn McCullough and his many, many friends. This week is the final night of the Wings ‘n Tunes season! Thanks so much to Nathan at Renaissance Music of Kingston for donating an acoustic guitar which will be drawn for May.25! 6-9pm
Next week transitions into Rack ‘n Tunes with Shawn McCullough again but goes 7-10pm. Ribs, not wings. Fun remains. Tunes continue.
Thursday brought in over $20,000 Red Cross dollars for Fort McMurray at a the Cove. With Paul Millar at the helm, Westport Arts Council organizing the the Silent Auction, Bob Popma and friends on the donations table, thunderous sound of love pummelled people left and right. What a sound it was. Many thanks to all involved including those who gave and gave and gave. Volunteerism is at an all time high in this little town with a big heart. Without the generous donation people’s actual time, I doubt we would have anywhere near the amount of success with these fundraisers. Thanks as well to the musicians: Grace, Lexi, Greg, Daniel, Lee, Justin, Rob, Spencer and Dave! Thanks to Ottawa Senators star Chris Phillips for speaking on perspective and gratitude of his home town of Beacon Hill in Fort McMurray. The first area to be hit with fire. And thanks to Dave Fraser from the Red Cross. I think by having somebody like that there helps you realize that your efforts are hitting home. He flew out to Fort Mac the next day. On top of all that, Jazz Night is good to go for another whole season! We are talking Spencer Evans and the trio featuring yours truly and the drumming of Rob Radford. And we move forward into the future…

Jef Leeson has released his record called Taller in Real Life. It was recorded by John Wilberforce in March at The Cove with sidemen Jeff Callery and Shawn McCullough and friends. Music records well in this room. Wilberforce harnessed a super set of Leeson originals!

At Brea Lawrenson’s latest recording session, Shawn McCullough recorded his tribute to Fort McMurray. It’s made huge waves across the Canadian landscape. Heartfelt, it captures a story and moment. A classic Shawn tribute. Well done sir.
This Friday at The Cove, Ottawa folk legend and CBC Radio fav Lynne Hanson will be in the house for an evening of folk song and story from the patio stage. Lynne is an international touring and recording artist who had one of her 4 albums produced by Lynn Miles. She played her last time around with pedal steeler Dan Artuso. We welcome her back to a physically warmer set. 6-9pm
This Saturday and Sunday, Head Over Heels’ acoustic beauty fills the space of the gardens behind the Cove. His duo truly offer a unique chance for people to romance and dine in the tranquility of the Rideau lakes with their soundtrack so thoughtfully curated as a backdrop.
Coming soon: Day Tripper returns as that sensational The Beatles tribute from Montreal. Partnering with Westport in Bloom as a fundraiser on Fri.Jun.3!
Early Bird: A Musical Nod to The Eagles returns on Fri.Jun.17. The boys who brought you Young Petty Stones and back.
Both shows still have some room I hear…
Shout out to Gord Downie. As many I’m sure have heard, the leader of our generation’s greatest Canadian rock and roll band ha been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. A father of four children and a father of four great musicians who have literally been the band who gave us the playlist, soundtrack, mixtape, a and b side, video, music at work and nationalized, immobilized, fist pumped, poeticized, anthem filled, love filled, rocked, guitar shredded and spoke to the jocks, beer drinkers, nerds, hipsters, cool kids, soccer moms, kids, parents, intellectuals, historians and the whoevers, have beens and wannabes. All this to say, we have a national, binding treasure in Gord. It’s not so often a band has this much weight over more than three consecutive decades. Gord’s words whether frank or esoteric have empowered all types. This next and last tour this summer will be absolutely epic and will be a movement. Prayers to the whole Hip family at large.