Horseshoe Christmas Showcase of Stellula Musicians 2008
The Gentle sounds of iconic folk musicians:
Thank you to all of the musicians who performed impecciably and brought to a successful completion the inaugural "Stellula Musicians in 16 Days of Music" at Horseshoe Resort. A special thank you to Don and Caroline Beaulieu, our photographer and his wonderful wife, who spent each day at the Resort including Christmas and New Year's Eve to cover this event. The pictures permanently capture our story and history, we are grateful for your work and dedication (and we just adore you!)
We are also very fortunate to have had the sound support of Dave Greer and Jesse of True North Music of Orillia, ON. The quality of the production was such a key component of our success, we appreciate your attention to detail and professionalism in every respect!
Our compliments to the Resort Staff, Paul Christiaans, Glen Tunstall and all of the staff who made the musicians feel welcome and comfortable delivering great service to the audience despite the unpredictable ebbs and flows of the lounge and can it change quickly!
A special thank you to Rowley Ramey, the President of Horseshoe Resort for making all of this possible. It was Rowley who said "let's make it happen"....and it has.
It is hard to believe it is already behind us -- more than twenty amazing Canadian musicians converging to make something truly special happen. I look forward to working with each of you again in the upcoming months with our music in schools projects!
May the year 2009 be peaceful, meaningful, and productive for us all!
Best Regards,Deborah Brown Founder/Chair Stellula Music
Happy New Year!!
...and what a SPECTACULAR Celebration
with..."Canada's Goddess of Blues" Rita Chiarelli! Dec 31/08
Photos by Don Beaulieu "What a captivating performer!
Oozing experience, Rita delivers the blues raw and pure. Helping Rita with her songs this evening was long-time musical partner guitarist John King and bassist Victor Bateman. Their experience provided the perfect backdrop for Rita's impressive vocal range and style," Don Beaulieu says.
The evening included a six course meal and fireworks but the really spectacular show happened in the lounge where Rita, John, and Victor rang in the New Year with a full house of Resort guests.
Rita sang the anticipated "Quanto Sei Bella Roma" from one of her most successful albums "Cuore... the Italian sessions". She explained the popularity of this CD was a surprise to industry friends who felt she was risking her Blues career by going in such a different direction.Cuore won Rita the 2007 Canadian Folk Music Award for best solo World Music act. As CBC radio's Heather McLeod stated "I didn't understand a word, but my heart understood every note. This album rings with love and respect for Chiarelli's Italian heritage, and her skill as a singer and an artist. I couldn't bear to pry it out of my CD player."
The evening included a wonderful mix of music and when someone from the audience yelled out "how about some Janis Jopplin", without flinching, Rita gave the enthusiastic crowd a beautiful version of "Me & Bobby McGee".
"Once in a lifetime you hear a voice so blue it makes the angels weep.. that voice is Rita Chiarelli," Ronnie Hawkins once said about the star. There is no doubt those celebrating the New Year with Rita understood it was a night to be remembered.
Accompanianists John King and Victor Bateman had their time in the spotlight as well, each so obviously seasoned and strutting their well-honed stuff. It was a trio in natural sync, enjoying their time together during this very special evening in remote country setting of Oro Medonte, Ontario.
Long John Baldry also recorded Chiarelli's song "Midnight in Berlin" on his 1996 album Right to Sing the Blues. "Her guitar style matches the muscle of her vocals," Baldry said of Rita's talent. (see full story Larry LeBlanc, June 2001)Rita's career began with Battleaxe, a band that caught the attention of Ronnie Hawkins, with whom she ended up touring. After several years of session work in Europe Rita returned to Canada and landed the 1987 Toronto Music Award for `Artist Most Deserving Of A Record Contract', followed by the `Toronto's Rising Star' award, and Q107's annual `Homegrown' contest. Her songs have appeared in Bruce McDonald's films `Roadkill' and `Highway 61'. In 1992 she formed the Road Rockets, who released their eponymous debut recording on Stony Plain, followed by `Just Gettin' Started' (1994) and `What A Night: Live', recorded in Germany where Rita has a large following.
Back to our Horseshoe New Year's Eve party....last but not least, Victor Bateman. Bassist,Vocalist, and Composer, Bateman has been actively involved in Toronto's music scene since 1981, when he moved here from Vancouver, B.C. His long list of credits as a sideman include recording and performing with a number of jazz, folk, and blues acts, including Ashley MacIsaac Big Sugar, Chris Whiteley, Heartbreak Hill, The Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band, Quartette, Sylvia Tyson, and The Good Brothers. Victor has written music for film, radio, and concert ensembles. I think we can easily say, there isn't anything Victor can't do!
His wife, Tania Gill is a pianist, composer, a member of The Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band, The AIMToronto Orchestra and the list goes on and on.....If you don't know these Canadian musicians take the time to become familiar, you will feel a deep sense of pride in this home grown talent which we had the pleasure and privilege to showcase in our community.
As for December 31, 2008 in the Silk's Lounge at Horseshoe Resort, there could not have been a better music match with the New Year's event and the company was devine!!
Top: John King, Mrs & Mr. Paul Wortley, Paul is with The Dock & Kicx FM, Rita Chiarelli, Dave Greer (True North Music, Orillia ON), Deb Brown (Stellula Founder/Chair), Mr. & Mrs. Evans, Glen Tunstall (GM of Silk's Lounge). Victor Bateman, Liz Harvey-Foulds, Carolyn & Don Beaulieu
Harrison Kennedy: The Real Deal Dec 30/08 Story and photos by Don Beaulieu
Not that anyone really asks me to sum up a performance in one word, there are occasions one word comes to mind. In the case of Harrison Kennedy's performance at Silks, the word which came to me was "Character". Harrison has character, his songs have character and even his instruments have character. He plays Stella guitars, one of which was given to him by his grandmother (she was 90 years old at the time and stayed with us for another 18 years). It cost her $26; Harrison says it's still worth about that much. Not in his hands. One can't put a price on what he does with his guitars and of late, his mandolin.
Harrison is a wealth of knowledge about Canadian heritage. As he explained about the French Canadians who invented spoon playing, he readied himself for a song for which he accompanied himself on a set of well-worn wooden spoons. His enthusiasm got the whole room involved, clapping along and deriving musical instruments from assorted lounge paraphernalia.
Bigger than life solo performance by Caston
Story and photos by Don Beaulieu
Steve is definitely a performer who needs to be seen as well as heard, to get the full "impact".
Steve's stage experience shines through as a most likeable performer.
He delights in audience rapport and encourages people to ask for one of
his free sampler albums. Giving something away surely wins over the
hearts of the audience!
Musically, Steve is very interesting. His humour seems to slip into most of his songs, keeping even the more unhappy topics light-hearted. Steve performed a few cover tunes (popular songs by other artists) entirely with his own 'take' on the matter, always pleasing. Although he surrounds himself with electronic gadgetry, he used it sparingly and creatively, adding and not detracting from his solo performance.
One technique in particular, in addition to simple percussion, is the ability for him to play a guitar lick and have it continue to play back (a rhythmic bit, for example). This allows him to carry on 'over top' of it with a lead guitar part, or counter rhythm of which in turn, he may record and play back and continue with yet another guitar line. Many of us are familiar with electronic accompaniment of solo performers, but what make this method unique is the spontaneity it allows with each performance. And, as I said, its discriminating use.
Steve enjoys performing and his enthusiasm carries to the listeners. He doesn't remain rigid to the microphone; he dances about as the mood takes him.
Area Teacher entertains at Horseshoe Resort
story by Sean McGaughey
photo by Don Beaulieu
Chuck Baker, an art Teacher at Stayner Collegiate Institute, entertained an appreciative audience at the Fireside Lounge at Horseshoe resort on December 28.
He and his longstanding accompanist Pete Arbour played an eclectic mix of originals and covers from across the musical spectrum.
The two guitarists have been playing together for almost 20 years and it shows in their pop and jazz influenced arrangements. Often it is difficult to discern where one of them leaves off on an musical phrase and the other takes over.
Chuck's vocals were laid back and restrained to accomodate the small venue, but nonetheless the virtuosity and power of his voice came through.
by Don Beaulieu
Chuck Baker is a very enthusiastic performer, while at the same time
able to maintain subtlety in his delivery. For this performance, many
of his livelier tunes were somewhat subdued to suit the venue, but that
would only be noticeable to his dedicated fans, of which there were a a
number in attendance.
Joining Chuck was accompanied by his long-time musical partner Peter, providing additional guitar parts. Both are impressive players and they each take their appropriate turns taking the sonic spotlight--no competition, just complementary interweaving of the two acoustic guitars.
Great camaraderie with the audience made everyone feel welcome and comfortable. The Chuck and Peter were rewarded with a very attentive audience, no doubt gaining more fans.
Country Christmas with Kirsten Jones and Kevin Zarnett
December 26, 2008
story and photos by Don Beaulieu
Kirsten develops good rapport with her audience, and all ages in the audience. They played to a room full of people two nights in a row, with a few dancers taking to the floor both nights. Being Christmas eve and Christmas day, their seasonal songs were popular.www.kirstenjones.com
Natural Performance showed the true stylings of Lead Pipe Cinch
December 23, 2008
Franco-Ontarian shares stories through song
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Michel Payment is a musical lesson in the history of Huronia, or Wendake as it is known in Huronian.
He has many stories to tell. He is an enthusiastic performer who delights in sharing his Francophone roots. He had the audience' attention and had them participating enthusiastically with choruses in songs they likely hadn't heard before.
Singer, songwriter, Michel has been performing professionally since 1982. Most of his musical experience has been acquired on the French music scene at festivals such as "La nuit sur l'étang", in Sudbury, "le festival Franco-Ontarian" in Ottawa, "le fête de la St. Jean Baptiste" in Toronto and Montréal, and many Canada day celebrations.
Michel is also a radio personality who enlivens the airwaves at CFRH radio in Penetanguishene on Saturday mornings from nine to noon as well as occasionally filling in for the staff at CFRH.
story & photo by Don Beaulieu
see here for further details about Michel
Montreal duo were dynamic
Dawn's microphone technique is a sound man's delight. Her mimicing a a horn (trumpet or trombone) is the best I've heard--very convincing; beyond a gimmick, a very real asset.
Paul's playing, well; we often hear of "smoking guitar solos" but this evening I thought I really was going to see smoke as a result of the friction between his skin on his guitar's strings. Paul is expert at controlling and using dynamic range. It is rare to find a guitar player who combines that much action and detail and retains true musical dignity--he's not showing off, he's providing as much rhythm, bass and lead licks as one instrument can physically allow.
Then there're their harmonies. Well thought out, well delivered. Creativity rules their arrangements tempered only by taste. They make cover tunes their very own, often with large changes from the familiar, but yet, delivered so well that they are accepted as a just interpretation one is glad to have encountered. Dawn and Paul are a high energy duo, but yet, allow us quiet, poetic times too. If I had to narrow their act down to one word it would by "dynamic".
"Gentle and smooth sound"
photography by Don Beaulieu
see our calendar of Artists appearing at our