Whiskey Jack celebrates Stompin' Tom Connors' legacy

If Stompin’ Tom Connors were still around, would it be the good old hockey game or the good old baseball game?


How about basketball?

Maybe all three. The Jays and Raptors have been looking pretty good, and as long as it’s Canadian, Stompin’ Tom would have approved. We may have lost the legendary Canadian crooner in 2013 at 77, but his spirit is still going strong.

In fact, in Toronto next week at the Lula Lounge the spirit of Stompin’ Tom will shine brightly.

“Stories and Songs of Stompin’ Tom is a show by veteran Canadian band Whiskey Jack that celebrates the musical legacy one of Canada’s best-known cultural icons, Stompin’ Tom Connors,” says my pal Jim “Farm Boy” Baine, who’s working on the project.

Baine and I go back to the Billy Ray Cyrus days of 1992. As editor of Country magazine, he told then-Sun editor Les Pyette of the Cyrus Virus phenomenon that we later went down south to chronicle.

So I was thrilled to get a call from Baine, who was also once an editor at the Sun, about this neat project, to honour both Connors’ legacy and Canada, too, as 150th birthday celebrations kick off next year.

“Tom was intensely proud to be a Canadian,” Baine says. “What bothered him most was that he felt Canada was underrepresented in music and song. He set out to change that, and when he died he left behind a catalogue of Canadian stories and songs that can be enjoyed for years to come.”

Whiskey Jack, made up of Duncan Fremlin on banjo and vocals, Bob McNiven on guitar and vocals, champion fiddler Randy Morrison, bassist Eric Jackson, Howard Willett on harmonica, singer Jen Cook and drummer Al Cross. are a pack of “ace pickers and grinners who shared the stage with Connors during the last years of his Canadian musical journey.”

With today’s technology they will all be on stage together again at Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W. on Wednesday Oct. 19 — and tour across the country in 2017.

“All of Tom’s big hits — Bud the Spud, Sudbury Saturday Night, The Hockey Song and many more — are presented in a lively, mixed-media format that has audiences clapping their hands, stomping their feet and clamouring for more,” says Baine.

The music is timeless and it’s always Canadian. The stories will be interesting too.

Among my favourites personally is the time I was with him down in the old Maple Leaf Gardens when he went to hang out with Don Cherry and Ron MacLean after Coach’s Corner.

“No bar here,” he joked.

Grapes knew what to do. “Go get this guy some beers.”

In those days the media room had canned beer in the fridge. It wasn’t long until four Molson Canadians were delivered.

Grapes and Stompin’ Tom. Neither afraid to speak their mind and show love for their country.

Some believe Canadian patriotism is a thing of the past. It certainly won’t be at the Lula Lounge Wednesday or all across the country in 2017.

For more info on the show, check out whiskeyjackmusic.com.

Have a great weekend everybody. Scrawler out.

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.