(Photo, courtesy of Wayne Walker)
©2014 – 2017 Lonnie L. Jones
July 1, 2017
Busy week coming up. Rehearsal with Falcon Ridge tomorrow (July 2) then two rehearsals and three shows with Curtis Matheson on the weekend. The first of the three shows will be at the Main Event in Glace Bay on Friday, July 7. (see calendar for details.) The second show will be an hour-long set at Atomic Records in Sydney River, starting at 5:00 PM. Later that night, we’ll climb the stairs and hit the stage at Governor’s on Sydney’s Esplanade. All three shows promise to be packed with great Music.
May 22, 2017.
UPDATE!! UPDATE!! UPDATE!!
Falcon Ridge is anxiously awaiting the arrival of our new Guitar player. Curtis Matheson’s CD Release Parties have been changed from June 2 & 3 to July 7 & 8. July 7 will be at the Main Event in Glace Bay and July 8 will be at Governor’s in Sydney. See my calendar for directions and start times.
The Beer Can Chickens gig scheduled for August has been cancelled for this year since coordinating schedules is proving to be more difficult than we’d expected.
Look for us back again next year.
April 19, 2017.
Besides rehearsals for Falcon Ridge and personal practising at home, there isn’t a lot going on at the moment. There are two upcoming events though that I’m very much looking forward to.
First, I’m teaming up with my old friends Curtis Matheson and Cory Bayer to launch Curtis’s second CD. I haven’t heard much from the disc yet, but knowing Curtis, it will be loaded with incredible Blues Music. Any show involving Curtis promises to be one of extreme showmanship and excitement.
Details on the exact date and time will be announced soon.
Rumour has it that Highway 125 Bassist, Tristan Baxter will be making an appearance too. That will be sweet as Ice Cream!
I hope Cory brings his upright Bass to the gig.
The second is another in a line of once-a-year performances by a band known as the Beer Can Chickens. I’m not sure where that name came from, but it seems we’re stuck with it. LOL
The Chickens, play a wide variety of material, mostly Classic Rock, which always pleases the audience. We do this only once a year since two of the members live in other parts of Canada and are home only at that time. This year we’re returning to the Caledonia Club on Pitt Street in Glace Bay on August 11. Showtime is 10:00PM to 2:00 AM. Falcon Ridge will be opening as well so I get to play with 2 amazing groups and 8 good friends!
Finally, I would be completely remiss if I didn’t offer well-deserved congratulations to my Star Student, Tyler McDonald on his acceptance to Acadia University to study Music.
I first met Tyler during the rehearsals and run of “BRING IT ON – The Musical.” Tyler played Percussion beside me, sharing 2 Snare Drums and my Alesis Sample Pad. I could see he was already a good Reader, and after consulting with the head of Percussion at the University, I knew exactly what he needed to work on in order to get accepted. Needless to say, it was an intense two years for Tyler, who worked diligently, practising all the study materials I gave him as well as the assignments on Tympani and Marimba given to him by his Band Teacher, Ms Wadden.
Do us proud Tyler!!
March 4, 2017..
I’m working on a new project; an Outlaw Country band!
Falcon Ridge are a five-piece Country Band based out of Industrial Cape Breton, a region rich in the history of working men and women; coal mining, steel making, fishing, and raisin’ young-uns!
Our good time, high energy outlaw country songs are guaranteed to get your toes tapping and your boots scooting .
If you love REAL Country music being played by REAL Musicians , we’re the band for you!
Currently our line-up consists of :
Luke Lafantaisie on Lead Vocals and occasional Guitar.
Joel Young on Keyboards, Guitar and Vocals.
Bob Battiste on Bass and Vocals.
Blaine Aitkens on Guitar and Vocals
Myself, (Lonnie Jones) on Drums and other things that go thump in the night.
Joel and I have been trying for a few years to get together Musically and it finally looks like it’s going to happen. I’ve known Blaine since the 1980s and have crossed paths many times but we’ve yet to appear on a stage together.
We all come from very diverse backgrounds. It is the love of Music that unites us into a Musical tour-de-force that will intrigue the sceptics, and inspire the Country Music fans both near and far.
Stay tuned for updates!!
November 11, 2016.
It has been several months since I’ve updated this blog. There hasn’t been much going on in my Musical world. I have played only a few gigs since the final performances of Highway 125 in August 2015. The “boys” are all currently pursuing their educations are the University level, and I’ve been redirecting my energies to new areas.
In 1999, I had taken Reiki level 1, moving up to Master level in 2007. In early 2016, I realized I had the time available to focus my energy on teaching so I began advertising for students, and started teaching. Teaching Reiki is not new to me, but it IS something I hadn’t done in quite some time.
In October of 2016, I was asked to teach at a wonderful little shop called Dragonflies and Dreams. I had taught a former employee, levels 1 and 2, and when the owner of the store needed a teacher, my name was suggested. I am grateful for the opportunity. We are now making arrangements for a level 1 class in the near future. If you are interested in participating, contact the store and sign up! Or perhaps you know someone who has been interested in learning Reiki; Reiki classes make WONDERFUL Christmas gifts!
For more information on Reiki, click here.
September 1, 2015.
“Broadway On Argyle Street” has wrapped! What had been accomplished was really driven home to me when, while waiting to begin the final show, the Musical Director stated that the upcoming Tuesday would mark three weeks since the first rehearsal she’d had with the cast. Normally, three weeks is the rehearsal period! So, that show was rehearsed, opened, run, and closed in less than a normal rehearsal period, and to mostly near-capacity audiences! That’s something to be very proud of indeed. Kudos to the writers, producer, cast and crew and the whole creative team who made this possible. It was a remarkable experience, and one I would be happy to repeat.
On a less than happy note, Highway 125 have chosen to suspend the band’s activities indefinitely; possibly for a number of years. With the lads returning to University, (or in Matt’s case, departing for his first year) it was decided that keeping the band active would be too difficult and place too many demands on the already too busy young members. Prior to concluding our summer season we spent a day in the studio recording a newly written song and an accompanying Video “just for the fun of it.” It was a great way to cap off the past few years and along with the last four live shows, will be a great way to remember what we’ve done.
However, this turn of events has left me once again searching for gainful employment, which can be a less-than-wonderful way to spend my days, but with my experience, I am hopeful something will materialize soon. I’m available for fill-in/freelance gigs, full time or part time band positions, Studio sessions, Musical Theatre, etc. Musical styles include Blues, Classic Rock, Country, Broadway, … pretty much anything except Bebop Jazz. I’m not opposed to travelling anywhere within the Maritimes, or touring on a larger scale Nationally or Internationally
August 11, 2015.
It’s been a busy time since my last post. on July 29, Highway 125 played for a third time at he Black Diamond, to a nice audience. The following night we were at the Dominion Fire Hall as part of Seaside Daze. I took advantage of the day off on Friday to pack for Halifax and get a few things done in preparation for “Broadway on Argyle Street.” Saturday, I joined two old friends (Reggie MacLeod and Joe MacLeod) as we backed up Herman Wadden at the Louisburg Crabfest. Highway 125 played that night at the Sandbar in Dominion to cap off the Seaside Daze events. I left Tuesday, August 4 for Halifax, where I am now in preparations for the big summer event, “Broadway on Argyle Street.” We’ve only had a few rehearsals, and they’ve been intense to say the least. I’m overjoyed to be playing with the Musical Director again after so many years! The last time we worked together was 1988. Things are much different this time; we’re in a completely different part of the building than the cast yet we have video and audio monitors to see and hear them. They, in turn can hear us via audio monitors as can the audience.
Opening night is very close now. The saddest part is that so is closing night.
July 27, 2015.
Two successful Festival appearances this weekend. Following a remarkable evening at the Black Diamond in Sydney on Wednesday, we hit the road on Friday to appear at Music Mountain in Pictou County, and Hantsport Homecoming in Hants County, near Wolfville. This was the second year for both festivals, and by the look of things, they are both going to continue growing and attracting more bands and fans.
Music Mountain is in a rural setting with on-site camping and a large permanent stage. While we were pretty much in and out, we caught the first two acts, “Double Jim & Tonic,” who were followed by “Joe Murphy & The Water Street Blues Band.” Joe has been a supporter of Highway 125 for a number of years now and we of him. We closed out the night with a solid two hour set that received calls for an encore and gained us some new fans!
The following day we drove approximately two and a half hours to Hantsport where we arrived just slightly after the show started.
The Parsons Brothers and friends, kicked the show off in fine style. Following them were the No Name Blues Band who set the bar pretty high.
We were on third, right in the middle of it all, and without bragging, I can say we made a good impression.
After us were the Hupman Brothers whose well-rehearsed, tight show had everyone’s attention.
The headliner was none other than the “Godfather of East Coast Blues,” Matt Minglewood. Matt and his band are all very good friends of ours, and as is the custom when we appear at the same location, Matt kept our Guitarist/vocalist Curtis Matheson on stage for his set too.
Our weekly “acoustic” series continues at the Black Diamond on Wednesday after which we play twice for Dominion’s Seaside Daze; at the Fire Hall Thursday, and the Sandbar on Saturday.
Country Music fans can catch me Saturday afternoon at Louisbourg’s Crabfest as I fill in for a couple of hours with the band “Gone Country.”
July 19, 2015.
Another week and weekend have come and gone. Highway 125 have begun a series of “Acoustic” shows at the Black Diamond bar in Sydney, (Check my calendar for dates, times, and a map) which are interesting. Of course, amplification is still used for Tristan’s Bass, and Curtis’s Guitar and Vocals. I’m playing unmiced with brushes and Matt is playing somewhat amplified I believe.
On Friday, July 17, I finally played in the community where I’ve been living for the past twenty-eight years. Highway 125 kicked off an annual Softball Tournament, and the response was very positive! We finished on time only to be asked if we’d play longer and more money (a substantial sum) was offered. Of course we took it!
Saturday July 18 saw us opening a “Beer Bash” at the Dominion arena, to help celebrate their thirty-fifth anniversary. Following us was a band called the Blues Merchants; a band I had actually played in, in 1992 – 1993. We asked their Saxophone player, Mr Ian Aker to come up and join us for the last two songs. He and Matt did some really impressive comping together. After the show a friend I’ve known since 1974 came up to say hello and we had a brief chat. It’s always nice to see old friends, even if they aren’t old!
Today I received the rehearsal/performance schedule for Broadway on Argyle, and there will be slightly less rehearsal than I’d previously believed there would. That just means a bit (or a lot) more work at home. I’ll know better when the Musical Director confers with the Producer and Director.
Back on the Festival Trail next Friday for two shows on the Mainland. See you there!
July 15, 2015.
Sitting here, listening to the Music for the show “Broadway on Argyle,” I’m struck by not only how fortunate I am to be doing what I love, but the way it keeps re-manifesting and returning, in a circular fashion, again and again.
When I began Drumming, I was barely a teenager, playing the Music of my day, the late ’60s and early ’70s. Before long I was also playing Fiddle tunes (reels) and Country Music on a weekly basis. I didn’t mind, because I was playing my drums and getting paid to do so.
As I entered my 20s, Country/Rock crossover Music was popular; Music by the Marshall Tucker Band, Charlie Daniels, Grinderswitch, all influenced by the Eagles, The Allman Brothers and Lynerd Skynerd. As time went on, I began to develop an interest in the “Outlaw” Country of Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Tompall Glaser as well as the mellower sounds of Don Williams and Emmylou Harris.
In the early 1980s I was introduced to the more traditional Folk sounds and began touring with a band who played this Music. Again, I enjoyed it because it was Drumming and I was able to make a living without a day job. In the late 80s, I was introduced to the Music of the Theatre, and played for such productions as Fiddler on The Roof, Oliver, Godspell and some locally produced Cabarets. Soon thereafter I was back playing Rock, Country and Blues.
So, it seems everything does indeed go in circles. I returned to theatrical work in April of this year, while holding down a steady seat in an awesome Blues band. “Broadway on Argyle” opens on August 12 at Neptune Theatre in Halifax and runs until the 23rd.