After taking the month of January off, the band started off February on the road, heading north up through Southern Ontario to the private ski club of Georgian Peaks, on the shores of Georgian Bay. Dave Battah's "Tonight's the Night" show was booked to play at the annual "Ladies Day" celebrations. It was a show that most of us won't be forgetting for a while. In addition to our regular band and Dave Battah as Rod Stewart, we had Ewan Fernie from the Abbamania show filling in for us that day on piano. And as we have known him to do before, he did an excellent job.As 40+ year professional musicians, there's not a lot that will 'phase' us when it comes to performing shows. But being the only 10 males in a room of 700 women, all ready to party is rather unnerving.As usual, Dave had the place rockin'. Once he finished his one-hour Rod Stewart show, there was a rather long break before the band came back on and did an hour-long Powerhouse show. During the break, there was a 'fashion show', with models walking by runway-style, wearing the latest in summer beachware fashions. Of course you can imagine the difficulty that we had as we were forced to sit quietly as bikini-clad models paraded in front of us. I would have supplied pictures for this part of the show, but somehow, sitting in the wings, snapping pictures of young ladies in bikinis just didn't seem like the thing to do. All in all though, a memorable show at Georgian Peaks in February.
Throughout the early part of 2009, the band stayed local, playing familiar clubs to keep the sound 'tight' and work in a bit of new material. They did a two-night date at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto with Frank Rondelle and his Ray Charles tribute show, took their Chicago Transit show to AppleJack's Grillin' & Chillin' and in April, they were at beautiful L.I.U.N.A. station for the closing night of the four-day Hamilton Film & Arts Eco Festival. The above write-up is from that event.
A week later, the weather was starting to turn for the better and Powerhouse was on the road again -- this time, across the border, up to Brimley, Michigan and the Bay Mills Casino on the Michigan upper peninsula. The band had taken their Chicago Transit show there two years ago in the middle of the winter, racing home in the middle of the night to avoid an impending blizzard. This trip promised to be much more pleasant.The band for this U.S. Chicago Transit show had Glen Higgins on saxophone, who'd played many times before with the band, and Suzanne O on piano and vocals. Suzanne, is a regular in the local band, "Up Front". Although never playing with us before, and with only a few weeks warning, Suzanne came in and 'nailed it'. This very talented woman had certainly done her homework and was a pleasure to work and travel with.
"Rising 552 feet (that's 55 stories!) above the Straits of Mackinac, where lakes Michigan and Huron meet, is the world-famous Mackinac Bridge. Also known as the "Mighty Mac," this engineering marvel is 5 miles long and, anchor block to anchor block, holds the record as the longest suspension bridge in the world!"From: http://www.great-lakes.net/teach/history/macbridge/mac_1.html
When we came through here a couple of years ago, it was the middle of the night each time we travelled over this bridge. This time, we made sure to leave Hamilton early enough that we'd get here before the sun went down. And we made it by about an hour. It didn't really feel like we were 55 stories high as we drove over the middle span of the bridge, but it sure felt like it was 5 miles long, though. Pictures were difficult to capture from up so high in the overcast early evening. But we'd be coming back again in a couple of days during the daylight. All that remained of today was the two-hour drive to Brimley and unwind in the hotel rooms.
The next day was a late afternoon soundcheck before our evening shows, so a few of us took some time to stroll around the casino property. The place was huge, also housing three restaurants and a 200-room, 3-floor hotel where we stayed. It was still quite chilly and windy outside along the southern shore of Lake Superior -- one of the hotel staff told us that last summer, there were only 2 or 3 days when it got up into the 80F temperature range. There was certainly no one but us walking around the grounds that day.Since it was just the eight of us, with no one else manning a camera, pictures of the show are limited to a shot of the stage during set-up for soundcheck. The venue was a mid-sized banquet room and we did two shows, at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Next morning -- well, noon actually -- it was time to pack up and head back home.
After getting back from northern Michigan, the band was off to the club at Sherkston Shores for an 'official' start to the summer season. Our friend Sue joined us for the evening and took her typically excellent shots of the band that night.
The next night, the band was at the Arnold Centre, Mohawk College on Hamilton mountain for a benefit in support of woundedwarriors.ca."The fund is designed to deliver quality of life, financial, benevolent and moral assistance through five different streams of support.The outpouring of support from Canadians has been overwhelming. Be it corporations, celebrities or everyday citizens, WoundedWarriors.ca is a success story borne out of a horrible tragedy that continues to support those in need."Excerpted from: woundedwarriors.ca
Above: The Burnt Rose Band (from left to right) -- Don Berryman (keyboards), Greg Cannon (drums), Phil Kott (bass guitar), Robyn Echlin & Kim Lister (vocals), John Ricci (acoustic guitar), Debi Ferguson & John McCullough (guitar and vocals)Don on keyboards also plays trombone with Powerhouse, and Phil on bass guitar is the Powerhouse lead guitarist.Once the other three Powerhouse horns took the stage for the final two numbers of Van Morrison's "Wild Night", and a Burnt Rose original song, "Easy Street", the stage became very crowded. The band went over well, though, and after a short break, Powerhouse took the stage for their show.
Of course, the best part about any evening like this was that, not only was the Arnold Centre packed that night, but the show raised over two thousand dollars for the woundedwarriors.ca cause. If you're not familiar with this group, please do visit their website.
"Celebrate your country's 142nd birthday at this year's Canada Day extravaganza, which could be the biggest July 1 bash Richmond Hill has seen yet.Boasting one of the largest municipal fireworks display in Canada and dozens of free activities, it is expected more than 20,000 people could descend on Richmond Green Park Wednesday.Canada Day committee chairperson Lynton Friedberg, the recently retired commissioner of parks, recreation and culture, has seen his share of July 1 parties and says previous experience points to a monster crowd this year.The largest municipal fireworks display outside of Ottawa, according to Mr. Friedberg, will blast off at 10 p.m. and last up to 25 minutes.Live music and performances and activities will fill the day, highlighted by tunes from Lou Moore Band, The Tynes and Chicago Transit."BY ADAM MC LEANhttp://www.yorkregion.com/article/93794
When the band rolled into the park late in the afternoon, things did not look promising for an outdoor concert. We'd been rained out of just about every show we performed last summer and it looked like this would be another day of the same. The clouds darkened up and we spent our planned start time, crowded under the canopy of the stage, covering equipment from the rain.When the rains let up a half hour or so later, the band took the stage to, basically, an empty park. There were a couple of brave folks under umbrellas down front, but that was about it. We thought, at the time, that this would be one of those 'tuff gigs', playing to no one. We couldn't have been more wrong.Once the band started playing, people started to trickle back into the park. As the band played into the early evening, the crowd grew ... and grew. The production crew had placed stacks of speakers way back in the middle of the field, so I suppose the sound was traveling well.
'Da Horns' -- Don, Tom, Carlo and John
By the time the band finished their show, the park had their 20,000 people -- you tell 'em, Carlo.And what would a Canada Day celebration be without a firework display to close off the evening.Happy Birthday, Canada. Powerhouse enjoyed their stay in Richmond Hill.
Following an excellent show in Richmond Hill, Ontario on Canada Day, the band took their Chicago Transit show on the road for a trip down to Baldwinsville, New York (near Syracuse) for a show the following Friday night.The show was booked for the Budweiser Amphitheatre on Paper Mill Island, an island in the middle of the Seneca River in the heart the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York State. The band left a day early so we'd have time to stay over and enjoy a bit of what this part of the United States area had to offer. Paper Mill Island is shown in the photo above, with the iron bridge joining the island to the town in the right centre. Just to the left of the bridge is the Red Mill Inn (dark red building with the green roof), a gorgeous old-style hotel where we stayed. The Amphitheatre is the bright red-coloured building directly above the hotel, looking out over the park at the one end of the island. Immediately on our arrival early Thursday evening, the band got their rooms and scattered. I was gone till dark, with my camera in hand and a few bucks in my pocket for something to eat later on.Some of the band headed into town for dinner. Others walked up the east side of the Seneca River and snapped the surrounding pictures. Baldwinsville definitely had that small town America charm as it sat peacefully for us to explore on a Thursday night in July. For myself, when I walked out the front door of the hotel, I could hear music playing from an outdoor patio over by the LockThe Seneca River is part of the Erie Canal, which connects the Niagara River by an inland water route to the Hudson River and then the Atlantic Ocean. I checked out the lock, walked along the river for a while, then doubled back through some gorgeous old buildings in the old part of town and back to Paper Mill Island where I watched the sun go down from the far end of the island.
Most of guys headed over to the B'Ville diner next morning for breakfast. We found out the night before as we enjoyed our Spiced Rum in the hotel room, trying to pronounce the town we were in, how the diner had probably got its name. Since I'm not a 'breakfast person', I took my camera for another tour around the town. I had some things I noticed the night before that I wanted to visit again in the daylight.
Set up and soundcheck was at 4 p.m. and our show started at 6. So by late afternoon, I'd had quite enough walking and 'touristing'. Unlike our native land, Upper New York State was actually experiencing hot, mid-summer weather, so setting up my equipment, then sitting backstage for a bit was a welcome relief.
It was already a very hot day in Baldwinsville, and with the sun going down directly in front of the amphitheatre and the curvature of the roof, the stage area was like standing in an oven. There were fireworks to close out the show that night, but we didn't see a lot of them as we were packing up to head back home. We had a show the next night at the Port Credit Yacht Club near Toronto, Ontario and we needed to drive home that night.