Wow! the ECMAs were an overload to my musical senses and I loved every minute of it! There was such a wide variety of music happening practically every minute from the time I arrived on Thursday night until I reluctantly left Sunday evening. Amazing to see such a gathering of artists in one small space to share their passion with so many. The East Coast sure knows how to celebrate their successes! I experienced more than a few magical musical moments!

I was moved to tears at the Songwriters Circle and totally blown away by the up and coming singer/songwriters that were featured – Dylan Guthro, Breagh MacKinnon, Molly Thomason and Carleton Stone. I discovered that Moncton’s own Lisa Leblanc had the number one song for 4 days running last week – beating out Madonna! Radio Radio electrified the Oxygen Complex on Friday night (pictured below). Jimmy Rankin hosted a Cape Breton party like no other. The Trews played an outdoor FREE show at the Market. Random breakout jams were enjoyed in hotel hallways, lobbys, cafes and courtyards. The city was truly alive with music!

I cannot possibly mention all the musicians/bands I had the chance to see but here are a few highlights:

The Divorcees (pictured below at Tide & Boar for their CD release show) – Their hometown crowd showed their love and the boys did not disappoint! Their energy level was intense and their passion evident in every performance. Their newest release, entitled Four Chapters, is a concept album and they are very proud of their product.

Gordon MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys (pictures below from their show at Plan B) – Simply astounding live show! These guys basically played while standing on their heads! The fiddle player tap danced while playing, played while standing on the bass, played it behind his back and just never stopped moving! It was energy charged from the word go and the crowd went absolutely wild!
And as an aside, I have to mention the fantastic Plan B – it’s a great room and their small, tight knit staff (dancing, singing and giving high 5’s all weekend ) had a great vibe which kept people there longer than they’d expected to stay 🙂 Keep in mind they did not get much sleep (if any) and they were always having a good time and made sure that we did too!

Molly Thomason – Watch out for this young lady – she is going places! I was impressed with her stage presence and confidence at such a young age – she is only 17 but has been writing since she was 8! This quote from her bio says it all “A confident and engaging performer, she captures and holds the attention of her audiences, whether she is appearing in theatres, on festival stages or at high schools. Molly Thomason’s destiny is a future filled with music. It will be an exciting journey to witness.”

The Rockabilly Rednecks (picture below @ St. James Gate) Just two members of this band when I saw them so I will be tracking down a full band show in the near future. Carey Beck on guitar and vocals with Casey Hade Shalala slapping the heck out of the upright bass!! They played some originals and a couple of Cash covers which got the crowd up dancing – and that was at 3 in the afternoon! I wish it could be like that everyday!

So many more I could mention like Samantha Robichaud, Chris Colepaugh, Chris Kirby, Tim Chiasson, The Long Distance Runners, The Meds, Charlie A’Court, Ria Mae, Catherine MacLellan, Pascal Lejeune, Sleepy Driver, Jacelyn Reinhart, Mark Roberts, Carmen Townsend, Olympic Symphonium, Rose Cousins…. and the list goes on and on but I’m going to leave it alone for now. Have no doubt there are many talented, hard working musicians in this region and we have much to celebrate and enjoy! Get out there and catch a show for yourself (even buy a CD if you get the chance) and let me know how you liked it!

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