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Concerts & Events’ Category

Our First Taste of Opera with Measha Brueggergosman

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Our First Taste of Opera with...

I admit it - I am an opera novice.  Over the 30+ years of being in the retail music and movie business, my first hand experiences in the opera world are limited to seeing Phantom of the Opera and Les Mis in Toronto several times, watching a DVD performance of Madam Butterfly and selling the occasional opera CD or DVD.  I say all this so you will read this review of Measha Brueggergosman's performance at Imperial Theatre on March 6th with a grain of salt - I may sound like I don't know what I'm talking about. First off, I want to say a huge THANK YOU to good friend Holli G. for the gift of 2 front row tickets to see one of Canada's, maybe the world's, best know sopranos.  We certainly are familiar with who Measha Brueggergosman is from her many appearances on TV including singing at the opening ...

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Frank Deresti & The Lake Effect Sat. in-store…

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Frank Deresti & The Lake...

Amanda Putz of CBC Radio Bandwidth describes Frank Deresti & The Lake Effect as "folk-pop awesomeness".  She is right, they are that and so much more. This is the kind of lake effect coming through your town you can enjoy.  Their songs emote a subtle maturity and somberness, yet have that special something that makes you want to hear their music over and over again. Saturday, February 22, 2014, Sarnia was their last stop on a tour of western Ontario that started beginning of February in their home town of Sault Ste. Marie ON.  They hit the road to promote their eponymous album (first CD is called 'This Time'.) on the Tidal Records label.   This Sarnia stop included two shows. Here at Cheeky Monkey for an  afternoon unplugged acoustic set followed by a full show at Paddy Flaherty's at 10:00 pm. This not being their first time playing at Cheeky Monkey, have it ...

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Virginia Plain’s First Friday Debut

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Virginia Plain’s First...

WOW!  I'll say it again - WOW! We along with a roomful of fans were all blown away by the talent in the band VIRGINIA PLAIN.  This 5 piece band really has their act together with a tight and comfortable sound that usually comes from years of playing together.  Hard to believe they have only been Virginia Plain for a bit over a year with very few live shows under their belt. Their playlist of  originals mixed with cover tunes had a fresh, contemporary  groove.  Lead singing duties were shared by Matt Naylor, Zach McLaughlin, and Al Symeonakis with each picking the perfect songs for their vocal abilities.  Rounding out the band contributing to what Roland calls "a full band sound" are Dennis Graham on keyboard and Adam Bettridge on drums. Virginia Plain's take on a LCD Soundsystem's 'You Want A Hit' and Pink Floyd's 'Comfortably Numb' where huge crowd pleasers.  I thought their ...

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1st 2014 First Friday Fun…

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1st 2014 First Friday Fun&...

We would like to thank all the customers and music fans that braved the cold weather to join us at the first First Friday of 2014. Those that were here, felt if was well worth coming into Cheeky Monkey to hear the local band of ELEMENT OF SURPRISE PROJECT play and view the photographic artwork of CHRISTINE ROENSPIESS. The band played two hours of crowd pleasing classic hit songs.  Starting off with Neil Young's 'Cinnamon Girl', we all knew we were in for a good night.  ESP's versions of Steppenwolf's 'Born To Be Wild" and Jeff Beck's 'Freeway Jam' really caught my ears too. Darren Diamond on lead guitar and vocals (he's our mechanic from Best Automotive - talented in many ways apparently), Neil Whittle on guitar and vocals (formerly played here for the Streets reunion), Graham Dalley on bass and keyboards and Gerry Ostrihon on drums (played here last July with Cross ...

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Album Mania Exhibit & Cornhuskers for Nov. 2013 First...

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Album Mania Exhibit &...

The walls of Cheeky Monkey are currently adorned with the Sarnia Photographic Club's interpretations of song or album titles.  It is interesting to see how some took titles very literally such as "Sand in the Vaseline" by the Talking Heads, while others are much more abstract such as the photo depicting The Rolling Stones song "Paint it Black".  From comical to serious they are all worth a good look.  The exhibit will continue until November 29th.  When you stop in be sure to cast your vote for The People's Choice Award. During the evening of the November 1st First Friday, the local band Paula & The Cornhuskers entertained the crowd with a few cover songs, but mostly originals done in a rocking country blues style.  Paula Loxton is the main lead singer and song writer getting inspiration from as diverse of topics as her Grandma as a young woman in the ...

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Zombie Invasion 2013

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Zombie Invasion 2013

For the last several years, just before Hallowe'en, Zombies invade Sarnia's downtown.  The annual event is organized by the Sarnia Public Library.  Jeff Beeler seems to be the zombie leader from what we can tell. Not only is there a walk through the downtown, but there are zombie movies shown at the Library Theatre with discussions of the 'zombie culture' afterwards. If you missed this years ZOMBIEFEST watch for it next year. For more photos of the zombies that came through Cheeky Monkey CLICK HERE then scroll through

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OCT. FIRST FRIDAY WITH BORDERLITE TRIO

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OCT. FIRST FRIDAY WITH...

The October 4th First Friday was a flurry of activity at Cheeky Monkey. Outside the store a volunteer from the Canadian Cancer Society was selling pink ribbons for their PINK RIBBON DAYS which raises money for breast cancer research.  Not sure how they did with the sale, but judging by the number of people sport the ribbons on their clothes, I'd guess they did alright.  There were 2 different volunteers I had the honour of meeting.  I made a point of thanking them for their time and efforts.  Without these tireless volunteers, funds would be much harder to come by.  For anyone who has been touched in their lives by cancer of any kind, you know how important it is for us all to do our part towards finding a cure. Also outside were 2 actors in 1913 costumes from the upcoming play 'The Great Storm" to be performed at the Sarnia ...

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Erika & Sara’s August Matinee Show

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Erika & Sara’s...

On Saturday, August 17, 2013, the very talented singing duo of Erika & Sara, made a return to the Cheeky Monkey Red Carpet Stage.  We are always thrilled to have them play in the store and grace us with their music. Each time they perform, we hear and see another leap forward in their singing, playing and stage presence.  They always seem to be adding new components to their shows.  Their cover song interpretations are filled with genuine emotion whether it be joy or sadness.  Their own songs are  gems that reflect who they are - sincerely dedicated musicians who are still young and growing in their skills. The shopping audience that were in during the time they played tend to make the same comments - "these girls are really good!"  We agree.  And obviously so does Emm Gryner who is herself multi-talented musician and business woman.  Emm has chosen Erika & ...

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Kesenia Parent played for August 2013 First Friday

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Kesenia Parent played for...

I have lost count on how many times Kesenia Parent has played at Cheeky Monkey.  She has been here for Saturday afternoon gigs, outside and inside as well as several First Fridays, including the August 2012 exactly a year ago. What has always struck me about Kesenia is her ease in front of an audience.  She is very good at developing a connection by telling a few jokes, stories and explaining where the inspiration for her original songs come from.  Add this to the fact she has a very good voice and can play her acoustic guitar well and you have an all round entertaining performance. She is able to play and make her own a long list of cover songs such as The Beatles 'Let It Be' , OneRepublic 'Apologize' and Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah'.  Her self penned songs of the past have been cute little diddies filled with humour, but her ...

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July 2013 First Friday

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July 2013 First Friday

First Friday participants who stopped into Cheeky Monkey quickly realized that Cross Tie Walker were just as hot and steamy as the weather outside on this July 5th evening.  One customer said he was drawn into our store by the vibrating sidewalk.  Yup they were rattling the windows & walls right out onto the sidewalk under people's feet! The four piece dynamic band playing covers of familiar rock 'n' roll classics from the likes of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Deep Purple and Jimi Hendrix held nothing back.  a personal stand out for me was a rendition of a Stevie Ray Vaughan song.  To be honest, I don't remember the songs name.  I just know it was so awesome I did NOT want it to stop.  These guys really put everything they've got into their singing playing. Recently formed as Cross Tie Walker, they are all seasoned musicians coming from several well known and ...

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