“Good As a (Covid) Concert”
On July 20, 2020, at 7:30pm, MMaP partnered with SingSong Inc. (a leading independent record label of traditional music) and the St. John’s Song Circle’s Eleanor Dawson to present another event in our “Good as a Concert” series. “Good As a (Covid) Concert”: Livestreamed Performances for a Time of Crisis featured music by three leading performers in the province—multi-instrumentalist Natasha Blackwood, vocalist and accordionist Aaron Collis, and singer and guitarist Sherry Ryan—along with host Jim Payne. It was a night of inspiring music that continued the themes of our “Good as a Concert” series during this time of global health crisis.
Raised on a land fertile for songs and storytelling, Sherry Ryan has been winning hearts across the country as one of Newfoundland’s finest singer-songwriters. Sherry has earned nation-wide attention, extensive radio play, and multiple music awards and nominations. Sherry’s highly anticipated fourth album, Wreckhouse, takes its name from the song “Stop The Trains,” a gem of a tune voted best song in the province in 2018. Her instantly recognizable voice radiates on this Newfoundland classic in the making, and the rest of Wreckhouse is no exception. Described as “so good—so distinct—it’s absolutely unforgettable” (Exclaim!), hers is a voice you pay attention to.
Watch "Stop The Trains" by Sherry Ryan (feat. Flower Hill):
A multi-instrumentalist and singer from Appleton, Newfoundland, Aaron Collis is best known as one of the finest exponents of the island’s rich tradition of button accordion playing. His virtuosity, as well as his repertoire of music unique to Central and Northeastern Newfoundland, have quickly garnered him a reputation as one of the province’s outstanding interpreters of traditional music. Aaron has brought the music of his home province to stages throughout North America, the UK, Ireland, Australia, and the Caribbean as a member of the award-winning bands Rum Ragged and The Dardanelles.
Watch Aaron Collins performing "The Lamb's Anthem" with Rum Ragged:
Natasha Blackwood is a singer, multi-instrumentalist and composer based in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. She is well known for her role in ECMA award-winning band Eastern Owl and her work as a large-ensemble writer for choral and instrumental groups across Canada. Natasha’s debut solo album, Ease Back, is a concept album that explores the stages of grief with lush arrangements, thoughtful poetry, and catchy jazz-pop writing. The album was released on March 14, 2020, on the very first day of the provincial shutdown due to COVID-19. Although the release concert and subsequent events were all cancelled, the album was released to critical acclaim and community celebration. The album went to #1 at Fred’s Records, was featured on CBC and CHMR, and received rave reviews. Natasha’s first performance of these songs was a livestream solo concert for the National Arts Centre’s #canadaperforms series in May, and she is soon to be featured with her band at the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival (virtual edition).
Watch Natasha Blackwood performing Are You the Light: