musicNOW – June 2016

Featuring Blimp Rock, Zachary Lucky, Ken Tizzard, Angel Forrest, Hillsburn, Jack de Keyzer, Murray Kinsley & Wicked Grin, Cheryl Lescom, Serena Ryder, and more

Juno winner and Millbrook native Serena Ryder opens the 30th anniversary season of Peterborough Musicfest with a free concert at Del Crary Park in downtown Peterborough on Saturday, June 25 (publicity photo)
Juno winner and Millbrook native Serena Ryder opens the 30th anniversary season of Peterborough Musicfest with a free concert at Del Crary Park in downtown Peterborough on Saturday, June 25 (publicity photo)

On the cusp of summer, June is an interesting month for live music. Music series really start to ramp up, patios are open, and the nights are long and chock full of entertainment. Here are just a few of the great things happening in Peterborough and the Kawarthas this month.

For other upcoming live music events, remember to check out our Concerts & Live Music and Pubs & Clubs pages.

Live and Local Lunches at Peterborough Square featuring Wylie Harold on June 3

Every Friday in June (and the rest of summer), there’ll be in Peterborough Square in downtown Peterborough from noon to 1 p.m. as part of the Live and Local Lunches series, presented by Peterborough Square, Gerri’s Arts and Crafts, and the Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area.

The first Friday concert in June feature bluesman Wylie Harold on June 3rd, with Nikki and Keith on June 10th, Rick and Gailie on June 17th, and Beau Dixon on June 24th.

Get some take-out or bring a lunch and enjoy the sun and the songs! A complete list of all the Live and Local Lunches concerts is available at

Kelly McMichael, Blimp Rock, and Doug Hoyer at The Spill in Peterborough on June 3

There will be an evening of pop-infused music at The Spill (414 George St. N., Peterborough, 705-748-6167) on Friday, June 3rd as three great acts take to the stage.

Local lady Kelly McMichael will present her pop-electric-rock solo project known as Renders. Toronto’s Blimp Rock brings very fun, catchy yet meaningful tunes to the stage … oh, and they are trying to raise $700,000 to put on a music festival on a blimp. Last but not least is Doug Hoyer, who combines pop-y dance music with elements of storytelling.

The show will be a sliding scale of $5-$10 and will begin around 10 p.m. It has all the makings of a really fun Friday night!

“Let’s All Stay In Tonight” – Blimp Rock

Zachary Lucky and Li’l Andy at The Garnet in Peterborough on June 3

As is the way in Peterborough, there will be another great show on Friday, June 3rd — this one is at The Garnet (231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough, 705-874-0107) when two country-inspired troubadours take the stage.

Zachary Lucky, originally from Saskatoon but now living in Ontario, sings with a rare honesty and warmth that is hard to find. Joining him will be Montreal country tunesmith Li’l Andy. Tickets are available at the door and the show will begin around 10 p.m.

On the first night of the Mayhemingways tour, we got to play with Andy in his home city and, boy oh boy, he has some great songs. More about that night in my tour column. [Editor’s note: Josh will be sending us updates from the road as he and Benj Rowland support the release of their CD Hunter St. Blues with a cross-country tour.]

Woke Up – Zachary Lucky

“While the Engine Burns” – Li’l Andy

Ken Tizzard at Westben Arts Festival Theatre in Campbellford on June 3

Musical veteran Ken Tizzard is performing a tribute concert in honour of the late Ron Hynes at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 3rd at Westben Arts Festival Theatre (6698 County Rd 30, Campbellford).

Ron was a popular folk singer-songwriter from Ken’s home province of Newfoundland. Known as The Man of A Thousand Songs, Ron died in 2015 after a three-year battle with throat cancer.

Ken, who has a Wednesday residency at The Church-key Pub & Grindhouse in Campbellford, was a long-time friend of Ron and toured with him as his bass player during the last few years of his life.

At the concert, Ken will shares songs, stories, and Hynes-inspired originals in homage to The Man of a Thousand Songs. The show is $25 for adults, $23 for seniors, $15 for students, and $5 for youth.

“1962” by Ron Hynes performed by Ken Tizzard

Angel Forrest at Showplace Performance Centre on June 9

Check out a powerhouse blues vocalist on Thursday, June 9th in the Nexicom Studio at Showplace Performance Centre (290 George St. N., Peterborough, 705-742-7469) as multi-award winner Angel Forrest comes to town.

Angel has been howling the blues and entertaining for over 27 years, has released more than 10 records. and has won the Maple Blues Award for Female Vocalist three straight times (2013, 2014, 2015).

This is the last concert in Showplace’s Elite Blues Series until the fall, so don’t miss it. Tickets are $29 and are available Showplace Box Office or online at The show begins at 8 p.m.

“Walkin’ Blues” – Angel Forrest

Mayhemingways at Elmhirst’s Resort in Keene on June 14

Every Tuesday in June (and for the rest of the summer), Elmhirst’s Resort presents live music in the evening at the Wild Blue Yonder Pub (1045 Settlers Line, Keene).

Shows are free to attend and take place on the beautiful boardwalk right beside Rice Lake.

Shows in June will run from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. and kick off with Mayhemingways on June 14th, Tiny Davis and guest on June 21st, and Lotus Wight on June 28th.

“Hunter Street Blues” – Mayhemingways

Hillsburn at The Loft in Cobourg on June 16

The Canadian music scene is such a small world. I’m writing this column from a former hospital in Newfoundland — now a hostel, community centre, and physiotherapist’s office — where Maritimes quintet Hillsburn will be playing in a few days.

That same band plays The Loft (201 Division Street, Cobourg, 416-895-1234) on Thursday, June 16th. Hillsburn has a layered sound that drifts from folk to a sort of Strumbellas-like indie/roots feel. Touring their first full-length record, In The Battle Years, Hillsburn would appear to be a band to watch.

Tickets for The Loft concert are $20 plus fees, and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available from The Concert Hall at Victoria Hall in Cobourg by calling 905-372-2210 or online at

“When We Were Young” – Hillsburn

Jack de Keyzer at the Holiday Inn in Peterborough on June 17

The summer Friday Night Blues Series at the Riverside Grill & Gazebo at the Holiday Inn Peterborough Waterfront (150 George St., Peterborough, 705-743-1144) starts up once again on Friday, June 17th with multiple Juno and Maples Blues Awards winner Jack de Keyzer performing from 6 to 10 p.m.

On the following Friday, harmonica virtuoso Jerome Godboo (The Phantoms, The Rocket Revue) takes the stage.

The Friday concerts take place outside, weather permitting, with a $10 cover.

If you don’t get enough on Friday night, you can head back for more live music on Sunday afternoons during the summer. The Carrie Chestnut Trio performs on Sunday, June 19th and Odd Man Rush plays on Sunday, June 26th.

The Sunday afternoon concerts happen from 2 to 5 p.m. and are free, courtesy of The Publican House Brewery.

“We’re Gonna Ball Tonight” – Jack de Keyzer

” Howlin For My Baby” – Jerome Godboo & Terry Gillespie

Murray Kinsley & Wicked Grin at The Garnet in Peterborough on June 23

Ottawa blues/roots-rock group Murray Kinsley & Wicked Grin will hit town on Thursday, June 23rd at The Garnet (231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough, 705-874-0107).

They do play blues, but there’s a little something more they bring to the table as well — an intangible thing that has led many to sing their praises. The group is touring behind their new EP Stormy Water. Tickets available at the dor and the show begins around 9 p.m.

“Outta Time Train” – Murray Kinsley & Wicked Grin

Cheryl Lescom & the Tucson Choir Boys at the Dominion Hotel in Minden on June 24

Minden’s Dominion Hotel (113 Main St., Minden, 705-286-6954) is the place to be for a night of red hot blues and rock with the great Cheryl Lescom & the Tucson Choir Boys on Friday, June 24th at 8 p.m.

Lescom has toured with the likes of Ronnie Hawkins, Dutch Mason, Downchild Blues Band, and Long John Baldry and her take-no-prisoners singing style and stage presence in something to behold.

The Tucson Choir Boys were formed in 2004 as a side project by two members of Loco Zydeco, one of Canada’s premier zydeco bands. Featuring Dave the Cat (lead acoustic guitar and lead vocals) and Sameday Ray (acoustic guitar and vocals), they’ve been wowing audiences across Ontario with their fiery brand of acoustic rockabilly, roots, and blues. In 2008, they joined forces with their label mate Lescom and released Cheryl Lescom & the Tucson Choir Boys — a mix of acoustic blues, roots, and pop — – to critical acclaim.

Tickets are $25 and are available online at

“Born On A Bayou” performed by Cheryl Lescom & the Tucson Choir Boys

Serena Ryder at Peterborough Musicfest at Del Crary Park on June 25

Local hero and world-class talent Serena Ryder will open up another great Peterborough Musicfest season on Saturday, June 25th in Del Crary Park (100 George St. N., Peterborough).

Millbrook native Serena needs no introduction, as her albums have won multiple Junos and garnered international attention. Her combination of song-writing and a beautiful voice has catapulted her to being one of Canada’s best known contemporary artists. Serena’s going to be releasing her sixth studio album soon.

The show begins at 8 p.m.

The concerts run every Wednesday and Saturday until late August at Del Crary Park and are 100% free. And just a note that actor-turned-country-singer Kiefer Sutherland will be playing Musicfest the following Wednesday, June 29th.

“Stompa” – Serena Ryder

Appalachian Celtic at Millennium Park in Bancroft on June 28

It’s no Peterborough MusicFest, but Bancroft has its own free summer outdoor concert series: the Mineral Capital Concerts (Millennium Park, Bancroft). The 10-week series kick offs with a performance by Appalachian Celtic at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 28th.

Appalachian Celtic is a lively group performing traditional Celtic tunes and popular melodies and features John Foreman, Ron and Leslie Hysert, and John Mullin. The combination of guitar, banjo, mandolin, tin whistle, and bagpipes will keep your toes tapping.

Foreman is a Bancroft music icon who also hands hews logs into square timbers with dovetail joints, which are used for authentic-looking antique rustic style timber homes and buildings. He was instrumental in the building of the Millennium Park Bandshell.

The concerts take place every Wednesday during the summer at the Millennium Park Bandshell, on the banks of the York River in Bancroft. It’s all free, and dancing is encouraged.

Peterborough’s own Broken Harmony performs there on July 6th. The full line-up for the summer is available at

John Foreman and friends