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First Friday’ Category

Mike Blackmore & The Animations raise the June First...

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Mike Blackmore & The...

We feel very fortunate to have so many good friends in this city including the many talented musicians and artists that live here.  One of them is Mike Blackmore.   Along with an array of his fellow musicians he has played many times for our in-store events like First Fridays. For June 7th First Friday, the musician we had booked well in advance unfortunately had to cancel at the last moment.  A few quick phone calls and the short notice vacancy was filled by Mike and the band he chose to call, for this time, 'The Animations'.  With Dave Thomas on keyboard, Wulf Von Waldow on saxophone and Mike playing guitar, d'jembe and siren (yes siren), we along with his fans old and new, had a great evening of live music. The band played some their own compositions as well as covers they truly make sound like they wrote due to the ...

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May 2013 First Friday…

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May 2013 First Friday…

Jenn Kee is no stranger to Sarnia.  She is not from here, but told us she loves playing in the city.  Beside performing at this First Friday, she was at Coffee Culture last month as well as she was a cast member of 'Classic Albums'   and StarBright Theatre groups that have played at The Imperial Theatre.  After her stellar show last night,  it is evident that Sarnia loves her too. There was a real sort of electricity in the air all day leading up to the May First Friday evening.  Maybe it was the perfect spring weather.  I think it was the anticipation of all the events happening in the downtown combined with the warm sunshine. The number of people here to listen to Jenn was impressive.   Little wonder.  With her pure voice, expert guitar playing and strong delivery of not only cover songs, but her own songs as well, she wowed everyone.  She ...

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April 2013 First Friday with The Persuaders

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April 2013 First Friday with...

People were dancing and singing along with the local group The Persuaders during the April 5th First Friday at Cheeky Monkey. With Ray, Randy and Doug playing from an extensive list of well loved familiar hits from mostly the 60's and 70's, customers could not help but to sing along.  A few were enjoying the music so much, they just had to dance too.  It was like having a personal hits parade on the Red Carpet stage for the evening. They played so many great songs, I can't being to list them all, but the stand outs were the ones from  Creedence Clearwater Revival.  The Persuaders, voices and playing style are perfectly suited to cover the CCR hits. For the early part of the evening, Sydney Kennedy and her cousin were on hand to apply henna tattoos to raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society.  For a minimum donation of $2 they would ...

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Jessie J. Rabbitt – ART CLEARANCE SALE & AUCTIONS

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Jessie J. Rabbitt – ART...

What is 87 years old and still going strong? Sarnia's own version of the Energizer bunnie, artist and humanitarian, JESSIE J. RABBITT. Starting May 3rd First Friday, Jessie will be celebrating 52 years of creating her artwork with an exhibit running 52 days at Cheeky Monkey, Sarnia's downtown music store. You could call this exhibit a "Works of Art Clearance Sale," with the intent to find new homes for as many of her creations as possible. This time-frame of downtown events includes the May 3rd First Friday, ArtWalk on June 1 & 2 and the June 7th First Friday. Jessie has planned a couple of her own special events during the 52 days: the first is a live auction on Saturday, May 18 starting at 1:00 pm, and the second is a silent auction of entirely different works, starting on May 25 and running until June 15. All other pieces not in ...

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March First Friday with Erika & Sara

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March First Friday with Erika ...

First Friday of March 2013 marked the return of Erika (Sit) and Sara (Campbell) to the Cheeky Monkey Red Carpet Stage. Erika and Sara's first performance here was almost 2 years ago I believe.  They were and are two very talented young ladies we have had the pleasure of watching develop and grow as musicians over that time.  Along with that, their fan base is growing quickly - and for good reason. Our original impression of them was that they had some talent - Erika as a singer and Sara on guitar. BUT they were so shy to the point of looking a tad awkward in front of a microphone.  With a few gentle suggestions from us, encouragement from their biggest fans and advice from seasoned bands like CD/DC they now command the audiences attention and respect as musicians. Along with the confidence in performing, has come their writing skills.  Their list of ...

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Six String Nation Guitar’s Feb. First Friday Visit

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Six String Nation Guitar’...

Who cared that it was a bone chilling cold February 1st evening? Certainly not the large crowd inside Cheeky Monkey that were here to enjoy seeing and hearing the legendary Six String Nation Guitar know as 'Voyageur'. Local musicians Jim Chevalier, Brenden E. Fraser, Adam Miner, Dave Miner and Mark Potvin took turns playing 'Voyageur' throughout the evening making it a wonderful mix of songs being performed using Canada's guitar. 'Voyageur's' curator, historian and man responsible for it's creation, Jowi Taylor gave a wonderful moving talk and visual presentation explaining the story behind what makes this guitar so important.  As Jowi tells it, the guitar was made as a symbol of national unity, to explore Canadian identity, and to connect people from all regions in Canada.  It is made from 64 pieces of bone, metal, wood, stone and fabric, representing every province and territory. The guitar's neck has wood from the deck of the Bluenose ...

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2013 FIRST First Friday w/ White Fire Reed

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2013 FIRST First Friday w/...

Last night for the January 4th First Friday, we had the pleasure of hearing WHITE FIRE REED live for the first time. For a 3 piece band, they sure pack a big musical punch.  Performing mostly original material from their CD 'POSITIVE CHANGE', the audience very much appreciated their skill, enthusiasm & professionalism.  A few covers were also done from bands such as The Doors, CCR & a version of a U2 song that was particularly amazing.  Lead singer & bass player Gary was having lots of fun trying out a new toy he got for Christmas.  I am not a techie kind of person, but I think it was a processor that he used to add reverb & other effects at the perfect times. We all look forward to hearing the brothers Johnston along with Kurt Oblak play again soon.  If you haven't seen them yet yourself, you should - or at least pick ...

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Walk in our shoes – First Friday, The Theatre, Yukon...

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Walk in our shoes –...

It has been a  fun, hectic week making us feel like social butterflies starting with going to a special evening at The Imperial Theatre  Wednesday night to thank their many wonderful volunteers.  We do not qualify as true volunteers you see there on a show night, but it was very gratifying to know the theatre appreciates our efforts to publicize their many varied events through our website and in-store.  We are more then happy to help out, but admit that getting to spend some time with fellow Imperial Theatre supporters and share the joy of a  performance of show tunes and a glass of wine was very nice. This same day, before going to the Imperial, we hosted Yukon Blonde doing an acoustic in-store set and staying to chat with us and other fans while signing autographs.  See separate blog for details on that exciting event. Thursday December 6th after work was spent at ...

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October 2012 First Friday – Perfect Autumn Night

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October 2012 First Friday &...

Some may not consider a windy, rainy October night perfect but add in Erika and Sara performing at Cheeky Monkey and it's like the sunshine is all around you.  With their smiling faces, sweet voices accompanied by skillful acoustic guitar and occasional harmonica, they can turn the gloomiest day around for even the casual listener. This was not their first time playing at Cheeky Monkey, but it was the first time to playing here during a First Friday.  With each playing here, they add another aspect to the performance.  This time they added more harmonies, more harmonica and rather then just Sara playing guitar, they both played.  Proving these duo is evolving in the best kind of way. The October First Friday was  also the big opening night for the new Judith and Norman Alix Art Gallery.  Knowing this, we were very uncertain as to how many people would make it to our end of the ...

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Wall to Wall Weekend Music

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Wall to Wall Weekend Music

The weekend started out on the right note during the September First Friday.  Young singer and songwriter Elena Feick played all original songs she composed as the First Friday crowds moved around the room looking at the artwork of Jale Fancey. Elena's songs, though sung softly, carry much emotion and meaning in them.  Somewhat like the art of Jale.  All pieces are photographs she took that have been enlarged and printed onto stretched canvas.  Her favourite subject matter of nature are similtaniously calming and exciting to look at.  Also as part of her exhibit that is on display until the end of September, there are smaller matted versions and greeting cards for sale.  My personal picks are a group displayed together with fall colours.  Very timely indeed.  My other favourite is a close up of an intensly red Chrysanthemum.  It literally pops from the canvas. Following the First Friday comes Saturday of ...

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