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Local Talent’ Category

The Forest Pioneers Brighten Nov. First Friday

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The Forest Pioneers Brighten...

The Forest Pioneers Live at the Cheeky Monkey: Diamonds in the Rough Brighten a Slow First Friday by Brian Hay The first thing that hit the ear was the doubling from a pair of acoustic guitars. There was nothing lightweight — this stuff was being played with a chop. The next thing coming in was some crystal clear singing. Then a sweet bit of harmony vocals filled the air. Things might have been slow outside and the crowd in the store smaller than usual, but the music seemed like it was going to be fine. It was too. The guitars were played by Andy Genovy and Frank Kirkey with Kirkey delivering the lead vocal. The harmony work was done by the full group, which was rounded out by vocalist Shannon Kelly keyboard player Lauren Ihrig. Their timing was solid and the voices of both ladies were distinct enough to stand out individually. That ...

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Magical Music for October First Friday Evening

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Magical Music for October...

Sarnia’s First Friday, October 2018: Missy Burgess, Dwayne Cloes and Wulf Von Waldow at the Cheeky Monkey by Brian Hay The great thing about live music is the opportunity for spontaneous combustion is always there. It's the ability to find concerts nearby and be enraptured by them. When it happens, it’s felt as much as heard and it produces a moment in time that can never be duplicated. It’s a one-time thing and it’s glorious. When Missy Burgess and Dwayne Cloes came together with Wulf Von Waldow there hadn’t been a lot of time for them to “prep” themselves. Missy and Dwayne had played together a few times but the rest fell to each being able to follow what they heard and invent things on the fly without drifting away from each other or the songs. It’s risky. Playing “wrong bits” or showboating creates a train wreck. Paying attention and supporting each other to ...

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El Camino Super Charging September First Friday

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El Camino Super Charging...

El Camino Rocks the Cheeky Monkey: Sarnia’s First Friday Celebration, September 2018 by Brian Hay The addition of bassist Glen Perry and keyboard player Lise Jordan changes the face of this band immensely. That Glen provides an excellent rhythm partner for drummer Steve Bird is a factor of huge importance. They listen to each other closely, slide lock-step into whatever the other does with (seemingly) no effort and it spins off to the rest of the band. Guitarist Marvin Eskritt slides in with lead or rhythm parts according to the needs of the songs. Lise Jordan reinforces Glen’s bass lines and injects ornamentation in the same manner while lead singer and guitarist Scott Whyte doubles rhythm lines or weaves with lead passages delivered by Eskritt. All of it is very tasteful. More on that later … The area that shows the most obvious difference stems from Lise and Glen both being solid vocalists. Having ...

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Eric Ethridge EP on CD NOW AVAILABLE @ Cheeky Monkey

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Eric Ethridge EP on CD NOW...

Eric Ethridge started to gain serious momentum in 2015 after the release of a series of orchestra country-pop covers, one of which garnered him a mention in Rolling Stone Magazine. Having built his brand on an electrifying stage presence and unique vocal ability, in early 2016 Eric was selected by a panel of 45 music industry professionals from across Canada to be one of the top 6 finalists for the CCMA Discovery Program. After a final showcase of the top 6 emerging artists, Eric then went on to win the 2016 CCMA Discovery Award and was deemed the top emerging country artist in 2016. He has since become a new addition to The Feldman Agency and Watchdog Management. In 2017, Eric teamed up with Juno award-winning producer/songwriter Brian Howes to produce his debut single, “Liquor’s Callin’ the Shots”, peaked at #30 on the Canadian Country Charts, a rare achievement for ...

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2 Day Directors Workshop @ Imperial Theatre

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2 Day Directors Workshop @...

TWO DAY DIRECTORS WORKSHOP! Only 18 Spots availble $65 per person (cost covers both days) August 18th 1:30pm-5:30pm August 19th 12:00pm-4:00pm Workshop lead by Ron Cameron-Lewis CLICK HERE to sign up Ron will be covering each stage of direction, beginning with pre-production work: analysis, research, style, working with the production team on design issues, and coordinating with the producer within the realities of rehearsal and theatre spaces, budget, time-line, personnel and resources. Then he will address auditions and share his half-century of experience casting productions in a wide variety of theatrical genres. Next, he will work through the stages of rehearsal from first read-through, table work, advice for blocking, running scenes and the full show, adding technical elements, dress rehearsal, opening and running the show and the post-mortem. Participatory exercises are a big part of this element: physical and vocal exercises, improvisation, exercises for character development, channeling ensemble energy and exploring the emotional arc of characterization. He will ...

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Emm Gryner Heating Up August First Friday

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Emm Gryner Heating Up August...

Review by Brian Hay The great thing about Emm Gryner’s songs is the strength at their core. Her studio albums are richly arranged but the songs themselves not only hold up well under unadorned presentation, they thrive on it. Part of it’s because Gryner’s an accomplished musician and seasoned performer but a lot is due to her songs just being really good. Her set list featured several numbers from her new disc ‘Only Of Earth (Days Of Games)’ and an array of pieces from various places in her catalogue. A rendition of ’Space Oddity’ that used Bowie’s original lyrics marked her time in his band and the subsequent collaboration with Chris Hadfield was given a heartfelt reading that conveyed much of what she feels about those times. ’Summerlong’, a track from year 2000’s ‘Dead Relatives’, displayed the virtue of revisiting older pieces — that song became so fresh it seemed brand new. ...

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519 ENTERTAINMENT MAGAZINE now @ Cheeky Monkey

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519 ENTERTAINMENT MAGAZINE now...

CHEEKY MONKEY NOW HAS 519 ENTERTAINMENT MAGAZINE FREE to pick up and enjoy! This free monthly publication is the only entertainment magazine in the Detroit/Windsor area, with 25,000 printed copies available at select locations from Detroit to London. 519 features 12 digital issues per year and 6 print editions (June, August, October, December, February, April) featuring current and relevant artists, musicians, actors, theatres, writers, creators and publishers. From international touring stars to unsung local heroes, 519 is strong, proud and free - yes, you heard that right, free - there’s no charge, unless you want one delivered to your home. Giving you another reason to be proud to live in the 519. Next issue will feature  stories and interviews with Cheap Trick, Heather Rankin, Toto, Fred Penner and Sarnia's own Eric Ethridge.

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WARDROBE WORKSHOP @ Imperial Theatre

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WARDROBE WORKSHOP @ Imperial...

Are you interested in getting involved with local theatre?  Wardrobe Workshop - August 9 - 4:30 - 6:00 pm 

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NIC SWALES – Worker CD Now on Sale @ Cheeky Monkey

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NIC SWALES – Worker CD...

Newest CD WORKER now on sale @ Cheeky Monkey. Take a listen to a couple of songs from it... To say that musician and songwriter Nic Swales, gets around is not an understatement. With his roots firmly planted in Sarnia currently, he has traveled many miles over the last decade honing his craft and getting his music out to the public. His style of song writing and singing is at warm and inviting with a haunting lilt to it that leaves you wanting more. Known to be one of Sarnia's premier song-smith's, back in 2007, Nic relocated briefly to Halifax Nova Scotia and independently recorded and released an acoustic EP "Sunny River" along with a full length pop/rock album "Bohemian Summer". Both were recorded, engineered and produced by Dennis Field at Denmark Productions. A total of sixteen songs were recorded with a successful CD release party in Sarnia and a brief ...

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Pulsing LIFE SIGNS During July First Friday @ Cheeky Monkey

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Pulsing LIFE SIGNS During July...

July First Friday at the Cheeky Monkey: Life Signs as a Three-Piece (Or Life Without Their “Fiddely-Bitter”) Written Saturday July 7, 2018 by Brian Hay Life Signs were missing their lead guitarist this time around but the change added a different element to their work. John Foster, who was unavailable due to work commitments, was definitely missed at times, as well he should have been. His kind of tasty work is hard to replace (especially when another member has to do double-duty and make things up on the fly) but being faced with situations like this often brings out things from band members that aren’t seen otherwise. That was true to the max in this instance. For one thing, the band’s rhythm section stepped things up a notch. That’s always good but when the players have the skills drummer Scott Elliot and bassist Mike Vasek bring to the fore, mesh nicely as a unit ...

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