Six years ago Catherine and Steve and I went to Lincoln Center in New York City to see Robin Williams interviewed by Lillian Ross. About halfway through the performance — which, predictably, took on a life of its own — the man sitting next me to an said “son, remember this: you’re at a happening”.
The same thing could be said of tonight’s Eric MacEwen Celebration at the Confederation Centre. A who’s who of Atlantic Canadian musicians gathered to pay tribute: everyone from Lennie Gallant and Richard Wood to Bruce Guthro and Ron Hynes. I think almost every one of the 1,107 people in the audience left the hall thinking “man, this is a great place to live.”
- Wow! Richard Wood is talented; I missed his career from the age of 12 until tonight, so this came as something of a surprise. Do not miss the opportunity to see him live when it is presented.
- Same thing goes for Cynthia MacLeod.
- Allan Rankin and Bruce Guthro, who sang Northwest Passage together at the after-party, have voices perfectly suited to sing together. They should do it more often.
- Lennie Gallant has aged like good scotch.
- Urban Carmichael is actually quite funny.
- Ray Brow may, in fact, be running everything without the rest of us knowing. This doesn’t appear to be such a bad thing.
- That black velour dinner jacket that Kevin O’Brien wears to all formal occassions never wears out: it always makes him look like a million bucks.
- To see Leo Walsh grooving to the sounds of Gordon Belsher and Richard Wood belting out Beatles tunes was worth the price of the ticket. Rock on, funky mandarin.
- Fourteen year old fiddler Connor O’Callahan has more juice in him than a lot of musicians twice his age. Watch this guy.
Much love, respect, and admiration was expressed for Eric. To see so many express so much for one man was heartening; if we could all earn 1% of the regard in which Eric is almost universally held, we would live good lives.