Hodgepodge by Charlie Hodge – Is it hot enough? And, local music events

Remember when you said you couldn’t wait for the weather to warm up? Well? Is it hot enough for you yet?

Actually as I pen today’s Podge the temperature is apparently dropping into the lower 30’s which just about sounds refreshing.

Our recent sun dance in the mid-40s set records for Kelowna and many other locations also set heat records including the devastated town of  Lytton. We’ve now set numerous heat temperatures in B.C. for three years straight lending credibility to the suggestion that our propensity for pollution is truly resulting in altering our weather. Global warming is a reality.

Growing up in the Okanagan was a bonus not only because of the beauty of the Valley but also the amazing summertime. Tourists always flocked to the Valley because of the weather, warm beaches and abundant fruit and vegetables. Living in paradise was sweet. As a child I remember the sweltering heat attracting a plethora of green and white (Saskatchewan) and yellow (Alberta) license plates to town – all of course complaining about the heat. Locals took it as the rights of passage. We took pride in handling the heat.

Well, not too many of us are so haughty about being hot now.

I am adapting only because of two reasons: first and foremost an air conditioning system pushed to the maximum, and second a large children’s pool Tez and I bought last year in order to waddle in during this sort of heat wave. Even with those devices the heat feels like too much.

Certainly the warm weather has come with a steep price. Our water bill will be through the roof and our months of hard work in the garden has largely been devastated. The majority of our flowers and vegetables have shrivelled up and died in the heat. I have never lost so much in my yard from good old mother nature.

Speaking of adapting – thankfully it seems Covid19 is on the retreat and with the lifting of restrictions social gatherings are being opened up somewhat. I am hoping we remain smart enough in B.C. to not have to regress back indoors and locked away.

Certainly no one is happier with the loosening of chains than those in the entertainment industry – particularly musicians who not only love to perform live for people but need venues in which to perform and make a  wage.

In order to survive many Kelowna musicians adapted to the Covid lockdown by writing or producing CD’s or tunes at home, or hosting their own concerts and shows online. Like numerous Kelowna music fans I tuned into a several shows on my computer and was thrilled with the result.

With the pandemic pulling back musicians have a chance to play live once again and a number of them are already creating gigs.

Rann Barry, the consummate and creative entertainer, is first out of the gate announcing his latest live stage hang-out and concert series. Rann’s plan (which he calls the Back Room Live) is for a series of small crowd venues every Sunday with Rann sharing stage with selected musical friends.

Rann is ecstatic getting back on stage but planning concerts cautiously with the chances of restrictions returning.

“ It’s finally time to start performing again. Due the current Covid 19 restrictions on audience size (50), we’re limited to doing something on a smaller scale. I’m very fortunate to have some of Kelowna’s best-known musicians as friends. All singer/songwriters, and all very talented. So, here’s the deal…  A different special guest will join me each Sunday evening throughout July and August. We all have original songs to play for you, as well as some of our own takes on classic cover tunes. And, I’m sure there will be a bit of storytelling…  The reason behind the songs.

“Last Sunday, our first show with Norm Strauss was a full house. Great audience. This Sunday with Barry Mathers is definitely heading towards another sell out. Great response so far.”

Yeah I would imagine so Rann since Mathers is well known as a fabulous singer and songwriter. (I rank him very near the top of Canada’s all-time singer/songwriters.) Best known for his role as lead singer of the former country-rock/roots band the Cruzeros and shared lead vocalists with the roots band Dirt Road Opera, Mathers is a fabulous talent to listen to.

Ran Barry’s concert series is held in the back room of Dakoda’s Pub – a perfect venue according to Rann.

“It’s our own little troubadour and licensed of course. Only 40 tickets are available per show and they go quick”.

For tickets go to The Ticket Link https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/rann-berry-and-the-random-act-tickets-159563935025

Music fans should make note that a maximum ticket group size of six is in place.

Mathers plays this Sunday July 11. The rest of the lineup for July and August include: Karl and Gail Hourigan on July 18, Mike Jervis on July 25. August dates have Gary Smyth and Sean Bray perform Aug. 1, Jimmy LeGuilloux set for Aug. 8, Rick Halisheff performs Aug. 15, Mike Brown on stage Aug. 22 and James Hay wraps up the series on August 29.

Might see you there. Enjoy.

More from Charlie Hodge HERE!

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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.


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