By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large
WELLAND – Christmas is still close to two weeks away. Does this allow time for a second A Kindred Christmas concert here in the Rose City?
We went to Saturday night’s in the Welland Community Wellness Complex theatre. I’d say there were about 250 people there. It was a great show, and although I can’t speak for everyone, I’d hazard a guess and say most if not all would agree.
The two-set concert had something for everyone. It offered well known Christmas pieces, some not so well known, some secular, some religious or spiritual, and some of this group’s signature offerings, “roots” music that was down east, bayou, bluegrass, folk .
With such a potpourri, for comparison purposes – sort of like that delightful mix of hard, Christmas candies that fill candy dishes this time of year, some red, some green, some striped, some a variety of hues – there was much to choose from in terms of personal favourites! A handful of mine were: The Rebel Jesus (remember Jackson Browne doing this piece?), Nothing But A Child, O Holy Night (a pretty, pretty, version offered up by the distaff side of the group), Song for a Winter’s Night and the spirited, sing-along, clap-your-hands rendition of the closing piece, Feliz Navidad. I’ll also mention two non-seasonal songs that were beautifully performed: Jolene and Blue Bayou, just to give readers an idea of the mix that concert-goers had to enjoy.
I’ll close by saying Kindred’s (a story explaining the story behind the name is merited!) gifts to the concert audience were mixed, many and magnificent. I left wondering when this talented group of voices and musicians would take to the stage in a larger venue, say Dr. J.M. Ennis Auditorium at Centennial Secondary School and delight upwards of several hundred concert goers. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait long!
(Joe Barkovich lives in his hometown of Welland, Ontario, Canada’s Rose City.)