As we joined the lineup, which stretched around my former high school, I noted a wide age range among the shivering patrons. Clearly the show appealed to many. It was sold out. Age range was made more evident throughout the show. While interviewing Buffy Sainte- Marie, who will receive a humanitarian award at The Junos, Tom Powers reminded the audience that she is seventy-six! After the taping was finished, Powers conducted an informal question and answer session and revealed that he will soon turn thirty.
So yes, this was a show with range for sure. We were not disappointed. It was simply a great evening. It wasn't just that the performers were talented. Yes, they were. However what's often more important for me is what kind of people they are. How do they make you feel? Do they connect with their audience?
Tom Powers set the tone right from the start. He was warm, friendly and welcoming. He admitted to feeling nervous at this, his first live taping of the show. He did a great job. He's a knowledgeable, but down-to-earth interviewer.
I would have gone away happy right after the opening because it was The Strumbellas singing Spirits, for which they are nominated for Single of the year. The interview with band members Simon Ward and Dave Ritter was just lovely. Powers asked about the lyrics of Spirits, and Ward admitted it's not that cheerful; that he wrote it at a time when he was feeling down. He now gets great satisfaction from the song's success and the many positive comments he's getting from fans. His song, written at a low time, is now bringing joy and comfort to many, which continues to lift him up. It was a touching conversation.
|My view of the Strumbellas from my balcony seat, right where I used to sit in grade 10.|
That was followed by an interview with Henry Burris of the Ottawa Redblacks and Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo. They were talking about the Juno Cup, a celebrity fundraising hockey game in support of Musi-Counts, a music education charity. Again, two really nice guys.
I won't go through the whole show. You'll have to listen to it. At a time when we're inundated with so much bad news, it was a real pleasure to be part of a show that was just celebrating the positives: good music, good artists, good people. Thanks again CBC!