May is when we finally start to feel hints of summer in the air, the buds emerge on the trees, and the flowers begin to bloom. After a few months of hibernating, we are all ready to ditch the coats, hats, and gloves and get out to take in some live music. This May features some great concerts sure to please most musical tastes. These aren’t all of the great shows coming up in Peterborough and the Kawarthas, but are a few definitely worth checking out.
Lunch at Allen’s at Showplace in Peterborough on May 2
A powerhouse combination of folk and pop performers assemble for a big show at Showplace Performance Centre (290 George St. N., Peterborough, 705-742-7469) on Wednesday, May 2nd at 7:30 p.m.
Lunch at Allen’s consists of folk/country songwriter Murray McLauchlan, Cindy Church (formerly of Quartette), Marc Jordan, and “Painted Lady” hit songwriter Ian Thomas.
They’ll take you on a musical journey filled with laughter, anecdotes, and some familiar favourites.
Tickets are $49.50 and are available at the Showplace Box Office or online at www.showplace.org.
VIDEO: “If It Feels Right” – Lunch At Allen’s
Al Ross as Elvis at The Ganny in Port Hope on May 3
Fans of southern BBQ and the music of Elvis Presley will be overjoyed on Thursday, May 3rd when The Ganaraska Hotel (30 Ontario St., Port Hope, 905-885-9254) hosts Elvis Presley impersonator Al Ross.
One of North America’s finest Elvis impersonators, Ross has more than 20 years of experience, has toured South America, Italy, and Las Vegas, and has been featured as Elvis in various commercials and movies.
The evening also features a “hunk of burnin’ love” southern BBQ prepared by The Social Bar and Table.
There’s a reception at 6:30 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. followed by the show.
Tickets for the dinner and show are $64.80+fees and are available in advance on Eventbrite.
VIDEO: Al Ross as Elvis
Bruce Cockburn at the Academy Theatre in Lindsay on May 4
There are still a few tickets left for one of Canada’s most acclaimed and celebrated songwriters on Friday, May 4th. Bruce Cockburn will bring his Bone on Bone tour to the Academy Theatre (2 Lindsay St. S., Lindsay, 705-324-9111).
The tour features tunes from his latest critically acclaimed record, which won the 2018 Juno for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year, and a whack of tunes from his incredible past works.
Blackie and The Rodeo Kings’ rhythm section John Dymond and Gary Craig will be backing up Bruce, along with his nephew Casey.
If you missed Bruce last September when he performed at Showplace in Peterborough (see video below), you won’t want to miss the chance to see him in Lindsay.
Tickets are $60 and $50 and are only available directly through the box office (705-324-9111 or toll free at 1-877-888-0038). The show begins at 8 p.m. and Guelph singer-songwriter Nefe (Sarah Jea Felker) will be opening.
VIDEO: “Forty Years In The Wilderness” – Bruce Cockburn
Church-Key Spring Revival in Campbellford on May 5
It’s May, so it’s time again for the Church-Key Spring Revival at Church-Key Brewing Co. (1687 County Road #38, Campbellford) on Saturday, May 5th.
The annual hallmark of spring features live music from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. along with some great food and of course their award-winning beer.
Ten bands will be performing, including Madman’s Window and The Rodgers Boys. Proceeds from the event will go to support local school music programs.
For more information, call John Graham at 705-653-9950 or email email@example.com.
VIDEO: “You Don’t Love Me” – Balls & Jane
Hillsburn at The Loft in Cobourg on May 5
Also on Saturday, May 5th in lovely Cobourg is up-and-coming indie rock band Hillsburn from Halifax, who will grace the stage for two shows at The Loft (201 Division St., Cobourg, 905-372-2210).
Hillsburn have been turning heads for a couple years now with their upbeat sound filled with harmony, melody. and a lot of love. In 2016, they were a Canadian Folk Music Award winner.
The last two times Hillsburn performed at The Loft, they sold it out, so this time there are two shows at 2 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. These are their final shows in Canada before they head off to the UK for the first time.
Tickets for either show are $20+fees and are available at the Concert Hall at Victoria Hall box office, by phone at 905-372-2210, or online at www.concerthallatvictoriahall.com.
VIDEO: “Strange Clouds” – Hillsburn
Harry Manx at Cameco Capitol Arts Centre in Port Hope on May 9
Harry Manx returns to the Cameco Capitol Arts Centre (20 Queen St., Port Hope, 905-885-1071) on Wednesday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m.
According to his bio,Manx is considered an “essential link between music of the east and west” and is described as playing “earthly American blues”. A multi-instrumentalist, he plays the Mohan Veena (a 20-string sitar/guitar hybrid), lap steel, harmonica, stomp box, dobro, banjo, and cigar-box guitar to produce his unique sound, which is a fusion of blues, country, folk, and Indian classical music.
Tickets are $45 and are available at the Capitol Box Office or online at www.capitoltheatre.com.
VIDEO: “Death Have Mercy” – Harry Manx
Gord Downie and Channie Wenjack Fund Benefit Concert at the Market Hall in Peterborough on May 11
Indigenous and non-indigenous performers will come together at the Gord Downie and Channie Wenjack Fund Benefit Concert at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 11th at Market Hall Performing Arts Centre (140 Charlotte St., Peterborough, 705-749-1146)
The event raises money for the fund, which supports reconciliation efforts, and will feature a variety of acts including music, dance, and spoken word. Entertainment includes Indigenous playwright Drew Hayden Taylor (who will be the emcee and will also perform), Beany John hoop dancing, the Wshkigomaang Women’s Hand Drum Group, poet Keara Lightning, Mayhemingways, TAZZ jazz bands, and headliners The Sadies (who toured and recorded with the late Gord Downie).
Tickets are $25 for general admission seats (the cabaret tables are all sold out). There will also be a silent auction with lots of donated items. All proceeds from the concert and silent auction will go to the Gord Downie and Channie Wenjack Fund.
Tickets are available at the Market Hall Box Office or online at markethall.org.
VIDEO: “Another Season Again” – The Sadies
Emily Burgess at The Arlington Pub in Maynooth on May 12
Guitarist and singer-songwriter Emily Burgess will be performing at The Arlington Pub (32990 Highway 62, Maynooth, 613-338-2080) at 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 12th.
Burgess graduated with honours from Humber College’s prestigious music program at 22 years of age, majoring in guitar. She immediately hit the road, touring Canada and the U.S with the 24th Street Wailers. Seven years later, she is highly regarded as one of Canada’s finest emerging guitarists.
Burgess has shared the stage and traded licks with guitar greats Jimmie Vaughan, Kevin Breit, Garrett Mason, Suzie Vinnick, Sue Foley, and Sam Weber, among others. She wrote two songs and played guitar on Wicked, the 2015 Juno-nominated album by The 24th Street Wailers.
Tickets are $10 and are available at the door.
VIDEO: “Til I Get To Call You My Own” – Emily Burgess
SOLD OUT – Donovan Woods at the Market Hall in Peterborough on May 16
Some songwriters just have a magic touch with their tunes, and Sarnia’s Donovan Woods definitely has it. He’ll be performing at Market Hall Performing Arts Centre (140 Charlotte St., Peterborough, 705-749-1146) at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16th with his band The Opposition.
Woods’ songs have garnered big-time acclaim and have been covered even by the likes of Tim McGraw. He just released his firth album Both Ways, which has already garnered international kudos from music critics and fans alike. In March, Rolling Stone magazine named Woods one of “10 new country artists you need to know” and proclaimed “Truck Full of Money”, a track on the new album, as one of the 10 best country and Americana songs of the week.
Tickets are $38 for regular and $43 for cabaret tables. Get your tickets before the show sells out at the Market Hall Box Office or online at markethall.org.
VIDEO: “Truck Full of Money” – Donovan Woods
Danny Michel at the Market Hall in Peterborough on May 24
Speaking of magical songwriters, Danny Michel returns to Peterborough on Thursday, May 24th at Market Hall Performing Arts Centre (140 Charlotte St., Peterborough, 705-749-1146).
Called “one of this country’s undiscovered musical treasures” by The Toronto Star, the Kitchener-Waterloo native is a witty artist who floats between genres to convey his stories and songs. He has garnered three Juno nods and a Polaris Prize nomination, to name just a few of his accolades. He wrote and recorded the songs for his latest release, 2017’s Khlebnikov, while aboard the Soviet-era Russian ice-breaker Kapitan Khlebnikov during an 18-day Arctic expedition through the Northwest Passage.
As Toronto’s Sticky Magazine wrote, “When you need to restore your faith in humanity, just go to a Danny Michel show. Who else gets you to sing along to a song about what your meaningful purpose is on this earth?”
Tickets are $25 for regular and $28 for cabaret seats. The show begins at 8pm. Get tickets through Market Hall!
VIDEO: “24,000 Horses” – Danny Michel
VIDEO: “Nobody Rules You” – Danny Michel
Keith Hallett at The Garnet in Peterborough on May 24
The blues are a distinctive genre full of heart and soul. On Thursday, May 24th at The Garnet (231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough, 705-874-0107), Keith Hallett brings his own brand of blues to town.
Hallett is from Canada’s East Coast and his music is jammed with great guitar licks, really great vocals that sound timeless, and some emphatic twists and turns.
The show starts around 9 p.m. and you can pay at the door.
VIDEO: “Broke Down Engine” – Keith Hallett
Bobby Dove at The Garnet in Peterborough on May 30
Make sure to check out Montreal’s Bobby Dove on Wednesday, May 30th at at The Garnet (231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough, 705-874-0107).
Dove plays country music in the vein of Lucinda Williams and others. Her lyrics paint stories fit for country music — hurting stories, true stories, and tall tales.
Opening for Dove is Canadian contemporary folk singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Derek Harrison.
The show begins at 9 p.m. and you can pay at the door.
VIDEO: “Dovetales” – Bobby Love
VIDEO: “Coffee” – Derek Harrison