Great Dark Wonder: Year 3 in the Books

Great Dark Wonder's Third Year

As we celebrate our third anniversary here at Great Dark Wonder of spreading the love that is the Canadian music and arts scene, here are some interesting statistics from the last twelve months (2017-18 comparisons in parentheses).

  • Amassing an unknown quantity of miles driven (we can probably measure based on vehicle service records J), we made the trek from our home in south-central PA to Canada on 13 (19) occasions.
  • During those 13 excursions, we attended 21 (36) live music events across Ontario.
  • We saw concerts in many of our usual haunts: Niagara Falls, Toronto, London, Hamilton, Brantford, and Gravenhurst.
  • We naturally supported Canadian artists who ventured into our neck of the woods and caught 21 (14) shows here too, catching them in PA, MD, DC and VA.
  • And here is the big number, which once again shows why we are proud to do this; we saw a total of 69 (96) different Canadian artists live in concert.

Of course, it does not take a rocket scientist to find the sharp decline in the data between this year and the past year.  While it is true that we were not afforded the opportunity to travel North as frequently (paid job demands and other expenses), we really made up some ground with the number of artists that performed closer to home for us.  Whenever we have an opportunity to converse with an artist at an event in Canada, we frequently ask them to consider coming down here to PA.  And while there is no established connection, the numbers this year have been staggering.  We had the pleasure of seeing 15 artists perform at 12 different shows in the Keystone State alone; and mostly in the mid-state too, given the geographical difficultly of travelling to the two metro areas on either side of the state for midweek concerts.  As much as we enjoy taking that road trip north, we’re just as happy to take all we can get here in our own back yard.

Having welcomed Steve Murphy to our writing team in 2018, who brings his unique insight as a singer-songwriter, author and poet, to his album reviews, we also added Stevie Connor (Port Credit, ON) this past summer as another contributor.  As a passionate fan of the folk-roots scene, Stevie’s strong connections with the music community will bring many more new artists to our attention.  If you like what you have been seeing here at Great Dark Wonder, and fancy dabbling with a little writing too, we are always looking to add aspiring reviewers to our family (we would especially love to find somebody based out west, or in the UK, to cover those geographical areas for us).  While we can’t pay anybody, you’ll be rewarded with access to some amazing new music releases and experiences.  Email or message us for details if you’re curious to learn more.

So what exciting things do we have planned as we enter our fourth year?  Well, as a firm believer of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” rest assured that we plan to stick to our tried and tested formula of bringing our audience a diverse mixture of great new music from Canada and beyond.  We are definitely looking forward to these final few months of 2019, and then planning out our concert calendar for the 2020 season.  Should be an exciting ride, and we’re glad to have you, our readers, along with us on this musical journey.  Many thanks to those of you that we’ve met along the way, introducing yourselves to us at shows and so forth.  We very much look forward to seeing you all out there again, enjoying this shared passion that is outstanding music.

Martin Noakes

The British guy that crossed the ocean and crash landed in central Pennsylvania (to quote Greg Keelor, “And I wonder what am I doing here?”). As the youngest of four siblings, exposure to music from a very early age nurtured my passion and appreciation for many musical genres. Continuing to discover some amazingly diverse and talented musicians based in Canada, I gravitate to live music experiences and remain devoted to spreading the word about such a vibrant music scene.