1. LOUDLOVE! I saw Loudlove play at "The Horseshoe Tavern" on a Monday night... I slipped and sloshed all the way from the East End of Toronto to get to that show and what an amazing night. I LOVE Loudlove, they are one of my FAVOURITE bands EVER. One thing for sure, they get me dancing every time and THAT doesn't happen very often. 2. JOSE GONZALEZ! I had the pleasure of being introduced to this brilliant singer from Sweden for the first time at The Ottawa Bluesfest this past summer. There was a MIGHTY crowd at The Black Sheep Stage all singing along to his songs... he was SOLO with Guitar and there was a Trumpet player hanging out near the soundboard blowing away... it was a truly special moment and my favourite of all the Bluesfest performances!!
3. JENN GRANT! This was during Canadian Music Week and the show was at The Rivoli in Toronto. I don't know what it was about this night, but SOMEthing was in the air. It really felt like Love... she was on fire and singing like the siren she is. A De-Lovely and Unique voice indeed!!
4. Peter Voith, Shawn Tavenier, Anders Drerup, Tyler Kealey, Ben Cooper, Eric Eggleston, Jeff Rogers! This was the best show I have ever taken part in. Called "Wailing for Wheels" it was a charity event at The Bronson Centre in Ottawa for Muscular Dystrophy. Seeing all of these Ottawa Musicians perform for the FIRST time ever, I was blown away, we did a few numbers together at the end, I was so full of excitement, I tripped off the side of the stage.... an awe-inspiring night, one that reminds you that it's ALL worth it!!
5. JON & NATHAN PILASKI! This wasn't quite a "concert" to the definition, but there is a great Trad Session in Toronto at "Dora Keogh's" which I attend occassionally to play the Irish Drum, a Bodhran or to sing an old Traditional Irish song or two. One night I happened upon this great little nook and the Irish Dancing Brothers team were in the pub having a good ole pint of Guinness, as you do... well after a few, we talked them into doing a wee dance for us. Our own private tap/step dance!! Considering they dance on tour with "The Chieftans" this was an honour!!
6. KOBOTOWN! These guys are truly WONDERFUL. Serious dancing, singing music. I held a 'Guerilla Showcase' room during this great music conference 'Ontario Council of Folk Festivals' (OCFF), where I asked only Ottawa musicians to take part, and these guys just blew me (and others!) away... I played their CD over and over and over... and I can STILL listen to it!!!
7. NORTH ATLANTIC FIDDLERS! This summer in St. John's Newfoundland, they had the Folk Festival, the Buskers Festival, George Street Festival, Regatta Day and the North Atlantic Fiddlers Convention all around the same time! I happened to be playing in the Folk Festival and spent a lot of time traipsing about! "Nautical Nellies" on Water Street was home to all the Fiddlers night after night... well, THIS brought out all types of players; mandolins, bouzoukis, guitars, tin whistles, bodhrans, flutes, voices... al together in the madness of tunes and song. It was simply fantabulous!
8. JULLY BLACK! What a THRILL it was to see Jully ON FIRE at The Black Sheep Inn, in Wakefield Quebec, this small cozy venue was filled to the brim with this woman's bursting voice. She did a cover of "Blue Rodeo's 'TRY'" I mean this was un real... I used to think I could sing until I saw her ablaze in passion that night! What an inspiration... really.
9. THE SADIES! They played on my birthday so the night was already gonna be swell. What I didn't know was HOW AMAZING they were going to be! Strumming and slapping out their tunes at "Barrymore's" in Ottawa, made us all sweat fireworks. What a rush!
10. SHEESHAM & LOTUS! This 'Dynamic Duo" is ultimately one of the most unparalled pair I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. You MUST tear yourself away from whatever gets in your path if these guys come to town! They played and marched and danced out fabulous sound at "Kaffe 1870" in Wakefield Quebec...their sound is 'old soul meets ragtime meets magnificence. Find them. NOW!!
Hope you enjoyed my choices... there were so many shows that were ultimately GREAT.... and maybe I've missed out mentioning a few.. but here you go... Last Minute Lindsay Picks...