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Nov
17
Fri
Ken Yates
Nov 17 @ 7:30 pm

Since first planting roots within the Canadian music scene in 2011, Ken Yates has steadily grown a reputation as one of the country’s brightest singer/songwriters. He has just been nominated for  “Songwriter of the year” and “New/Emerging Artist of the Year” at the 2017  Canadian Folk Music Awards.  His sound offers the complete package—unforgettable melodies, emotionally charged storytelling, and top-notch guitar chops—all gloriously displayed on Yates’ new album, Huntsville.

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Produced by Jim Bryson (Weakerthans, Kathleen Edwards), Yates’ second full-length effort is a major stylistic step forward, with its 11 tracks capturing his artistic evolution amid extensive touring over the past three years. “Keep Your Head Down,” with its subtle, driving groove, opens the album like a train pulling out at dawn, with vast, open vistas lying ahead. Those come into focus on other key tracks such as “Once More To The Lake,” “Roll Me On Home” and “The Best Part Of Leaving.” Yet, everywhere on the album, echoes of the Canadian songwriting tradition, from Gordon Lightfoot to Bruce Cockburn to Ron Sexsmith, are apparent, proving that with Huntsville, Ken Yates is ready to join that exalted company. A native of London, Ontario (a few hours’ drive south of the actual Huntsville), Yates studied at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. His first release, The Backseat EP, came out in 2011, followed by his full-length debut, twenty-three in 2013. One track on that album caught the ear of fellow Berklee alum John Mayer, who commented in a lengthy blog post, “Ken Yates wrote a song called ‘I Don’t Wanna Fall In Love.’ This song moved me when I first heard it, and it still does today.”

 

Nov
24
Fri
The Rebel of Hungerford
Nov 24 @ 7:30 pm

The year 1837 was not a happy time in Upper Canada. The young colony was going through some serious growing pains that eventually erupted into open Rebellion. History seems to have made little of this affair. But if you look a little more closely you will find that political dissatisfaction was widespread and particularly violent in our own area. Pierre Lesage was one of those early settlers who were caught in the middle of the turmoil. Arrested for treason, he is eventually acquitted with the help of a young lawyer by the name of John A. MacDonald. Pierre recounts his experiences and, in doing so, helps us to consider the legal foundation of a colony and the role of those who saw themselves as ordained to rule, and those who find that rule contrary to their principles of justice.

Pierre’s great-great-great grandson, Mark Lesage, decided to make a dramatic retelling of the circumstances surrounding these events and the times in which they occurred. Be forewarned, this is not an objective historical narration. Pierre will recount his experiences complete with all the sectarian and political prejudices of the age. So, if you’re ready to “get your Rebel on!”, join us at the Old Church Theatre for this new, very Canadian play.


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Nov
25
Sat
Cris Cuddy
Nov 25 @ 7:30 pm

Cris Cuddy is a singer and songwriter who started out in the folkie era, recording two LP’s as Jeremy Dormouse with some talented friends including David “Fiddlin’ Zeke” Mazurek, before becoming leader of popular Canadian indie rootsrock-reggae band Max Mouse and the Gorillas, whose ranks have included such brilliant musicians as Dennis Delorme (Prairie Oyster), Roly Platt (Ronnie Hawkins), Hugh MacMillan (Spirit of the West) and Tony Quarrington (Joe Hall and the Continental Drift).


Reservations

Cris has recorded many solo CD’s and his song “Gone Again” is featured on the Grammy nominated CD by Claire Lynch “North by South”. His songs have also been recorded by several other artists including Canada’s perennial Juno Award Winners Prairie Oyster and International Bluegrass Music Award (IBMA) winning bluegrass artists Jim Hurst and the Spinney Bros.
Cuddy’s mentor, songwriting great Mickey Newbury (writer of “American Trilogy” by Elvis) chose his tale of Old Blue Eyes “What if Frankie Doesn’t
Like It” for inclusion as a segue on his masterful “Long Road Home”.  His songs often mirror various regions of his cross-country travels, for example “Paramount Cafe” remembering a much-loved Lethbridge eatery, “Keep the Change” describing the late night joints frequented by travellers of all stripes, “Way out West” reprising his love of the Big Sky country, “The Night the Lights Went Out” in memory of legendary St. John’s singer Ron Hynes, “Song Upon a Winter Day” for the great Willie P. Bennett, “Na-Na-Nanaimo” about being on the skids on those streets and, outside his Canadian roots, a song of longing for “Dear Elvis”, “What if Frankie Doesn’t Like It”, and “Natalie Wood 1963” in praise of the star-crossed beauty as well as many others.
His solo recordings have featured such great musicians as guitarist Albert Lee, Gene Taylor (Fabulous Thunderbirds) on piano and Kevin Breit (Cassandra Wilson, Norah Jones), multi-instrumentalist Fats Kaplin (Jack White, Tom Russell), Andrew Hardin (Tom Russell), Memphis George Bradfute (Paul Burch, Phil Lee, Webb Wilder, Jason Ringenburg) and members of Mary Margaret O’Hara and Big Sugar.
Check out Cris talking about and playing Long and Lonesome Old Freight Train, a song that has been recorded by Prairie Oyster, Catfish Willie and IBMA guitar star Jim Hurst:

.

 

Dec
2
Sat
Good Night Irenes
Dec 2 @ 7:30 pm

 

Kingston folk group The Goodnight Irenes perform at the Old Church Theatre Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $10 advance $15 at the door.

 


Advance Tickets

 

The Goodnight Irenes (Al Duquette, Jon McLurg, and Chris Morris) are a folk trio from Kingston, Ontario. Three singers, two guitars, one fiddle, and over 500 songs at their disposal: Traditional and original folk, classic country, bluegrass, blues, fiddlin’ tunes … no rules, no limits, no setlists!

 

Dec
6
Wed
Open Mic
Dec 6 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Dec
8
Fri
Rob Lutes
Dec 8 @ 7:30 pm

On his seventh album, acclaimed Canadian songwriter Rob Lutes does what he has done for
years: kicks up a little dust, wades into some deep waters and tackles the realities of the world with
depth, humour and a unique musical style.

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Just announced:  Rob Lutes, 2017 Maple Blues Awards Nominee ACOUSTIC ACT OF THE YEAR and SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR.

Situated at the intersection of the blues, folk, Americana and contemporary singer-songwriter genres, Walk in the Dark is an exquisite collection of songs that highlight Lutes’s unmistakable voice and literary writing style. Co-produced with celebrated Montreal producer and Cirque de Soleil collaborator Rob Heaney, the album features a group of Canada’s finest roots and blues players, including guitarist Rob MacDonald and keyboardist Bob Stagg along with noted artists Ian Kelly, Guy Bélanger and Joe Grass. It finds Lutes, a Kerrville New Folk winner, Maple Blues and Canadian Folk Music Awards nominee, exploring a wide range of subjects and paying homage to some heroes: James Cotton (on There’s No Way to Tell You That Tonight) and guitarist Joseph Spence (on the instrumental Spence).
Recorded mainly over three days in late January in a small studio in Montreal’s Notre Dame de Grace borough, the recording captures the essence of Lutes’s soulful voice and rhythmic guitar style, enveloped by a group of players who are no stranger to his groove. Featuring 12 new originals, including two co-writes with award-winning Americana songwriter Dale Boyle, and the forgotten John Prine gem Rocky Mountain Time, the album digs deep into the roots of Canadian and American music and delivers another strong statement. “This album, of all of them, was a journey into the unknown, which is why I like the title so much,” Lutes says. “With a great co-producer, and a group of phenomenal players and friends, I went in to the studio to find these songs. And I really feel like we did that.”

Dec
10
Sun
Jimmy Bowskill
Dec 10 @ 2:00 pm

Jimmy Bowskill is a multi-instrumentalist whose professional career stared at age 11 when discovered by Jeff Healey.  Immediately his first recording session was set up which let to Jimmy being the youngest Juno nominee ever.


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He spent the next decade plus touring North America and Europe, released 6 critically acclaimed albums and shared billings with Jeff Beck, Robert Cray, Johnny Winter, Jimmie Vaughan, ZZ Top and dozens more while selling out theatres and halls as a headliner.

Jimmy currently plays lead guitar for The Sheepdogs (the only Canadian group to make the cover of Rolling Stone) and he plays Pedal Steel, Mandolin and Violin for Blue Rodeo, two of Canada’s biggest bands. He is a sought after studio musician as it generally only takes him one take to get his part down (also playing horns, keys, drums and doing string arrangements) and on top of this he has perfect pitch. His latest project was playing on and co-producing the latest Greg Keelor from Blue Rodeos solo album.

Accompanying Jimmy is Ian McKeown, Bowskill’s right hand man. Ian has been playing music with Jim for 5 years, involved in several of his projects, playing  drums  in Jim’s Rock Band, Bass in Jim’s Blues Band and Steel Guitar in Jim’s Bluegrass Band. Ian lives in Toronto and is another sought after multi-instrumentalist.

This will be an incredible evening of original songs, Roots and Blues Classics and some fine pickin’. By the way, all this talent and experience and they are only 25 years old!

Dec
17
Sun
Soulful Jazzy Family Christmas
Dec 17 @ 2:00 pm

Join us for a Soulful Jazzy Family Christmas Concert with Spencer and Oscar Evans. Special Guest Vocalist Savannah Shea,and extra special guest Jack Evans! Spencer plays Piano,Clarinet,Accordion,and Sings. Oscar plays Acoustic Bass,and Trumpet.


Advance Tickets

They will play Seasonal favourites from Louis Armstrong, Harry Connick Jr., Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, George Winston, Vince Guaraldi, and Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Traditional Carols and Classics. Savannah is a tremendous young singer who sings Soul and Jazz tunes from Eartha Kitt, and Diana Krall, to modern repertoire. Spencer’s Dad and Oscar’s Grandfather Jack will be on hand to lead a sing a long which he is famous for!

Spencer Evans has performed and recorded with many artists including Pat Temple, Cowboy Junkies, Sarah Harmer, John Prine, Jill Barber, Good Lovelies, Dan Aykroyd, Maria Muldaur, Tragically Hip, Meaghan Smith and has toured throughout Canada,U.S. and Europe. He grew up in Quinte and regularly performs around the Kingston area which has been home for many years.

Dec
20
Wed
Open Mic
Dec 20 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Jan
20
Sat
Durham County Poets
Jan 20 @ 2:00 pm

Durham County Poets are from the Chateauguay valley located in Quebec, Canada. Their influences are varied, from blues to folk, from jazz to gospel, with elements of the Band, James Taylor, Jimmy Reed, even some Leon Redbone. Each member brings a different musical background to the band that marries into a sound that has been labeled as soulful folk.


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“This group plays bluesy country/folk with a lot of verve. The lead singer sits in his wheelchair and just kills every vocal. The recording on “River” has mostly an ambient sound with very little reverb. It gives the listener a sense of sitting in a living room somewhere, listening to the band crank out one great tune after another.”  Acoustic Live in New York City, album review

 

“The Poets lay down a sweet acoustic groove that’s subtle, yet captivating.  Utilizing strong players on double bass, acoustic guitar, stellar electric guitar, percussion utilizing primarily brushes, they gently work around Kevin Harvey’s soulful lead vocals.  I think every song I heard from them had at least one intriguing key change, further tenderizing the overall sound.  Both acoustic and electric guitars often played together, uttering an almost piano sound with their blend.  Watch for them next time they’re around.”  —Steve Tennant Medium

“Enjoy the groove and good humor of The Durham County Poets.”  John Platt, WFUV, radio (Fordham University Public Media)

“Il ne fait aucun doute qu’on a affaire à un collectif de musiciens chevronnés et talentueux: une des belles découvertes de l’année!”   Pierre Lamontagnele, Le net blues, 2014

“Kevin Harvey’ s rich voice and nuanced delivery covers the scope of life…. with ballads and blues-inflected originals, some swing and genial humour. Guitarist David Whyte’s guitar solos are pure grace. The Poets will get you dancing in the hallways, laughing, and feeling those blues. ”  Spirit of Rasputin, Ottawa, Can.

Jan
27
Sat
The Urban Highlanders
Jan 27 @ 7:30 pm

Grier Coppins and The Urban Highlanders are coming back to church!

Bagpipes, whistles, 6-string violin, soprano sax, piccolo, clarinet, acoustic guitar, mandolin, an array of drums and percussion… all join the fray in an inspired musical dust up. Based in Toronto, the URBAN HIGHLANDERS  draw on a broad collection of influences to create original instrumentals, homemade and traditional tunes,  story-based songs and tales.

 


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In 2015 Grier Coppins began a monthly residence at the Cameron House, one of Toronto’s most storied musical venues. Starting as a duo playing mostly original songs, then as a trio adding tunes and instrumentals, the monthly performance spontaneously grew into a five-piece roots, cross-border organic musical adventure.
Thus, URBAN HIGHLANDERS were born.

The Band

Grier Coppins:

Grier  began his musical career on the street in Toronto playing bagpipes at the corner Yonge & Bloor in the mid 1970’s. He was an original member of critically acclaimed Canadian bagpipe/funksters

 

Rare Air in the 1980’s. In 1993 he founded Taxi Chain, a rhythm & blues infused cocktail of song & tune. Coppins has played almost every major folk fest in Canada & the USA.  He released a solo record, ‘The Prince that Nobody Knows’  in 2014 rated one of 2014’s top 10 by Penguin Egg’s Andy Donnelley, and has most recently recorded bagpipes with Al Tuck on his ‘Stranger at the Wake’ CD and on the Paul Gross film, ‘Hyena Road’.

Jim Bish:
Jim has is a versatile and wind-driven musical force that has played with such diverse acts as  Screaming’ Jay Hawkins, the Somalian Opera, Toronto Calypso combo Shak Shak, and Taxi Chain.

Ayron Mortley: 
Ayron is a tower of a man and musician that has performed extensively with Taxi Chain, the Mahones and his own band, The O’Deadlys, with his wife Lindsey. He is a graduate of the Humber College Music Program and also teaches guitar.

Chris Bartos:
Chris Bartos is a master class jazz guitarist and violinist and a graduate of the Berklee College of Music. He has played extensively with and/or produced recordings for Kaia Kater, Sarah Harmer, The Ennis Sisters, Jonathon Bird, the Barr Brothers, and Quique Escamilla. He has released one solo recording ‘Fort William’ to critical acclaim.

Larry Graves:
Larry has studied drumming extensively in Ghana, Africa and teaches drums. He is a composer and the musical leader a few local acts:  DRUMHAND, Surefire Sweat and Orkestra Gatigo. He was an original member of Juno nominated world beat orchestra Mr. Something Something.

Feb
3
Sat
Bill Durst
Feb 3 @ 7:30 pm

Bill Durst is an award winning Canadian Blues Rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, entertainer who has written and recorded over 125 songs on 12 albums with 7 national radio hits. The Jack Richardson Hall of Famer has opened for Areosmith, Rush, BTO, Yardbirds, Johnny Winter, Savoy Brown, Bobby Rush, George Thorogood, Bad Company, Edgar Winter Group, Jeff Healey, John Mayall, Downchild, David Wilcox, Little Feat and more. Mr. Durst has toured across North America and in Europe and tours extensively in Canada.


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Born in Wingham and growing up in London, Ontario, Bill was heavily influenced by Motown R&B, Toronto Psychedelic Soul, British Blues, Hendrix and BBKing. Durst entered the national/international stage with his classic rock band Thundermug who had a number one hit in 1972. Thundermug recorded 5 albums, (3 albums in the 1970s, two CDs in the 1990s), releasing records in the US and Europe. Bill’s first two solo albums came in the eighties but it wasn’t until the early 2000s that Durst got some real career momentum.

 

 Awards & Nominations

  • Awarded – Best Canadian Blues Rock Album (Artist) 2014, Blues Underground Network
  • Awarded – Top 10 Blues Rock Albums (International) 2014, Blues Underground Network
  • Fan Voted – “Hard And Heavy” CD voted #2, Top 20 Canadian Blues Albums 2014, Blind Lemon Blues
  • Awarded – Blues / R&B Artist of the Year, Jack Richardson Music Awards 2014
  • Nominated – Blues / R&B Artist of the Year, London Music Awards 2014
  • Nominated – Electric Act of the Year, Maple Blue Awards 2014
  • Awarded – Blues / R&B Artist of the Year, London Music Awards 2013
  • Fan Voted – “Bill Durst Live” CD voted #5, Top 20 Canadian Blues CDs, Blind Lemon Blues 2013
  • Nominated – Blues / R&B Artist of the Year, Jack Richardson Music Awards 2013
  • Awarded – Best Canadian Live Blues CD “Bill Durst Live” 2013, Blues Underground Network
  • Awarded – Blues / R&B Artist of the Year, London Music Awards 2012
  • Nominated – Blues / R&B Artist of the Year, Jack Richardson Music Awards 2012
  • Nominated – Blues / R&B Artist of the Year, London Music Awards 2011s CDs 2011 Blind Lemon Blues
  • Nominated – Blues / R&B Artist of the Year, London Music Awards 2010
  • Nominated – Blues / R&B Artist of the Year, Jack Richardson Music Awards 2010
  • Nominated – Blues / R&B Artist of the Year, London Music Awards 2009
  • Nominated – Blues / R&B Artist of the Year, Jack Richardson Music Awards 2009
  • Nominated – Blues / R&B Artist of the Year, London Music Awards 2008
  • Nominated – Blues / R&B Artist of the Year, Jack Richardson Music Awards 2008
  • Nominated – Blues / R&B Artist of the Year, Jack Richardson Music Awards 2007
  • Inducted – Jack Richardson Hall of Fame, Jack Richardson Music Awards 2006
  • Nominated – Blues / R&B Artist of the Year, Jack Richardson Music Awards 2006
Feb
17
Sat
Dylan Ireland
Feb 17 @ 7:30 pm

Propelled by raw lyricism and earthy production, Dylan Ireland’s debut solo album Every Other Night is a powerful statement from an artist ready to carve out new folk-rock terrain.
The Peterborough, Ontario-based singer/songwriter has already made his mark on the Canadian music scene through his former band Express And Company. Their 2013 album, Ontario, contained the single “Carry Me Along,” which received heavy airplay on CBC Radio 2 and 3, and helped land showcases at the Mariposa Folk Festival and the Peterborough Folk Festival—he earned the Emerging Artist Award at both—as well as South By Southwest.

With Every Other Night, Ireland has entered a new phase, building upon his past work with a fresh and fearless songwriting approach now all his own. Co-produced by Ireland and James McKenty (Blue Rodeo, Michelle McAdorey, Matthew Barber), Every Other Night’s stellar cast of contributors includes guitarists Jim Bryson and Gord Tough (Kathleen Edwards), drummer Loel Campbell (Wintersleep) and bassist Anna Ruddick (Daniel Romano, Bry Webb, Randy Bachman).

 

Feb
25
Sun
Shane Cook & Joseph Phillips
Feb 25 @ 2:00 pm

Tickets and Details TBA

Oct
21
Sun
Claude Bourbon
Oct 21 @ 2:00 pm

Medieval & Spanish blues, Guitar & Songs

 Ready for a unique and talented take on a wide range of musical traditions? Claude Bourbon is known throughout
Europe and America for amazing guitar performances that take blues, Spanish, Middle Eastern, and Russian stylings into uncharted territories. Each year Bourbon plays more than 100 shows around the world.

Born in France in the early 60’s, Claude Bourbon grew up in Switzerland, where he was classically trained for many years. This finger picking guitarist has performed and studied all over the world; He has played countless venues, including Glastonbury Festival, Isle of Wight Festival, Colne Great British & Blues Festival, Rock O’Z Arene, Avenches, Switzerland, among others. He has shared the stage in Europe and the USA with countless musicians, Calvin Russel, Charlie Morgan (Elton John, Gary Moore), Jan Akkerman (Focus), Steve Grossman (Miles Davis), Herbie Armstrong ( Van Morisson), Jose barrense Dias and many more.

Now based in the UK, some of this guitarists’ influences allow us a fascinating insight into this remarkable musician; Paco De Lucia: Deep Purple’s Richie Blackmore; Joaquin Rodrigo; JJ Cale; JS Bach….

One reviewer even noted that although “Claude’s roots were in blues, that is like saying Leonardo da Vinci was a painter”.  Intrigued ?

Experience an evening of exploration in the unique ambiance of the Thumb !

 

Claude’s official website : www.claudebourbon.org

“… not a same ole same ole gig…”

“ Claude Bourbon is a unique figure today… his playing is almost indescribable“ – The Hook, Charlottesville, USA

“Never heard anyone get that much beautiful sound out of a J-45”, Bob, Tucson, AZ

“A breathtaking acoustic fusion of blues, jazz, folk, classical and Spanish guitar from a stunning guitar virtuoso…”Altadena News, USA”