Sunday at The Sound of Music Festival – TD Main Stage

Cowboy Junkies

In addition to a great set by the Julian Taylor Band, we were fortunate to catch three other iconic Canadian bands at Burlington’s Sound of Music Festival: Lee Harvey Osmond, the Skydiggers, and the Cowboy Junkies.

Lee Harvey Osmond

As keyboardist Jesse O’Brien filled the park with the introduction to “How Does It Feel,” the crowd erupted when Hamilton native Tom Wilson walked onto the TD Main Stage with his “Beautiful Scars” biography in hand.  “My name is Thomas George Lazare! I come from a family of Mohawk chiefs. Peacemakers and peacekeepers. Warriors and man-eaters,” exclaimed Wilson, eliciting cheers when pointing in a southwest direction and stating, “I grew up right over there on the East Mountain in Hamilton, where a whole other tribe of madness prevailed.”

Appreciating the crowd response to “Blue Moon Drive,” Wilson naturally took time to converse.  “Thank you, it’s great to be here,” he acknowledged.  “I’m from over there.  And I only get to look over here.  They don’t let me here.  So the fact that I’m here, I’m going to have to do a really quick show and get out of here before they find out that I’m actually here.”  Pausing briefly, Tom would continue, “Happy Father’s Day everybody.  I hope you’re all celebrating with people you love?  My family doesn’t want to see me, so it’s just like any other day of the week, right Thompson?,” nodding to his son who was out in the crowd, grinning right back at his father.

With many references made to his recently discovered Mohawk heritage, Wilson drew upon material from both his 2019 “Mohawk” and 2016 “Beautiful Scars” albums.  Fans would take delight in hearing “How Does It Feel” and the recent CBC radio favorite, “Forty Light Years,” along with older band hits such as “Freedom” and “Leave The House.”  With a recital and tribute to the late Gord Downie, Wilson would share his popular cover of “Fiddlers Green,” before closing the set with the title track from the current album.

Lee Harvey Osmond Set List:

  1. “My Name Is” (recital)/How Does It Feel
  2. Blue Moon Drive
  3. Forty Light Years
  4. Freedom
  5. Leave The House
  6. “Gord” (recital)/Fiddlers Green (Tragically Hip cover)
  7. “Mohawk” (recital)/Mohawk

 

The Skydiggers

It had been almost two years since we last had the pleasure of seeing The Skydiggers, but felt like just yesterday once the band took their positions on stage and launched immediately into “Pull Me Down.” With 30+ years of music at their immediate disposal, the band delved deep into their back catalog, sharing tracks from both their formative years and most recent releases, including both “Like A New Beginning” and “Warmth Of The Sun.”

Following the popular, “Anything For You,” from their 2003 “Bittersweet Harmony” album, lead vocalist Andy Maize would address the large crowd before him.  “You know, if it was thirty years ago, we could all go back to my folks place at 156 Walkers Line,” he shared.  “Meet you there?  Just knock on the door and say ‘Andy sent ya’.”  Maize continued this topic of discussion immediately following a performance of “Shimmy Up Those Words.”  “If there’s nobody home, just help yourself,” he joked.  “The back yard has a pool.  I think after my parents moved out, the new owners put in a pool.  There’s a nice view of the lake.”

As is customary, guitarist Josh Finlayson would be given lead vocal duties during “Horseshoe Bay,” complete with a brief trumpet solo from Maize; and Jessy Bell Smith handled vocals during a duet with Andy on “Dear Henry.”  “I was at a school fund raiser and there was a silent auction, and one of the items was a little bag of pot,” announced Andy following “Feel You Closer,” prompting laughter from the crowd.  “How times have changed!  We’re growing up!  And In! And Out! And In! And Out!”  The timing of the statement could not have been better, however, as The Skydiggers went on to perform “Fall Apart,” complete with the line about smoking a joint.  Well played Andy.

The Skydiggers Set List:

  1. Pull Me Down
  2. Anything For You
  3. Shimmy Up Those Words
  4. Horseshoe Bay
  5. Feel You Closer
  6. Fall Apart
  7. Dear Henry
  8. Slow Burning Fire
  9. If I’m Spared
  10. Like A New Beginning
  11. Warmth Of The Sun
  12. Ramblin’ On
  13. I Will Give You Everything
  14. Just Before The Rain

 

The Cowboy Junkies

While we have had the pleasure of seeing all of these bands perform previously, we would have to rewind back to summer 2016 to recall our first encounter with The Cowboy Junkies.  Catching them at the now defunct Harvest Picnic in Dundas, ON, we were delighted to see this alternative country/folk band selected as the closing act for this year’s Sound Of Music festival.  With the release late last year of their most recent “All That Reckoning” album, we were happier still to hear some new tracks performed live for the first time.

With her customary vase of flowers and mug of hot tea next to her stool, lead vocalist Margo Timmins was welcomed to the stage by a considerably large crowd now in attendance.  Hey, how often do you get the chance to see a band this talented for free on a Sunday afternoon in the park?  The Cowboy Junkies would share several new tracks, but of course, pleased their legions of fans with popular cuts from across their extensive list of albums.  From “Sweet Jane” to “200 More Miles,” the audience reveled in these timeless hits, as well as “Escape Is So Simple,” a track described by Margo as a happy little song about breaking up.

During the instrumental start to “3rd Crusade,” bassist Alan Anton needed the assistance of the sound technician to take care of a defective cable connectivity issue.  “There is no Cowboy Junkies without the bass,” stated Margo, as the component was replaced and static from the monitor eradicated.  Given the nature of the spectacular repetitive bass slide from Anton, the time needed to fix the issue proved to be well worth the wait.  “A long time ago, I took a computer course, because I thought I’d go into computers,” Margo would share later that evening.  “And I wrote this song, because I was very confused,” she added, as the introduction for “I Don’t Get It” emanated through the speakers.

The band would ultimately close the evening with “Misguided Angel,” a live favorite, and upon announcing that this was the final number, the crowd erupted.  Jessy Bell Smith was invited by Margo to join her on stage, adding some wonderful harmonies to this fantastic hit.  What a perfect way to wrap up the Sound of Music festival, and what a great day of music found on the TD stage.  Here at Team GDW, we are very curious to see how the event organizers can possibly outdo themselves again next year.

The Cowboy Junkies Set List:

  1. ‘Cause Cheap Is How I Feel
  2. Sing Me A Song
  3. The Things We Do To Each Other
  4. Escape Is So Simple
  5. 3rd Crusade
  6. 200 More Miles
  7. Flirted With You All My Life
  8. Missing Children
  9. Mountain Stream
  10. All That Reckoning
  11. I Don’t Get It
  12. Sweet Jane
  13. Good Friday
  14. Misguided Angel (with Jessy Bell Smith)

 

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.