Chas’ Blog – The First Show


14 May Chas’ Blog – The First Show

Thanks to everyone who came out to the very first of The Songwriter Series shows in downtown Barrie on Tuesday, May 5. What an incredible night of music supported by music lovers in the Barrie area! Wow! A packed Temple Lounge at Donaleigh’s was treated to a fantastic guitar pull featuring Sam Cash, Gavin Gardiner of The Wooden Sky, Neil Quin of Zeus fame, and my co-host Brett Caswell.

We weren’t really sure what to expect because I don’t think this kind of show has been held in Barrie before, but the turnout was incredible and it was standing room only. The format is based on a guitar pull, or writers-in-the-round, which is a southern tradition that had its beginnings in Nashville. I came up with the idea to introduce this format to Barrie because the guitar pulls I’ve either attended or hosted for the CCMA’s have always been so cool.

One of the finest I’ve seen was many years ago, and featured Lyle Lovett, Guy Clark, John Hiatt, and Joe Ely at Massey Hall. The four of them have been doing these shows together, periodically, since the late 80’s and for all the great songs being performed there were just as many laughs. Lyle Lovett was hilarious!

Our own Brett Caswell had people chuckling, especially with his story about camping in sub zero temperatures. He then had the audience listen to his song ‘Grade A Skipper’ and see if they could find the lyric he had disguised in the tune. Sam Cash introduced his music to many in the audience. A number of folks came up to me after and told me how much they loved his songs. Gavin got everyone singing along with a great version of The Wooden Sky’s ‘Don’t You Worry About A Thing’ and Brett told Neil that Neil’s ‘Hello Tender Love’ from Zeus’ album Busting Visions was one of his favorite songs of all time. Neil felt the pressure and offered to perform it. It was fantastic to hear it acoustically, scream and all.  Here’s Neil performing it with Zeus.



We also were treated to a song from a couple of special guests in the audience. Barrie-native Carleigh Aikins from Paper Bird and her fiancé Josiah Johnson from The Head and the Heart took the stage and delivered a soulful version of a tune titled ‘Heartland,’ a song they co-wrote with Johnathan Rice. What a great performance!

Carleigh and Josiah

Josiah and Carleigh

All in all it was a terrific night of stories, songs, and friends, and we hope you’ll join us for another great night on Tuesday, May 19, when we welcome Tim Chaisson, Andrew Austin, and Lucas DiPasquale to The Songwriter Series. 8:00pm every other Tuesday in the Temple Lounge at Donaleigh’s. Just 10 bucks!

Thanks to our great sponsors! Tyger Shark, Donaleigh’s, Barrie Examiner, Sunday Crush, and Hey Bear Productions.