musicNOW – August 2018

Featuring Daniel Romano, Matt Mays, Alan Doyle, Kim Doolittle, Hootenanny on Hunter Street, Peterborough Folk Festival, Greenbridge Celtic Folk Fest, and more

Former Great Big Sea frontman Alan Doyle, pictured here with his band at the 2017 Blacksheep Festival in Germany, performs a free concert at Peterborough Musicfest in Del Crary Park on August 8, 2018. (Photo: Rs-foto / Wikipedia)
Former Great Big Sea frontman Alan Doyle, pictured here with his band at the 2017 Blacksheep Festival in Germany, performs a free concert at Peterborough Musicfest in Del Crary Park on August 8, 2018. (Photo: Rs-foto / Wikipedia)

August is a beautiful month and it is always one of the busiest months on the music calendar in Peterborough and the Kawarthas. Along with one-off and regular shows at venues and parks across the area, there are also special events including the Hootenanny on Hunter Street, the Peterborough Folk Festival, and the Greenbridge Celtic Folk Fest.

Here are just a few of the awesome performances you will be able to catch this month.

JJ and The Pillars and Dwayne Gretzky at Peterborough Musicfest on August 1

There will be a double shot of awesomeness on Wednesday, August 1st at Del Crary Park (100 George St. N., Peterborough) as part of Peterborough Musicfest.

Formed in Peterborough, JJ and The Pillars are becoming a going concern in Canada’s rock scene. They won The Edge’s Next Big Thing contest and have had their single “The Wolves” on 102.1 and other indie stations.

Also performing is a band made up of Toronto ringers. Dwayne Gretzky is a household name in how to make a cover band fun and inventive. ‘From Bowie to Beyoncé, Springsteen to Spears, The Supremes to The Strokes.’

Sounds like the makings of a wicked Wednesday night. The show begins at 8 p.m. and is free.

VIDEO: “You Can Call Me Al” (Paul Simon) performed by Dwayne Gretzky

VIDEO: “The Wolves” – JJ and The Pillars


The Quickshifters at Port Hope’s Memorial Park on August 2

Check out some fun rockabilly in Port Hope on Thursday, August 2nd with The Quickshifters. The show takes place as part of the Summer Band Shell Concert Series at Memorial Park (56 Queen St, Port Hope0.

The Quickshifters play a pretty wide variety of tunes within the rockabilly realm. Usually you can catch them on Wednesdays at The Ganny in Port Hope and on Thursdays at Hot Belly Mama’s in Peterborough, but this is a great chance to check them out under the evening summer sky.

The show is free and begins at 7 p.m.

VIDEO: “California Blues” – The Quickshifters


Daniel Romano and Aaron Goldstein with Charlotte Cornfield at The Garnet in Peterborough on August 4

Have a chance to see one of Canada’s most prolific new(ish) singer-songwriters in an intimate setting on Saturday, August 4th, as Daniel Romano comes to town to play The Garnet (231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough, 705-874-0107).

His music has ranged from country to mod to rock and continues to morph as his career unfolds. Joining him for his set will be Canada’s pedal-steel guru Aaron Goldstein. Opening the show is super talented singer/songwriter Charlotte Cornfield.

Tickets are available only at the door, so it’s first come, first served. Showtime is listed as 8 p.m.

VIDEO: “Human Touch” – Daniel Romano


Matt Mays with Modern Space at The Venue in Peterborough on August 7

Nova Scotia’s Matt Mays has worn a few hats in his musical career; however, rock and roll has always been close at hand.

On Tuesday, August 7th he’ll bring his band of rockers and descend upon Peterborough at The Venue (286 George St. N., Peterborough, 705-876-0008). Opening will be Newmarket-based indie alternative quintet Modern Space.

Tickets are $12.99 to $22.50 and are available online at Ticketfly. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show begins around 9 p.m.

VIDEO: “Travellin'” – Matt Mays

VIDEO: “Flip for It” – Modern Space


Alan Doyle at Peterborough Musicfest on August 8

The hits just keep on coming! Peterborough Musicfest continues on Wednesday, August 8th when Newfoundland artist Alan Doyle comes to the stage at Del Crary Park (100 George St. N., Peterborough).

Doyle was lead singer of famous Celtic rock group Great Big Sea. He’ll sing old songs, new songs, and other songs. His positive persona and high-energy stage presence should make for a fun show.

As always the evening is free, with the music getting under way at 8 p.m.

VIDEO: “Come Out With Me” – Alan Doyle


Kim Doolittle at the Academy Theatre in Lindsay on August 9

Kim Doolittle has been in the Peterborough area for a long time, but she is originally from the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. She has a golden voice and you can check out her performance at the beautiful Academy Theatre (2 Lindsay St. S., Lindsay, 705-324-9111) on Thursday, August 9th.

During her musical career, she has shared stages with the late Jeff Healey and Rita MacNeil, as well as Millbrook-born superstar Serena Ryder. Joined by Ted Staunton, Kim will be sharing stories and performing tunes from her latest record Into the Blue, along with some traditional folk and blues tunes.

The music starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 and are available at the Box Office, by phone at 705-324-9111, or online at

VIDEO: “Let The River Run” – Kim Doolittle


Hootenanny on Hunter Street in Peterborough featuring Sloan and many more on August 11

Hunter Street is a big part of Peterborough’s great entertainment scene: bars, restaurants, and music venues abound. But there’s something even more special when Hunter Street itself becomes one big venue. That happens each year at the annual Hootenanny on Hunter Street, which takes place this year on Saturday, August 11th.

During the afternoon and evening event, craft vendors hock their wares, restaurants set up special patios, and we all hope for nice weather so that maximum enjoyment of the music can be reached.

There’s a lot of music to dig into at this year’s Hoot. Headliners Sloan were rained out two years ago and have decided to come back in good faith to give folks a make-up show. Other artists include Yuka, Secret Broadcast, Blue Sky Miners, Band of People, Gene Hardy & Sparkjiver, Charmie, and two excellent local ladies, Lindsay Barr and Missy Knott.

This should be an epic show in Peterborough’s “Entertainment District.” Come one, come all. The music begins at noon and it’s free.

VIDEO: “Spin Our Wheels”, “The Day Will Be Mine”, “Right to Roam”, “Year Zero” – Sloan


Peterborough Folk Festival featuring Bedouin Soundclash, The Spades, Basia Bulat, and many more from August 17 to 19

The Peterborough Folk Festival has been a tradition for decades and will celebrate its 29th year on August 17th, 18th, and 19th. This year’s lineup features some really interesting acts.

The kick-off show on Friday, August 17th will feature Hamilton’s bluesy rocker Terra Lightfoot and 2018 Emerging Artist Award winner Hilary Dumoulin at Market Hall Performing Arts Centre (140 Charlotte St., Peterborough, 705-749-1146). This is the only portion of the show that has a ticket, and it will be well worth it. Tickets are $30 and are available at the Market Hall Box Office or online at

The remainder of the music takes place at Nichols Oval Park on Saturday and Sunday and is free. There is a wide swath of excellent acts including Bedouin Soundclash, Basia Bulat, Chad Vangaalen, a triumphant return of local heroes The Spades (who last performed at the 2013 Hootenanny on Hunter Street), The Weather Station, Jennifer Castle, Logan Staats, and many more.

There’ll also be after-parties on Saturday and Sunday night featuring some of each day’s performers, taking place at The Historic Red Dog Tavern (189 Hunter St. W, Peterborough, 705-750-1710).

For full information on the festival, head to

VIDEO: “See You When The Weather Breaks” – The Spades


Greenbridge Celtic Folk Fest featuring Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy and many more in Keene on August 24 and 25

Check out the Greenbridge Celtic Folk Fest just south of Keene on Friday, August 24th and Saturday, August 25th as some amazing Celtic and roots musicians from around Canada come to perform.

Musicians include Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, J.P. Cormier, The Ennis Sisters, Evans & Doherty, 8 Wing Pipes and Drums, and many more. The festival takes place at 2097 Heritage Liney. Onsite camping is available (RVs and camping trailers only, no tents).

A two-day pass costs $115 plus taxes and fees. For passes and more information, visit

VIDEO: “The Chase” – Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy


Friends Peterborough Benefit Concert in Peterborough on August 26

Come on out and support Friends Peterborough with a benefit concert from 7 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, August 26th at Del Crary Park (100 George St. N., Peterborough).

Friends Peterborough is a humanitarian agency in downtown Peterborough that offers “help, home, and a hand up.”

Musical entertainment will include Pete Gauthier, Washboard Hank & the Wringers, and the McDonnel Street Gospel Quartet (Dianne Latchford, Curtis Driedge, Sweet Mountain Muriel, and Colin MacAdam).

The show is free, but folks are encourage to bring donations. Also bring a lawn chair to fully enjoy the event.

VIDEO: “Love song of the dump” – Washboard Hank with Benj Rowland