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Reviews’ Category

BLACKMORE & BLACKMORE (aka Mike Blackmore) –...

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BLACKMORE & BLACKMORE ...

There are right and wrong ways to do everything. What Mike Blackmore did with his two instruments, a set of looping devices and a healthy influx of creative imagination was definitely an illustration of one of the right ways. Technological aids are frequently used to create shortcuts. That’s one of the knocks against them. Another is the reputation they’ve acquired for stripping the music of its warmth. With Mike Blackmore there’s no shortcuts. That, along with the imagination involved, and the fact that everything is put together live, insures the music carries the spontaneity and warmth of something that’s been created on the spot. That’s true of his live shows and of his new release, the CD ‘Coyote’ Songs begin with whichever instrument fits his needs. Mostly, it’s the guitar but the djembe drum takes the fore once in a while. From that point he builds the arrangements in layers. His ...

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Missy Burgess with The Blue Train – Live

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Missy Burgess with The Blue...

BAND MEMBERS: Missy Burgess Dwayne Cloes Wulf Von Waldow The recording on the disc captures their live performances to a tee. Their musical choices and their arrangements of them serves up a series of juicy nuggets that sound rich without being uncluttered. Edits within the songs themselves were kept to a minimum to preserve the energy in the performances. The sound, thanks to the mix Dwayne had set up, is pristine and captures the whole rather than just the best bits. This got more than just the show. It got the whole room and it’s there for anyone who wants to appreciate the experience. Track selections of material include ’Basket Of Blues’, ‘Don’t Go To Cincinnati’, ‘Blue Dog Man’ and ‘If I Fell In Love Again’, all original songs by Missy. Covers including ‘Pilgrim’ by Steve Earle, which was sung by Missy and Otis Blackwell’s ‘Fever’, which were performed by Dwayne featured arrangements that allowed ...

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Making some NOISE POLLUTION during March First Friday

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Making some NOISE POLLUTION...

Noise Pollution at the Cheeky Monkey for March First Friday: Young Band Gives Crowd a Great Time by Brian Hay Musically this band is on solid footing. Ammon Chaikram provides the grounding needed from the bass but adds some jump as well. He’s also a decent drummer, a point that probably strengthens his skills as a timekeeper. Maxx Cabajar does more than just play a guitar. He strives to make the instrument do things that are out of the ordinary and often succeeds beautifully. Chloe Kendel is a superb young drummer, literally one of the best this writer’s seen in some time. Her technical skills are excellent and she’s an imaginative player but that’s only part of what she offers. Her work has a graceful fluidity that can’t be taught. Transitions from beat to fills and back again are so smooth and so natural it’s almost as if she’s a conduit for ...

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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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TorQ at Imperial Theatre

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TorQ at Imperial Theatre

SARNIA CONCERT ASSOCIATION PRESENTS TORQ (PERCUSSION QUARTET) : Renowned for their engaging performances, TorQ is committed to making percussion music accessible to audiences that span generations. An amazing performance with interesting combinations of instruments delivering nuanced and complex pieces as well as unique, frenetic celebrations of sound. More over, they prove, anything can be banged on and sound melodic. CLICK HERE for more photos taken during the evening of March 7, 2018 at Imperial Theatre.  Photo credit to friend, Harold Kinnard Next presention by SCA is April 4th.  For tickets contact the Imperial Theatre

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March First Friday Blues To Make You Happy

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March First Friday Blues To...

First Friday at the Cheeky Monkey: Four Barrels of Blues Combines For One Sweet Sound Review by Brian Hay Describing the Four Barrel Blues Band as a class act is the best way to sum what this band has to offer. They’re all classy players, stylish but without excesses and what they form as an ensemble meshes together in much the same way. Drummer Stephen Bird is an articulate player who lays out a solid backbeat without becoming heavy. Glen Perry employs a fretless bass to reinforce the time signature and provide a melodic foundation with sustained notes that type of bass delivers. They’re harder to play than conventional models because of their demand for such an exact knowledge of where “the right” spots are on the neck but the way their notes tend to hang slightly as the next ones are being introduced gives their sound a musical sonority that’s both ...

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‘ROUND HOUSE’ BIG HIT AT MARCH FIRST FRIDAY

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‘ROUND HOUSE’ BIG...

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Susie Q Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl Stevie Wonder - Superstition These are a few of the classic songs played by the local band Round House during the March 3rd First Friday at Cheeky Monkey. Most of the songs on Round House's playlist were hits before they were a twinkle in their Daddy's eye. The oldest member of this talented group is a mere 17 years old. Despite their young ages, they displayed a professionalism not seen in many bands twice their age. Each is extremely dedicated to playing their instruments to the best of their ability - which is saying a lot. Learning from some of the best music teachers in the city, they have taken what they were taught and moved up to the next level. Jared Parke the lead singer and rhythm guitarist shows great versatility with his voice. Bryce Abrams on bass guitar instinctively knows to ...

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February 2017 First Friday reviews by Brian Hay

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February 2017 First Friday...

Editor's note-- Thank you to Brian Hay for writing the review below regarding Cheeky Monkey's February First Friday event.  To see more photos of Evan Dawe & John Pilat CLICK HERE. That same night, the band Roundhouse was playing at the Trinity Lounge and he has reviewed them as well.  They are the band playing during March 3rd First Friday at Cheeky Monkey.  CLICK HERE for details. Sarnia’s First Friday, February 3, 2017: evan.john at the Cheeky Monkey and The The Rapids with Round House at the Trinity Lounge — Young Musicians Bringing the Excitement Back to Music by Brian Hay This is no small thing. I didn’t see it but have read that the Superbowl halftime show was polished but lacking in excitement and surprises. Recently a high profile event featured a big surprise but having the singer stop while the music continued with the vocals wasn’t one anybody involved wanted. The ...

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2016 GIFT IDEAS from Cheeky Charlie

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2016 GIFT IDEAS from Cheeky...

Here are a few unique gift ideas from Cheeky Charlie for you to consider...  Cheeky Charlie says, besides giving the gift of music or movies for Christmas - you can give the gift of refreshing Coke in glass bottles.  Cheeky Monkey is an official Coca-Cola retailer of glass bottled products that include Classic Coke, Canada Dry Ginger Ale and Sprite.  Pick up a few 6 packs for yourself or to give away. ($2.00 per bottle or $8.00 a six pack - tax included)  Roland's Mom is one of THE best knitters Cheeky Charlies knows - and he knows a few.  We are very proud to sell her lovely hand made baby blankets, hats and slippers.   And they are reasonable priced too. BOXSETS GALORE!!!! CD, DVD, Blu-ray and vinyl boxsets.  Lots in stock - dare we say tonnes - maybe so. Also have band hats, t-shirts and stickers.  Not to mention our hand ...

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Lit’l Chicago @ Imperial Theatre Show Review by Brian...

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Lit’l Chicago @ Imperial...

Beale Street Blues: Robb Sharp & Lit'l Chicago at the Imperial Theatre with John Pilat and Paul Langille Saturday, March 12, 2016 by Brian Hay A comment that Robb Sharp posted said it all: "Thank you. Sarnia Needs more nights like this. It needs more of this kind of music". That thought, from an unnamed gent who approached him after the show said it all. Every place needs more of this. Getting it started in Sarnia, which has the very sexy Imperial Theatre and is home to the calibre of talent shown last night should be looking inward before importing talent. That's not because players from other areas aren't "worth it". It's simply because what comes from our back yard really is, "that good". As well, most of these individuals know other performers who are capable of standing audiences on their ears. All of that happened at this show. The people who went had ...

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