Hitting the high notes
It’s time for a fresh look at some of the entertainment stories from the past year
It’s time for a fresh look at some of the entertainment stories from the past year.
2015 was a great year for P.E.I.’s performing artists.
From concerts and CD launches to sparkling award galas and exciting national and international tours, Island musicians have made their mark time and time again.
And The Guardian has been there, reporting on their tri- umphs as well as upcoming shows in the entertainment section every week.
Here’s a fresh look at three of those stories from the past year:
A timely tribute
After riding the wave of success with last summer’s musical, “Searching for Abegweit”, P.E.I. singer-songwriter Lennie Gallant has just released a new album of the show.
“Searching for Abegweit,” the 22-track, double CD contains everything from fan favourites like Peter’s Dream, Northern Lights, Island Clay, Back to Rustico, The Nelly J. Banks and the Band’s Still Playing to newer songs, such as Country Store, Lord Selkirk’s Land and the title track.
“I think it makes for a great sounding record. Some of the songs sound like they were done in the studio,” says the Rusticoborn singer-songwriter who has painstakingly mixed the album after recording it four times.
For those who have seen the show, it’s a sought-after souvenir.
“I’m getting a lot of positive feedback. People have told me they’ve put it into the CD player in their car and they feel like they’re taking a trip and watching the show at the same time,” says Gallant, with a laugh, during a telephone interview from his home in Halifax.
The CD will also come in handy when “Searching for Abegweit”, returns to the P.E.I. Brewing Company for the 2016 season. The show will play every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in July and August. Showcasing the Island songs and stories of Gallant and featuring the talents of Sean Kemp, Patricia Richard, Jeremy Gallant, Jonathan Gallant, it sold out at the venue last year.
“After the shows, people were asking for the new songs and we didn’t have them recorded. Now we have all the songs from the show on CD. I also hope that people who hear the CD will want to come in and get the whole experience.”
Acting on his instincts
Great things are happening for P.E.I.’s Brady Cudmore.
The actor, who now goes by only his first name, moved to New York City from Hampshire to pursue his dream of becoming a pop star, nine years ago.
After getting his first big break in 2014, the lead in “Honestly Abe” a musical based on Abraham Lincoln, his persistence in auditioning resulted in many acting roles.
“This has been my most theatrically successful year yet. It’s been a whirlwind,” says Brady, whose credits include the lead in “Find the Golden Bird”, a new musical on an old tale, and “The Dreaming” a musical written by Howard Goodall and Charles Hart, based on William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Cudmore also performed in the music video, “I’m Sorry”, provided the voice for a cartoon character in Mad Screen Box Video Game and worked as a host at Club Urbo.
“I feel that I’ve achieved more than I could ever imagine. I still feel like I’m growing and I have so many more things to do before I get to that picture in my mind. All the experiences that I’ve had this year, professionally and emotionally, have made me a totally different person.”
His most memorable profes- sional achievement was co-starring with George Marcy in a sold out performance of “Come Back Once More So I Can Say Goodbye” by Sasha Spielvogal, at the Ailey Citygroup Theatre this past June.
“I never imagined that I would get to perform with this Broadway legend. So it’s a huge highlight,” says Brady, who has a new album in the works, produced by Julio Fernandez, of Spyro Gyra.
The year has been a lucky catch for King Fish Man a.k.a. Timmy Cudmore who, after returning from recording studio waters, is releasing his 20-track double album, “Ice Fishing” on CD Baby today. With titles like Iceberg Jumping, Drone Delivery on Ice, I’ve Gone Ice Fishing and Hook Up on the Ice, the lyrics are similar to the comedy found in novelty songs like Disco Duck by Rick Dees.
“It’s been an incredible, exciting journey. I’ve been writing these songs one after another. I don’t know where I get them. They just come into my head,” says Cudmore, an experienced ice fisherman who began dreaming up wacky scenarios whenever he took in the sport.
“It might be a memory of my father, Maynard, and I ice fishing and the fun we had. I start with an idea and go from there.”
Another song idea, the popularity of drones, came from his CD producer, David Musial.
“David said, ‘Timmy, why not write a song about drones delivering beer to you while you ice fish?’ So I wrote it and he added all the sound effects. It’s really funny.”
Besides the CD, he voiced Hakkerchief, a cartoon dungeon master in the Mad Screen Box video game, released a Funny Holidays album as well as a Trout Town tribute album. Along the journey, he began conversations was with Joan Salvato Wulff, also known as the First Lady of Fly Fishing in America.
“I was inspired by her work so I wrote her a serious song about her. I sent a (musical file). Joan sent a note back that she loved the song. She suggested a few word changes and I made them,” says Cudmore who is pleased with his accomplishment.
“I was the first person ever write a song about her and that makes me happy.”
P.E.I. singer-songwriter Lennie Gallant, centre, sits with fellow cast members in“Searching for Abegweit”during a break in rehearsals for this past summer’s show. From left are Sean Kemp, Patricia Richard, Jeremy Gallant and Jonathan Gallant. The popular show was recorded and is now available as a double CD. It returns to the P.E.I. Brewing Company Charlottetown in July and August.
Brady Cudmore continues to audition for roles in musicals in New York City. Recent acting credits include “Find the Golden Bird” and “The Dreaming”.
King Fish Man, a.k.a Timmy Cudmore, prepares for his next adventure. His 20-track double album, “Ice Fishing” is being released on CD Baby today.