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October 2014 First Friday review by Brian Hay

Posted in: Concerts & Events, First Friday, Local Talent, News | No Comments | Posted on by Mary Anne

artist Lucien PilonAlong with the live in-store music of THE INDECISIVE (reviewed below), October First Friday was the opening night for our newest art exhibit. Local abstract artist LUCIEN PILON is a man who views what some may consider a “disablity”, to be more of an abiltly. His positive attitude and insight into Schizophrenia is refreshing. His art is a window into the heart and soul of a man who is coping, growing and learning constantly. Lucien’s exhibit will continue until at least the end of October.

Brian HaySarnia’s First Friday, October 2014: Talent Everywhere You Look
Saturday October 4, 2021
by Brian Hay

Remember an old radio show called “Chicken Man”? No? It was satire and the introduction led with awed cries of “He’s everywhere! He’s everywhere”! The same could be said of the musical talent that was out and about to help celebrate Sarnia’s First Friday this month. Sue Webber’s group, The Sisters of Soul, featuring her, husband George, probably Fran Schweitzer and possibly George Ayers, undoubtedly played a great set at Coffee Culture, which unfortunately, I missed. They can be seen again at their Live Music Cafe on Friday October 10. I plan to be there.

The IndecisiveThe Indecisive, featuring lead vocalist Cassy Hunt and guitarist Garrett Lajoie set up at the Cheeky Monkey for their first performance as a full band and proved (again) they’re a group to watch. With drummer Isaiah Miller and their newest member, bassist Andrew Esser on hand their start was rocky. They weren’t used to their sound system and Cassy’s vocal was largely buried by the bass and guitar. They take constructive (if critical) feedback and work with it though. More on that later …

Andrew - Isaiah - GarrettThe connection between band members was rock solid. Garrett and drummer Isaiah Miller play in tandem as if they’re reading each others’ minds. It’s one thing to be hitting beats properly when facing each other, another to do it looking somewhere else. They did that flawlessly. Garrett has impressive chops playing rhythm or lead and Isaiah is a fabulous young drummer. His acrobatic skills are impressive but what’s really striking is how completely he moves to the heart of the music and pushes it from inside. Esser plays melodic bass lines while maintaining timekeeping role of the instrument nicely. Cassy was on all of the cues and doing what she should even though she couldn’t be heard well. The foundation was there.

Cassy HuntThey changed the pace with an acoustic set featuring Cassy on her own. Her original pieces again displayed maturity in her writing that belies her youth. There’s power to spare in her voice and her control of pitch has improved in quantum leaps since they played at Artwalk. Her use of dynamics and placement of dramatic emphasis is much stronger as well. The set seemed to help everyone. She adjusted to the nuances of the microphone and the others seemed to note details. The set that followed had a much more balanced sound.

It featured driving rock, good interaction between players and strong dynamics from everyone. Cassy especially, made emphatic use of key words while the other players came in on them strongly. It wasn’t perfect but mostly she was above the mix. That made a difference of night and day between their first and last sets. She cracked the crowd up with a comment about their drummer’s bladder during a break but unfortunately let things slide. She got everyone back though. Stepping up calling out for everyone to “make some noise” though showed the tenacity needed to work through (and learn from) mistakes. Good writing and the strong musicianship of the ensemble combined with her raw talent have all the parts for a dynamite band in place.

Kathy SHORTT DAISIESKathy Shortt and guitarist Anne Reid played across the street at ‘Silhouettes Boutique’ and performed a set that should put seeing them on any music lover’s bucket list of things to do. The work on her disc along with tracks she has online, particularly ‘Canadian Way’ which she did with Jay Lemay, more than established that Kathy is an exceptional singer and writer. It didn’t begin to prepare me for the experience of hearing her live though. I was, and still am, gobsmacked!

Good and excellent aren’t strong enough terms to describe her. When this soft spoken lady opens up and sings worlds unfold. There wasn’t much fanfare surrounding the engagement so not a lot of people were ever inside but watching passersby look toward the open door and walk in was telling. Noticeably interested glances became widened eyes on seeing such incredible sound coming from two women sharing a single small amp. The good ones don’t need much.

The musical bond between Kathy and Anne is an intuitive one that brings out the best from both. Anne is strong in her own right but the intensity of her playing rises a notch when Kathy sings. Together, they make music jump from note to note as if jettisoned from a launching pad. Kathy’s vocal is incredibly powerful throughout her range, and filled with a plethora of emotions that reach the listener and draw them to her world. She’s charismatic and makes anything she covers her own. The originals from her CD which included ‘Wait’ and Darlin’, Darlin’ took on an entirely new life above what’s already on her disc.

She needs to be doing this more often. As I said, I am gobsmacked!

These events were part of Sarnia’s First Friday Celebration on Friday October 3, 2014. This article was written to pass along impressions of what could be seen that night.

For more photos taken during this First Friday CLICK HERE.


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