I had the chance today to listen to a bit of Caper Radio’s songwriters’ circle over their internet feed. Featuring Colette Deveaux, Alicia Penney, Andrew Gillis, and Brett Jerrett, it was a great mix of different styles. Andrew Gillis is a standout performer. His songs shine with a homey richness that belies any technical faults he may possess. I was glad to hear a few of his songs, which are played live far too infrequently.
Speaking of Brett Jerrett, he will be at Governors Pub on Friday night alongside Marc Langille of Thought Machine and Jonathan Kanary. The three give a good cross section of local performers that don’t quite fit into a typical singer-songwriter mould.
The Upstairs Club, though, may have the stranglehold on the weekend’s festivities. Friday night, the little bar in the north end houses Carmen Townsend and the Shakey Deals. Townsend, who last played in Sydney for her CD release in January, will be warming up for no fewer than five performances in Charlottetown during ECMA 2011. Opening the show on Friday night will be John Gill, who lately has been showcasing many of his songs with his new band Heartwood Slacks.
Saturday keeps the momentum flowing as The Tom Fun Orchestra roll in. With four shows in Charlottetown for ECMA 2011, the group will be preparing much the same as their counterpart Ms. Townsend. Earlier that day, Tom Fun alumnus Alicia Penney will be hosting an afternoon at The Cape Breton Fudge Company. Read all about it here.
I ended up at Governors Pub last Saturday night for a bit of a night cap, going solo after leaving a wedding reception. I was glad to see the three solo performers, Danny MacNeil, Jacob Noonan, and Andrew Greig, had decided to go songwriters’ circle style rather than doing separate sets, allowing me to catch a few songs from each.
Greig played a cover of “Bankrobber” by The Clash as I came in the door, which is one of my (and my youngest daughter’s) favorite songs. I knew it was gonna be a good one. The trio went through a number of originals and covers, such as Greig’s rendition of Pat Benetar’s “Love is a Battlefield” and Noonan’s “Landlocked Blues” by Bright Eyes. MacNeil ended it off with his “It’s Gonna Be All Right”, which resulted in the crowd yelling along.
Closing out the night was Montreal’s Cinema L’Amour. The two piece band combined indie rock stylings with extensive use of loopers and delays to create something I am quite sure I wasn’t prepared for. The drummer held everything together in a nice package, while the frontman created layered effects and drove the tempo of the music. I wouldn’t count myself amongst their fans, and they made quite a few that night, but I was impressed by the sheer amount of coordination needed to pull this off as they did. Word is the band will be back at Governors on Tuesday for those that missed it the first time through.
Track of the Week: “Snowman” by Greg MacPherson. The inestimable MacPherson spent much of 2010 releasing and supporting Mr. Invitation, his first release in about five years. It didn’t take him near as long for the next cd, Disintegration Blues, which hit Europe in January and will hit this continent in the summer. MacPherson released two songs, “Snowman” and “Ukrainians”, on his myspace earlier this week, both stellar tracks that he has been playing live for some time. Hopefully we will be seeing the videos from last May’s shows at St. Patrick’s Church and The Upstairs Club soon as well, which would be a wonderful addition to the Canadian release of this cd.