As we stumble away bleary-eyed from the weather walloping we all just received during the holiday season, I’m sure many of us are in the same boat (or sleigh, I suppose), as we do our best to wrap our heads around the end of 2013 and look onward to 2014.
2013 meant many different things to us all, of course; and I can certainly say that the year meant many different things for me too. And yet, in the realm of Out and Abouting, I can definitely say that 2013 meant simply this in a nutshell: another year of amazing locally-enjoyed music, and lots of it.
So, as we take a good gander back on all that the year brought with it, let us have a wild winter’s stroll through this year’s Out and About: The Year in Review:
Best young up and coming band: Ripped Paper — Blues Bash at The Old Triangle, November.
Best young up and coming solo artist: Julien Kitson — Home and School 60th Anniversary Concert, Confederation Centre Homburg Theatre, March.
Best guitar solo: Steve Strongman — Murphy Centre, P.E.I. Jazz and Blues Festival, August.
Best piano performance: Max Keenlyside — Lefurgey Centre, Summerside, April.
Best DJ performance: DJ Marc “Bones” LeBlanc — Baba’s Lounge, February.
Best school choral performance: Gulf Shore Elementary School Choir singing “Thankful” — Home and School 60th Anniversary Concert, Confederation Centre Homburg Theatre, March.
Best overall choral performance: The Confederation Singers — In Remembrance, Trinity United Church, November.
Best Celtic/traditional instrumental performance: Tim Edey on melodeon with Bill Elliot on acoustic guitar — St. John’s Presbyterian Church, Festival of Small Halls, June.
Best Celtic/traditional performance by a group: Barra MacNeils — Chef on Board, Wood Islands, September.
Best whistle/flute performance: Geoffrey Kelly with The Irish Rovers — Harbourfront Theatre, Summerside, October.
Best solo on a unique instrument: Brad Fremlin playing Silent Night on the saw — Hedgerow Christmas, Beaconsfield Carriage House, December.
Most impressive variety concert: Peggy Clinton and Friends — Souris Show Hall, November.
Best heartwarming “down home” show: Kelley Mooney and Jon Matthews — St. John’s Anglican Church in Crapaud, July.
Best singer/songwriter and backing band in concert: Meaghan Blanchard’s CD Launch — The Mack, September.
Best solo singer/songwriter in concert: Old Man Luedecke — Indian River Festival, August.
Most intoxicatingly joyous energy in performance: Three Pound Cloud — The Guild, October.
Best acting performance: Wade Lynch — A Christmas Carol, Confederation Centre Homburg Theatre, December.
Most emotional moment in performance: young Oscar Cormier as Tiny Tim, singing “God Bless Us Everyone” — A Christmas Carol, Confederation Centre Homburg Theatre, December.
Most intense acting/vocal performance: Justin Simard — A Christmas Carol, Confederation Centre Homburg Theatre, December.
Best step-dancing performance: Stephanie Cadman with Belle Starr — The Mack, October.
Best overall dance performance: Cameron Francis — Maud Whitmore Concert, Confederation Centre Homburg Theatre, September.
Best a cappella (vocals with no accompaniment) performance: Cadence — The Guild, November.
Best orchestral performance: P.E.I. Symphony with Lennie Gallant — Confederation Centre Homburg Theatre, October.
Best standup comedy performance: Jeremy Hotz — Confederation Centre Homburg Theatre, February.
Best country performance: Merle Haggard — Charlottetown Civic Centre, May.
Best blues performance: Bad Habits, in farewell to singer Amanda Jackson — Globe World Flavours, April.
Best indie rock performance: Coyote and Paper Lions — P.E.I. Brewery, November.
Best party: Great Gatsby Bash — Haviland Club, June.
Most sadly disappointing performance: Ray Sawyer with Dr. Hook — Confederation Centre Homburg Theatre, May.
Best show series: The Island Summer Review with Patrick Ledwell and Mark Haines — Harmony House, Hunter River, July and August.
Best rap performance: Ludacris —Big Red Music Festival, June.
Best overall female vocal performance: Josée Boudreau — Maud Whitmore Concert, September.
Best overall male vocal performance: Sting — Credit Union Place, Summerside, June.
Best musicianship: Ian Sherwood on guitar/vocals and saxophone — Marc’s Studio, April.
Most engaging show: Old Crow Medicine Show — Murphy Centre, June.
Best overall entertainer: Sting — Credit Union Place, Summerside, June.
I can only imagine the kind of sensational year of music that we now have in store for us, as 2014 events, commemorations and celebrations will bring a tremendous array of high-calibre music to Island stages this year.
So, I look forward to seeing you Out and Abouting at these events along with me in the months ahead - and to all of you, I wish you a happy, safe, successful (and musical) 2014!
Next week: After several concert postponements, I hope to finally be able to tell you about A Joyful Sound’s concert in Montague this Sunday.
Todd MacLean is a local freelance writer and musician. If you have a comment or suggestion for a review, you can get in touch with him at email@example.com or at 626-1242. But he won’t be offended if you don’t.
Todd’s weekend picks
1. 2014 Minutes of Story and Song – Milton Community Hall, today at 7:30 p.m. The first Friday of each month during 2014, The Community of Miltonvale Park will celebrate P.E.I.’s 2014 Sesquicentennial with 2014 Minutes of Story and Song. Fourteen storytelling shows of approximately two hours and 23 minutes each, will feature Island storytellers and musicians and highlight and celebrate various aspects of life on the Island.
2. Dissectional: A Tribute to Tool – Hunter’s Ale House, today at 11 p.m.
3. Belle Comedians – Old Belle River Church, tomorrow at 8 p.m. This is a rescheduling of the December 15 show, which was cancelled due to weather.
4. Sunday Afternoon Blues Jam with The Gibson Hunter Band – Haviland Club, Sunday, 3-6 p.m.
5. A Joyful Sound’s “Little Christmas” Concert (the third postponement due to bad weather) – Hillcrest United Church, Montague, Sunday at 7:30 p.m. After many holiday season weather challenges, A Joyful Sound choir is hoping to finally present its final concert under the direction of Owen Aylward.