Outdoor live music series returning to Smiths Falls

King of the Swingers at the first Music by the Basin
The first Music by the Basin series in 2020 featured an eclectic lineup of acts, including the Dixieland jazz group King of the Swingers. The series returns this year with live music at Confederation Park in Smiths Falls every Friday afternoon and evening from July 30 through Sept. 3. Photo submitted.
Posted on: July 12, 2021

If a couple of hours in the sunshine in scenic Centennial Park, listening to live music and enjoying some refreshments sounds like fun, you’re in for a treat.

The second annual Music by the Basin series, showcasing an array of local musical talent, kicks off at the Park Friday, July 30 and continues every Friday until Sept. 3.

The series hosted last summer by new business the Pickled Pig by the Basin was one of the few opportunities for Smiths Falls residents to enjoy live music during the first year of the pandemic. Music by the Basin is back in 2021 thanks to the support of the Town of Smiths Falls’ On the Roll program, the Hometown News and other local sponsors.

Although the lineup of acts is still being finalized, most of the schedule is confirmed. Back for the second year in a row is singer/songwriter Ambre Mclean, who has released six albums since 2004. She is known for her live performances, versatile and distinct singing voice, cross-genre songwriting style and use of live looping technology.

Also returning for the second year is Rosalyn Dennett, a fiddler, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. One of the founding members of the acclaimed quartet Oh My Darling, Dennett has produced four award-nominated albums.

The 2021 lineup also features John Wilberforce. This singer/songwriter from the Kemptville area is also a multi-instrumentalist who performs a solo acoustic show as well as serving as a member of several bands.

A fixture on the local music scene who was also featured in Music by the Basin last year, guitarist and singer Tom Watson has been playing live shows since 2012 and will be back for a show at the basin Aug.  13.

The Continentals are a band of local musicians who trace their classic rock roots back to the heyday of the Rideau Ferry Inn back in the early ‘60s, and will also be returning for the second year.

New in this year’s lineup is The Black Cherry Band, an Ottawa-based rock cover band founded in 2004. The band has performed at many clubs, bars, fairs, festivals, special events, curling bonspiels, charity events, sporting events, Canada Day celebrations, including opening appearances for larger acts such as The Jeff Healey Band and The Five Man Electrical Band. In 2012, the Black Cherry Band released a Christmas album entitled “Christmas Comfort and Joy.”

Kontrast the Band, formed in 2011 for a charity event, consists of Kelly Sarazin and Chris Rouffer. Their repertoire features sounds both loud and mellow, ranging all the way from Peter, Paul and Mary to Adele. Their music is a blend of both old and new, country, folk and rock.

Dallas Alexander, appearing Aug. 20, is a Metis country singer/songwriter originally from Alberta. He released his debut single, Pass It On, last June.

Alan Wright, known as Ottawa Valley Al, is a veteran performer who has hosted weekly open mic nights in Arnprior and Renfrew. He plays a mix of country, rock and folk music.

Each of the six Fridays in the series includes a performance by the acoustic duo Ian and Chris. Ian Jones and Chris Must first worked together as two members of a Beatles tribute show. When that project ended early in 2018, they continued working as a duo, expanding their repertoire to include British Invasion hits, folk rock classics, Celtic folk music and a variety of other hits of the 50s, 60s and 70s.

As of press time, the lineup for Music by the Basin 2021 is as follows (an additional Friday, Sept. 10, has been added in case any of the scheduled events are cancelled due to bad weather):

Friday, July 30th

2-5 p.m. Ian and Chris
5-7 p.m. Ottawa Valley Al
7-10 p.m. Ambre McLean

Friday, August 6th

2-5 p.m. The Continentals
5-7 p.m. Ian and Chris
7-10 John Wilberforce 

Friday, August 13th

2-5 Rosalyn Dennett
5-7 p.m. Ian and Chris
7-10 p.m. Tom Watson 

Friday, August 20th

2-5 p.m. To be confirmed
5-7 p.m. Ian and Chris
7-10 p.m. Dallas Alexander

Friday, August 27th

2-5 p.m. Black Cherry Band
5-7 p.m. Ian and Chris
7-10 To be confirmed

Friday, September 3rd

2-5 p.m. Ian and Chris
5-7 p.m. Kontrast the Band
7-10 p.m. To be confirmed

Article by Staff

Hometown News
Author: Hometown News