I was fortunate enough to be able to document a handful of dates on Ron Sexsmith’s recent Ontario tour. These stops included Gravenhurst at one of my favourite venues; Peter’s Players. There was also Barrie and Midland.
The attendance was good and Ron’s shows were excellent (as always). He is such an effortless singer/songwriter. The shows were also a chance for me to finally see Alejandra Ribera, a pop and jazz singer-songwriter, who I thought was from Toronto but apparently splits her time between Montreal and Paris. I had heard a lot about her as one of my favourite people in the music business, legendary Toronto publicist Richard Flohil, has championed her cause quite a lot over the past few years.
I was certainly not disappointed.
And neither were the audiences.
I have spent the better part of the past decade capturing musicians on stage and I have to say, I don’t think that I have seen an opening act win over entire audiences quite like Alejandra had. She performed songs both in English and Spanish, and covered The Proclaimers’ monster hit “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”, which she re-imagined as a quiet folk song, but slowly building it until the end where it exploded with an almost punk rock intensity from herself on acoustic guitar and her two backing band mates on guitar and upright bass. Quite a performance. Alejandra’s voice sounded incredible throughout the night and her singing ran the whole range of emotions. She really put it out there to the point of exhaustion at times, it seemed. Each night her opening set ended with standing ovations. And it was well deserved.
I was visiting Hugh’s Room in Toronto so that I could shoot Don Kerr’s new band Communism (more on that in a day or two), when I came across the opening act and friend of Don’s, Ben Sures. This was my first time seeing him live. What an entertaining set! (well, except for a couple of loud talkers that interrupted his entire set and everyone on stage seemed visibly distracted. Man, I hate that.)
Ben is A great songwriter who resides in Edmonton, his lyrics are quirky and enjoyable. I bought his album “Gone to Bolivia” and it’s been on repeat since the show. You can check it out and buy it here on iTunes. Also visit Ben’s website. The standout track for me is the earworm “Everybody Matters”. One thing that Ben does on this album is add a “credits” track at the end, where everyone that worked on the album introduces themselves and revealed their roles. Every artist should do this! Love it.
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I’m back online after many years! This site reflects the style of my upcoming book “3 Songs No Flash: Canadian Music on the Road”. I will be using it to promote the release of the full version of the book (plus the sample version, which is for sale right now, if you would like one. 25 bucks. Cheap! And a very limited run of 150 copies). contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org). you can visit the page for the book here: http://3songsnoflash.ca/3-songs-book/
It’s also a home for my revamped blog, which will be a home for concert info, album reviews and goings on. You can find that here: http://3songsnoflash.ca/blog/
The image gallery on the site has a bunch of bands and singers already, but I will be adding 250 or more from my archives to fill it out nicely in the coming weeks. I will be updating it continuously and will also be adding new bands as I shoot them, so stay tuned! Link to the gallery: http://3songsnoflash.ca/galleries-2/
Prints are available for purchase upon request, so if you would like one please contact me: email@example.com
If you are a musician or publicist, I am available for photo shoots. My rates are reasonable. Feel free to reach out. I have shot for many and have supplied existing images for artists such as Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Joel Plaskett, David Wilcox, Don Kerr, Ronnie Hawkins, Corin Raymond, Sean Kelly, D.O.A., Hollerado, Bidiniband, and more.