Producer Jeff Parry’s musical adaptation of a pair of books by author Martin Melhuish chronicling the history of Canada’s music scene is a success in the making, judging by the reaction from a hyper-critical opening night audience of industry players and shakers at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto last night. Wisely avoiding many of the over-played Canadian radio hits of the modern era, a seven-piece ensemble focused on hallmark songs, starting in the late ’50s with Canadian teen star Paul Anka’s smash hit “Diana” through to the early ’90s and Tom Cochrane’s “Life Is A Highway.” While the premise seemed sketchy at times, and on-stage opening night bravado was minimal, the audience was on its feet applauding Amy Bishop’s powerful and unaffected performance of k.d. lang’s benchmark cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and she earned instant applause with her note-perfect recreation of Anne Murray’s soaring career-earning hit, “Snowbird.” The same can be said of Jaren Cerf’s tribute to Joni Mitchell, Peter Grant’s Lightfoot and Kit Johnson’s Neil Young. David Michael Moote hit a home run with the audience last night as well when he barrel-housed through Hank Snow’s US number-one hit, “I’ve Been Everywhere.” Judging from pre-show banter, the audience attending last night was skeptical whether a musical parading a collection of Canadian songs on stage could win them over, but the thoughtfully selected repertoire clearly resonated with those attending, and the ensemble cast took turns stirring inner emotions with performances that more than did justice to songs that are part of our national psyche. It is a show that needs more production values and perhaps needed to be put through its paces in smaller venues before landing in such a conspicuous setting. That said, the audience was on its feet demanding an encore and Trooper’s “We’re Here For A Good Time” was the perfect choice as it melted any inhibitions this button-down collared crowd had. The troupe then launched into the show’s title song (with Crowbar in the audience), and by...read more
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Mississauga native Alessia Cohle, who recently released her debut single “Sunday Shoes” to country radio, is part of Steve’s Music Toronto “Steve’s Supports Country’ Campaign with their co-country sponsor, Boots and Bourbon Saloon who are teaming up to show support for upcoming Canadian country artists and the country scene in Toronto and surrounding areas. Alessia Cohle is a multi-talented country singer/songwriter who is excited to share and spread the news to other emerging Canadian country artists by proudly promoting the “Steve’s Supports Country Summer Campaign” to her generation with this historic partnership between Steve’s Music Toronto and Boots and Bourbon Saloon. Alessia’s Ontario summer tour kicks off with a performance at Steve’s Music Toronto 1st Country Day Showcase on Saturday, June 6. The event will take place from 12pm – 5pm (performances begin at 3pm) at Steve’s Music’s historic Queen Street West location. Alessia will be performing 3 songs and will proudly share the stage with other up and coming artists of all genres, as Steve’s continues to support all artists and genres of music. The inaugural festivities will include the official unveiling of “Steve’s Country Corner’ while proudly displaying Canadian Cowboy Country magazine, all in conjunction with Dorrian Promotions. It’s just a little taste of country in a corner for everyone to enjoy and ‘soak’ up some ‘country’ in this city all year round. The ‘Steve’s Country Corner” unveiling is from 12-3pm with giveaways from Canadian Cowboy Magazine on ‘Steve’s Country Day’ Saturday June 6th, 2015. The show will be broadcast LIVE on CIUT 89.5 FM. Alessia Cohle’s summer tour, in support of her new EP ‘LET’S GET GONE’ continues throughout Ontario with the following dates: June 6 Steve’s Music Toronto Country Day & Unveiling of Steve’s Country Corner (12-5pm) June 6 Milton Street Festival, James Street Main Stage (9:30pm) June 7 Italia Fest Milton, Ontario (1pm) June 19 Grazie Restaurant’s 25th Anniversary Party (9pm) June 24 CD Release Party, Boots & Bourbon with Steve’s Music Toronto (7pm) Aug 8 Stouffville Country Ribfest, Main...read more