Mid-week bright spot
Jon Rehder’s Wednesday night music series at the Haviland Club provides respite from the work week
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or at 626-1242. But he won’t be offended if you don’t.