Hit­ting the high notes

It’s time for a fresh look at some of the en­ter­tain­ment sto­ries from the past year

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY SALLY COLE THE GUARDIAN

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.

Fish­er­man’s luck

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.”

ALLYSON PAYN­TER/SPE­CIAL TO THE GUARDIAN

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.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Brady Cud­more con­tin­ues to au­di­tion for roles in mu­si­cals in New York City. Re­cent act­ing cred­its in­clude “Find the Golden Bird” and “The Dream­ing”.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

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.

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