February 2006

J.P. Cormier
February 8, 2006Hugh's RoomToronto
A Very Good Year
by Stanley Fefferman
Up from down home for his annual visit to Hugh’s Room, which is celebrating it’s 5th anniversary, J.P. Cormier is having a good year. He’s been nominated by the East Coast Music Association (ECMA) for awards in four categories: Album of the Year The Long River: A Personal Tribute to Gordon Lightfoot: Folk Recording of the Year — "The Long River"; Single of the Year — "Blackbird" from Looking Back: Volume 2 — The Song; and Entertainer of the Year. This boy needs a slap.

Onstage with J.P. was his wife and companion of over 3,000 shows, the stellar Hilda Chiasson-Cormier on keyboard, and Darren McMullin, a flying fingered multi-instrumentalist playing lead guitar, electric bass, banjo, mandolin and a few other things. This boy is also good enough to need a slap.

The program started off with Cormier doing Lightfoot at least as well as Lightfoot, then veered into a few surprises. The first surprise was a passionate tune of his own entitled, “They Put Out the Lights in Green Harbour Deep”. It tells the story of a Newfoundland town raped for it’s lumber by the people in Ottawa: Cormier was one pissed off troubadour. The other surprise was that most of the show consisted of instrumentals, high performance reels and jigs and the like that got the audience wound up to clapping and tapping like they were at a kitchen party.
Cormier is funny too. Here’s his best one. What’s the difference between a Cape Breton wedding and a Cape Breton funeral? Answer: there’s one less drunk at the funeral.
We welcome your comments and feedback
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Stanley Fefferman
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The Live Music Report

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