Kindred, at their concert Saturday evening in the Welland Community Wellness Complex theatre. (Photo by Joe Barkovich)
By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large
WELLAND – Christmas is still close to two weeks away. Does this allow time for a second A Kindred Christmas concert here in the Rose City?
We went to Saturday night’s in the Welland Community Wellness Complex theatre. I’d say there were about 250 people there. It was a great show, and although I can’t speak for everyone, I’d hazard a guess and say most if not all would agree.
The two-set concert had something for everyone. It offered well known Christmas pieces, some not so well known, some secular, some religious or spiritual, and some of this group’s signature offerings, “roots” music that was down east, bayou, bluegrass, folk .
With such a potpourri, for comparison purposes – sort of like that delightful mix of hard, Christmas candies that fill candy dishes this time of year, some red, some green, some striped, some a variety of hues – there was much to choose from in terms of personal favourites! A handful of mine were: The Rebel Jesus (remember Jackson Browne doing this piece?), Nothing But A Child, O Holy Night (a pretty, pretty, version offered up by the distaff side of the group), Song for a Winter’s Night and the spirited, sing-along, clap-your-hands rendition of the closing piece, Feliz Navidad. I’ll also mention two non-seasonal songs that were beautifully performed: Jolene and Blue Bayou, just to give readers an idea of the mix that concert-goers had to enjoy.
I’ll close by saying Kindred’s (a story explaining the story behind the name is merited!) gifts to the concert audience were mixed, many and magnificent. I left wondering when this talented group of voices and musicians would take to the stage in a larger venue, say Dr. J.M. Ennis Auditorium at Centennial Secondary School and delight upwards of several hundred concert goers. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait long!
(Joe Barkovich lives in his hometown of Welland, Ontario, Canada’s Rose City.)
By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large
WELLAND – Kindred played to a full house in the Welland Community Wellness Complex theatre Wednesday night. Deservedly so.
It was the final performance of the summer in the Variety Nites concert series. I walked out wondering: was this concert really in Welland or was it at some other venue, like Massey Hall perhaps? Was I dreaming?
Nope, it was the real thing. Believe it or not, I still can’t believe it.
It was also my first time listening to this collection of talented, versatile musicians. Why did it take so long? Have to admit I was hooked right off the bat: their rendition of Don’t Think Twice, in my memory banks a Joan Baez classic that I listened to over and over and over in the 60s on one or another of her LPs, stole my heart. I was theirs for the rest of the evening. It was superb, musically and vocally.
Could say, and will, the same thing about Wild Mountain Thyme, especially based on the reaction of the two guys behind us, who were in seventh heaven or thereabouts by the time it was over. I’m only going to mention one other piece because it’s not my intention to fully review the performance – Evangeline. Wow! Emmylou Harris did this on her album with the same name (with backup vocals by Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Robbie Robertson), but some say it is best remembered as part of The Last Waltz. Kindred’s offering last night was mighty, mighty fine! Well, maybe I’ll throw in one more (after all, close to 30 tunes were performed): Blue Bayou.Roy Orbison would have been proud.
Kindred’s musicians are: David Romano, guitar, mandolin, harmonica, vocals; Darlene Romano, guitar, mandolin, banjo, bass, vocals; Joni Romano, percussion, mandolin, pennywhistle, keyboard, vocals; Ken Eller, bass guitar, vocals; Amy Elder, keyboards, mandolin, accordion, percussion, vocals; Natalie Walker, fiddle, percussion, vocals; Dave DiMarco, drums.
Late in the performance, it was announced Kindred has a Christmas concert coming up, at the same venue, Dec. 12. Tickets are now available. I can make a recommendation and will, without reservation: Don’t think twice about buying tickets, go out and get them before they’re gone! You won’t be disappointed.