Mid-week bright spot

Jon Re­hder’s Wed­nes­day night mu­sic se­ries at the Hav­i­land Club pro­vides respite from the work week

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - Todd Ma­cLean Out And About

It’s been three years since P.E.I. singer-song­writer Jon Re­hder started the Wed­nes­day night mu­sic se­ries at The Hav­i­land Club. Free­lance colum­nist Todd Ma­cLean writes about the show, as well as some of events to look for­ward to this week­end.

About three years ago, well­known Is­land mu­si­cian Jon Re­hder em­barked on a new idea for a monthly show: a Wed­nes­day night mu­sic se­ries at The Hav­i­land Club.

Nes­tled in the heart of the re­gal and his­toric house planted in the tucked-away nook of Char­lot­te­town at the cor­ner of Rochford and Wa­ter St., the con­cert se­ries has blos­somed at The Hav­i­land over th­ese years, be­com­ing known as a favourite “brighten-up-the-mid­week” out­ing for lo­cal mu­sic lovers.

Fea­tur­ing a dif­fer­ent spe­cial guest each week, the Wed­nes­day night se­ries has wel­comed about 50 dif­fer­ent mu­si­cians since its in­cep­tion - as Re­hder’s mu­si­cal ver­sa­til­ity in col­lab­o­ra­tion with th­ese artists is al­ways a pil­lar as­set to the show.

Known as one of the most sea­soned and skill­ful ac­com­pa­nists around, gui­tarist/ key­boardist/ bassist/singer/song­writer Jon Re­hder of­ten even seems to re­mark­ably work best as a mu­si­cian when he has lit­tle idea of what is go­ing to come next: and this kind of mu­si­cal think­ing-on-his-feet is a sta­ple trait of Re­hder’s host work in con­junc­tion with each week’s guest mu­si­cian.

And this past Wed­nes­day’s spe­cial guest was one of the most ex­pe­ri­enced and soughtafter gui­tarists on the re­gional mu­sic scene, Chris Cor­ri­gan.

A cozy en­sem­ble of folks gath­ered in the comfy chairs of the Hav­i­land Club’s front par­lour room to have a drink and take in the show as things be­gan shortly af­ter 8 p.m. that night.

En­su­ing into a song-for-song flow to the evening, Re­hder and Cor­ri­gan took turns lead­ing tunes and be­ing ac­com­pa­nists for each other - even­tu­ally mak­ing it a chal­lenge for the au­di­ence to be able to tell who was lead­ing and who was fol­low­ing in the song, in their abil­i­ties to catch on so quickly to the mu­sic that the other was bring­ing forth.

While this kind of in-the-mo­ment skill was en­ter­tain­ing enough to ob­serve closely in ac­tion in it­self, like some kind of mu­si­cal spec­ta­tor sport, it was also en­joy­able to sim­ply sit back and de­light in two sets of great song ma­te­rial by this duo within that in­ti­mate and en­gag­ing set­ting of The Hav­i­land.

The night fea­tured clas­sic songs like Brother Can You Spare a Dime, Ev­ery­body’s Talkin’, and Waltzing’s For Dream­ers; East Coast tunes like Don’t Trip On Your Way Out writ­ten by Is­lan­der Mike Mooney, and Weary Trav­ellers by Rita MacNeil as well as beau­ti­ful time­less songs like John Hi­att’s The River Knows Your Name and even some funny ma­te­rial like the (by re­quest) mar­velously ridicu­lous Masochism Tango, writ­ten by Tom Lehrer, which Re­hder de­liv­ered with the ut­most of pizazz.

“Frac­ture my spine, and say you’ll be mine, as we dance the masochism tango!” Re­hder belted out, as laugh­ter filled the room and ap­plause soared in re­sponse to the hi­lar­i­ous num­ber.

Need­less to say, it all made for a pretty fun-filled way to spend a cold win­ter’s week­day night.

So If your win­ter Wed­nes­day “hump day” evening comes along and you’re crav­ing some­thing to do - look­ing for some­where to go where cre­ative live mu­sic is go­ing on in a re­laxed at­mos­phere - then I would say that The Hav­i­land Club Wed­nes­day Night Mu­sic Se­ries is your ticket.

Re­hder has a full slate of guests on his list, ready to bring on board to The Hav­i­land Club Wed­nes­day Night Mu­sic Se­ries this year - and next week’s guest is Is­land jazz singer Amanda Rae Gal­lant.

For more info on this and other up­com­ing Hav­i­land Club events, visit www.face­book.com /TheHav­i­landClub

Next week: Gerry Dee at Har­bourfront Theatre tonight.

Todd Ma­cLean is a lo­cal free­lance writer and mu­si­cian. If you have a com­ment or sug­ges­tion for a re­view, you can get in touch with him at tmaclean@the­guardian.pe.ca or at 626-1242. But he won’t be of­fended if you don’t.

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