Live music galleries: Great Lake Swimmers [2013]

(I got the idea for this series while sifting through the ‘piles’ of digital photos on my laptop. It occurred to me to share some of these great pics from some of my favourite concert sets from time to time. Like my ‘Vinyl love’ series, these posts will be more photos than words but that doesn’t mean I won’t welcome your thoughts and comments. And of course, until I get around to the next one, I invite you to peruse my ever-growing list of concerts page.)

Great Lake Swimmers performing live at Ottawa Dragonboat festival 2013

Artist: Great Lake Swimmers
When: June 22nd, 2013
Where: Ottawa Dragonboat Festival, Mooneys Bay Park, Ottawa
Context: Back on March 10th of this year, Dan Mangan was announced as headliner for the first night of Ottawa Dragonboat festival, which would have been tonight, and organizers promised to announce more acts as the festival drew closer. A few short days later, the country started shutting down to combat the spread of COVID-19 and the festival, along with all the others, had to be cancelled. The Ottawa Dragonboat festival is actually more about dragonboat racing and raising money for charity but they just so happen to also have a great free concert series every year that features amazing Canadian artists. I’ve been going to catch some of these free shows ever since 2013 and I’ve come to see the festival as the opening of summer. The very first band I ever saw at Ottawa Dragonboat festival was Toronto’s Great Lake Swimmers. I’d been following the indie folk act headed by Tony Dekker for a number of years already and couldn’t help but jump at the chance to see them for free. The night of the concert was quite rainy so the organizers decided to move the band’s set from the main stage to a covered stage under a tent on the beach. It was perfect for me because it gave the show a more intimate feel. I would definitely jump at the chance to see them again. And I am definitely looking forward to future Dragonboat festivals.
Point of reference song: New wild everywhere

Tony Dekker of Great Lake Swimmers
Erik Arnesen of Great Lake Swimmers
Miranda Mulholland and Bret Higgins of Great Lake Swimmers
Bret Higgins, Greg Millson, and Tony Dekker
Erik Arnesen on the banjo
Tony Dekker singing it

Live music galleries: Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue at Field Trip [2018]

(I got the idea for this series while sifting through the ‘piles’ of digital photos on my laptop. It occurred to me to share some of these great pics from some of my favourite concert sets from time to time. Like my ‘Vinyl love’ series, these posts will be more photos than words but that doesn’t mean I won’t welcome your thoughts and comments. And of course, until I get around to the next one, I invite you to peruse my ever-growing list of concerts of page.)

Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue live in 2018 at Field Trip

Artist: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
When: June 3rd, 2018
Where: Field Trip Arts & Music Festival, Fort York Commons, Toronto
Context: So here’s a post that came about due to those funny ‘memory photos’ (a couple of which I included below) that pop up on the Facebook now and again and got me remembering Field Trip and pondering on the power of live music. I had never even heard of Trombone Shorty (aka Troy Andrews) before two years ago around this time and truth be told, his jazz and funk rock sound is not something to which I would normally listen. However, my friends, Tim and Mark, and I were at the last edition of Field Trip, just having a blast, and the day just seemed to get even brighter the moment these musicians hit the stage. There hasn’t been a Field Trip since 2018 – they took a hiatus in 2019 and we all know what happened this year – but that year, it was a well-oiled machine, with a lot of great acts. Good music festivals schedule a wide range of acts and are a wondrous way to expose yourself to new tunes. To sum up: 1. Here’s hoping there’s another Field Trip Festival some time in the future; and 2. If you ever get a chance to see Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, even if it’s not your thing, take it from me, they are worth you our time.
Point of reference song: Dirty water

Field Trip wristband
BK Jackson and Dan Oestreicher
Joey Peebles, Trombone Shorty, and Mike Bass-Bailey
Pete Murano on guitar
The saxophones
Trombone Shorty
Yours truly, rocking out
The band, jamming out big time