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Posts Tagged ‘Black Sheep Inn’

Honeymoon punched by Jenn Grant

March 12th, 2011

After not having ventured out to a live show in months, I finally got my butt out to Wakefield’s Black Sheep Inn recently to see Maritime sweetheart Jenn Grant… boy, am I glad I did. I’ve seen her play a couple of times — the first being at a house concert in 2008; I always got a kick out of the her quirky, coy humour, and how it played against her heartwrenching tunes.

Here to promote her Honeymoon Punch album, her endearing stream-of-consciousness rambling between songs is still hilarious, but the music is a complete shift to sheer giddiness. Back when I got my first glimpse of her Getcha Good video, I could hardly believe my eyes or ears, and I wondered how she’d perform it live… well, she (and her all-male band) did just great:

(The sound quality of all the vids I took that night is sub-par — maybe due to where we were sitting in relation to the speakers…? So this is the only clip I posted from the night.)

The opener was Hooded Fang, whom Jenn had handpicked from having heard them on cbc3; they kicked things off with buoyant tunes that brought me back to the 80s. I have a feeling I’ll be hearing about them again.

Jenn’s set kicked things off in another way — there was a veritable dance party in my belly… this baby seems to be a fan of Ms. Grant! Like I said, she pulled off all the new, upbeat songs as though she’s been doing so for years. She also dipped back into her older material, and the transitions were seamless.

During one of these more sombre songs, my ear caught a perfect and delicate harmony that made me wonder “Whoa, is that a mic effect??” Only when it happened a second time did I scan the stage and realize that it was her bass player; as someone who’s not usually a fan of falsetto, I was blown away at how terrific he sounded.

Overall, a really nice night out. I was looking for a worthwhile and inspiring break from my too-long hiatus from seeing some live music…? Wish Granted. (Thanks for bringing me, Manders ;)

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Wakefield jaunt

March 12th, 2010

Just half an hour away from Ottawa is the sweet town of Wakefield, Québec. I’ve been to many a live show there at the Black Sheep Inn. The town is also known for, among other things, its steam train ride, the spa, and the fact that Canada’s 14th Prime Minister — Lester B. Pearson — is buried there. It also happens to be a beautiful spot, so John and I took a day trip there a couple of weeks ago.

Our first stop was at Chez Éric, one of many terrific restaurants in town. I had the burger, John had the mushroom risotto… and we both loved our meals — highly recommended (and very kid-friendly, for those with kiddos).

And then a walk around the area.

The melting ice on the water looked like fabric at some points, with puckers and ripples…
but the chunks above actually remind me of cake, with all the layers.

The lovely covered bridge.

And then John taking photos of said bridge. Anything for art!

In the summer, you can swim, canoe or kayak in the river. In the fall, the colours of the leaves light up the place. In the winter, you can x-country ski, snowshoe or do a dogsled run. And year-round, there are plenty of places to check out:

  • Catch a show and have some delicious eats at Kaffé 1870
  • Super tasty pizza at Cheezy Luigi’s (try the Magic Mushroom *drool*)
  • Try some tasty spatzle at The Alpengruss
  • And I keep hearing about a newish resto called Le Hiboux… it comes highly recommended by many

Ok, I realize this is sounding like a tourism post. Really though, I just enjoy the town a lot, and since it’s somewhere we tend to visit, I wanted to give it a little shout-out.

For anyone who’s been to Wakefield, have I missed any must-try restaurants or must-sees?

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The lovely late blooming of Jill Zmud

November 13th, 2009

I posted a video of Jill performing at Westfest a few months ago, and then more recently, I had the honour and pleasure of doing the artwork for her first CD, As We Quietly Drive By (some of which you can hear here). Saskatoon-native Jill wanted the artwork to be welcoming, warm and cozy, like her music; she had her cousin (who still lives in the prairies) take the cover photo of one of her favourite roads:

The imagery and pallette continue inside, along with a photo of her guitar that was broken when she traveled on United Air (duet with Dave Carroll, anyone?):

This has been a labour of love for Jill, who only started writing and playing music in her early 20’s. She’s a public servant by day, and then works on music whenever else she can. It’s paying off… She’s already been nominated by Ottawa Xpress for Favourite New Musical Artist/Group (voting just ended, results will be up on the 19th). And album reviews have been positive, such as this one from Culture.ca.

At her CD release show this Sunday, she’ll be accompanied by Dave Draves (who recorded the CD), Christine Mathenge and Jerusha Lewis from Voices of Praise gospel choir, Safwan Javed (who you might remember as the drummer of Wide Mouth Mason), among others.

If you do get the chance to go, you’ll be charmed by her humble wit, you’ll be treated to her thoughtful words and tunes, and something tells me you’ll definitely feel welcomed, warm and cozy.

(Sadly, I can’t make the show, as I’ll be vending my wears at a craft show all weekend… but if you go, please feel free to comment here and let me know your thoughts!)

Listen to Jill here.

Join her facebook fan page.

And as a post-script fun fact, according to my website stats,  Jill’s name has been near or on the top of my blog’s most-searched keyphrases for the last few months. This partial screenshot is just for November so far:

I don’t think I’ll be too surprise if this trend continues.

Good luck, Jill, and have a terrific kick-off show! Sending goodness…

good peeps, horn tootin', music , , , , , , ,

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