Halo High Water
Benefit Concert, for
Calgary Foundation's Flood Rebuilding Fund
Tom Jackson, Graham Greene, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Dean Brody, Susan Aglukark, Jim Cuddy, Brett Kissel, George Canyon, Michelle Wright, Paul Brandt and many more...
Paul Brandt, Michelle Wright, Graham Greene, Tom Jackson
Susan Aglukark, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Paul Brandt, Michelle Wright, Graham Greene
Last night we took in the first of our pair of Alberta flood benefit concerts - and while this Halo High Water event may have been the smaller in scale, it was in no way shape or form small in talent and unforgettable highlights from the assembled artists. For two solid hours, attendees and supporters of the effort to raise money for flood victims throughout Alberta were witness to some of the biggest talent on the planet.
The photos above don't exactly speak to that - I had to sneak a couple of pics from below a railing, and we were seated up in the attic - but regardless, I did happen to snap a couple, even under the vigilant eye of the theatre usher - the one I didn't post was a row of feet onstage....
Too many people gave freely of their time to include here, but what the heck, let's give it a try, as best as I can.
Tom Jackson - ever the genial and heart-on-his-sleeve host. Together with actor Graham Greene, they moved the evening along with humour and warmth - and in Jackson's case, a couple of songs. Having recently seen Jackson's Huron Carole live, this was another chance to see Mr. Jackson fill a stage with charisma and commitment to a cause.
Carolyn Dawn Johnson - long a fan, her too short set (like all the performers, only a song or two each) went by far too quickly, but well-chosen songs got the night off to a great start. A nice duet with new country artist Brett Kissel...
Livy Jeanne - a great discovery, this young artist delivered with her "Any Other Way".
Dean Brody - Solo, doing a couple of amazing acoustic versions of his hits ("Bob Marley", and "Canadian Girls") Brody elicited roars from the crowd, an obvious favourite. We need to see a full night of this gentleman live.
Susan Aglukark - part of a mini-Huron Carole reunion with Jackson, I cannot imagine ever getting tired of hearing this delightful (and powerful) voice...
Jim Cuddy - now officially the single artist I have seen live the most - and in three different provinces! Turning in an epic acoustic version of "Five Days In May", and a slightly more uptempo
take on the timeless "Try" - again, the crowd went wild.
Brett Kissel - looks like I'll be buying a CD today - Kissel made an impression on anyone not familiar with his work, and his two originals were very well received!
George Canyon - after following his run on Nashville Star, this was the first time we've seen him live?? How can that be - and he LIVES here???? Without a doubt, one of the most compelling performances of the night with "Slow Dance" - absolute silence in the Jube during that.
Michelle Wright - second time seeing this favourite here in Calgary, and every bit as good as the first time. May have to see if we have "Strong" on CD already - if not, that's a must-have!!
The Travelling Mabels - how have we missed out on this talented trio? Like Emmylou Harris with friends on a breathtaking "Alberta Blue"....
Don Amero - another new CD to pick up, this Winnipeger was one more happy surprise, and a barrel of talent!!
Paul Brandt - what can you say about the hometown boy - with the Alberta Youth Choir, Mr. Brandt offered a surreal experience - and his version of "Alberta Bound" with them ranked among my favourite, most profound concert experiences ever - and that includes performances by Springsteen and McCartney. Unreal...
So much more - the taste of Alberta Ballet, Olympic athletes, NHL and CFL stars, cast of Heartland, and compelling videos of the flood made this a night that I won't soon forget. Well done Calgary Foundation, Halo High Water, and all the sponsors that helped make this happen.
Find out more at Halo High Water, and donate if you can!!