Main Act: My Sweet Patootie
Opening Act: Alicia Toner
Desboro Music Hall 2017 Concert Series
Doors Open: 7pm, Music Starts: 7:30pm
Tickets: Advance: $20 ($17.70 +HST), Regular: $25 ($22.12 +HST)
*Advance tickets are only available up to the Box Office hours the weekend before the show or we run out (Note: there is a limit of 25 advance tickets)
My Sweet Patootie is contemporary roots and ragtime at its best; bringing tight harmonies, monstrous guitar, sizzling fiddle and percussion together in one perfect package. Founded in 2007 by Canadian Folk Music Award winners Sandra Swannell and Terry Young, the trio has a growing international reputation. From original swing to funky fiddle-tune arrangements to exquisite ballads, they deliver a must-see show that Driftwood Magazine describes as “two parts exemplary musicianship, one part vaudeville comedy”.
Their vintage-style song writing is rooted in folk, americana and jazz; heavily influenced by the likes of Chet Atkins, Lenny Breau, Les Paul & Mary Ford and the Andrews Sisters. Throw in a penchant for light-hearted satire and their love of artists like Patsy Cline and Hank Williams and you get a sound that Young likes to call “Green Acres for the New Millennium”.
Terry Young is described by Penguin Eggs as an “acoustic guitar god”. BBC critic James Harrox calls his playing “virtuosic”, while FATEA magazine describes it as “jaw dropping”. He has taught advanced finger-style guitar clinics and has written about his technique for Chicago’s Plank Road Folk Music Society Magazine. He is a talented multi-instrumentalist who toured from 1999 – 2009 with the group Tanglefoot; performing on guitar, mandolin, banjo and pennywhistle. Terry is a classically trained singer and holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Western Ontario.
Sandra Swannell is a classically trained violinist/ violist, but her style owes much more to the influences of Joe Venuti and Stephane Grappelli. Her diverse musical background ranges from recording with Canada’s legendary Stompin’ Tom Connors to writing a series of musical sketches for string orchestra. She was the principal violist of the Georgian Bay Symphony and fronted the Celtic art-rock band The Shards before joining the group Tanglefoot in 2005. Sandra has taught violin/ viola clinics for festivals, schools, community orchestras for many years as well as her own private studio.
With the departure of group’s original drummer Bradford Nowak in 2015, My Sweet Patootie became a truly international band with Welsh percussionist Anthony Thickett joining for UK tours, and Canadian Paul Clifford for North American tours.
Paul Clifford is a drummer, percussionist, songwriter and producer now based in Ontario. Musically growing up on the west coast of Canada, Paul played in various jazz/ blues bands, theatre productions, reggae bands, and toured/ recorded with the Vancouver folk-roots ensemble The Be Good Tanyas. Music education includes the many pilgrimages to New Orleans, Cuba, jazz studies on Vancouver Island, busking the streets of Europe with his tiny drum kit, and years of touring/ recording with the north american roots trio Groanbox. Based in the English countryside of Kent for ten years, Paul worked as a record producer for Smugglers Records, was the musical director for the vaudevillian theatre collective The Private Widdle Social Club, and kept active in the local and London blues scenes. His education continues.
The band’s name “My Sweet Patootie” is a slang term of endearment which became popular in the 1920s meaning a “hot dame” or a “sassy sweetheart”. Several ragtime titles from the jazz-age reference the expression, as do the lyrics of “Everybody Loves My Baby” (1924) by Spencer Williams and Jack Palmer. More significantly for Young and Swannell is “Sweet Patootie Blues” (1928) by Arthur “Blind” Blake, who was well known for his complex and intricate finger picking. The name was chosen to capture the vintage flavour of their music as well as the satirical edge in much of their song writing.
MSP released their third album “Good Day” in May of 2013, their first full length album as a trio. Peter Cowley’s review in FATEA magazine describes it as “infectious good humour and superb playing and singing, a delightful combination of jazzy guitar, Hot Club violin, luscious strings and horns and harmony vocals”. The CD was produced, arranged, engineered and mastered by Young & Swannell at their own Nowheresville Studio located in an historic one-room school house near Meaford, Ontario. “Good Day” is their most ambitious project to date and features each member’s skills as multi-instrumentalists, yet still remains true to their live sound as a trio. Other recordings are Patootified!”(2010, self produced) and “Nowheresville” (2008, produced by Canadian gospel-blues legend Ken Whiteley).
The trio has performed thousands of shows including theatres, festivals and clubs in Canada (Ontario, Manitoba and British Colombia), the United States from the eastern Seaboard to the Midwest, and the United Kingdom. My Sweet Patootie is played regularly on CBC, NPR, and BBC Radio. They have performed live-to-air concerts on; the nationally-syndicated WFMT “Folkstage” in Chicago, IL; WVBR’s “Bound for Glory” in Ithaca, NY; and BBC’s “The Drift” in Blackburn, Lancashire.
In 2014 My Sweet Patootie performed at the Mariposa Folk Festival and were guest artists with the Georgian Bay Symphony, performing orchestrated versions of their original songs. In 2015 they launched their fifth 2 month-long tour of England and Scotland and their eighth North American tour.
My Sweet Patootie Photos by Wayne Simpson
A critically acclaimed singer, fiddler, actor, musician, Alicia Toner has been wowing audiences with her diverse skill set for years. Classically trained in violin and voice with a diploma in Music Theatre-Performance, this unique performerʼs journey has taken her all over Canada and to several European countries.
Born and raised in Fredericton, NB, she caught the performing bug early, touring with the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra, with whom she played Carnegie Hall, and singing/ playing fiddle in the Celtic/folk quartet HATband. Since moving to Toronto 10 years ago and studying Music Theatre, Alicia has appeared in over 30 productions across Canada and Europe including the Dora Award Winning production of Assassins(TIFT/Birdland) and the hit musical Once(Mirvish) that brought home many Doras and much critical acclaim. For the last four years, she has been a staple of the Charlottetown Festival, lending her incredibly versatile voice to roles such as Cinderella in Cinderella, as well as many featured vocalist roles. Most recently, she was seen in the wildly successful new Canadian Musical The Chasse Galerie.
An East Coaster at heart, Alicia felt the pull of the Maritimes and, in 2014, made Charlottetown her home. Since then, she has shifted her attention to her first love; music. In June of 2015, Alicia went into the studio with Stuart Cameron, Peter Fusco and Blake Manning to record her first four track EP. The following Spring, with the help of FACTOR Canada, she completed her full-length debut album “I Learned the Hard Way” to be released this June, 2017.
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