By Jane Harrison
I finally got myself out of my sweats and actually went out to see some live music Friday, February 18. As you all know, I haven’t been out since December. Partially, that’s weather related but more because it seemed every time I did leave the house…even just to run into a convenience store, I’d run into a mask-less someone and I would be informed within days that they had tested positive. Four times! I’m happy my mask is glued to my face!
Friday was a very special night at CABERNET FRANK’S in Parksville as it was the kick off date for FAITH KELLY & CASWYN MOON SOUTHERN TOUR 2022! I’ve always enjoyed CASWYN MOON’S music but other than a video, I’d never seen FAITH KELLY live and I was interested in exploring the dynamics of these two power houses together.
Her video of WE DREAM (available on YouTube) was sent to me back in November and I have to say it was quite intriguing. But with most things, seeing her live was so much more. Her vocal style is an interesting blend of a bit Pat Benatar, a bit Joan Jett and a bit Alanis Morissette creating a fresh and provocative sound. Her music is all original and if you listen closely to both the music and the lyrics, you get that emotion projected as still raw but not unappealing.
CASWYN’S music, also all original, has that same raw appeal in a more soulful approach. With both on stage, FAITH’S understated underpinnings on the MOOG synthesizer during his performance served to heighten those depths. I can see how this will become a formidable performance alliance.
Then Sunday, February 20, I was back out at CABERNET FRANK’S in a special afternoon performance of THE JOHNNY JULES BAND and to celebrate the duel birthdays of their Dobro master BOBBY D. and band friend BILLY who lives in Parksville. As Johnny told the gathering celebrants their first song would be by RAY PRICE, a woman who had just walked in exclaimed “OH I LOVE RAY PRICE!!” and that pretty much set the tone for the afternoon. I hope she wasn’t disappointed as their version is a bit more sophisticated. But then I can’t see anyone being disappointed by the renditions of this band. JOHNNY JULES (guitar and lead vocals), DAVE D’ARCY (Bass and vocals), BOBBY D. (Dobro), MANGO MIKE (banjo), PAUL STARK (mandolin), and JOHN CORDON (drums) wend their way flawlessly through selections from their vast repertoire of classics from Dylan, The Grateful Dead, Country and Bluegrass all of which make them one of the most popular groups in the area.
Still, among this celebratory day, many of us were there with heavy hearts as we had just learned Saturday afternoon of the passing of our beloved good friend and musical brother known as ‘NICKY REDD’. Nicky was the type of drummer and could lay the foundation beats for any type of music. I don’t know where I initially met Nicky but I know our fast-friendship was immediate and before I started writing. He was a character in the best sense. He once grumbled at me that ‘RED’ was with one ‘D’ and I told him I would always use two. He grumbled some more, then we laughed. Nicky never let his heart problems stop him. If he was able, he would spend his afternoons at THE HEARTBEAT MUSIC HALL OF GRAHAMSVILLE practicing alone with his drums. Recently, he had joined WADE and RJ at CABERNET FRANK’S for the football playoffs. He was with JOHNNY JULES for Super Bowl Sunday. And then he was gone.
Until next time…