The holidays are the time for friends and families to gather. Oshawa’s music family will be gathering, too, of course. Gathering and giving back with several upcoming concerts supporting those in need.
On Friday, December 8, at the Biltmore Theatre, it's Joy to the 'Shwa, another great gathering of long-time pals. Old time-y country cover band, the Dirt Squirrel All Stars, perform, along with Matthew Holtby, who was in town for Convergence in September, and A Short Walk to Pluto is also on the bill.
A very short walk from the Biltmore, also on December 8, Oshawa-based alternative bands will perform at Kops Records, 34 King St. East. This food drive has hard rock outfits, Judgement, and Contour going acoustic. Two solo acts will join them: Mary & Adelaide and Sunset Adolescence. The shop will be open, and this event is free to the public, but the bands are asking all in attendance to bring non-perishable food items.
The spirit of seasonal generosity in the city continues through the weekend, with local Rotary Clubs coming together to organize the Concert to Feed the Need in the Region. The concert is on Sunday, December 10, at the Biltmore Theatre. The line-up features Cale Crowe, a singer/songwriter from the Alderville First Nation and also Convergence alumni, Dipo D Voice, folk trio The Doozies, multi-OMAs award winner singer/songwriter Tania Joy and country trio New Moon Junction. Alicia Robicheau, whose background is in bluegrass, Juno nominee Kalista Wilson, and special guest award-winning gospel singer Keroy Williams are also performing along with even more, so quite the diverse, interesting line-up.
The goodwill continues Wednesday, December 20 and 21, as the nine-piece Professors of Funk present their much anticipated annual Friends and Family Christmas Concert. This takes place at the Simcoe Street United Church, a church as old as the nation, built as it was in 1867.
The Ontario Philharmonic is, of course, many times larger than the Professors and there will be even more players on their stage when Canadian icons Lighthouse join them for their holiday concert. This event occurs on Saturday, December 16, at the Regent Theatre.
Quite the range in downtown Oshawa that night with the washtub-playing trio, the Stables, on one side of King Street and the expansive guest-laden Philharmonic on the other.
The Stables are a three-piece, just a guitar and a washtub bass with a snare and block drum kit, the
quintessential Black Grass band. There’s a grittiness, however, to the sound drawn from the streets of the 'Shwa: farm meets factory. The Stables play on Saturday, December 16, at the Biltmore Theatre. Friends Trish Robb and GT Harris will join them.
Friday, December 15, Kops Records continues its holiday celebrations with a record release showcase featuring folk rocker Stephen Stanley, co-founder of Lowest of the Low, with Chris Bennett joining him. The Stephen Stanley Band has a new album, ‘Before the Collapse of the Hive’. Evan Rotella, an up-and-coming rocker from Niagara, will open. Evan also has his own album available, the just released, ‘Happy to Be Here.’
Hayden will be happy to be here, as the Canadian indie star plays at the Biltmore Theatre on Sunday, December 3. Scottish-Canadian tenor John McDermott will be at the Regent Theatre the same day. Also at the Regent on the Saturday prior, country star Jason Blaine and the Barra MacNeils are on Saturday, December 9, and it's the Lunch at Allen’s Xmas on Wednesday, December 20, featuring Canadian songwriting royalty Cindy Church, Marc Jordan, Murray McLaughlan and Ian Thomas.
Lots on offer in the Old Lady Shwa. Do yourself a favour, embrace the season and the music city, and add the gift of music to others and yourself this year.