Tag: Elora (page 1 of 7)

Venue: Open Mic at the Café Creperie, Elora ON

I have been going to the Tuesday night acoustic jam at the Creperie for years – not sure why it has taken me so long to check out the open mic that has been running since 2014 at the same space. Unlike the acoustic jam which is more of a song circle format, this one has a sound system set up and ready to plug into for 3 songs (or more depending on how busy the night is).

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Frank was our host on this particular Friday night and Michel played guitar leads for just about every performer who stepped up to the mic. This open mic doesn’t have much of an on-line presence – the last mention of it on the Creperie FB page is in October 2015 – but it is still happening, has a regular following and lots of great music.

[Café Creperie, 40 Mill Street West, Elora ON; Fridays 7:30-11:00 pm; no cover, licensed]

Venue: Lost & Found Café, Elora ON

IMG_20160702_195956A new addition to Elora, Lost & Found Café has started off well with a Saturday night jam. The café has a warm ambiance and great acoustics, which suit the unplugged music being played.

In addition to providing a lovely sounding place to play & hear music, owners Amanda & Kayla prepare scrumptious food and drink (the carmelized pear and aged cheddar pannini was delicious).

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The website doesn’t mention the jam but you can find current specials and other info on their FB page. Lost & Found Café is off the main street, tucked inside “The Mews”,  just next door to the Gorge Cinema, and it is definitely worth looking for.

[Lost & Found Café, 45 West Mill Street, Elora; Saturday 7-11 pm; no cover]

Elora Acoustic Café at the Wellington County Museum

IMG_20160212_212502Blustery weather and a new location might have kept people away from the Elora Acoustic Café this week – but that’s not what happened. A room full of attentive listeners turned up for the monthly event on February 13th. Thanks to EAC founder and host, Steve Royall, the tradition started at the Elora Centre for the Arts almost six years ago continues at the Centre Wellington Museum & Archives.

I still can’t say what predicts the success of an open mic, but the Elora Acoustic Café has a loyal following, a welcoming host, a good sounding room, and a great feature performer to round out the evening. There were many Elora-Fergus regulars, but audience members and performers also came from further afield, driving through the snow from Guelph, KW, Georgetown and Toronto.

The calibre of the open mic is definitely a draw. The majority of those who performed two songs at the open mic would clearly have been able to do a feature set. In fact, most of the performers left me wishing I could hear more of them.

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This month’s feature was Frog & Henry, aka Rich Burnett and Dave Neigh. Both are multi-instrumentalists and seasoned performers. Rich (also a songwriter par excellence) played resonator guitar and percussion while singing tunes from the 1930s. Dave played fiddle/banjo while simultaneously providing a tuba bass line (valves operated with his feet). In addition, Rich called for “intermittent Rein” in the musical forecast, Rein Rutnik joining them on harmonica for several songs.

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A bonus for last night’s crowd was the show “My Story My Tattoo”, currently being curated at the Museum. At the break, folks could peruse photographs and personal stories of local inked skin artistry.IMG_20160212_190149

The one drawback of such a popular event: it’s sometimes hard to accommodate all the potential open mic participants. If you don’t arrive early, the list is likely to be full.

[Elora Acoustic Café, Wellington County Museum & Archives, 0536 Wellington Road 18, Aboyne; usually the 2nd Friday of the month – check the EAC website to confirm; $5 cover]

100 Thousand Poets Event @ The Elora Poetry Centre

IMG_7409The Elora Poetry Centre is a wonderful example of people opening their home to share poetry, music and food. Hosts Daniel Bratton and Carol Williams moved an 1832 log cabin (the Beaver House) to their property near the Elora Gorge Conservation area and eventually realized their vision of making it a venue to bring poets and poetry aficionados together.

On September 27th, while Elora was all abuzz with Culture Days activities and the Elora-Fergus Studio Tour, the Elora Poetry Centre  offered an evening of poetry readings (Jerry Prager, Morvern McNie, Daniel Kolos), finishing with a performance by Muddy York (Anne Lederman & Ian Bell).

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These performances were part of 100 Thousand Poets for Change, an initiative happening in over 650 locations around the world, “ a demonstration/celebration to promote peace and sustainability and to call for serious social, environmental and political change”.  While we relaxed, enjoying the poetry and the beautiful surroundings, our host Daniel reminded us that, on this day, some readings would be taking place in cultures where it was challenging and even dangerous to hold such an event.

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With this in mind I hope everyone gets out to enjoy the abundance of local cultural offerings this fall!

Would you like a tune with that turnip? – Busking at the Farmers’ Market

Everyone who reads this blog knows I love live music and I’m lucky to live where I can get lots of it. Another thing I love about my community is that I can get local produce almost right through the year. Even when the snow is blowing and we are longing for spring there are tables full of good things to eat at our farmers’ market: apples, honey, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, maple syrup, eggs, potatoes, onions as well as baked goods, sweet and savory.

IMG_6785I brought these two loves together this month when my trio sang at the Elora Farmers’ Market. We saw how the music made people smile when they walked in – some even sang along. And we sang for the vendors, giving them something a little different to accompany their Saturday morning routine.

Markets & musicians – a great combo.

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