James’ Brand New Blog

Author Archive

About "James Reaney"

James Reaney has covered everything from operas to Neil Young concerts to baseball's World Series in more than 30 years at The London Free Press. These days, he concentrates on London entertainment in his Saturday Today section column and Forest City lore in Monday's My London column. He is the host of two weekly lfpress.com videos, Reaney's Pick, most often a one-take platform for London performers, and It's On, a guide to the best of the local scene. He also keeps a blog http://blogs.canoe.ca/brandnewblog/ about the London arts scene & his place in it.

Home County Music & Art fest photos & a few words

- July 23rd, 2014

Whitehorse CPaton

Whitehorse’s Luke Doucet & Melissa McClelland in a classic image from opening night (Friday, July 18) at Home County 2014. Photograph by Cameron Paton.

Elisapie CPaton

 Elisapie, also from opening night at Home County 2014. Another great shot by Cameron Paton

Jenn Grant CPaton

 Jenn Grant, rawkin with the Telecaster (is that right?), in another Cameron Paton photograph from Home County 2014′s opening night.

JBNBlog is grateful to good friend to London music Cameron Paton for sharing his images from Friday night as Home County opened its 41st edition at Victoria Park. Thanks for these. Wow.

The photographs from acts on the Kiwanis bandshell have the headliners Whitehorse at the mic . . . luved their cover of I’m On Fire and their own Devil’s Got A Gun, songs heard while bicycling home through the park. Deadlines meant only a couple of Jenn Grant songs were heard & Elisapie was missed entirely though a co-worker who ran to the park on evening shift dinner break for 15 minutes of bandshell glory before running back to work station reports she was great.

Here a few remembered comments:

Bry Webb apparently covered The Grateful Dead’s China Cat Sunflower at his solo spot on Sunday (July 20) … he’s loving the Aoxomoxoa  tune — but has to keep checking the lyrics because they’re “complete nonsense” …. jeez, Aoxomoxoa used to be somewhere in my collection. Never really registered with me but maybe China Cat Sunflower’s nonsense will emerge from the subconscious. Think it was bought at a long vanished record store on Talbot St.

Trevor Dubois had a 2014 lyric about watching Netflix from the couch at the Fanshawe MIA stage .. . wonder what the Home County I (1974?) equivalent sad romance reference was.

Lonnie In The  Garden were the loudest (in an excellent way) band on Sunday afternoon . . . yay for Lynne Craven & everybody … psychedelic folk & rock not long before Bry Webb’s Dead cover … could be a theme emerging.

As the fest was closing, Nathan Rogers asked aloud what makes a song traditional & answered himself saying something about that being the time for Corb Lund to appropriate it & then for people to say Nathan Rogers is an idiot, he laughed.

Congratulations to all involved with Home County XLI (hmm … the WrestleBowl touch doesn’t really work) … anyway, on rawk, on folk,

Ann Denny to rawk East Village Coffeehouse

- July 22nd, 2014

Ann Denny mic

 Ann Denny, in an undated photograph 


Ann Denny when she’s channelling Anna Danova

JBNBlog doesn’t know just what former Londoner & now ace Haligonian Ann Denny will be singing at the East Village Coffeehouse tonight (Tuesday) . . . based on a fine 2007 memory, here’s a request. Blue Moon.

If Ann & ally Jayne Hysen don’t find their way to the moon, that’s OK, too. Ann’s range is pretty much limitless & it’s going to be good whatever songs are chosen … just for the record, here’s how good Blue Moon sounded back in June of 2007.

Ace London chanteuse Ann Denny sang Blue Moon, one of my all-time favourites, at a going away party at her parents’ house on Hyman Street last night.

Ann is moving to Halifax – as if Hfax does not have enough fine musicians already and needs one of London’s best – next month.

So it was a treat to her sing Blue Moon, fast, swinging, lots of swoops & blurs & completely unlike my previous favourite versions (Elvis, Marcels, Dylan).

. . . (working with John Noubarian and Darryl Stacey, Ann sang) greats like Ain’t Misbehavin’ – talking about how she listened to Fats Waller as a toddler – and Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most  and I Can’t Get Started.

Ann’s approach to all these was her own – and she looked great with some kinda floral arrangement atop her hair. It was nicer than that but you get the idea.

Behind me, I could hear Ann’s dad, vibes player Peter Denny, talking about how Ann listened to Fats as a tiny person and loved jazz even then.

Back to Tuesday, July 22, 2014 & thanks to Ann’s mother, ace London writer Marion Johnson for the following details …

The all-new, beautifully refurbished East Village Coffeehouse (754 Dundas St) invites you to an evening of

hot jazz & other cool genres with soloist Ann Denny, from Halifax Nova Scotia (formerly London).

Program includes classical/opera — jazz standards — Icelandic folk — Canadian folk — original Anna Danova comedy — other songs by Ann — Joni Mitchell covers — and original compositions by Peter Denny — a cornucopia of good vibes and great music!

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you might sing along — and you can purchase delectable coffees and other drinks, as well as delicious treats

– a summer evening you won’t soon forget!

DATE: Tuesday July 22

LOCATION: East Village Coffeehouse at 754 Dundas St, at the corner of English

TIME: doors open 6:30 pm — coffee, cold drinks, yummy snacks and light meals will be available to buy

– music begins at 7 pm and continues through the evening — drop in any time

COVER CHARGE: just $10, children free



For the jazz & classical numbers, Ann will be accompanied by Jayne Hysen.

Tuba or not tuba @Indie Underground

- July 21st, 2014

Christian Hegele tuba

An undated image from The Free Press files . . .  Christian Hegele,17 ,left , holds his tuba  and Shaunvire Sidhu,16, holds his baritone after the two Central Secondary School students won a silver medal in the Brass Ensembles class at the Kiwanis Music Festival in London.

Thanks to our good friends at Indie Underground for the good words on Wednesday’s show at Call the Office . . . but before getting to them, JBNBlog wonders if Jetsex (Christian Hegele) is still rawkin the tuba. The tuba has a comeback & it would be kewl if it turned up Underground, doncha think?

Over to the good words:

Indie Underground Presents…

Timothy Glasgow, cosmosuave & Jetsex

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at Call The Office


NEW-Tim-Glasgow—Brian-Featherstone-Cosmosuave—Jetsex-Christian-Hegele—Indie-Underground—Aaron-McMillanInterested in sharing good times with friends (new and old) are the three modest & musical magicians, Tim Glasgow (known for working with Metric, Sonic Youth, etc.), cosmosuave (Brian Featherstone, formaly of Scratching Post) and Jetsex (Christian Hegele, who has played with of Olenka and the Autumn Lovers, EXIT2012, etc.).


Each musician will perform one set of their own by twisting knobs and hitting all the right keys to provide you with three-of-a-kind unforgettable, seductive & synth-tastic experiences.


It all happens on Wednesday, July 23 at Call The Office and is followed by the Indie Underground Wednesday Dance Party with DJ Aaron.


Call The Office – 216 York St.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Facebook Event

Price: $5 or Pay What You Can

Doors: 9 pm

First Band: 10pm

James Garner (1928-2014)

- July 20th, 2014

James Garner WEN_wenn1284622

THE ROCKFORD FILES star JAMES GARNER has died, aged 86. Emergency services were called to his Los Angeles home on Saturday evening (19Jul14) and the actor was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a report by TMZ.com. No cause of death had been released as WENN went to press. Garner is best known as detective Jim Rockford, the title character of crime series The Rockford Files. The series ran from 1974 to 1980 and he later reprised the role in the 1990s for several TV movies. He was nominated for his role at the Emmy Awards for five consecutive years and eventually won the accolade in 1977. The actor is also famous for his leading role in western TV series Maverick, which began in the 1950s. He later co-starred with Mel Gibson in the 1994 big screen version. He also appeared in 1963 movie classic The Great Escape, Grand Prix in 1966 and 1985′s Murphy’s Romance, which earned him an Academy Award nomination. His last notable film credit was in romance drama The Notebook in 2004. In 2008, Garner suffered a stroke and had worked little since. Director Ron Howard was among the first to pay tribute, writing in a post on Twitter.

This is Jim Rockford.

At the tone,

leave your name

and message.

I’ll get back to you.

JBNBlog is among the many mourning James Garner, a brilliant actor whose understated style, class, courage, charisma & wit mark his work as having the best elements of American culture.

Listening to a friend’s double CD compilation of Rockford themes & music & those inimitable messages on Rockford’s phone … with Garner’s calm & weary voice being followed by any number of outrageous messages, many from his foil Angel.  But some from women who admired Rockford in a non PI-way & were happy to leave sexy comments.

So being an anti-hero on those mean streets had its joys, & sweet moments to go with the long bitter battles with the system.

Also thinking of the finale of The Great Escape where the Garner character asks if it’s been worthwhile, the murders of the 50.

Here is Reuters on James Garner . . .

By Steve Gorman
LOS ANGELES, July 20 (Reuters) – Actor James Garner, best known for his prime-time television roles as the wisecracking frontier gambler on ““Maverick” and as an ex-con turned private eye on ““The Rockford Files,” has died at age 86, Los Angeles police confirmed early on Sunday.
Garner, who built a six-decade career playing ruggedly charming, good-natured anti-heroes and received the highest honor of the Screen Actors Guild in 2004, was found dead from natural causes on Saturday night at his Los Angeles home, according to police.
Garner, an Oklahoma native, entered show business in the 1950s after serving in the Korean War and first rose to fame on the TV western ““Maverick,” a sardonic alternative to the more serious frontier shows then popular on American prime time.
He was Bret Maverick, a cardsharp and ladies man who got by on his wits instead of a six-gun and would just as soon duck a fight as face a showdown. Co-star Jack Kelly played his more straight-laced brother, Bart.
Garner left the ABC show in 1960 in a contract dispute with producers but brought his ““Maverick”-like alter ego to a series of films, including ““Thrill of It All,” ““Move Over, Darling,” “”The Great Escape” and “”Support Your Local Sheriff!”
Garner once said his screen persona as an easy-going guy smart enough to steer clear of a fight actually ran only so deep.
“”At times it’s like me, but I used to have this temper,” he told Reuters in a 2004 interview. “”I used to get in a fight in a heartbeat. But that was many years ago.”
With his wry, low-key presence, good looks and thick dark hair, Garner was hailed by some as a great Hollywood leading man in the making.
But he ended up scoring his next big hit on the small screen in the 1970s, starring as canny private detective Jim Rockford, a wrongly accused ex-convict starting life over in a beachfront trailer home, on “”The Rockford Files.”
The show ran on NBC from 1974 until Garner abruptly quit the series in 1980. He reprised Rockford for several TV movies in the late 1990s.

The role earned Garner an Emmy Award in 1977. He also received an Oscar nomination for his work opposite Sally Field in the 1985 feature comedy “”Murphy’s Romance.”
Garner said his favorite role was as the cowardly U.S. soldier who falls for Julie Andrews before being sent on a dangerous wartime mission in the 1964 film ““The Americanization of Emily.”
He teamed up with Andrews again in the 1982 film “”Victor/Victoria.”
He returned to the big screen in 2000 in Clint Eastwood’s astronaut adventure ““Space Cowboys” and two years later in “”Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.”
In a spate of late-career TV work, Garner played a recurring role as a hospital chief executive on ““Chicago Hope” in 2000 and starred as a conservative Supreme Court chief justice in the short-lived 2002 series “”First Monday.”
In 2003, he joined the cast of the ABC sitcom “”8 Simple Rules,” playing a grandfather after the untimely death of series star John Ritter.
The following year, Garner showed off his big-screen acting chops again, starring opposite Gena Rowlands as the devoted elderly husband of an Alzheimer’s disease sufferer in Nick Cassavetes’ adaptation of the bestseller ““The Notebook.” (Reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Rosalind Russell and Sophie Hares)

True North sports writing: We won! (1889) They blew it (1985)

- July 19th, 2014

Joe Knight (535x800)

 This image is courtesy of Donald Cosens . . . .it’s of Jonas (Quiet Joe) Knight, a pretty amazing ballplayer from Port Stanley. Joe Knight played with the London Tecumsehs in 1889 and was with Cincinnati in the National League in 1890.

The joys of researching old-time baseball (or base ball as it was called then) led JBNBlog to learn a little of the story of the remarkable Port Stanley outfielder Joe Knight. A little of that should be in a My London column any day now.

It was amusing to read the Advertiser’s red-hot coverage of the 1889 London Tecumsehs . . .  here are the opening words of the Tiser’s mad love for the Tecumsehs’ triumph over Detroit . . . in the first game of the season.

“We won! Our batters did it,” the Tiser said of London’s 4-3 triumph before a crowd of about 8,000 — 250 of them Londoners — at Detroit.

The joy of “We won!” reminded JBNBlog of a famous Canadian sports  headline about a baseball team almost a century later. “They blew ii” were the fatal words.

For the usual prizes, can you identify the team that “blew it” and for extra points the newspaper and what had been blown.

Meanwhile, back to the Tecumsehs of 1889.  You like kewl unis …  how about these Tec togs. Red & white striped jerseys. Grey Halifax tweed (Halifax tweed, what’s that?) pants. Red stockings. Red & black pullover caps.

The London Tecumsehs went 52-52 that summer . . . but they looked dam fine in every game.