Rob Riendeau hummbly offers up a brilliant plan for anyone who dislikes shopping malls, canned Christmas music, hurried food court meals, and screaming children: How would you like to get a bunch of your annual gift purchasing done while listening to some great live music, eating lovely pub fare and perhaps enjoying a pint or two? I thought so… Many of the talented musicians in this area have recorded some excellent CDs in the past few years and each of them is ready, willing and able to be your own personal Santa this year.
K.E.W.T. is the incomparable duo of pianist Kathryn Briggs and guitarist Terry Tufts. Their first CD, Motherlode, released earlier this year, is a beautiful collection of inspired, acoustic, instrumental compositions. Although the ink on the liner notes is barely dry on Motherlode, K.E.W.T. is back with a new offering just in time for the holiday season. Winter Light is a collection of traditional (Silent Night, In the Bleak MidWinter) and original (Big Ol’ Toboggan) seasonal songs and it is simply beautiful. I guarantee that once this hits your CD player you will not want to change discs until New Year’s Eve. If you can wait until then, you can pick up a copy on December 20, when Terry and Kathryn will join David Francey on stage at the Almonte Old Town Hall accompanied by bassist John Geggie. If you can’t wait (and I don’t think you should), visit Mill Street Books in Almonte to get your copy.
Peter Brown Quartet: Beautiful Love
The Peter Brown Quartet — Peter Brown, piano; Glenn Robb, drums; Don Paterson, trumpet; and Dave Arthur, bass — has been providing great jazz music to packed houses in Carleton Place and beyond for several years now. It’s no surprise that their shows are so well attended — these guys are veterans who have shared the stage with the likes of Benny Goodman, Mel Torme, Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway, Dutch Mason and Mick Taylor. In 2014, they recorded Beautiful Love, a CD of standards and crowd favourites from their repertoire. By the time you read this, it may be too late to get a seat at their regular monthly gig at the Queen’s Hotel in Carleton Place on December 3. If you can’t make it to the show, you can get a copy of the CD (along with Peter’s two earlier discs: Marie-Claude and Franklin Street) at Mississippi Mills Musicworks in Almonte.
Most months, you can also catch Peter at the Waterfront Gastropub on the second Saturday of the month. This month, the excellent jazz pianist John Steele will be filling in for Peter on December 12, accompanied by drummer Glenn Robb and bassist Chris Breitner.
It might be a failure of imagination on my part, but I cannot think of anyone who would not like a copy of Brock Zeman’s eleventh CD release under the tree this year. This disc is one of his most mainstream recordings in a while featuring rockers, slow-burners, and some almost orchestral moments. My full review of Pulling Your Sword… from the April 2015 issue is available online but the short version is: you will win Christmas if you give this disc to the music lovers on your list this year. You can get a copy from the man himself, and enjoy a wonderful night out, at his regular Tuesday night gig at O’Reilly’s Pub in Perth.
The Jimmy Tri-Tone Band has just released a video for their latest single ‘Til the End, which will be part of their first full-length album to be released in the spring. In the meantime, you should catch up with them at the Valley Food & Drink Co. in Calabogie, Love That Barr in Pakenham, or The Barley Mow in Almonte (see our Pub Crawling listing on p.26 of the December issue of theHumm for dates and times) and grab a copy of their excellent EP, Wanted.
The Ramblin’ Valley Band won’t be playing any gigs in the area this month, but you can snag a copy of their Farm Days EP at Mississippi Mills Musicworks in Almonte. While you are there, you could also do yourself a favour and pick up Otherworld, one of the many fine CDs by George Turcotte (the owner of Musicworks).