Dave McCormick likes nothing better than to share his love of music with others.
That's why he's bringing Prince Edward Island-based Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm
Boys to St. Thomas's CASO station for a kitchen party Sept. 26.
"They were at Sunfest (in London) in 2015," McCormick said. "And I heard them at
StanFest (the annual songwriters' festival in Nova Scotia named after the late Stan
Rogers) two years ago. They were crazy good."
Coming back from the Stan Rogers Folk Festival this summer with three other St.
Thomas friends, the conversation turned again to MacKeeman's stand-out performance
of 2016 and the possibility of bringing him to St. Thomas.
"I booked them in the car while we were driving through New Brunswick," said McCormick.
A drummer, guitar player, a long-time member of the locally famous, now-defunct
Leprechauns and one of the founding members of St. Thomas-based ukelele band The
Ukes of Hazzard, McCormick also has, for years, been organizing occasional concerts
in St. Thomas by his favourite artists.
He usually rounds up a few friends to share the risk, in case ticket sales don't
cover the artist's fee, and works with artists and their agents to fill out their
tour itinerary. McCormick sells tickets the old fashioned way, by contacting people
directly, even delivering tickets to their door and has never been left out-of-pocket.
A board member of the Princess Avenue Playhouse in St. Thomas, McCormick frequently
has used that venue for shows.
However, MacKeeman will play at the Canadian Southern Railway Station on Talbot
Street because the playhouse is too busy, he said. "We've done a few shows at CASO.
When we can't accommodate something at the Playhouse, they've been willing to work
with us," he said.
McCormick promises MacKeeman will be "full of energy, lots of fun."
Nicknamed Crazy Legs because of his loose-limbed step dancing, MacKeeman is an ace
fiddler and natural showman. He and his multi-instrumentalist band mates combine
blue grass, old-time country, folk, rockabilly, swing and Celtic influences with
impressive stagecraft for a high-spirited, invigorating show.
Together since 2011, the band won the Ottawa Folk Festival Galaxie Supernova Award
for best live group the following year. Since then, they've added multiple Music
PEI awards – for entertainer of the year, touring artist of the year and recording
of the year – and East Coast Music Awards and nominations.
The band has released three award-winning albums, a self-titled debut in 2011, 2013's
Pickin' N' Clickin', and Laugh, Dance and Sing in 2015, but it's their live shows
that win over fans.
"I'd say we consider ourselves a live band more than a recording act," MacKeeman
says on his website gordiemackeeman.com.
"We just love being onstage in front of an audience."
With MacKeeman on fiddle, acoustic guitar, feet percussion and vocals, his Rhythm
Boys are Peter Cann (guitar, banjo, vocals), Thomas Webb (guitars, bass, banjo,
steel guitar, vocals) and Jason Burbine (bass, percussion, guitar, vocals)
Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys are in St. Thomas ahead of a trio of shows
in the Ontario Festival of Small Halls, playing small halls in Combermere, south
of Algonquin Park, Westmeath, east of Petawawa, and then Portland, north of Kingston.
If you go
What: Kitchen Party featuring Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys
When: Sept. 26, bar opens at 6:30 p.m., show starts at 7:30 p.m.
Where: CASO Station,750 Talbot St. St. Thomas
Tickets: $30, by calling 519-633-7195 or 519-719-6885