Thanks to some submissions from Wide Mouth Mason fans, we’ve added dates to the Gigography section, including links to fan-generated content for recent gigs at the Shell Theatre’s Performance Series on February 17th and the Thunder Bay Blues Festival on July 9th! If you have content you’ve created that you’d like to see on the site or gig memories you’d like to share, contact the Chef de mission!
Sarnia Powerboat Festival boasts The Trews, I Mother Earth, Big Sugar, Wide Mouth Mason
This August’s International Powerboat Festival won’t be a quiet affair.
Organizers with the fourth annual three-day riverfront festival Aug. 8-10 in Sarnia and Port Huron are expecting even more roaring speedsters on the water, and announced four well-known rock bands Thursday for the signature summer affair.
Alternative rockers I Mother Earth will join The Trews, each with a full show, in the festival’s Saturday ticketed concert series. Wide Mouth Mason will open Friday evening’s concert for rock/reggae group Big Sugar.
Both evenings kick off at 8 p.m. at the George Street riverfront parking lot. There’ll also be a 19+ VIP area on the terrace of the St. Clair Corporate Centre, looking down on the concert grounds, where a kickoff “Get Launched Party” will be held Friday.
“We’re in a small intimate venue, so you’ll definitely be up close and personal with the bands,” said co-organizer Michele Stokley. “So I do expect the tickets to go fast.”
Meanwhile plans are to bring in up to 10 of the 40-to-50-foot super class powerboats for Sunday’s races, starting at noon. There were four on the water at last year’s event.
“It’ll just put the race itself in a whole different electrifying mood,” said co-organizer Dave Brown, noting nothing’s been confirmed yet. “We’re pretty pumped about it, to say the least.”
Last year’s festival featured 54/40 and Sarnia-fan favourite The Trews in concert and 29 powerboat drivers rooster tailing along the St. Clair River. It also attracted more than 35,000 people: more than doubling attendance from 2012.
“We’re not really taking baby steps,” said Stokley, who’s said she envisions bringing the festival to a Bayfest-level caliber, potentially incorporating the two in the future.
“It’s Sarnia’s premier festival without a doubt, but I can see it growing more,” she said, predicting attendance will hit 45,000 this year.
World-class buskers will work the streets juggling chainsaws, in addition to stilt-walkers all weekend, Stokley said. There will also be a kids’ workshop downtown on Sunday where they’ll teach youngsters some tricks of the trade.
A Power Wake wakeboarding competition is also back this year, taking place Saturday morning on the waterfront.
Boat parades, powerboat time trials, a meet and greet with drivers, an inflatable kids’ play area, vendors, artists and tall ships are all expected to return.
Outside of the ticketed concerts, the entire weekend is a free affair and last year donated $70,000 to charities from sponsorships and concert ticket sales.
A second stage at Front and Lochiel streets will feature local band Chemical Valley on Friday at 5 p.m., playing a free opening show before the ticketed concert. Smith and the Crazy 8s — featuring the 88s’ Ian Smith — Census and Gorgeous George will play Saturday, starting at noon.
“We’re really excited about the great concerts, but also the on-water activities,” said Scott MacLean, one of two festival chairs.
“We’re seen as one of the best race courses in North America,” he said.
It’s unique, Stokley said, noting the festival is the only split Canadian/U.S. powerboat racing event.
Concert tickets are $40, or $65 for a weekend pass, available starting at noon Thursday at sarniapowerboats.com, Stoke’s Bay and Stoke’s Inland. Complete festival details and event times are at sarniapowerboats.com.
Big Sugar and Wide Mouth Mason headline Rainmaker Rodeo
On the second last weekend of every May, the Rainmaker Rodeo blasts off for three days to remember.
The action starts on Friday, May 23 with a much anticipated rock concert featuring headline rockers Big Sugar and Wide Mouth Mason.
Pat Dower, the rodeo concert chair of the sponsoring St. Albert Kinsmen, is the man behind the scenes who spends hours emailing agents, negotiating contracts and gauging a budget.
And he is pumped for this year’s rock line-up.
Big Sugar just released Yardstyle on April 15 and it’s a slight departure from past albums. The 13-track of percussion-heavy acoustic reggae definitely rocks, but the band shows a different side of their sound.
The collection blends new material with overhauled versions of past cuts in a stripped down acoustic form. Many of the arrangements were inspired by spontaneous jam sessions held on tour buses and backstage.
As vocalist Gordie Johnson said, “This is what we sound like when people aren’t watching. We never rehearse our songs the way they’ll sound at a show. Instead we’ll grab a banjo, a guitar, and just play. This is how we get our groove on.”
Dower, who was privileged to see them perform at an Ontario festival noted, “They’re a pretty active band and they put on a great show. You want to get up off your seat and dance. They’re great to hear and easy to listen to.”
In contrast the Canadian blues-rock band Wide Mouth Mason is in the process of producing their eighth CD. The last one was No Bad Days released in 2011.
Going strong since the 1990s, the rock-blues-soul power trio has opened for heavyweights such as The Rolling Stones, ZZ Top, AC/DC and The Guess Who.
“I’ve never seen them play, but some of our senior members recommended them. They’re a very energetic bunch of guys and we’re excited to have them.”
On the local front, the Morinville-based Canyon Rose Outfit is all fired up to perform their full-throttle combo of rock and roll, psychedelic and blues.
The concert is an 18-plus show. Gates open at 6 p.m. Advance ticket prices are $39.99 plus GST. Gate admission is $59.99 plus GST.
Tickets are available on line at ticketmaster.ca. Fans can save the cost of service fees (about $12) by buying tickets at St. Albert’s Crown & Tower Pub or The Beer Hunter locations.
For additional information visit http://stalbertkinsmen.ca
Masonite Ashley D. emailed Wide Mouth Mason with this question: “Will all the Wide Mouth Mason videos ever be available on iTunes?”
“All Wide Mouth Mason videos for songs released by Warner Music Canada (WMC), are owned and controlled by WMC. Last year WMC informed us they would be re-releasing some of our back catalogue digitally. There was no mention of the videos, but we will make further inquiries. You can also make the request to WMC:
Thanks for your question and interest. We’re a band because of our fans.”
Wide Mouth Mason are pleased to confirm that they will be returning to Peterborough, Ontario on July 5, 2014. Further details on this gig will be posted to the site as known and confirmed.
Big Sugar brings sweet sounds to Rainmaker
Organizers of this year’s Rainmaker Rodeo and Exhibition to hear some sweet sounds from their rock lineup.
The St. Albert Kinsmen announced earlier this week that the annual festival’s rock concert will be headlined by Canadian reggae-blues-rock veterans Big Sugar on Friday, May 23, under the big tent at their rodeo grounds on Riel Drive.
They’ll be joined on the bill by fellow Canadian rockers Wide Mouth Mason.
Big Sugar has had a number of members rotate through their lineup since they released their first album in 1991, but the core of the band has remained lead singer/guitarist Gordie Johnson, bassist Garry Lowe and harmonica/saxophone player Kelly “Mr. Chill” Hoppe. Together, they have gained a reputation for being an outstanding live band.
Their breakthrough came in 1995 when they released their album Hemi-Vision, which included such hits as “Diggin’ A Hole,” “Open Up Baby,” and “If I Had My Way.” They followed that up with 1996’s Heated, which included “Better Get Used to It,” “The Scene,” and “Turn the Lights On.”
In 2001, the band released Brothers and Sisters, Are You Ready?, which included “Nicotina,” “All Hell for a Basement,” and a blistering guitar version of “O Canada.” The band also recorded a track-for-track French version of the album for sale in Quebec.
Big Sugar decided to split up and played their last show at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton on New Year’s Eve 2003. But they reunited in 2010, and released a new studio album, Revolution Per Minute, in 2011. Currently, they are promoting an acoustic album, YardStyle.
Meanwhile, Wide Mouth Mason is a blues-rock band that started in Saskatoon, Sask., in 1995. They are best known for sings like “Midnight Rain,” “Sugarcane,” and “Smile.” Big Sugar’s Johnson started pulling double duty as Wide Mouth Mason’s full-time bassist in March 2011, and also produced their last album, No Bad Days, which was released in July 2011.
The Kinsmen also announced about a week ago that the country concert on Saturday, May 24, will feature Tim Hicks and Michelle Wright.
Tickets for the 18-plus rock show are $39.99 each plus fees and taxes, and are available through Ticketmaster.
With official announcements by event organisers already out, Wide Mouth Mason is pleased to confirm that they will be appearing in St. Albert, Alberta on May 23, 2014, Regina, Saskatchewan on July 1, 2014, Kimberley, British Columbia on July 19, 2014, and Burnaby, British Columbia on August 9, 2014. More dates are pending, so stay tuned to the site for further posts on confirmed gigs! We now have a feature that allows interested Masonites the option of subscribing to the site so each time there’s a new post, you get notice!
Kimberley Chamber announces JulyFest acts
JulyFest planning is now well underway and many have been eagerly waiting the announcement of which band will play the Civic Centre on Saturday night, July 19. The answer was worth the wait.
Following the huge success with 54-40 last year, the Kimberley Chamber is pleased to announce that two bands have been booked for this year’s JulyFest. They are Wide Mouth Mason and Big Sugar.
Mike Guarnery, Chamber manager, and Dave Clark, of the JulyFest committee had a long search to find just the right acts and believe they have found them.
Wide Mouth Mason and Big Sugar are touring together this summer.
Formed in Saskatoon in 1995, Wide Mouth Mason consists of Shaun Verreault (Lead Vocals, Guitar), Safwan Javed (Percussion, Backing Vocals), and Gordie Johnson (Bass, Backing Vocals). The pop/rock/blues band has had a number of hits including Midnight Rain and Sugarcane.
Gordie Johnson is the common thread between both bands. He plays bass for Wide Mouth Mason and guitar for Big Sugar, which was formed in 1988. Big Sugar has put out eight reggae-rock albums including this year’s Eliminate Ya! Live! Big Sugar has built their reputation as an outstanding live band, often playing without a set list. Band members are Gordie Johnson, guitar/vocals; Garry Lowe, bass; Kelly Mr Chill Hoppe, harmonica/sax/melodica; Friendlyness, keyboards and Stephane Bodean Beaudin, drums.
Tickets for the show will go on-sale in mid-May on the new Julyfest website (www.julyfest.com). Canadian Bocce Championship registration will also be available at that time.
Concert ticket prices are $45 (plus fees and taxes). The Kimberley & District Chamber is expanding the Saturday night entertainment with both these great bands, says Guarnery. All ticket holders must be 19 years of age to enter the show.
Confirmed today is Wide Mouth Mason’s performance at the Burnaby Blues & Roots Festival on Saturday, August 9, 2014. Wide Mouth Mason will be joining their band big brother Big Sugar at the festivities this year. Set time for this event is tentative, so please check with event organisers for specific set start and end times.
Just confirmed this week are a series of summer dates in the works for Wide Mouth Mason, including a few Big & Wide summer dates with Gordie’s Big Sugar. So far, July 1, 2014 in Regina, Saskatchewan has been confirmed, but keep checking in for more news and details as gig information is confirmed. Always check with the venue or event promoter for specific set and ticket details, as these can change!