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Posts Tagged ‘Wakefield’

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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Dan Mangan’s debut at the Sheep: Nice, Nice, Very Nice

October 18th, 2009

So my posts about Dan Mangan are getting numerous, I realize… but if you were at Wakefield’s Black Sheep Inn for last night’s show, you’d understand why I needed to post this too.

Will Currie & the Country French kicked things off — and they were among the most fun and engaging opening bands I’ve ever seen:

The crowd was already in good spirits when Dan and his crew took the stage. This was the first time I’d seen Dan with a band, and the variety of instruments (violin, banjo, stand-up bass, keyboard, trumpet…) were a treat. It’s obvious that all the performers genuinely like each other — it showed in how they each added their sound and interacted.

An added treat was Justin Rutledge’s surprise visit to the stage:

I posted a video of Dan playing ‘Robots’ a few months ago from the BC Scene show at the First Baptist Church… but I couldn’t resist posting this terrific rendition too, which includes a very thoughtful thanks to the CBC’s Amanda Putz as an intro:

For the final song of Dan’s encore, Will Currie & the Country French and Justin Rutledge joined in too, a swell conclusion to Mr. Mangan’s first-ever gig at the Sheep…

I’ve mentioned before that Dan is more mindful than most about the phrasing of his songs; I tell you, it was pretty awe-inspiring when he’d have a pause mid-tune… and you could absolutely hear a pin drop in the Inn. It’s so exciting to see someone who’s this nice and this talented get recognized (woohoo Verge FM’s ‘Artist of the Year’ 2009!) and appreciated. More and more good to come, to be sure.

As a selfish woohoo postcript, I don’t think I’ve yet shared this shot of Dan sporting See how they run — taken the night he did a house concert last year at Amanda and Tim’s:

Something tells me this is a face you’ll see again. Hopefully, you’ll get a chance to hear the voice that goes with it too.

m chen wears, music , , , , ,

I shot JR

April 22nd, 2009


The first time I met Justin Rutledge was at my dear friend Amanda’s stagette; JR had very sportingly agreed to play for us, and in a police uniform, no less. It was pretty much impossible NOT to become a fan. I’ve seen him play a bunch of times since — from a house concert to the National Arts Centre. He’s a consummate performer, tempering his moving lyrics and tunes with hilarious banter.

Justin came to Wakefield’s intimate Black Sheep Inn last Sunday afternoon… and with Melissa McClelland opening, it was a show not to be missed.

I’ve seen Melissa perform twice now, and she’s blown my socks off each time with her astounding vocals and distinct tunes. Hubby Luke Doucet joined her onstage for her set, and they are certainly a force to be reckoned with:

Justin’s set was terrific too, and it was great to see a touch of his rocking-er show from Zaphod’s the night before make it into the Black Sheep. Basil Donovan had a couple of terrific bass solos, and David Baxter added his usual guitar oomph to every song.

Justin ended off his encore with his signature “Don’t Be So Mean Jellybean”:

Talk about a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

More vids from the show, if you’re willing to look past the tough red lighting and my shaky hands:
Justin, Melissa and Luke perform “St. Peter”
Melissa performs “Victoria Day” with Luke Doucet

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