For the third time in the last five years, the band was back in Gage Park in Brampton in mid-July for the Classic Cars and Legendary Stars festival -- this time, with their regular Powerhouse show. This year, the 10th Anniversary of the festival, promised to be a good one, with the local band Glendale One opening, followed by Powerhouse, then a Billy Joel tribute (rumoured to be a rather good band) and the evening closed out by Canada's own Lighthouse.
The one serious note on the day was that Skip Prokop, the drummer for the band Lighthouse (pictured performing above) was taken to local hospital, three songs into their set with stomach pains. When you've been performing for over 40 years, with heart difficulties in the past, these things are always taken most seriously. Fortunately, a few days later, word came out that Skip was given a clean bill of health and was feeling fine. The band, after a short break, came back on and performed a couple of songs without a drummer until a fill-in was found to finish the rest of their show.
Following a Powerhouse Labour Day show at the Burlington RibFest, the band was on the road again, back to the Bay Mills Casino in northern Michigan. This time, the band went with Frank Rondell and his Ray Charles Tribute Show.Joining Frank and the band for the show was KT Antler, a local singer from Sault Ste. Marie. This young lady (I believe she was just 19 years old) came on board with just a couple of days warning, sang her back-up vocals with the band for the first time during sound check and nailed it. If you reside in the northern Michigan/Ontario area, this is one young lady that you might want to check out.
Next morning, some of us walked the shore of Lake Superior while the band's golfers, Carlo, John and Tony (pictured, above left) walked across the street for a round. Then it was on the road again, stop for a bite, and home. It was another excellent trip stateside.
Back in the late 60's, a Hamilton/Burlington area rock/horn band, the Brass Union, included two Powerhouse members, John Willett and Don Berryman. Also in that band was Bill Hughes, who ran the band's rather extensive light show and acted as road manager during their many extended road trips. After the band broke up in the early 70's, Bill did what many musicians did from that band -- headed back to school to complete an education. In Bill's case, he went through the McMaster Medical program to become today, one of Canada's leading cardiologists. When Bill opened his Kawartha Cardiology Clinic in mid-September it was John and Don and their band, Powerhouse, that he wanted for the grand opening celebrations. "We wanted to make an official opening and it was a nice idea to make it a party," said Bill in the interview to the right.So by the time the band returned from their show in northern Michigan, it was off to Peterborough to do an evening show in Del Crary Park. It was a rather chilly, late September evening in the park, but two of the Powerhouse members were really looking forward to this show.The park itself is gorgeous, built on a bend in the Otonabee River with a state-of-the-art amphitheatre overlooking a large grass field gently sloping up and away from the stage area -- with excellent viewing of the event from all parts of the park.The band started to trickle into the park by late afternoon for set-up and soundcheck. Bill took care of everything -- a 'top end' sound crew, light show, facilities for the band, food, drink, you name it. We watched as an empty park was transformed into an event.
The Brass ReUnion John, Bill and Don
The next stop for the band came a few days later, at a place that is beginning to become an end of summer tradition -- an outdoor show at Karen's peach orchard in Grimsby, ON. Every year, the Grimsby Auxiliary Marine Rescue Unit (GAMRU) holds a fund-raising pig roast and party on Karen's farm and for the second year in a row, the Powerhouse band was the entertainment. It was a chilly night again, but still, about 300 people were at the peach orchard this year.On top of being 'see your breath' cold this evening, the show was not without additiional incidents. Several times the power went out, mid-song. Apparently, peach orchards are not set up to handle the power requirements of an 8-piece rock band -- go figger. At one point, a power surge took out Phil's amp -- yes, Phil blew up another amp. But cold, black-outs and power surges aside, everyone really enjoyed themselves this evening.Great work, Karen. Another excellent mid-September bash in the peach orchard.
To close out the month of September, the band was on the road again -- this time to the Legion in Aurora, Ontario for a night with Dave Battah and his 'Tonight's the Night' Rod Stewart tribute show.Organized by the 'Four Hearts of Hope', Diane & Mike Maguire and Margaret and Graham Cardoza, the evening was a benefit to raise funds for the Southlake Regional Cancer Centre. The night started with Chicago Transit taking the stage for a one-hour show. After a short break, this was followed by Dave Battah and his Rod Stewart Show. The evening closed with a final show by Powerhouse, playing their very danceable R&B set. Between shows, Randy Skelcher took the stage to sing Elvis and Roy Orbison tunes.Not only was the rather large Legion Banquet Hall packed for the entire evening, but the event also raised a $5,850.00 contribution for the Regional Cancer Program.The band did a good job warming up the crowd this evening with their Chicago Transit Show. Pictured to the right are two of our hosts, Mike Maguire (seated, light shirt) and Diane Maguire (seated behind, just over his shoulder). The evening started out with everyone seated at rather large dining hall tables, but didn't stay that way for long.
Once Dave Battah took the stage to do his Rod Stewart show, the tables were pushed back against the walls and a large area in front of the band was opened up -- which was promptly filled with people. Dave's perfomed his show all over the world, all across North America, to as far away as Afghanistan and Australia, the clips here could have come from anywhere in the world. But tonight, Dave was at the Legion in Aurora, Ontario with Powerhouse behind him and a very large appreciative audience in front.As Dave did his show and interacted with the crowd, the crowd went from the first few on the dance floor, to a few more, to finally, a very large and vocal crowd in front of the stage area.To the right is the evening-ending photo op for the local newspaper. In the front row, from left to right, are: Mike Maguire (host), Carlo DiBattista, David Battah as Rod Stewart, Tom Forsyth and Tony Aquino. In the back row, from left to right, are: Don Berryman, Mike DiBenedictus, John Willett, Steve Negus and Phil Kott.It was another excellent evening and a great fundraiser for Breast Cancer Research.
Articles and pictures marked: "with permission" used with permission of the Peterborough Examiner
Following a few weeks off, the band headed to central Ontario on Saturday afternoon to do an evening show with Frank Rondell and his Ray Charles Tribute show at the Stirling Festival Theatre. It was a terrific day for a drive up to Stirling, Ontario. After a drive along the 401 to Trenton, we headed north, following the Trent Waterway. The bright sun, fall colours and the Waterway out the driver's side window yielded some very relaxed musicians arriving in Stirling in the late afternoon.
The theatre itself was gorgeous, built in the mid-20's and covered in hardwoods and ornate woodwork -- a slight contrast to the sign that greeted us as we entered the theatre backstage.After set-up and sound check, the band headed across the street to have a bite to eat. Then, for a few, it was time for a walk around a very pretty town to work off the calories before the show.
Three reasons why it's always a pleasure to do Frank's Ray Charles Tribute Show -- the Roulettes: Heather Cadagan, Erin Lasky, and Sharon Musgrave
The month closed out with Powerhouse in the banquet hall of a Hamilton Mountain Legion for a Hallowe'en Benefit Bash to raise funds in support of the 'Lean On Me' Organization. Joining the band this evening on keys was an ex-Powerhouse member, Vince Rinaldo. And a surprise guest was our friend, Suzanne O in her fabulous cat costume. "It took me an hour and a half to do the make-up", she said as she joined us on stage for a couple of songs in the second set.
Once sound check was over, it didn't take long for a rather large crowd to build.
As band leader, it was Carlo's responsibility to take the 'photo op' with SuperGirl. Yes Carlo, we know it's a tough job some nights.
The best part of this evening -- music notwithstanding -- was that, not only was the event sold out in advance, but there was enough interest that the organizers had to open the room next door and hire a second band for the overflow patrons. We talked with Brenda, the event's organizer recently: "We had enough funds raised from the night that we were able to start another support group of 8 to 12 people for a 12-week program." For information about the 'Lean On Me' Organization, please contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Phone: 289-339-1460