To do justice to the Tuesday night jam at Delainey’s I should talk a little about its beginnings at the Old Copper Kettle. This spring I interviewed the original host – Nonie Crete – for some historical perspective.
Nonie took me back a little further in time to when she hosted a Sunday afternoon jam at Leyander’s in Elora (somewhere around 1995-1998) – locals may remember a CD called Live at Leyander’s. Around this time Nonie met Mike & Carol who talked about opening their own pub. “When you do, let me know – I’ll help you out” Nonie offered. So when it did come to pass that Mike & Carol opened the Old Copper Kettle in Fergus (1999) Nonie started playing there on Tuesday nights, inviting others to join her. The first year they operated it as a tea room, then as a pub. Nonie remembers many evenings when she played there on her own. Then, after about a year, a few musicians started attending (several still come out on Tuesday nights).
Nonie watched the Tuesday night jam grow from a few stalwart regulars to an event that drew people from Kitchener, Guelph, Orangeville and Toronto. Some nights there would be nowhere to sit and almost nowhere to stand. “People are so starved to play music”, Nonie observed. Right from the beginning it was a place for everyone to play – confident performers and nervous beginners all had their turn to introduce a song. “I always worked hard at making people want to come back – I wanted people to feel welcome.” The Old Copper Kettle had a unique warmth and friendliness to it, thanks, in part, to Mike & Carol, enthusiastic supporters of many musical ventures at their establishment.
As the Tuesday night jam grew in popularity, Nonie found her own musical career taking more of her time. Rehearsing, song writing, recording, and performing sometimes three shows a week meant she couldn’t always be there to host or would be there later in the evening. Terry Golletz eventually took over the hosting role and the Tuesday night jam moved to Delainey’s in Fergus in 2008.