For the Bulletin
The entertainers for the Homegrown Music evening last Saturday at Theatre 64 performed to another full house. The MC was Bill St Armand, who filled his role well, except for one very rude tattoo joke!
First up were the husband and wife team of Beth and Doug Crawley with vocals and guitars. Doug claims he retrieved his guitar from the trash and had it rebuilt; it sounded better than new. They started with a 60’s Donovan song “Yellow is the colour of my true love’s hair in the mornin’….”. Next was a Jack White kids’ song, which took us back to our school days, “I can tell that we are gonna be friends.” Beth’s alto voice sounded very fine. Their last rhythmic number was Green Days’ “Good Riddance”. “It’s something unpredictable, but in the end, it’s right. I hope you had the time of your life”.
We did! Next up were seven jazz tunes from the Dean Smith Quartet, with Dean playing melody on trombone and vocalizing, Mariana Gomez (“smooth as demerara”) on electric bass, Landon Shearer on guitar and Steve Steen, drum (with brushes) and cymbals. A rare thing to hear Christmas melodies played on a trombone. First up was Jingle Bells. Then to an entertaining bossa nova rhythm came “Angels We Have Heard On High”, followed by a smooth “Christmas Time is Here”, and a jazzy waltz rendition of the English Carol “We Three Kings”. A special treat was “God Rest You Merry Gentlemen” in a new 5/4 time. Next was the 1945 tune “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”. The quartet finished with “The Grinch”, featuring Landon’s cool guitar playing.
The popular and very experienced local group Old Spice followed, with Bob Clark and Jack Beloin on guitars, Grant Stewart on electric guitar and Struan Robertson on banjo and harmonica. They led off with Ian Tyson’s “Four Strong Winds”; it’s hard to believe the song is over 50 years old! They then gave us a toe tapping “I’m Gonna Be A Country Boy Again” (written in 1968 by Buffy Ste Marie as “…Country Girl..”) and ended with “Whiskey In The Jar”, including a great harmonica take by Struan.
A pleasant intermission in the Gallery followed, with treats, conversation and the opportunity to view the current Christmas Gifts Show.
Bill gave us a warning before The Steppin’ Out Dancers (Kathy Clarke, Linda Douglas, Delia Christianson, Mary Doris Shewan and Veronica Pauw) appeared. Seems they’d overdone their Thanksgiving feasting and put on more than a few pounds, as their photo shows. They wiggled onstage and danced to “It’s All About The Bass”; there’s a pun in that title somewhere. The audience hurt themselves laughing! Just think, Christmas dinner is coming!
We were then treated to Daniel Bailey, piano player and singer, with three very pleasing jazz tunes, “Autumn Leaves” (1947 lyrics by Johnny Mercer), “It Might As Well Be Spring” (1945, by Rodgers and Hammerstein), and “What A Wonderful World”, made famous by Louis Armstrong.
Barry Garland and Charlie Harding apparently came straight from the ranch in their cowboy getups; they looked mighty fine! First, they gave us Tom Russell’s “Blue Wing” about a man in prison and definitely a C&W tune. Next “Independent Cowboy”, composed by Barry, followed by the gospel song “I’ll Fly Away.” Their two guitars blended well and their pickin’ was a treat.
The final performer of the evening, Darin Welch, with a very rich full voice, was a special gift. He started with “True North Lies”, “a song about truth and reconciliation”, followed by “House On The Hill” with excellent and pleasantly varied guitar. His played piano for his final number, closing out the wonderful evening with Leonard Cohen’s 1979 hit “Bird On The Wire”.
The final Homegrown Music evening of the year was over. We are so lucky to have all these fine performers come and entertain us. We’ll all look forward to the next Homegrown!