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Old 01-22-2013, 03:34 PM   #22
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 15,407
Default Re: Lightfoot Celebration @ Hugh's Room-January 2013

THE WAY WE FEEL – 11th annual celebration of Gordon Lightfoot
@Hugh’s in Toronto on Frid.Jan.18, Sat.Jan.19 and Sun.Jan.20, 2013.
I didn’t attend on Friday night.

Saturday Jan.19, 2013 (nite 2)

Dinner reservations were for 6 p.m. The show doesn’t start until 8:30 but as the room fills up, the artists arrive, sound checks are done and people watching commences so the time passes quickly. Lisa and I spent some time chatting with Jory Nash and David Newland (and his 4 month old son Jasper) as well as Ron Jones, his wife Marion and friend Aileen. Kenyon and his wife Johanna were at the table on one side of us and Ron and folks were on the other. We were joined at our table by our friend Patti.

The staff at Hugh’s are all so gracious and accommodating, doing their jobs so professionally at all times within a small, crowded, hot, noisy room. The dinners are served hot and delicious with quite a variety of choices on the menu. It really is a one of a kind place that I wish I could frequent much more often during the year to see so many fabulous artists.

At 8:30 the lights dimmed and Jory Nash made his way onstage to introduce the first performer and emcee of the evening, David Newland. David has been with the shows since the beginning back in January 2003 and as many people have said over the years, he should win a JUNO for best emcee in Canada!

Jory and Aengus Finnan wanted to do a tribute album early in 2002 but quickly changed that idea to a tribute concert when they discovered how much it would cost and how difficult it would be. They were graciously given one night to have their concert @ Hugh’s Room which had just opened and Holmes Hook was the booking agent – he will be retiring in February.
That first year they also took the show to Ottawa and ended up doing two nights at Hugh’s. That was when I stumbled into THE best music and people out there. And I’ve been going back ever since.

The quality of the shows, the grace and generosity of spirit amongst the artists and deep, deep respect and love they have for each other and LIGHTFOOT moves me to tears every year. It speaks volumes about it when The Man himself shows up and graces the stage to perform a couple of tunes for us.

Jory has lovingly produced the shows on his own for several years now while Aengus was busy starting up the very successful Shelter Valley Folk Festival. Thankfully he shows up and has got on stage and done a couple of tunes in the last few years. The evening is never quite complete for me until he is onstage in some capacity along with Jory, David, David Matheson and Jason Fowler – all day oners. Jory does an exemplary job producing the evenings and it is heartwarming to hear the artists praise his dedication and hard work before they sing their chosen tunes.

House Band – Jason Fowler-guitars, David Matheson-piano, David Woodhead-bass, Christine Bougie-lap steel, drums, percussion.

DAVID NEWLAND – THAT’S WHAT YOU GET FOR LOVIN’ ME. David released a terrific CD in 2012, “Give It A Whirl” and he and his wife Meaghan welcomed a son into their family 4 months ago. Jasper is exquisite!

DAVID MATHESON – RACE AMONG THE RUINS and a call/response with the audience when he sang OH LINDA. WOW – it was quite something to hear THAT tune!

JADEA KELLY – CAREFREE HIGHWAY and as she described it, ‘the saddest song of all time’ – I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO CARE. She said we could all cry along. Her rendition was very evocative and emotional. She is new to the shows and grew up right here where we live in Whitby!

MATTHEW BARBER – he performed a few years ago so it was nice to see him again. STEEL RAIL BLUES and DID SHE MENTION MY NAME. He had a Maple Leafs T-shirt on under his jacket. While the show was on the Leafs were playing the dreaded Habs in Montreal in the first game of the shortened NHL season due to very rich people fighting about who would be richer in 10 years. Matthew said Gord dated himself with the line, “is the home team still on fire, do they still win all the games?” seeing as that was back when The Leafs last won a Stanley Cup in 1967… LOL

KEVIN FOX – this was Kevin’s first time with the shows and hopefully not his last. He had just started his first tune when an audience member suffered some sort of attack at her table near the stage and a break was quickly called while she was carried for and transported to hospital VIA ambulance. A bit unnerving for everyone but she seemed okay when she left and apologized for the commotion. Thirty minutes later Kevin started his song again after explaining it was particularly upsetting for him because last year while he was onstage @ Hugh’s for his own CD release his father collapsed in the audience that night. Oh my goodness…. From his website: Kevin Fox has been spending the last few years composing arrangements for the likes of Justin Bieber & Kathleen Edwards, recording with artists as diverse as Raine Maida & Celine Dion, & touring extensively with musicians ranging from Chantal Kreviazuk & Steven Page to Tom Cochrane & Olivia Newton-John. Kevin sat down with his CELLO and amazed all of us with the most unique and moving version of THE CIRCLE IS SMALL. Oh my goodness again! This was one of the most spell binding performances of all 11 years. So amazing. Kevin then played guitar and sang FINE AS FINE CAN BE. And it too was lovely.

RUSSELL deCARLE – (Prairie Oyster band) – I have always loved his voice and wanted to see him so it was doubly nice to hear him singing Lightfoot tunes! He was accompanied by the house band and Kevin Fox on cello as he sang THE LAST TIME I SAW HER FACE. Sublime. ‘Nuff said. Then he sang HOME FROM THE FOREST mentioning that Ronnie Hawkins did a great version that was a hit back in the day. I was really happy Russell was in the line-up this year!

LORI CULLEN – always a treat to hear Lori and how she interprets the Lightfoot tunes she chooses. She had her omnichord for ANYTHING FOR LOVE which was fabulous and then sang IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND. She’s always a treat to hear.

BREAK - only 10 minutes or so due to the earlier interruption.

DAVID NEWLAND was up again and did a sweet, sweet TALKING IN YOUR SLEEP.
JASON FOWLER performed SONG FOR A WINTER’S NIGHT and MORNING GLORY. Prior to singing Morning Glory he said he did some research and found that Morning Glory is the name for many types of plants that bloom in the morning and fade by evening. You can hear another meaning of the name in the video clip and the third is that it means ‘love in vain’…and that Gord probably meant it in that way plus a bit of definition #2. Lol.

SCARLETT JANE – two solo artists are also a duo! Andrea Ramolo and Cindy Doire sang PROTOCOL and OLD DAN’S RECORDS. Beautiful voices in harmony and lots of energy for ODR.

JOHN WORT HANNAM – from Alberta and thankful for honest Torontonians who handed in his lost wallet at the airport. A couple of terrific renditions – EARLY MORNING RAIN and YOUR LOVES RETURN.

ANDY MAIZE and JOSH FINLAYSON of The Skydiggers sang SPIN SPIN and SUMMER SIDE OF LIFE. Andy is a very ‘intense’ performer and very intriguing to watch onstage. Mesmerizing in fact. Another great ‘old’ tune to hear.

TREASA LEVASSEUR – THE WAY I FEEL (accompanied by Kevin Fox on cello) – a haunting, mournful version; especially with the cello in the mix. She then ramped it up with SUNDOWN, singing the guitar solo along with Jason playing it.

JORY NASH – he told the story of how the shows came about and that artists who said NO to their requests to be on the bill before they had a place and time set contacted he and Aengus when Lightfoot fell ill in the fall of 2002 and the media caught wind of their tribute show and wanted a part of it. Aengus and Jory said NO to them and went with the local folk/roots people who had shown interest from the beginning. Valdy flew in from Salt Springs BC for the two Toronto shows and one in Ottawa. The artists were being paid 100.00 per show and nothing else. They had to arrange lodging and travel etc. for themselves. After those shows it was clear that this was going to have to be a yearly event for as long as people were going to come out to hear the magic of Lightfoot..When asked why he flew across the country on his own nickel to do the shows Valdy told Jory, ‘because it’s the right thing to do.’ And from that Jory said he learned a lot about integrity…And totally fitting the mood he then sang MINSTREL OF THE DAWN and then COTTON JENNEY.

FINALE - The show was ending but not before the customary assembling of all the performers onstage for the finale- a call/response with the audience in the singing of RICH MAN’S SPIRITUAL.

What a show! Every artist was a stand-out! I took no videos other than tonights’ finale due to a very tall guy in front of me who was totally unaware that many people behind him would like to see the

Well, Saturdays show was in the history books and the artists were accepting hugs and congratulations from the audience members while they filed out to a cold Toronto night. It’s so terrific that the performers hang out in the lobby talking to everyone, signing CD’s purchased from the merch table and getting pictures taken. It’s abundantly clear that they are beloved and loved for their own talent as well as their dedication to the LIGHTFOOT celebration shows.

We got a very welcome lift with Kenyon and Johanna to the hotel so we didn’t have to take the subway back into the city. We would be doing it all again on Sunday night so hopefully I would get a good nights sleep….time would tell…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
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