Thu, Oct 31, 2013.
Saint John is getting a new music venue, and this one is for fans of live performances. It's going to be at the Magnolia Cafe, the breakfast and brunch spot in the city's Uptown, on Prince William St. For all those folks who tire of going to see a show, and then not being able to hear above the chatter, there's going to be a strict "Please Be Quiet" rule in place for any of the shows where tickets are sold. That approach is growing in popularity, with venues such as Halifax's The Carleton becoming go-to spots for music fans, and a joy for the musicians themselves.
The music acts are currently being lined up, and the shows are being put together by local music impresario Jeff Liberty, who has also programmed several local clubs in the past. The goal is to showcase emerging recording touring artists in an intimate listening environment. So far, there's an emphasis on local and regional folks. The series kicks off Nov. 8 with St. Andrews' Ryan LeBlanc and Tomato/Tomato, a Saint John jazz-folk duo. On November 30, it's Jimmy Lingley from Miramichi, a recent Music NB Award nominees, and finalist at the Galaxie Rising Star competition at the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival. He'll share the stage with the popular local country and rock performer Mike Biggar, showcasing his brand new album. On Dec. 13, PEI's Dennis Ellsworth and Saint John's own Jessica Rhaye continue their popular string of co-headlining shows, each celebrating the launch of their new discs.
Showtimes and ticket prices are aimed at making things easier for all to get out. Sets will start at 8 PM, and cover is just going to be $10. Any Sunday matinees in the future will happen at 3 PM, and a musical Christmas party is in the works as well.
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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).