New Horizons offers music lessons for the young at heart

At the age of 73, Judith Maxwell says she would usually be on a university campus to visit her granddaughter, but not so last month. Instead, Maxwell herself was living on campus at Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo. She was spending the week playing in three different bands, attending a tutorial given by the Canadian Armed Forces Band, and listening to two concerts, as part of a music camp hosted by the New Horizons International Music Association (NHIMA). Continue reading


Ron Warne’s musical influences are Good Enough For Me

Ron Warne (left), was joined by Dan Reiff, Allison Warne, and Abel Renton (right) for the official launch of his new CD.

Newcastle singer-songwriter Ron Warne’s musical influences, like his ubiquitous plaid shirts, are comfortably familiar and well-worn. With the debut of his first CD release, Good Enough For Me, he presents a collection of thirteen original songs inspired by what he’s dubbed, “the holy trio:” legendary musicians Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and Johnny Cash. Continue reading

Bonnetta sings of hope with a little help from his friends

Jonas Bonnetta amongst the cedars of Orono.

Jonas Bonnetta amongst the cedars of Orono. Photo by Peter Chatterton

Evening Hymns is the stage name of Orono musician Jonas Bonnetta and whatever mix of family and friends might be accompanying him on any given night. While there is really just one person behind the name, a whole community of musicians has gathered around Bonnetta, supporting him in his latest recording, Spirit Guides, which was just released on Nov. 3.

“I’m not a religious person at all, but I like to think of myself as a spiritual person,” says Bonnetta of his band’s name. “I was trying to invoke an atmosphere, a certain feeling.” And he succeeds, creating an emotional soundscape that deals with sadness and loss, but ultimately finds hope. Continue reading

Record-holding The Country Four barbershop quartet retires

Have voice, will travel: Jack, Don, Merrill & Glenn in 1955. Photo by Ray Carson from the Roy Forrester collection.

Have voice, will travel: Jack, Don, Merrill & Glenn in 1955. Photo by Ray Carson from the Roy Forrester collection.

It’s time to say “Hats off and farewell!” as The Country Four barbershop quartet retires. All they’ve ever needed is a pitch pipe and each other. Fifty-six years after they first began, their voices are still strong and their hearts light, as the members of The Country Four barbershop quartet gather around the kitchen table of Glenn Allin and his wife Jean in Newcastle, for a spontaneous rendition of the gospel standard, “He Touched Me.” Continue reading

The Sadies take the scenic route to Orono

photo Amanda Schenk/Derek von Essen effect

John Doe & The Sadies. Photo by Amanda Schenk/Derek von Essen effect.

If this is Tuesday, it must be Chicago – again. That was the refrain two weeks ago from Travis Good, the guitarist and co-frontman of the Sadies, when reached by phone in the midst of yet another road trip across the United States. The hard-working Sadies have seen a lot of Chicago and a number of other American cities lately, promoting their own album, New Seasons, as well as their latest collaborative recording. Continue reading

OS2L: the time is now

One Second 2 Late

Newcastle's OS2L (front, from left): Rob Henderson, Brian Pisani, Steve Leca; (back) Derek Knox and Adam Wishak. Photo by Ryan Fujiki

The timing couldn’t be better for Newcastle band One Second 2 Late (OS2L). Having released their debut CD World Time Bomb on the SonyBMG indie label Red Ink on August 26, the band members just started a two-week, six-city tour opening for the JUNO-nominated group Hedley, flying out to play Winnipeg last night. The tour will bring the local punkpop outfit to Massey Hall in Toronto this Saturday, Oct. 18. Continue reading

JUNO-nominated Sadies play Orono

The Sadies: Travis, Mike, Sean, Dallas

The Sadies: Travis, Mike, Sean, Dallas. Photo by Beth Hammill.

Less than three weeks after being nominated for a JUNO Award, the Toronto-based group, The Sadies, will be gracing the stage of the Orono Town Hall this Saturday, February 23.

Band members Travis Good, Dallas Good, Mike Belitsky, and Sean Dean learned that they were nominated for the Canadian music industry awards, in the category of “Roots and Traditional Album of the Year: Group” while touring Spain.
Continue reading