This Week In Art/Culture/Entertainment

By John Swartz

The Mariposa Folk Festival held its annual audition concert Sunday afternoon at St. Paul’s Centre. I wasn’t there because I’m an idiot. I was patting myself so hard on the back last week for remembering to mention the Orillia Concert Association concert at the Opera House – also on Sunday afternoon, I knocked the memory the Mariposa gig was also happening at roughly the same time right out of the hard drive. I could have done both.

I discovered the error about half an hour after I returned home and saw a posting on Facebook about it. I’m bummed out because I’ve been to every one of them until now.

So Chris Hazel filled me in. There were about 150 people on hand for the free concert. This is about par because in the past it’s been held in smaller venues. Two groups from Montreal were selected; RedFox, a quartet, and Aleksi Compagne (who happens to be Connie Kaldor’s son). Chris said he thinks RedFox will be a hit in the pub.

The great news is two local acts were chosen. I’m very happy to see Kayla Mahomed was chosen. I remember the first time I saw her perform at the opening of the Orillia Public Library and I’ve seen her play several times. Every time is better than the last. I’ve often thought she has a bright future ahead as a musician, and hoped she caught the breaks necessary to be on bigger stages. Well, she got one, and hopefully she’ll get to the even bigger stages.

The other local is Shane Cloutier. Chris said the audience really liked his set. Shane is from Orillia but lives in Collingwood now.

Congrats to all.

Chris also said ticket sales are ahead on 2019’s festival, which was the best in the history of the Mariposa. Also the volunteer spots are filling up, so if you planned to be one, you better fill out the application now.

And Sawdust City Brewing made another batch of Mariposa Sun Lager. Sam Johnston played some music at the launch this week. A portion of the sales revenue will be donated to the Unison Benevolent Fund, which provides counseling and emergency relief services to the Canadian music community. You can order some online or pick some up at their Gravenhurst store.

All Stars

So, the Orillia Concert Association gig at the Opera House with the Toronto All Star Big Band. It was nice to hear some tunes I like done live. The band was OK, but not as tight as I would have liked to hear. Mostly it was the blending of instrument voices with the trumpets over playing, and hamming it up with unnecessary theatrics that sometimes marred playing the notes. The trumpets however, were very good with their trumpet section feature on Glenn Miller’s In The Mood. They played that tune as an encore.

The last tune of their second set was Sing, Sing, Sing, which was pretty faithful to the Benny Goodman chart (not the version Gene Krupa played on), minus the clarinet solo. The drummer was pretty good all day, not flashy, but solid with the time and hits. Here he squared up the tom tom part instead of swinging it like he’s trying to loop a crossbar and played the aforementioned version, not the Krupa one. One of these days I’m going hear someone play the Krupa parts. I don’t know why drummers shy away from it, it’s not that hard.

The audience gave the band a standing ovation, and when the emcee asked if they wanted another, I almost blurted out In The Mood, because there really isn’t any other tune to follow up Sing, Sing with. Of course that’s what they did.

They also had 6 singers. The emcee only used first names for the singers and soloists, so I can’t tell you who the fellow was who sang I Ain’t Got Nobody. The first half of the tune seemed to be on par with the rest of the performance, but in the second half of it he lit up and killed it. They also did a credible vocal performance with Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. A good portion of the repertoire was with the singers and from the WW2 era, though they did venture to earlier and later tunes a bit, and only the most popular stuff. I thought the singers were the best part of the show.

The association announced the lineup for next year. It includes, the Toronto Concert Orchestra  (small version of the late Kerry Stratton’s orchestra), Christopher Dawes  (on the organ at St. Andrew’s), a cello, accordion, percussion and piano quartette called Ladom, the Weston Silver Band, and the Toronto Mandolin Orchestra. Season tickets will remain at $90 and go on sale in a couple months.

A Tribute

Roger Harvey learned a bit about the Youth Center when he was here last September to play at a fundraiser for the Green Haven Shelter for Women and Youth. With conversations he had with Kevin Gangloff since then, he became interested in the stories of late Jake Beers and Nelson Bell. Kevin suggested there might a song in it and a couple months later Roger said he’d been thinking about it and did write a song. The Ballad of Jake Beers & Nelson Bell is now out, and has a video. Roger is coming back for a show in a couple months and Kevin is figuring out how to monetize the song as a fundraiser for the youth center’s bursaries in the boy’s names.

Meanwhile tonight there is a concert with and Mitch Sleeman and Ethan Mask headlined by Crabrat. That band is from Niagara Falls has been opening for My Son The Hurricane. Kevin brought them in because Nelson, as Kevin said, was always complaining no one ever brought in a Hip Hop group to perform. You can get tickets, or make a donation here.

And The Award Goes To

Lyric Dubee, who received an ODAC Award as an emerging artist in 2018 has been nominated for a 2022 International Singer – Songwriters Association award for International Male Vocalist Of The Year and International Male Songwriter Of The Year. He’ll also be playing a concert on the main stage in Atlanta prior to the awards presentations. Lyric won the International Entertainer Of The Year in 2019.

The ISSA started in Nashville is now based in Atlanta. There are dozens of musician collectives in the U.S. which have awards beyond the Grammies, the Country Music Association, the Blues Music Awards (W.C. Handy Awards) and the Polaris Prize. The ISSA categories are divided between domestic and international across all the categories. They also have musician resources such as vetted agents, musician services and radio stations (mostly internet radio) willing to consider submissions from independents to add to their playlists. Congrats and good luck.

The Shorts

  • Even Steven is playing at Lake Country Grill May 7…  Congrats to Couchiching Craft Brewing for getting the LCBO to distribute their Sunshine City Blonde Ale … Liz Anderson is performing in the Acoustic Floyd show at the Bracebridge Hall May 14 (tickets)… The Straight Goods (Matt James, Nate Robertson, Peter Sanderson and Steve Parkes) are playing a benefit called Music for Cats 2 at the Moose Lodge May 7; Ronnie Douglas is a special guest for this fundraiser for the Comfie Cat Shelter; get tickets ($15) at Plum Loco… The Kensington has an open mic night hosted by Tim Kehoe on Tuesdays from 8 to 11 p.m.
Beach Meditation by Sue Miller
  •  Tangents has a new tune out. Constant is a well written and recorded tune, and the video is very well done… Glen Robertson has been releasing a steady flow of new tunes which you can hear on his Soundcloud channel, click on his photo and listen to the playlist, lots of good music there… Skye Wallace, has a new tune, Everything Is Fine. Listen to it here, you can see her other new videos there too… Ayden Miller’s band, New Friends has a new tune, Right Here… Aaron Mangoff has a new EP you can listen to – and buy – here.
  • Danny Webster has a new album out. Late-Night Social Escapade, is the third album under his stage name Livers. Go to his Soundcloud page and give the album a listen.
  • Cloud Gallery is opening a show of Sue Miller’s works May 13. The reception is from 6 to 9 p.m. … Peter Street Fine Arts has Norman Robert Catchpole’s art in the gallery this month…  Hibernation Arts has Mike Sallows as the guest artist for May and he’ll be on hand May 13 from 3 to 5 p.m.; the gallery also has new pieces by Jon Oelrichs, the Bayside Artists, and Tammy Henry Johnson to see.

(Photos by Swartz and Images Supplied) Mariposa Photos by Chris Hazel.

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