Gordon Lightfoot tribute features 11 artists presenting 20 of the iconic Canadian’s songs
“I think this is a passion project for everyone involved.”
That is all anyone needs to know about the upcoming Gordon Lightfoot Tribute show titled Carefree Highway at the Rene M. Caisse Theatre in Bracebridge.
It was Michele Emson, manager and technical director for the Rene M. Caisse, who said it, but surely the sentiment is shared by all those involved.
“Gordon Lightfoot is the backing track to our lives, especially here in Canada,” says Michelle. “It just seemed like a great opportunity to bring together a lot of the musical talent we have her in Muskoka and put it up on the main stage.”
The day after Lightfoot passed, Michele had the idea to honour the iconic singer, songwriter, musician. She reached out to musician and friend Neil Hutchinson and singer, songwriter, musical director Sean Cotton. Together the three went to work organizing the events.
“I figured between the three of us we could pull something together,” says Michelle. “We were able to pull this together in 24 hours.”
Neil and Sean oversaw getting as many Muskoka artists on board as possible.
“Sean sent out an email to 15 people and we go immediate response,” says Neil.
Eleven artists, some doing solo shows with the The Carefree House Band providing back-up tunes, and others doing duets, will perform 20 total Gordon Lightfoot songs. The majority of the songs will be familiar to anyone attending, however a couple of the lesser-known tunes will be included.
“There is way more than 20 songs that we could do, he has 20 albums,” says Neil. “Christina Hutt has picked a couple of lesser known songs that I know she’ll just ace.”
The show runs Thursday, June 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Rene Caisse Theatre in Bracebridge. The 300 seat theatre is 80% sold out for the show at the time of this writing, so jump on https://www.thecaisse.ca/ quickly if you want a seat. Tickets are $45 plus HST and fees (around $53 total).
The Carefree House Band of Sean Cotton, Mike “Lopez” Phillips, George Axon and Shon Roper will be supporting songs from Virgil Scott, Tamica Herod, Emma Cook, Neil Hutchinson, Curt Dunlop, Jed Corbeil, Isla-Maria Corbeil, Charlie McKittrick, Christina Hutt, James Gray, Todd Blair and Beverlie Robertson.
“When you look at the line-up, it’s very good value,” says Michelle. “Any Lightfoot fan is going to come away feeling great.”
“The lyrics and songs that Lightfoot wrote are timeless,” says Neil. “They’re as good as anybody … He stayed in the country, so there is a certain Canadiana about him. |But, also we have some first-rate musicians interpreting the songs.
Neil, who will be performing is excited about playign with other artists. He performed a solo Lightfoot tribute called the Lightfoot Lunch at Fine Thymes Bistro on May 7, with a second show set for May 20 from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.
“I’m used to playing solo, I’m looking forward to having a powerhouse band playing behind me, that will be a thrill,” he says.
Find out more about the show on the Muskoak Unlimited Podcast below (including our favourite Lightfoot songs). To download and listen later click the three dots on the right.