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Two hours of musical thrills
Whether a concert-goer happened to remember the ten-year run of the Don Messer's Jubilee TV show or not, chances are they would have lapped up every bow stroke, drum beat, dance step and family friendly joke delivered by the Scott Woods Band Monday night at the Castlegar Complex.
True to their advance billing, the super-tight five piece outfit (multi-championship-winning fiddler Scott Woods, vocalist/guitarist Tommy Leadbeater, Scott's mom – pianist Carolyn Woods, bassist/guitarist Bruce Timmins and drummer/fiddler/step dancer Kyle Waymouth) put on the sort of polished show that only 56 warm-up efforts can enable. That's how many performances they've got under their belts leading up to the Castlegar date on the current cross Canada tour. As respectable as their talent and work ethic, is their unflagging professionalism. The group instantly connected with its appreciative audience and never let up. With a surplus of smiles and good humour they expertly backed the group's namesake and his jaw-dropping fiddle technique.
For his part, the younger Woods handled emcee duties with the same confident comfort he exhibits on any musical instrument he touches. On this occasion those amounted to an assortment of fiddles and the bass guitar.
The theme of the show was a tribute to entertainment legend Don Messer, whose Jubilee ruled the Canadian TV waves from 1959 to 1969. The tribute is loving and accurate with a load of historical information on the band members and guests who helped make the show popular enough to get better ratings than Hockey Night in Canada in one season.
(Pictured below with Don Messer image, Kyle Waymouth (L) and Bruce Timmins)
Tommy Leadbeater does an excellent job in honouring the cast member Charlie Chamberlain. Bruce Timmins saluted Messer guitarist Cecil McEachern with a hot instrumental called the Guitar Breakdown Boogie. Kyle Waymouth, just 19, dazzled the turnout of about 120 on the drums, fiddle and with his championship step-dancing form.
It's great to see and hear such high-end talent working so hard to preserve such a well-loved part of our national culture. The Scott Woods band averages 150 shows a year. They had come from Grand Forks and were on the way to High River AB as they made their way back east.
It's hard to imagine a more completely entertaining two hours, and the sound quality in the complex's banquet room was excellent.