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The ROLLING STONES – Comerica Park July 8, 2015

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The ROLLING STONES –...

Not having missed a Rolling Stones farewell tour since 1981, I had an appointment at Comerica Park in Detroit on July 8th to see the GREATEST ROCK N ROLL band for yet another possible final show. At this point no-one has done it longer than the Stones and they show no signs of slowing down. After a competent opening set by Ohio's Walk The Moon, the Stones took the stage at 9:30 p.m. and it was nearly midnight when they were done. This Detroit show was all about the hard stuff, there was barely a ballad in the lengthy set that mostly featured songs from their albums that were recorded between 1968 and 1978, arguably their best years. Since they had no new album to promote they could, and the did stick to crowd favourites, and  even managed to include in a few songs that I've rarely, if ever, seen them ...

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Electric Waves wow July First Friday crowds

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Electric Waves wow July First...

Review co-written by Owen Roberts (age 10 and now biggest fan of Electric Waves) Electric Waves is a band full of surprises. Made up of four young men, you might expect them to be playing hard rock or heavy metal, but they were a very calm band. There wasn't any heavy metal or rock as you think of it. They're a band that plays classic mostly original music that is quiet, but doesn't put you to sleep. Both their lyrics and melodies are complex.  Hearing them play is inspiring. The few cover songs they did became truly their own. "My Girl" and 'Wicked Games" were recognizable but definitely had their own stamp on them. The plan was to have their second CD ready for sale during First Friday. Unfortunately that didn't come to be, so we still have it's release to look forward to. In the meantime Electric Waves first CD is available ...

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FRED EAGLESMITH SHOW JUNE 12, 2015

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FRED EAGLESMITH SHOW JUNE 12,...

On Friday June 12 the constantly traveling Fred Eagesmith Show made a stop at the Sarnia Library Auditorium and Cheeky Monkey played a (small) part in making it happen. The night kicked off at 8PM sharp with a too brief set by Eaglesmith band member Tif Ginn. The singer/multi instrumentalist with a huge voice and commanding stage presence could easily headline her own shows. Hailing from South Texas, her set featured a modern/retro sound and her charming southern accent was perfect for songs like the standout of the set Little White Pills. Following a short intermission - giving everyone a chance to peruse the extensive merchandise stand,  the star of the evening, Fred Eaglesmith sauntered out onto the stage. He kicked off the set with I Like Trains, a song from his 1996 album Drive In Movie and followed with I Pray Now a song from Tinderbox. Tinderbox is one of his ...

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Live music at & around Cheeky Monkey on ArtWalk weekend

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Live music at & around...

ArtWalk has become THE EVENT of the year in the downtown Sarnia. Before it officially begins, you can feel the excitement in the air. Along with the stores bringing some of their wares outside and all the booths filled with colurful, unique crafts and arts, there are delectable smells all around. Add to that the music and you have one heck of a wonderful festival. At Cheeky Monkey, outside we had our annual sidewalk sale of used CD's & DVD's in addition to our 'craftier side' showing with bowls we make from too scratched to sell vinyl records and hand knitted baby blankets by Roland's Mom Angela. All these items are available year round - but having them outside during ArtWalk attracts a whole new audience. Music, either recorded or live is an important element to Cheeky Monkey - for obvious reasons. Without much time to plan, we were thrown the ...

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1st First Friday of 2015 with Erika & Sara & The...

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1st First Friday of 2015 with...

Erika and Sara and The Guys Live at the Cheeky Monkey for Sarnia's January 2015 First Friday Celebration Saturday January 3, 2015 by Brian Hay There was a number of things noticeable right off the bat. The most striking was the effortlessness with which singer Erika Sit projected her voice. It was obvious through all areas of her range and served her well, especially for the material they've added to their set. More on that after a few other notes. Their sound system, which they set up themselves this time had, by far, the best balance they've achieved since they began working with bassist Scott Vegh and drummer Gerry Hawley last summer. With Hawley's kit not miked and him being able to play energetically while holding back everything came through with pristine clarity. The internal dynamic between the players has arrived in an area of delicious harmony as well. Sara Campbell, always a strong ...

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1st Annual Rock & Roll Christmas Concert Review

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1st Annual Rock & Roll...

The First Annual Rock and Roll Christmas Concert: Sold Out, Rocking and Fun! How Cool is That! Sunday December 21, 2014 by Brian Hay With power drummer Andy Hardman and bassist Frank Seager at its core the Jingle Band combined the force of a charging Rhino with an ability to step back and let subtleties in the softer arrangements be dominant. Pianist Dan Sonier, violinist Caitlin Mason, saxophone and clarinet player Chris Molyneaux rounded out the core while David Chaulk played (mostly) rhythm guitar and Chris Joyce took the bulk of the lead work. Most of the players picked up their instruments at various times. The show opened with Doug Stewart soaring through "Rudolph" with minimal accompaniment before shifting gears with a driving full band performance of "White Christmas" sung by Denise Chaulk. Stewart's and Erika Sit's rendition of "Run, Run Rudolph" settled things back down. MC's David Burrows of "The Show" and Fox ...

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december Live Music Cafe review by Brian Hay

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december Live Music Cafe...

Live Music Cafe December 2014: Christmas Favourites With The Sisters of Soul "Hi Santa" — The Magic of the Season in Full Bloom with The Sisters of Soul by Brian Hay Being greeted by Fran Schweitzer wearing her pyjamas and a Santa cap sent the message this was informal fun. They even passed out candy canes. It was enough to make a person wonder if they missed a few weeks and it was already Christmas morning. It wasn't, but they had their audience laughing, and in the mood before the music started. When it did, with a rocking take on 'Good King Wenceslas', a lot of emotional glasses that began the evening half full or less, were suddenly brimming over. This might have been the Christmas morning all hope for but won't be had by some. More on that in a bit. Fran said before the music started that there might be a few ...

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Brian Hay Review of November First Friday and more

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Brian Hay Review of November...

Downtown Sarnia First Friday and more by Brian Hay The abundance of talented people in Sarnia who work hard and who like to go out and work means there's rarely a shortage of events worth looking at. The First Friday celebration inevitably offers an abundance of choices and this one was no exception. Here's the rundown on how a few of the events came off. Deja Voodoo Live at the Cheeky Monkey The Cheeky Monkey featured 'Deja Voodoo', an ensemble consisting of and singer/ throat harp player Matt Berube, bassist Jeff Murphy, drummer Guy Bastien Jr. and guitarist Pete Michieli. All of them have been playing for ages, know their way around working in ensembles, and understand the importance of setting up the sound. For their first show (which Matt half-jokingly referred to as "three years in the making) their feel for that facet paid off in spades. From the start it was obvious the ...

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September First Friday Review by Brian Hay

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September First Friday Review...

The Element of Surprise Project: September's First Friday Event at the Cheeky Monkey Saturday September 6, 2014 by Brian Hay Usually the first thing that grabs attention is the musical dynamic a group has. This time it was the placement of the sound system and the musicians being spread across the entire back end of the store. Mostly players there seem to confine their activity to about half that space. The reasons are obvious. The business couldn't function that way and the band would sound terrible if the volume overpowered the room. That wouldn't be good for anyone but they had it controlled well. That was probably the doing of bassist Graham Dalley who's also a sound man. The next surprise was realizing 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' was their opener and it was followed by hearing how well guitarist Darren Diamond's voice was suited to the piece. Warming an audience to what's going ...

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July 2014 First Friday @ Cheeky Monkey by Brian Hay

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July 2014 First Friday @...

There was definitely a festive summer vibe in the air during the July 4th First Friday at Cheeky Monkey.  The fact that is was perfect weather enhanced the dance-able music provided by THE DRIFT.  Below is a review written by customer and music aficionado, Brian Hay.  The first time Brian heard The Drift was during ArtWalk when we hosted several local bands outside the front of Cheeky Monkey.  The Drift being a relatively 'new' band of 3 seasoned musicians, Brian notes the changes he noticed between June and July's performances. Also adding to the nights high spirits was the smiling, friendly face of Alison Mahon here selling the  "SARNIA 100 YEARS" books.   This is a gorgeous book commemorating Sarnia's 100th anniversary, researched and written by the History Committee, a sub-committee of the Sarnia Centennial Celebration Committee.  The book includes more than 120 striking historical images of the city as well as ...

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