May 2002 * Volume 7, Number 7

v Merrick Jarrett Tribute - Liz Moore

The Merrick Jarrett Tribute Concert started out to honour a man who has been central to folk music for over 50 years. It then also became a fund raiser for a very worthy cause, the HopeSpring Cancer Support Centre.

The call went out for volunteers to help organize and run it, and musicians to provide the entertainment. And what a response there was. The concert initially was suppose to run around 2.5 hours, but as the names continued to pour in from musicians who wanted a spot to honour their friend Merrick, it expanded to include as many as possible. It eventually grew to 4 hours, with offers continuing to come in. Jack had the unenviable job of actually turning away performers.

We had something for everyone. For the guitar buff we had Rick Fielding; for humour there was the Lintons and Chris White; and for wonderful singing we had Cathy Miller and Beverlie Robertson. For the young and young at heart we had Sharon, Lois and Bram (yes, all three!). We also had some wonderful local talent, the Beirdo Brothers and GreenWood. And of course there was the Jarrett family, 3 generations of them, and what a treat that was. To name just a few of the amazing and generous performers.

As one of the volunteers I didn't actually get to sit and watch the concert, but as I moved around and through the performers and the audience, the feeling was one of people enjoying themselves. This was a long concert, and we were all gratified to see that we still had most of the audience after intermission, a true sign that the entertainers were indeed reaching the people.

The concert was sold out almost 2 weeks ahead and if you were one of the people unlucky enough not to get tickets you missed a truly wonderful afternoon.

v The Tribute Concert - Merrick Jarrett

An Open Letter to
the Sunday Concert Volunteers

Wasn't that a great concert? Many of you will have read Robert Reid's excellent review in Monday April 29th's "Record".

However, one aspect of the 'event' (and it will be quite a while, I think, before a similar concert will be presented in this area) was that it would never have happened if it hadn't been for the number of volunteers. These people sold and took tickets, ran sound, lights and stage, looked after the food, played hosts/hostesses to the public, and generally provided the oil for one of the smoothest running concerts with which it has been my pleasure to be associated. In the past day or two many people have phoned or e-mailed to tell me how much they enjoyed the concert, how comfortable all of you made them feel, and more importantly, that they wanted to compliment us on the one hand on the performances, and on the other on the nuts and bolts of putting it all together.

There were so many of you, all working hard, from laying out the food, making the visiting performers welcome, moving chairs around, sorting out tickets, money, and people at the entrance, and no doubt other areas that I have missed but where I am sure the volunteers were just as important.

So Mary and I just want to thank you all, for making Sunday afternoon an afternoon to remember. We were warmed and touched by all the work you all did. The performers particularly ...they were almost overwhelmed by the royal treatment...not one, but two rooms in which to rehearse, tables full of sandwiches, drinks, when they arrived, etc. Quite a difference from many gigs I have played where I, and others like me, were lucky to get a small room to change in, never mind the other amenities.

So again, Mary and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts for a magnificent job...well done, gang...a great concert, and an even greater staff.


v Last Month and This at OCSC - Jack Cole

Every Song Circle is a special event, let there be no mistake about that! Not one night goes by that an amazing song or some amazing singing doesn't make an appearance. So be sure to come to the last Circle of the season on May 25 and participate in the fun.

That said, the April 2002 Circle will remain especially memorable as a sizable number of performers from the Tribute concert turned up to supplement the ranks of regulars. With that many singers and "old folkies", and a theme of "Great Choruses", I expected very few passes and I wasn't even a little bit wrong. We made it around the circle precisely once between 8 and 11:30!

Merrick kindly recorded the entire night, and I will post the song and singer list on the Internet version of the newsletter, for those interested.

Plan to come in May to close out the season on a singing note! The theme, for those who would like to follow it, will be "My Work is Heaven; My Work is Hell". Brings songs about work and crafts, and I hope James will sing "Go To Work On Monday" (One More Time). (Monique's home from Europe for this one :-) . but Robin, Pat, Sharon & Brian are there instead :-( .

v Chequegnat 2002 - Jack Cole

"Don't change a thing."

That's what they said at the organizing meeting for Chequegnat 2002! Well, almost. There were 2 things - no music during the supper break, and tell people to use the bathrooms at the house of whoever invited them. Done.

So we're featuring mostly the same great lineup of musicians (subject to change if they get a paying gig)! We'll have Nonie Crete, Mary Ann Epp, Matt Osborne, GreenWood, Robin and John, Brian and Sharon (fresh from Ireland), Margaret Jackson and Jakki Ridley and Paul Shultz and Midnight Clear, and maybe one or two more.

The music starts at 2 and goes until about 8 PM (with the supper break around 5:30). We're supplying burgers and peach drink and asking people to bring desserts, salads, munchies and other drinks. Also, bring plates, cutlery, blankets and lawn chairs. Enter from either Pequegnat or Chestnut. And be sure you know whose bathroom to use!

There will also be (quiet) activities for the kids, some crafts for sale, CDs to buy - just like a real folk festival! So please come and join our backyard fest, and if you can't, please have your own on Chequegnat Day, June 8!

v Royal Medieval Faire - Jack Cole

Last year about this time we ran a notice announcing Waterloo's Royal Medieval Faire. I've never been to the Faire, but earlier this month a small group of us thought we would audition anyway.

The "casting call" was nerve wracking, as we awaited our turns to be videotaped in the act of improvising. Medievally. Jen, myself and my Taylor (guitar) had prepared "The Cuckoo", which we warbled out to hall-silencing effect. This could be good, or bad. Sarah was hoping for a sword fight. There were a few other Song Circle members there too, putting on their best impressions of Druids, fairies, jesters, serving wenches and princesses.

Improvising is not my best trick (as any who have watched me emcee at the Mill Race Festival know well) but with Jen's help I got through it. And I guess we all did very well, because the next Wednesday we all got parts.

So begins a torturous schedule of summer rehearsals - 6 or 7 in all. As they measured me for my bard's robes I couldn't help but wonder what I had got myself into!

Come by Waterloo Park on September 21 at 11 AM, and find out. There is a small admission charge ($5 for adults, half for children). You will find Medieval music, Royal pageantry, stories, fights, games, food, crafts and more.

Anyone who points out that a Taylor guitar is not "in period" will be drawn and quartered.

v Song Circle in NB - Jason Myers

[ Got a Circle or acoustic jam in your area? Why not let the rest of us never can tell when fate may bring us together. - jc.]

On Thursdays in Quispamsis, New Brunswick, local musicians of all types get together for folk songs, traditional jigs, reels, and old- tyme tunes. Special guests drop in every now and again, bringing harps, accordions, and banjos to the mix. A recorder player has just joined the regulars.

This jam is open to anyone. For the love of music, its only rule is "acoustic only." Anyone wanting to get better at their craft of songwriting, playing, or singing, is very welcome. There are always people here to listen and help. The circle is formed at 7:00pm on Thursday evenings, at the SESSIONS CAFE, located in the Sobey's Plaza mall on the main drag...can't miss it. Great coffee, cheesecake, desserts galore. And live music from the locals. Bluegrass, Celtic, folk, country, acoustic rock, gospel, its all here, the circle often orchestrating everything the guitar players can find a key for.

For more information, call Jason Myers at (506) 832-4198 or write We run folk concerts about once a month on Sundays. Anybody who plays does so for free, but there is a donation jar placed at the door - all proceeds go to the musicians.

Anybody driving through, please stop by! Its my secret agenda to turn this place into a folk club.

v Some Events in The Area (as space permits!) Check out the new Grand River Folk Conspiracy!

May 25 Old Chestnuts Song Circle. Songs about Work. 578- 6298! 111 Chestnut St. 8 PM
Jun 1 Mill Race Folk Club open singaround at Ernies, Queen Street, Cambridge. (First Saturday of each month)
Jun 2 Mill Race Trad Sessions, Cambridge, Golden Kiwi, 4:30. Also June 16.
Jun 6 Grand River Dulcimer Club, Folkway Music, Guelph. $3
Jun 6 Songwriter's Circle, Centre in the Square. Aengus Finnan, Garnet Rogers, Stephen Fearing. $25
Jun 15 Mill Race Concert, Eve Goldberg, The Galt Room, Cambridge, 13 Main Street Grill
Jun 21 Black Walnut Folk Club, Mill-Courtland Centre. $3. Open mic. with host. (Third Friday of each month)
Aug 3 Mill Race Festival, Cambridge. Fires up Aug 2. Nancy Kerr and James Fagan and many more!

v About this newsletter..... It's emailed if I have your address. It's on the Web at and available at OCSC and BWFC get togethers. Also available by regular mail, but for that I request a few stamped envelopes or a contribution to postage. Call 578-6298 or write for more information. If you are getting this by mail and have eMail, please let me know! Well, it was quite the afternoon. I wore a hole in the carpet, pacing back in forth. The audience loved it, we crammed in more people than we thought possible, and raised over $3000 for HopeSpring. One for the record books, for sure. My own personal thanks to all the volunteers. To the tech crew - I don't know how you did it. From chaos to a concert in 90 minutes - amazing. Well done everyone! By the way - we have a brown jacket that was left at the church; please claim! Thanks again for all the guest columns! Sue's singing column will return next time. Meanwhile, why not write a concert/album review, describe your favourite festival, tell us about your acoustic venue or interview your favourite musician? - jc

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