Friday May 27 was an extremely special night here at Cheeky Monkey. Our Red Carpet Stage was graced by not one amazing singer/songwriter, but TWO. Three if you count the guest singer!! First up was Dayna Manning who is originally from Stratford, but she now lives in B.C. Dayna has recorded three albums of beautifully crafted songs the most recent being “Folkyo” which you can purchase here at Cheeky Monkey. Her talent as a guitar player is matched by her singing voice creating heartfelt warm songs to be enjoyed over and over again. Her expertise at the finger picking style of playing guitar is as difficult as it sounds, however she does it with ease. It was a true pleasure to have the chance to meet her and hear her play. We hope she will stop in again and perform next time she is home for a visit.
After a brief intermission while Dayna signed CD’s for the appreciative audience of almost 100 people, the divine Emm Gryner stepped onto the Red Carpet. This is our 3rd time working with Emm. With each time our respect and affection for her immense talent grows. Needless to say, she kept the audience spellbound during her entire set. Not only with her music, but with her stories and witty banter.
Emm is known for her generosity of spirit and for fostering of young talent. This was once again evident when she introduced us all to Megan General, a 17 with a bright future ahead of her. This was only her 6th time performing in public. The audience enjoyed her duet with Emm so much, that during Emm’s encore, Megan was asked to sing one of her own songs solo.
This concert at Cheeky Monkey was a ‘home and home’ gig of sorts. Emm and Dayna performed in Stratford the week before playing in Sarnia, making it bookend shows. Their individual styles complimented each other perfectly creating a memorable evening of wonderful music.
This event would not have been possible without some help from several good friends who deserve our thanks for their time and hard work. Ross and Laurissa Ellsworth for tending the food & beverage area – you 2 really are THE BEST!… Dwayne Cloes for being the ticket taker/door greeter/photographer with THE best smile and biggest lens in the building … Mark Potvin for the excellent sound system and set up, as well as snapping photos too – a gearhead with a heart of gold. Also thanks to the Lawrence House and especially Imperial Theatre for lending us chairs for the audience. We very much look forward to working with Emm again soon – perhaps in September for the release of her 14th album (hint hint to you all). We’ll keep you posted.