A little bit Austin; a little bit Kemptville, a lot of a good time!
Enjoy some of the best live music, well, anywhere at the Branch Restaurant and Texas Grill. Come on out and be entertained with tunes & songs, to listen close or to sing along at one of our popular open mic or Birthday Tribute events: it all sounds as good as the real Texas BBQ, Tex-Mex, Cajun or Southern food favourites tastes... Our entertainment line up ranges from local talent to some big name headliners...watch this page to see what's coming up!
Lots of happenings this spring and summer for local music and bbq (including the return of VegStock), and the Branch has a full slate of artists booked on its stage for May. But let's talk about the last week of April first! On Thursday night, we present the long-awaited rescheduled performance of Diane Ross + Jim Mattson (April 28th, 6pm, pay-what-you-can).
Then, on Friday, it's Kemptville music veterans the Al Wood Trio (April 29th, 9pm, $10) performing original blues tunes.
Saturday night, Doug Wallace joins Carey Graham for an eclectic mix of original and tribute songs on acoustic and electric guitars (April 30th, 8pm, pay-what-you-can).
For Sunday, Greg Kelly returns to host the Open Stage from 3pm until 6pm. Bring your instruments, your singing voice, or just your listening ears!!
Come on out any of these nights (or all of them) and show your support for local music, local food, and local beer!
MUSIC THIS WEEK:
~ Thursday April 28th ~ Diane Ross + Jim Mattson, 6pm
ABOUT DIANE ROSS + JIM MATTSON:
Playing as a duo, their specialty is blues, jazz and pop ballads with a bit of country too. These musical collaborators met in 2014 while playing in an ad hoc jazz band during jazz Masterclasses. Diane is a classically trained vocalist who's unique style enhances the beautiful melodies and tempos of jazz, blues and Popular music. Jim started playing guitar as a twelve year old, and has performed in a number of bands over the years. His talent for jazz was developed and enhanced while studying with a prominent local Ottawa jazz guitarist.
~ Friday April 29th ~ Al Wood Trio, 9pm, $10
ABOUT AL WOOD:
Al Wood is a multi-talented performer and songwriter with a deep reverence for the blues and traditionally-based roots music. Born in Sault Ste. Marie (the Soo), Ontario, Al’s father first taught him how to pick out old country tunes on the harmonica. Now a virtuoso harmonica player, talented guitar stylist, and golden-throated singer, Al lives in Ottawa and Highway 17 is more than a song; it’s a road well-traveled.
Al has been playing and performing for over twenty years in countless contexts. As a teenager in the Soo he cut his teeth playing in blues bands to a crowd plugged into punk and “alternative” music at the time. This might explain how and why Al throws his whole heart and soul into every performance with the same exuberance and showmanship whether for a crowd of two or two hundred.
Out of this scene was born the Rhythm Rats, boys from the Soo with a passion for the blues, who took their energetic spin on the genre to the big city, Montreal, in 1992. The band played tirelessly in every venue imaginable to everyone imaginable. Al and Lindsay Pugh remain musical collaborators to this day (Lindsay is a key cog in the Mood Swingin’ Blues wheel) and the others remain among Al’s great friends. The five years in Montreal were something else. Hellish at times with unthinkable variables constantly surfacing and life lessons learned that later spilled onto blank sheets as songs. Over the five years, life happened to the young rats in different ways and it eventually became clear that it was time to move on. It was a good run and the band grew up quickly. When performing together today, Al and Lindsay continue to dip into the old Rhythm Rats repertoire - not just for old times’ sake but because they still love playing the stuff.
After the Rhythm Rats, Red Wood Central (RWC) formed when Al met Michelle “Red” April in the mid-90’s. Michelle’s clear and often haunting voice and unfailing rhythm on guitar blended naturally with Al’s deep, rich voice and melodic harmonica and guitar to create a unique acoustic sound supported by strong collaborative song-writing. The sound is roots and blues oriented with a country influence and a flare of Django-inspired zeal or darker Spanish elements. There are two CD’s out there: Red Wood Central (self-titled 1999) and Red Wood Central “Behind the Times” 2002. RWC has relaxed the extent of live performance but they still hit stage from time to time and may one day, re-emerge with a new arsenal of tunes.
~ Saturday April 30th ~ Carey Graham + Doug Wallace, 8pm, pay-what-you-can
ABOUT DOUG WALLACE:
From the small, but quaint village of Merrickville, Ontario, emerges a soulful story-teller named Doug Wallace. Delivering soft-spoken lyrics with the complement of a skilled acoustic hand, Doug reflects in his music the simple pleasures of rural life and family, drawing influence from the serene beauty of the Ottawa Valley. Beginning his musical career at the age of 13, Doug initially built his experience in lending his guitar and bass playing talents to several rock and metal bands growing up. He continued this throughout his twenties and now performs as a solo act under the name Ol’ Fog Eye. Doug’s song, “You and I,” carries the audience through nostalgic melodies, revealing relatable and carefully crafted lyrics to a new, traditional love song. Within the past two years, Doug has become a local favorite and frequent act at the Branch.
ABOUT CAREY GRAHAM:
Plays guitar. Sings. Sometimes makes jokes. Occasionally gets a haircut.
~ Sunday May 1st ~ Open Stage with Greg Kelly, 3pm-6pm
ABOUT GREG KELLY:
After years of writing songs in the Folk, Folk-Country vein, Greg finally decided to do something with them, and the result was the release in 2008 of “Broken Windows”, a collection of songs garnered over a period of over 35 years. This was followed by the 2012 release of “Slow Horses”, which contains songs written during the period between albums as well as some songs from way back.
Greg writes about life situations: Heartbreak, triumph, small town scenarios, and the odd love song thrown in for good measure.
Greg runs a weekly open mic on Tuesday evenings so that aspiring songwriters can get a feel for the stage and for veteran songwriters to workshop new material as well as for any person who just wants to get up and perform.
He also co-ordinates a monthly songwriters forum in Ottawa called “Writers Bloc”, in which a group of songwriters challenge each other to write songs and then play them in front of their peers for critiquing. Sometimes gentle….
~ Friday May 6th ~ Pat Moore + Nic Gauthier, 9pm, $10
~ Saturday May 7th ~ Lost For Words, 9pm, $8
~ Sunday May 8th ~ MOTHER'S DAY BRUNCH, 9am-1pm
~ Friday May 13th ~ Dan "Bentbeard" Walsh, 9pm, $10
~ Saturday May 14th ~ Allison Brown and "Uncle" Dan Henshall, 8pm, pay-what-you-can
~ Sunday May 15th ~ Open Stage, 3pm-6pm
~ Thursday May 19th ~ Jesse Parent, 7pm, pay-what-you-can
~ Friday May 20th ~ Riq Turner, 9pm, pay-what-you-can
~ Saturday May 21st ~ Kacy + Clayton ft. Ryan Boldt, 7pm, pay-what-you-can
~ Sunday May 22nd ~ Open Stage, 3pm-6pm
~ Thursday May 26th ~ Annie Sumi + Erin Rose-Stokes, 8pm, pay-what-you-can
~ Saturday May 28th ~ Carey Graham + Paulina Hrebacka, 8pm, pay-what-you-can
~ Sunday May 29th ~ Open Stage, 3pm-6pm