Not knowing what to expect, I worked my way over to the Hintonburg Public House on this lazy Sunday to check out the Wellington End Music and Food Festival. My curiosity was rewarded as I was blown away by two beautiful singer-songwriters from Ottawa.
The Public House is such a cool little spot. It is very cozy and rustic with an all-wooden entrance and a matching bar where plenty of local craft beers flow from the taps.
First to grace the crowd on March 3rd, was Erin Saoirse Adair, of Three Little Birds’ fame. Accompanied by a guitarist, a drummer and a cello player, Erin started off her set with Ukulele in hand. The quartet played a pretty upbeat and happy set, just like the shinning smile that never seemed to leave Erin’s face. She and her band of merry men played a great show, covering quite a diverse group of themes from love songs about trees, to the weather in Ontario, to the story of her life titled Drunken Cliché. My favourite piece was, No Confusion, which is a beautiful song with a wonderful musical arrangement. This song really takes off when the cello kicks in.
Following Erin was Keturah Johnson who apologized for not having a band. I am sure this apology seemed silly the moment Keturah began to sing . I can’t remember ever hearing someone with such an incredible diversity of sound in their voice. At moments, it was a very powerful, booming and passionate voice that had you on a roller coaster ride of emotions with her. Other times, she was soft and peaceful; ready to sing you a lullaby. There is definitely an old-soul yearning to be heard within her. Keturah played several great original tunes as well as covers by Joni Mitchell, Townes Van Zandt and an amazingly moving rendition of Cary Anne Hearst’s Hells Bells, as the crowd demanded an encore. Make a point of seeing Keturah any chance you can. You will not be disappointed, I promise.
What an excellent way to spend a Sunday afternoon: great food, great drinks, great people and two wonderful musical discoveries. Well done Wellington End, I just hope that I can catch more of the festival next year.
[bandcamp track=4278088508 bgcol=bdbdbd linkcol=000000 size=venti]