Decemberrific!

Wow. What an incredible month.

First off, we had an fantastic time with the extremely down-to-earth and wildly entertaining Strumbellas at the Roxy Theatre (and incredible VIP after-party at the Kathmandu Café). The band had the audience on their feet applauding before their encore and left with what is surely more fans and friends. Not to mention their fantastic openers and tour partners Sam Cash & the Romantic Dogs who rocked our sleepy town into an appreciation for their musicianship and song craft.

Along with that, we announced our next Mudtown Music & Arts Series show, which will be a Robbie Burns celebration at the historic Coach Inn with masters of the celtic jig & reel Scatter the Cats with equally talented scotch songsters Beggars Road. We’ll have haggis, pipers, and verse from the Bard for what guarantees to be a memorable event.

To finish off our year we’ll be celebrating with a free show – a Holiday Happening! – on Saturday, December 27th at the Kathmandu Café with a Mudtown Allstar Band, vintage vinyl, giveaways, and more than a couple of surprises.

The Week That Was

It’s been almost a week since the Dinner Belles & Beams brought their artful roots sounds to the Kathmandu Café in Owen Sound, yet we’re still basking in the afterglow of a show that will serve as measure for those to come. You can read a review of the show over at the blog Rrampt (click here).  We’re biased, but have to say that it was an amazing show.  Beams’ performance blew everyone away with their entirely unique brand of art-folk, and the Dinner Belles showed that they are pros – true masters of their genre.

We also released Woodworker’s live performance video filmed by Nelson Phillips for OSC Media House’s “Old Courthouse Sessions.”  The Old Courthouse Arts Building in Owen Sound is slated to be sold and we would like the video to – at least – showcase this amazing piece of architectural heritage, if not give weight to the desire to keep this as a place for artists and performance.  Click here to watch the video.

And now, we look forward to our last show of 2014: the Strumbellas w/ Sam Cash and the Romantic Dogs on December 6th at the Roxy Theatre in Owen Sound.  The Strumbellas won the 2014 Juno Award for Best Roots & Traditional album for their LP “We Still Move On Dance Floors.”  VIP tickets include a pre-concert meet ‘n’ greet with the bands, front row seating, and a catered after party at the Kathmandu Café (formerly known as the Rocky Raccoon Café).  This promises to be a highlight of the year.

 

 

 

 

 

Woodworker & OSC Media House

Mudtown duo Woodworker teamed up with director and filmographer Nelson Phillips of OSC Media House to shoot a live, off-the-floor video at the historic Old Courthouse Arts Building in Owen Sound over the weekend.  Phillips – who just saw to fruition his first successful film festival and finished production on his “Feral” documentary about youth, memory, and the outdoors – is a graduate of OCAD, where he concentrated on film.

The pairing of Phillips and Woodwork is a natural one – not just for the reason that Phillips and Woodworker singer-songwriter Jonathan Cox both show ample beard growing capabilities; both Phillips and Woodworker share an affinity for their locale (Owen Sound, Ontario) and an appreciation for fine craftwork.  So, it would make sense that the both should gather at the Old Courthouse Arts building – a historic and architectural gem in the city – to shoot their short music film.

See more of Phillips work here and listen to the music of Woodworker here.

At the time of this blog post, Phillips was working on a rush of the film stating “I want to get it done before the baby arrives.”  His wife Natalie and he are expecting their first child at the end of November.  Good luck to everyone!

 

Mudtown All Candidates Forum On The Arts

On Wednesday, October 22nd, Mudtown Records hosted an all-candidates forum on “The Future of the Arts in the Owen Sound Economy” at the Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library.  All candidates that were able to attend did.  You can watch video of the forum in its entirety by clicking here.  The Owen Sound Sun Times covered the event, as did OwenSoundHub.org.

The purpose of the forum was to have candidates share their views on how the Arts may contribute to the growing of the Owen Sound economy; and, to answer questions from the public regarding their views on the subject.  It was clear although many of the candidates recognize the significant contribution of the Arts to the local economy, very few thought of Arts related business in the same light as other more ‘traditional’ businesses.

There was mention of “exceptions for nonprofits,” “an innovation centre,” a “river arts project,” and other creative ideas from candidates, but no candidates talked of the Arts as business.  Perhaps this is owing to the venerable status we often give to art and artists.  Or, maybe it’s because they had their fill of business at the earlier Chamber of Commerce debate and the talk sponsored by the Owen Sound DIA.

It was a very positive event with much discussion generated.  But, the crux will be what successful candidates do on council in order to generate money through the Arts.  They were all ready to change an obscure bylaw prohibiting the ‘operation of a musical instrument’ in a residential neighbourhood.  Current councillors were happy to tout how much money we spend on the Arts in proportion to how much we spend on Sports.  But no one – perhaps wisely – wanted to show us the money.

 

Vote in the your local Ontario municipal election this Monday, October 27th.

 

NOTE:  No candidate mentioned the culinary arts.

Late At Night With Alann Gurr And Lowlands

 Alanna Gurr & the Greatest State captivated a hushed audience at the Kathmandu Cafe (aka Rocky Raccoon’s) in Owen Sound on Saturday, October 18th, with a rapturous performance that included songs from the Guelph based singer-songwriter’s most recent album “Late At Night” released on Missed Connection Records, plus some new material yet to be released. The usually raucous crowd at Rocky Raccoon’s was reduced to graceful silence as Gurr and fellow Guelph based openers Lowlands, confidently held the audience’s attention with a stirring series of songs and stories.

This – Gurr’s first visit to Owen Sound – served as bookend to a tour of mainly South Western Ontario in support of her sophomore record, which enjoyed several weeks atop Canada’s Earshot Folk / Roots / Blues chart.   Supported by the members of Lowlands in her own band the Greatest State, Gurr proved that her sound transfers well from the studio to live performance.  And, Lowlands showed that they can hold their own with an opening set that brought the packed venue to a comfortable stillness.

Both groups display that they are deserving of their growing reputation within the Canadian independent music community with moving performances which showcased their skilled and thoughtful songwriting.

Our Fall Series Lineup

ICYMI – We’ve announced our full lineup for the Fall portion of the Mudtown Music & Arts Series. You can read the full details in the Owen Sound Sun Times article here.  Along with Alanna Gurr & the Greatest State this coming Saturday, October 18th, we’ll host a dynamic double bill with the Dinner Belles – who are releasing a new album the same weekend as Alanna Gurr’s appearance – plus Beams on November 15th, while 2014 Juno Award winners the Strumbellas check in on December the 6th with Sam Cash & the Romantic Dogs for a KILLER theatre show at the Roxy.  Click here to get your tickets to any and all of the Mudtown Music & Arts Series events.

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Enjoy the Fall!