I am blessed in so many ways, with several of the various rewards from such fortune seeming to come in cycles. One of the more enjoyable is the seasonal ritual of receiving a plethora of newly recorded CD’s or records from musicians.It took me a while to figure out why I hardly hear from any of my song writing/recording pals until May,June or July and then suddenly I’m back on the visit list.Musicians tend to hibernate.Not in a lazy, over-fed bear way, but in a creative sense. With cold wet weather and less gigs to play many musicians head into their basement or recording studio and hide away for the winter recording and crafting their latest creations. Early spring is then spent in the studio with some recording wizard making them sound even more brilliant. Sometime around May or June, with luck, the long winters work has morphed into an actual physical sphere filled with blood, sweat and tears.Last week it was long time friend Robby Schaefer who dropped his pride and joy in my mail box for a listen and I am so very glad he did.Always a highly respected guitar player well known and popular throughout the local music community, Robby’s hot off the press album is titled A Part of the Show and on first listen is going to be one I play on a regular basis. The 11-song all original CD features Robby not only on guitar but also on vocals.Though clearly talented in both aspects, it seems that Robby’s quiet, unobtrusive mannerism has kept him somewhat shyly tucked away from the microphone on stages in the past. Hopefully that will now change and we will see more of Mr. Schaefer up front on a stage near you soon.A fine example of Rob’s popularity in the music field is reflected in the various musicians who took part in his first CD project. Leading the crew is Kelowna musical icon Jimmy LeGuilloux who not only plays guitar and supplies plenty of vocals throughout, but also recorded and superbly engineered the entire album.Ian Smith masterfully supplies percussion with Scott Grant also playing drums on two tunes. Rich Priske rocks out the bass; piano and organ are tastefully contributed by the talented Vytas Sinkevicius, with organ and Wurlitzer supplied by Steve Soucy. Smith and Gary Turlock provide additional vocals.Schaefer will be announcing his CD release date soon and I recommend you take in the evening if you enjoy well written and played original rock plugged full of interesting and inspiring lyrics. Well done, Robby. I am proud of you and Kelowna will be when they hear your creation.***I am confident any day now my mailbox will be plugged with another hot off the presses CD – this one from long time buddy Barry Mathers. Barry and his extremely talented Dirt Road Opera band members are just finishing up what promises to be a stunningly brilliant album. I was treated to three or four samples of the latest tunes crafted by Mathers last month and can hardly wait for the finished product. Hint, hint.
Before departing the musical realm I must remind folks to plan on spending either July 24 or25th at the Kelowna Community Theatre taking in the opening shows of the rock musical theatrical production of The Raft of the Medusa.Entirely written and stage produced by the team of Randall Robinson and Pat Brown this amazingly powerful and poignant musical play is destined for much bigger stages around the world. I guarantee it.Mark it down folks. You will not be disappointed.
As I write this there is a Rimouski-Quebec game taking place in the round-robin Memorial Cup playoffs in Quebec City. Depending upon the outcome there is still a long-shot chance that our beloved Kelowna Rockets might claw and scratch their way back into the championship final. By the time this rag hits your hands the fate chances are good that the scenario will be resolved.Win, lose, or draw the Rockets have provided fans with a tremendous season of exciting top quality junior hockey – a bonus considering the pre-season predictions that our local boys would not have a stellar season. The winning year is not only a credit to the players but also the entire team staff from doctors, trainers, and equipment members to coaches, managers, and owner Bruce Hamilton.The Rockets were already on a superb roll this year when Hamilton had the foresight to acquire Leon Draisaitl and Josh Morrissey in trades with Prince Albert. Both players fully delivered on their sparkling reviews by hockey pundits showing tremendous skill and plenty of poise in the process. I fully enjoyed watching them and other members of the Rockets in my sprinkled visits to Prospera Place.While watching the Memorial Cup my latest issue of the Hockey News arrived. The issue is entirely dedicated to a preview of the upcoming June junior draft. Ironically, though the three junior leagues in Canada are well represented in the predicted top 100 upcoming picks – only four players from the four teams in the Memorial Cup are ranked.Kelowna’s Nick Merkley is the leader predicted to go 15th overall.