James’ Brand New Blog

Archive for July 27th, 2012

Great Home County photos, a few final thoughts & #ldnont history mystery

- July 27th, 2012

Catherine McInnes Home County 2012

 Catherine McInnes preaches the metal plate gospel. Ian Thomas at right. Courtesy of Cam Paton.

sarah smith home county

Sarah Smith rawks Home County Music & Art Festival. Ken Ross, at right. Courtesy of Cam Paton.

Olenka Simon Home County

Olenka, left, and Simon Larochette at Home County 2012. Courtesy of Cam Paton.

the marrieds home county

The Marrieds, with Kevin Kennedy, left, and Jane Carmichael take charge of a “tweener” set (I’m guessing) at Home County 2012. Courtesy of Cam Paton.

Jayme Stone Andrew Downing Home County

Banjo ace Jayme Stone, third from left, and assorted Orchestra London stars applaud composer Andrew Downing, at right. Courtesy of Cam Paton.

JBNBlog wants to thank good friend to the blog & London music Cam Paton for sharing his terrific photographs from the Home County Music & Art Festival 2012. They tell you more about the mood & creative joy around Victoria Park last weekend than JBNBlog words ever could.

Which won’t stop me from adding a few late thoughts . . . Catherine McInnes deserves all kinds of praise for many things. Among the true triumphs is the number of women playing Home County. Hard to believe that say about 1984 that was an issue. How many women on the stages in the early 1980s? JBNBlog needs to check. Not many, if memory serves. Catherine would be the first to say she wasn’t correcting a recent problem . . . the festival is diverse & there are stars like Kathleen Edwards who were born to headline at the bandshell & now they’re rawkin the place.

The change is name from Folk Festival to Music & Art Festival may work out in the long run. Or not. JBNBlog admires the M&A angle but still thinks it will take a while to not say/think  ”folk festival.” Which is a testament to 38 years of HCFF.

Luv the admission by donation concept & the stickers you get for a donation. Raising $50,000 in 2011 & more than $40,000 in 2012 from fans at the fest is a huge accomplishment. Two suggestions: (One) If you are somebody working a booth to collecting HC donations on the way into the park, don’t hold back . . . turn it up a notch a bit. Londoners should not mind being reminded. (Two) Tell the guest stars you need them to be on-message. Kathleen Edwards & Cuff the Duke were both  played great & both said how they loved the “free” fest . . . not a big deal, but it would work better if they encouraged their fans, who are already getting a helluva deal, to make that suggested donation when the hat comes by or pitch in when leaving the park.

One last thing I should have put in my Free Press stories: Gordon Lightfoot’s legendary bassist John Stockfish met Paul Langille at the fest. Stockfish, of Windsor, said he would like to work with Langille. Wow. Paul remembered hearing him as a kid in Hamilton. Stockfish was with Lightfoot in the 1960s.

One more last thing: Ace drummer Randall Coryell was backing Quartette has played with many Canadian roots acts. Now of Elora (is that right?), Coryell was part of the London scene in the 1970s. For the usual #ldnont history mystery prizes, which band did Randy (as he was credited on occasion) propel & steer & punctuate so beautifully back in the day … for bonus points, which high school did he go to?

 

Who is rawkin the “prestigious St. Regis” this weekend?

- July 27th, 2012

When “prestigious” turns up in media releases etc. affixed to an award, an address, an institution, JBNBlog almost always finds a way to struggle along without it. Nice word. Good word. Just extra padding most times.

One marvellous exception is the phrase “prestigious St. Regis,” which somebody who knows good wordplay & how to rhyme has concocted to describe the latest flowering of Old East renaissance. The venerable London watering hole has become home to a new brand (for the StReg at least) on Saturday nights.

Marty Kolls sent me an e-mail about it a few weeks ago (so the details about her band relate to July 7 & it might be someone completely different this weekend). Marty’s note had The Old Saloon as its subject line. Which is pretty cool, too.

“I wanted to fill you in on a little ‘underground’ happening in old east these days, though you likely know already.  A group of ‘Old Easters’ is working to rebuild the St. Regis Tavern with live entertainment on Saturday nights. It’s been great so far, and the salt of the earth atmosphere is something I think London has been missing with the disappearance of The Wick, The Embassy and other such watering holes.

I will be playing with my newly formed band (Steve Clark and Daniel Baerg) this Saturday night at 11:00, along with solo acts Jim MacDonald and Fraser Teeple who will go on before me.

Surely you have stuff on the go, but wanted to put you in the loop, as I think you would have some appreciation for this down to earth kinda local.
Take care,
Marty”

We chatted a bit about it just as Home County was about to begin . . . Marty said some people had wondered “the St. Regis?” as in really, the St. Regis . . .  well, why not the “prestigious St. Regis” as the new Saturday venture has it. Or somebody does.

JBNBlog is reaching out to whosoever came up with this delightful use of the p-word . . . & who is playing the 625 Dundas St. venue on Saturday. Gotta get working on my Saturday column & this would fit right in. Help as always is appreciated. On rawk, St. Regis & all who love you.