Ah, here’s one for the books - Chilliwack, who are playing at the Regent Theatre Saturday, May 27, have some of my fave songs - I mean ‘Fly At Night,’ “Four Men in a Rock ‘n’ Roll Band’ - what’s not to like! And one of my all-time fave bands is cow-punksters Jr. Gone Wild, from Edmonton. In the early 80s, I had their debut ‘Less Art More Pop’ on repeat. I only had two albums then, 5440 being the other, but really great stuff that gave me a grounding in the country roots of Canada and also here in the Region. Anyway, you’ve heard all this before, but I only found out last year that the producer of Jr Gone Wild’s ‘Too Dumb To Quit’ album, the follow-up, was Bill Henderson of the aforementioned Chilliwack. Whaaat!? On their most recent album ‘Still Got the Jacket,’ Jr. Gone Wild cover ‘Fly At Night,’ and Henderson chimes in on some guitar parts. So in all of my meanderings on Black Grass, the roots may have been in the smoky mountains of British Columbia, and that rootsy gritty country influence flew in from the West and was not blown in from the East as my research indicated. So there you go; even late in life, one can still learn a thing or two, always be open to being wrong; that's the trick.
Oh, and the night before - there’s a tribute to Santana, who had a big hit with ‘Black Magic Woman,’ originally by Peter Green era Fleetwood Mac which is my fave band; I love the late Greeny. Sometime after he left Fleetwood Mac, Stony Plain Records issued ‘Kolors,’ and that Canadian indie label had in its stable Ian Tyson, Jeff Healy, and Curb Lund, plus MonkeyJunk, who was just in town, AND. . . the aforementioned Jr. Gone Wild!
Sometimes there’s something in a track, some ear wormy thing, some particular sound you hear when you’re a kid, and then you search for it and follow it your whole life. Weird, but yeah.
Anyway, you are not here for that, so this weekend, Santana tribute and Chilliwack at the Regent.
Across the way at the Biltmore on Thursday, May 6, TO indie pop artists Mico bring the P.O.I. tour to the theatre for a gig. Opening slots are filled by Alex Porat and Majo.
Friday, there’s a Frank Sinatra tribute, Let Us Be Frank, a 12-piece orchestra with one of my fave folks Bruce McKinnon at the helm. McKinnon is a wunderkind multi-instrumentalist whom I know from the Hairy Holler days and the short-lived but stylish Chesterfields, the Hub house band back in the day. I believe Josh Kvasnak, from the rootsy-country trio Doozies, is also involved.
And speaking of rootsy country, the legendary supergroup Dirt Squirrels are doing their twang thang at Simcoe Blues and Jazz Friday. It should be a hoot of a hootenanny, that one.
Mute Sounds, Milk Faction, No Sunshine Collective, and Apricity will play the Atria on May 26; while at the pubs, it's Two For the Show on May 24 at Hills; Another Round at Bollocks; the Players Bench has the Thursdays Jams on Thursday; and Bruce Longman and Eric Lambier are at the Wee Pub.