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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!

 

Calendar:

PLEASE CALL THE RESTAURANT (613-258-3737) TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT/TICKET.    Folks who come in for dinner will be given priority for seating and tables...

September:

Wednesday 10 ~ Brennan Leigh, Austin country-folk , 8pm, $15**

Friday 12 ~ Astrid Young, full band show! 9pm, $15 

Saturday 13 ~ Shirt Tearing Boys, folk band, 9pm, $10

Friday 19 ~ Shawna Caspi, singer-songwriter/finger-style guitar, Kristine St.-Pierre, folk singer-songwriter, 9pm, $10

Saturday 20 ~ John Wilberforce, details TBA

Friday 26 ~ Noelle Andrews and Randy Frobel, 8pm, $5 suggested.

Saturday 27 ~ Celtic Sea, cd release,  8pm, tip jar show

Sunday 28 ~ Open Mic hosted by Sarah Beatty, 3-6pm, tip jar.

October:

Thursday 2 ~ Justin Rutledge, 8:30pm $15 adv./$20 DOS**

Friday 3 ~ Jeremy Fisher, 9pm, $20+hst**

Saturday 4 ~ Trevor Alguire, 9pm, $15

Saturday 11 ~ Christa Couture and Hillary Grist, 9pm, $15

Saturday 18 ~ Mally Krock and Peter Johnson

Friday 24 ~ Meaghan Blanchard, 9pm, $10**

Saturday 25 ~ Kim Koren, singer-songwriter, 9pm, $5

Sunday 26 ~ Open Mic hosted by The Celtic Knights, 3-6pm, to benefit the Salvation Army Food Bank

Friday 31 ~ Phil Morotti and Friends Halloween Party

November:

Saturday 1 ~ 8th Anniversary Party! Frank & Birdie! Free Stuff!

Thursday 6 ~ Ryan Cook

Friday 7 ~ Little Suns, 9pm, $10

Saturday 8 ~ Sean Rowe


Friday 14 ~ Gathering Sparks, folk group, 9pm, $10

Saturday 15 ~ Lynne Hanson, cd release

Friday 21 ~ Dom DeLuca, 8pm, $5 suggested

December:

Wednesday 31 ~ NYE featuring Sin and Swoon

bolded artists are on tour from outside our region
**advance tickets strongly recommended

Wednesday 10 ~ Brennan Leigh and Noel McKay, 8pm, $15. Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay craft story songs with equal measures heart (“Before the World Was Made”) and humor (“Breaking Up And Making Up Again”). Evidence: Before the World Was Made. The Austin-based songwriters’ debut collaboration spotlights celebrated troubadours in peak form (“Before We Come to Our Senses”). “These are modern day country duets à la George Jones and Melba Montgomery,” producer Gurf Morlix says, “but with very sophisticated songwriting.”

Before the World Was Made began taking shape three years ago right as Leigh’s solo high watermark The Box stirred waves far and wide. (Lee Ann Womack, Sunny Sweeney and the Carper Family have covered her defiantly traditional country songs.) By that point, Leigh was well rooted in Austin, where she moved after growing up playing in a family band in Minnesota. “I was attracted to the scene in Austin,” she says. “It’s a great place to learn and get better at what I do.”

Meanwhile, McKay fronted the regionally popular McKay Brothers (Cold Beer and Hot Tamales), a band legendary songwriter Guy Clark had been championing for years. “Noel and Brennen are great songwriters,” says Clark, whose new album My Favorite Picture of You contains the McKay co-write “El Coyote.” The album went on to win a Grammy for best Folk album in 2014.  

Before the World Was Made proves his point. “Some of these are songs that Noel had from a long time ago that we reconstructed,” Leigh says, “and some we wrote together recently. Writing duets is just almost like writing from one point of view and splitting it and making it make sense. Like ‘Ball in Chain,’ is not like a fight song. Same with ‘Breaking Up and Making Up Again.’ They’re dysfunctional, but the characters are happy with their situation, so it’s almost from one point of view.”

The singular duo effortlessly balances wit (“Let’s Don’t Get Married”) and whimsy (“Let’s Go to Lubbock on Vacation”) throughout. “I’ve loaded up the Nomad and the tank is full of gas/We’ll ride along across the High Plains fast,” the latter goes. “We’ll find the sweetest spot on God’s creation, my pretty little turtle dove/Let’s go to Lubbock on vacation.” Punch line: “Then we’ll know we’re really in love.” The pair consistently doubles down with sharp snapshots charting equally unpredictable romantic byways (“Salty Kisses in the Sand,” “Great Big Oldsmobile”).

“We kind of set out to make out a record of songs that we were singing together, even if it wasn’t specifically duet songs,” McKay says. “We both have solo careers to think about, but we’ll probably revisit this over and over and it’s a nice thing we can keep doing.” “We got to where people were asking us about certain songs and lumping us together in their mind,” Leigh adds, “so we thought we should make something to pay homage to that. Of course, people like the funny ones the best.” Good reason: Only kindred spirits allow a song as wickedly waggish as “Be My Ball and Chain.” Priceless.

Everyday conversation suggests Leigh and McKay indeed share a single mindset. The pair simply compliment each other in every way. “Brennen’s really great at melodies,” McKay says. “She’s always kicking around a melody around the house and it’s great and she’ll attach it to a lyric idea that’s equally great. She writes characters in her songs like a novelist.” “Noel always has the line,” Leigh counters. “It’s like, How are we gonna wrap this up? How are we gonna bring it around so it makes sense? He always ties it up. He always knows. Noel’s a poet.”

Thursday 11 ~ CLOSED FOR A PRIVATE FUNCTION, we apologize for any inconvenience...

Friday 12 ~ Astrid Young Band, 9pm, $15.“My name is Astrid Young. As a singer, I’ve shared stages and studios with a mind-blowing roster of musical legends. I wrote a bestselling book, made a short film, and played or sang on a ton of records. I also became a wine professional (sommelier) along the way, but that’s another story. I grew up in Toronto with a writer for a father and a mother who endeavoured to educate me musically as early as possible. I could read music probably before I could read words, so it stands to reason this would be my direction in life.

Orchestras dominated my early years, but rock and roll took over around about my senior year in high school. I put down the oboe and bought my first electric guitar: a 1966 Gibson SG Special. It was a game changer for sure. Next came Los Angeles, which was my home for the next twenty some years. I was in a hair band in the 1980’s called Sacred Child. We charted in ten countries, and made it to number sixteen on the ‘Hard Report’ (an east coast radio tipsheet of the time) in 1987. The years that followed took me many places, both literally and figuratively. I played all over the world, sang or played on some gold and platinum selling albums, and accomplished a lot of songwriting, recording, and even got into writing screenplays for feature films. One of my proudest rock and roll moments came when I found out that a record that I had sang on (Neil Young’s Harvest Moon) had been ‘officially’ taken into space and listened to on the space shuttle, and had been to the international space station! What a rare and unique honor!
I am so grateful for the career that I have had. But I am always of the mind that the best is yet to come.

Fast forward to now. I’m about to release my fourth solo record. It’s called ‘One Night at Giant Rock’. I’ve been working on this record since 2005, and I have not released an album since my acoustic record ‘Matinee’ in 2003. There were many roadblocks getting there, beginning with a devastating personal loss, and the arduous process of dealing with that, but my biggest obstacle in bringing ‘One Night’ to fruition was that my hearing is so damaged from all the years of loud guitars that I can no longer hear subtle differences in the studio. Some notes were even non-existent – a very scary place to be for any musician. So I took it slowly. Song by song. What emerged were stories from the soul. Songs about searching, remembering, forgetting, bloodletting … it appears that my lifelong musical quest has been to discover the karmic meaning in all my relationships. Not just love relationships – because every connection you make, they are all part of the bigger picture, each of them individually a plot twist unto themselves. ‘One Night at Giant Rock’ is all about that journey.

In keeping with that philosophy, providence and the fates stepped in, in the form of one Victor DeLorenzo – you may know him from his group the Violent Femmes (I am a super-fan!). We decided we ought to do some work together, and to make a long story short, the result was truly magic. You see, Victor took over the role of producer, and for the first time in my life I was able to completely let go the ‘death grip’ I had on my own music and let somebody else be my ears. Victor, together with the rest of the amazing people who contributed to ‘One Night’ took my songs, my vision, and drove it into the sun. The experience was transcendental. When alchemy actually works, it’s impossible to deny.

I play acoustic guitar, bass, and I sing. Sometimes I play piano or keyboards, and the occasional flute. On drums is my musical collaborator and producer Victor DeLorenzo; on guitar we have Joe Gore and Eric McFadden, both of whom played extensively on the record. Depending on where we are in the world, during our tour we may have appearances from one or the other of them… or maybe both! Many of our live shows will also feature Ray Farrugia (of Lee Harvey Osmond/Junkhouse) on drums as well as Victor. Two drummers? Sure why not!

I have always thought of this record as my magnum opus, the sum total of all my musical experiences, my masterpiece. So when you listen to ‘One Night,’ take the journey with me. Take that journey from start to finish and ride that winding sand road through the desert, out near Joshua Tree, which is the landscape of my muse. The giant rock itself is the nexus of it all. Each song is a mini-vacation in itself, and you may or may not recognize some of my main influences: Black Sabbath, early David Bowie, Pink Floyd and Kate Bush.”

Saturday 13 ~ Shirt Tearing Boys, 9pm, $10.  Shirt Tearing Boys is an all acoustic band that plays jazz, blues and country tunes from various decades of the 20th century along with original songs.  The band features Charlie Sohmer (banjo, vocals), Tony Turner (guitar, vocals), Fred Guignion (dobro) and Ken Kanwisher (bass & cello).

With their cool songs of hope and hurtin’ this post-modern, kind-of jug band sound will make you want more. Tune into hot acoustic instrumentals and close, warm vocal harmonies. You’ll hear songs so old they’ll make you feel young.
 
Melodic stories delivered in a rich baritone voice are the stuff of Tony Turner. Thoughtful and sometimes amusing songs blend together in an impressive repertoire of material, a songwriting award, and two CDs.http://www.tonyturner.ca
 
Charlie Sohmer, banjo-ist, songwriter (with six albums and over 500 songs to his credit), and a teller of tall tales. Please don’t laugh at his stories – it only encourages him. 
http://music.cbc.ca/#/artists/Charlie-Sohmer
 
Fred Guignion doesn’t like to talk about music in the past tense (Fat Man Waving, Ian Tamblyn, Hammerheads, Lynn Miles et al). He just plays the dobro, beautifully.
 
Sunday 14 ~ Rubber Boots Buffet, 2-8pm and Jam 3-6pm. THIS WEEK the jam is hosted by UKE, The Ukulele Kemptville Experience, everyone welcome, sheet music and loaner ukes available! For those who are new to the clan, the Sunday Open Mic/Rubber Boots Buffet is a family friendly, fun, community day that welcomes musicians of all skill levels. We mix up the music schedule a bit with guest hosts like Greg Kelly and the Ukulele Kemptville Experience (UKE), and occasional 'Birthday Tribute' events, where participants are encouraged to play songs by an artist whose birthday is on or near the Sunday in question; While all that happens, the Rubber Boots Buffet is being served... it is an all day, all you can eat comfort food extravaganza (other menus such as pub grub, kids and a dessert menu are also available) and the whole day is a place where you can meet your neighbours, come in for a beer or a pot of tea, stay for a bowl of homemade soup and a song or two and leave with, well, a whole new batch of friends. Everyone is welcome—and yes, that means you! We’d love to see you this Sunday…