* Thank you Heather, for doing a stellar job with our first foray into delighting our audiences with a monthly newsletter! - Lillian *
May 11th was a marvellous concert with the wonderful Eileen McGann, what a voice! Angelic and breathtaking! Eileen is from Scarborough and got her start in music here in Toronto, David Warren (lawyer to folkies everywhere) says he remembers hearing her at what must have been an early Flying Cloud Folk Club concert and being floored by that beautiful voice; a few minutes conversation at that event led to many hours of listening to traditional British music together, to David introducing Eileen to her first producer, Ken Whitely, and to a friendship that lasts to this day. David told me that back in those days Eileen was a teacher until she gave it up for the love of music. It always strikes me how many teachers are drawn to folk music, anyone know why?
Eileen lives in BC now, on Vancouver Island, and when she talked about walks along the seashore with her dog I thought "maybe I should move" because it sounded idyllic. She gets back to Ontario just once a year and she mentioned that she's already booked her 2020 tour which will include an appearance at Folk at the Registry which is put on by the folks at The Old Chestnuts Song Circle. I took a look at their web page which I would highly recommend you to do as well. The website itself seems to be a bit out of date but there is a wonderful archive of newsletters, written by Jack Cole, that for me was a trip down memory lane and may be for you too. Jack and his wife Lori are the founders of Old Chestnuts and I have fond memories of being at their house for concerts and at various other gatherings in Kitchener all of which involved the amazing Merrick Jarrett! There is a newsletter there from January 05, a memorial from Jack about his old friend and teacher and it's a wonderful read about "The Kitchener Cowboy" and his love and and enthusiasm for folk music and the history that's so often captured in those songs. Merrick had a wonderful way of spreading that enthusiasm and inspiring others and I'm sure his spirit is still alive at Old Chestnuts. Rick and Merrick became great friends and soon Merrick's wife Mary and I became good friends, I think partly in self defense - I mean you try spending an evening with two folk nerds of the highest order who are carrying on a conversation in song titles! Oh, they were so pleased with themselves!!
Back to Eileen, who will be in Kitchener next year and says a lot of tickets have already been sold, so if you want to go, better not put off getting yours. She also says that if you have a request please send her an email so she can be sure and include it in her concert. And speaking of concerts, we are coming to the final concert of our 22nd year, this fabulous season of music, at Acoustic Harvest and we are going to finish with a blast, with Angelique Francis. I haven't seen her perform live but Lillian tells me she is a-m-a-z-i-n-g, and I believe Lillian when she tells me something like that and you should too. In fact, here is what Lillian said (to refresh your memory): "We are ending our 22nd season with a spectacular performer, Angelique Francis (from Ottawa). I can't say enough about this amazing, divine artist! I discovered her at the Kingsville Folk Festival last summer and she sure impressed everyone; she has a powerful voice, (think of some of the greats like Aretha Franklin!) an awesome stage presence and clearly is passionate about her music. She gives a captivating, mesmerizing show that keeps you absolutely riveted...hard to take your eyes off her except to note her very talented two sisters and Dad accompanying her. Angelique can sing in any style, whether it's folk, blues, soul, gospel, jazz, rock, pop, she truly captures the essence of every song she sings. We hope you'll come out to give her a listen...you'll be thrilled!"
See you on June 1st.