Con­cert to pay trib­ute to mu­si­cians who died in 2018

The Prince George Citizen - - Local - Frank PEEBLES Cit­i­zen staff fpee­[email protected]­i­t­i­zen.ca

Songs carry on.

Like the paint­ings of a long ago pain­ter, the build­ings of a skilled ar­chi­tect, works of art last be­yond their cre­ators. But paint­ings can be crum­pled and build­ings can fall apart. Songs spread on the wind and will last for­ever as long as some­one re­mem­bers them, boosts their pro­file.

A set of Prince Ge­orge mu­si­cians has made it an an­nual obli­ga­tion of love to give some of their favourite songs that nudge into the fu­ture just when their cre­ators pass away.

Satur­day is the next edi­tion when some lo­cal all-stars present Songs Carry On: A Trib­ute to Mu­si­cians Lost in 2018.

The per­form­ers on the ros­ter in­clude Naomi Kavka, Britt AM, The Brain Porter (a project led by Brin Porter), Danny Bell Mu­sic, Sean Wes­ley Wood, Dan John­son and Nathan Kelly. Some other friends may also jump into the fray.

“Britt is the mas­ter­mind who got this go­ing,” said Bell, who also helps on the pro­duc­tion side of the event. “It has be­come an an­nual event which is re­ally cool. The first year we did it, even though I wasn’t in­volved that first time, was when David Bowie died and it just felt ob­vi­ous to do it and force all those ex­plo­rations of discogra­phies. Then Prince died, Tom Petty, Gord Downie, there were some re­ally beloved mu­si­cians in a short pe­riod of time and those are peo­ple we want to hon­our and ex­plore. It made this con­cert feel es­pe­cially im­por­tant for us, as mu­si­cians.”

This year’s set of mu­si­cal obit­u­ar­ies is, as al­ways, a ros­ter of leg­ends and ris­ing stars. Some died long be­fore their time and some had ex­tra­or­di­nary longevity. In all their cases, the mu­sic left be­hind is big­ger than any of their per­sonal times on earth.

Mu­sic fans the world over are mourn­ing the 2018 losses of artists like elec­tron­ica/dance su­per­star Avicii (Tim Ber­gling), jazz mu­si­cian Hugh Masekela, Temp­ta­tions lead singer Den­nis Ed­wards, DJ and rap­per Love­bug Starski, Os­car-nom­i­nated com­poser Jóhann Jóhanns­son, Motör­head gui­tarist Ed­die Clarke, lead singer Bar­bara Ann Al­ston of The Crys­tals, Pan­tera co-founder Vin­nie Paul Ab­bott, lead vo­cal­ist Jill Janus of heavy me­tal band Hun­tress, Baba Oje of Ar­rested De­vel­op­ment, Melvin Ra­gin (aka Wah Wah Wat­son), mu­si­cal theatre star Marin Mazzie, coun­try mu­sic stand­outs Randy Scruggs and Lari White, and Dave Hol­land of Ju­das Priest, just to name some who cover a gamut of gen­res and time-pe­ri­ods.

On the Cana­dian scene, there was loss as well, with the pass­ing of rappers Jon James McMur­ray, Smoke Dawg and Ben­der; chil­dren’s en­ter­tainer Car­men Cam­pagne; one of Canada’s first coun­try stars Ron­nie Prophet; street poet Roy Mc­Don­ald; jazz pian­ist, com­poser, show host and sen­a­tor Tommy Banks; Mike ‘Beard Guy’ Tay­lor of the band Walk Off The Earth; mu­si­cal theatre com­poser Galt MacDer­mot, fa­mous for his mu­sic in Hair and Two Gen­tle­man Of Verona and Big Sugar’s bassist Garry Lowe.

“We are fo­cus­ing on some par­tic­u­lar ones that res­onate with us, but they weren’t nec­es­sar­ily peo­ple we were all fa­mil­iar with be­fore. This is an ed­u­ca­tion for us, too,” said Bell. “I never knew much about Roy Clark be­fore, or the Buz­zcocks (that band’s co-founder Pete Shel­ley passed away last year), so it is kind of cool for me to get that in­tro­duc­tion. We are do­ing some­thing by The Sta­bles Singers be­cause one of the Sta­ples fam­ily (Yvonee) died. We’re do­ing some Cran­ber­ries (be­cause of lead singer Do­lores O’Rior­dan’s pass­ing), we’re do­ing some Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (be­cause key­board player Con­way Sav­age passed on). The lead singer of Dr. Hook (Ray Sawyer) also died just re­cently so we’re think­ing of ways to in­clude him. The Kinks is a big one (bassist Jim Rod­ford, also a past mem­ber of The Zom­bies). Aretha Franklin, of course.”

Bell’s voice isn’t akin to that of Franklin or Sta­ples, he said, so he is fo­cus­ing on Bri­tish folk singer and aca­demic Roy Bai­ley who died in late Novem­ber.

Each of them is cen­tring on artists who fit with ei­ther their mu­si­cal pre­sen­ta­tion style, their own fan feel­ings, or a need to pay homage. Some­times the trib­ute is acutely per­sonal.

“Vic Hor­vath, was our friend – a Vic­to­ria-based mu­si­cian, an in­cred­i­ble song­writer and gui­tar player, so Naomi, Brin and Britt will def­i­nitely be play­ing some of that work,” said Bell.

“For most of us it will be a sur­prise,” he added. “Some of us have been shar­ing on an email thread some of what we plan to per­form, just to make sure there isn’t too much over­lap, but we don’t know ev­ery­thing that’s com­ing. We will get sur­prised right along with the au­di­ence.”

Bell’s Mad Loon pro­duc­tion com­pany is stick­han­dling the pre­sen­ta­tion de­tails, and the event is the first in a se­ries planned for 2019 by lo­cal record­ing firm Good Egg Records.

Songs Carry On: A Trib­ute to Mu­si­cians Lost in 2018 hap­pens Satur­day night at 9 p.m. at The Le­gion.

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