NOTES FROM THE ‘PORT Vol. 147

First off, congratulations to my friend Paul Millar for posting nothing but positive posts on Facebook. He has made it his prerogative lately. I will let you investigate it yourself but I thought it important to give a shout out to him amidst our increasingly Trumatic news driven world. Sometimes I feel like I’m watching the scene out of diehard on CNN, seriously.

So the official schedule has been released…Herbie Hancock at Ottawa Jazz Fest Jun.30 with Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles on a later stage. Absolutely chuffed that I can’t attend but such is life. I’ll never forget the time when I saw Herbie play Metropolis in Montreal about 15 years ago. He would’ve been in his early 60s and he still managed to physically move a full-size the grand piano at the middle of the stage from his sheer intensity. The Festival runs Jun.21-Jul.1. So much to check out, so much incredible world-class talent one and a half hours away. It’s quite a gift some of these festivals give us. Thanks to the year-round backbreaking work and generous donations from sponsors, they’ve managed to attract growing crowds every year. www.ottawajazzfestival.com

Have you heard of Suuns? My guess would be no. Honestly, if I was in keeping in touch with some of my old Montreal set, I don’t know if I would know a lot of new groups that are still making waves under the dark radar. However, in the case of his band Suuns, my friend Ben Shemie and former Junk bandmate and McGill classmate has just released another record and is about to tour the pants off of it around North America and Europe. Fully embracing electro with an experimental jazz sensibility and contemplative breathy, enigmatic vocals, Ben has really surprised me with his conviction and dedication to his most personal musical projects. His guitar playing and his quest for the most lyrical, yet puzzling line has never faltered. I’ll never forget Back to Plaster at Main Hall on St. Laurent Boulevard and how much of a stir that created…stay in touch Ben.

Did anyone else hear the team, Put your Money on Me by Arcade Fire on Saturday Night Live thus week? Fun to sing along and see another old McGill classmate Regine Chassagne up there in a red jumpsuit spreading her wings. What a Weekend Update with host Bill Hader!!! This man truly has the gift of just making you feel like busting a gut by looking at him we’re listening to him speak. Do you remember the Vinny the Italian who couldn’t understand what you’re saying or how about last Saturday’s Under Desk Office Potty? Vincent Price? Prince Phillip? Stefon? A master. He is just about to release his new HBO special Barry about a hitman who isn’t very good so he goes to acting school…

St. Paddy’s mayhem happened. Fun time. So great that our towns predominantly Irish heritage is being so heartily celebrated! Seems like the word on the street is the best idea for 2019 is a Matinee being that it will fall on a Sunday. Stay tuned and get yer table now. According to the beloved leader of the pack, Terry Bryan, this year’s parade was the biggest St. Paddy’s Parade yet and Chris Murphy from Turpin’s Trail said that was the craziest St. Paddy’s party he has played yet! Congratulations Westport!

As I have spouted on social media, post-show, Sean Pinchin is without a doubt one of the greatest guitar players to have ever played Blues on the Rideau at The Cove. It’s unanimous. And his band of Peter and Dennis was super solid as well! We are so grateful to be able to host such high powered talent on such a regular basis and it’s always a bonus when you get to play an inspiring jam with them too. Come again ok Sean! Contact him if you have any old Marvel Wolverine comics too. www.bluesontherideau.ca www.seanpinchin.ca
Next up for Blues on the Rideau is a phenomenal throwback soul blues band with an gravelly Otis Redding-voiced front man. Boogie Patrol will be hopping on a flight from Edmonton for the BOTR, their only show east. www.boogiepatrol.com

To all you parents out there, do you ever tuck your kids in at night and wonder how it happened so quickly? Happens frequently with my eldest these days. As our daily lives get tighter and tighter and full of more regularity, it’s easy for the week to shuffle by like contact pages in a Rolodex. Holding on for dear life while watching the show fly by.

This week at The Cove, the music is always happening but maybe not quite as much. Wednesday is as always, a musical night for the people. Can we get a witness? Can I, get a, witnessssss? Shawn McCullough and his weekly Wednesday party happens 6:30-9:30pm. It’s a great time. It’s like church for many. Come out. www.reverbnation.com/ShawnMcCullough

Saturday is a great event for post-St. Paddy’s Day. The annual spring fundraiser for Westport Arts Council this year, the East Coast Kitchen Party features the music of first timers at The Cove, The Fiddleheads from Belleville. Show goes 1-4pm with a surprise late addition in the McGrath Irish Dancers troupe around 2pm! $10 admission, kids under 10 Free and 50/50 Draw! Erin go Bragh! Not literally but let’s have a time!!! www.westportartscouncil.com

Henry Norwood plays the soundtrack to The Young Timers Hockey Banquet on Saturday night.

Coming up next week:
Fri.Mar.30 young acoustic soul phenom, Nolan Hubbard. A Logan Brown recommendation.
Sat.Mar.31 Spencer Evans Trio plays the Old Timers Hockey Banquet!

Wrote this while listening to Black Mountain. Fun and friendly Vancouver psych band…

Don’t forget to stop into your friendly local sugar shack and see the magic happen creating the golden liquid!

God Bless the Farmers!