Tue, Jun 4, 2013.
Call it a birthday combo. Colin James is celebrating his 25 years in the music business this year, and Canada is turning 146 July 1, and the city of Moncton is having a party for both of them. Oh, and everybody else, too, and free as well. It's the annual Canada Day concert in the Hub, always one of the biggest free music events of the year on the East Coast. The outdoor fest happens right outside City Hall, as they shut down Main Street, bring on the vendors, displays, street performers and such, and start up the music in the early afternoon. The whole thing is called Whoa Canada!
As usual, it's a strong bill made up of English and French acts. The Quebec folk favourites La Bottine Souriante are one of the country's grand traditional bands, at work since 1976.. The big group usually has around eleven musicians on stage, featuring banjo, accordion and fiddle, but also broadens it out with horns, lots of percussion, and on-stage dancing. It's a travelling party. From P.E.I. comes folk-pop rising star Tim Chaisson. The recent ECMA winner is winning a fan following right across the country with his recent The Other Side disc, and is currently touring Australia. Monique Poirier is a multi-award winning Acadian star, whose debut solo album, Parler de paradis, came out in 2012, after her years with the hit review Ode à l'Acadie. There are also more names to come in the next couple of weeks.
Colin James latest release is called Twentyfive Live, a concert disc of greatest hits for his anniversary. He'll be bringing that concert excitement direct to the Moncton stage Canada Day. Tickets are available...hey, there are no tickets! It's free! Don't you love that? See ya Canada Day in Moncton.
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Bob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).