Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cheryl Reid and the After Hours Band

     I enjoyed a very special evening on  Saturday. My good friend, Cheryl Reid was booked at the Oasis, on Spring Garden Rd, in Halfax for a special performance and very little was going to prevent me from attending. 

     Oh my goodness, how that part of the city has changed! The grand entrance to the Lord Nelson Hotel is on South Park St, and I naturally assumed that since Oasis is really the old LBR (Lord's Beverage Room) the entrance would be on the same street. With this in mind, I found an empty parking space on South Park, close to Citadel Hill. Great .. free parking .. except the entrance to the bar was on Spring Garden, so a bit more of a walk. I really didn't mind as it was a nice crisp night and the fresh air was rather invigorating. 

     Having located the entrance, I had to wait for a mass exodus of medical students ... I'm sure there were over a hundred. Most appeared to have enjoyed their visit to the Oasis and I waited patiently until the boisterous mob moved on down the street. Good timing too, as just then a bunch of friends arrived by taxi and we all went down the numerous stairs to the tavern that lurks under the grand hotel. It hadn't changed a whole lot in the twenty eight or so years since I'd last darkened it's cavernous spaces. The floor and ceiling looked exactly the same as they had 'back in the day'. 

     The stage section had obviously just been recently vacated by the students, as evidenced by unbussed glassware and plastic, paper lined food baskets all over the tables. The harried staff was scrambling like mad trying to clean up before the entertainment started for the evening. We, of course, chose seating very close to the stage, most of us feeling entitlement as we were friends of the lead singer. I felt a bit sorry for our waiter. He did great the first couple rounds but as the place quickly filled up, he fell far behind. MInd you, this was in no way his fault. He was the only waiter assigned to this very large and very busy section. His job was impossible. My sympathy began to turn to disappointment in the management for assigning only one waiter. On my long trek to the washroom at the other side of expansive tavern, I noticed several portly male employees keeping the stools warm and very little else. It became easier and almost a necessity to go to the bar to get your own refreshment. 

     So, lets get back to the band, Really, really good! They are a new band so you can't expect them to be polished at this point, but I thought they did very well. Cheryl was amazing .. her voice strong and clear, she moved with energy and grace in a very small space, and is so beautiful to watch. It didn't hurt that she was sporting one of my crystal bracelets and a very glittery cocktail ring. Her voice is somewhere between Janis Joplin and Stevie Nicks, in my mind.  and the selection of songs they chose was  crowd pleasing. This band certainly knows their audience. The sound was fairly acoustically balanced, if the instrumental a bit loud. I found the drums at times a bit over the top of the singer's vocals so some adjustment is necessary there, but the vocals were clear and strong. The backup harmonies worked and added a lot to Cheryl's lead. I highly recommend these professional entertainers as excellent entertainment and worth every cent of the measly cover charge. Really guys ...  you're worth a bit more than $3. It was a job well done and I'm so happy to have been there at their professional debut. 

     The other really exciting thing was the amount of old buddies who showed up for this show. The fact that so many of us knew each other made for a great party. I would have loved to have had a couple drinks, but with the distance I had to travel, that would not have been a wise move. Unfortunately, I couldn't stay until the end, but I did take some folks back to Dartmouth on my way out of the cities, and I was home at a reasonable time, feeling very happy to have taken in this show. 

    Today I've worked on some ring orders. I've picked up a few custom requests through the ring give away post and Cheryl's modelling. I need some beads right away so hopefully will be able to pick them up tomorrow. It's time for another wool piece but I'm not sure what just yet. I have two projects in mind: a dragon surrounding a large cluster of amethyst crystals  or another mask; the third in the series of an unknown number. Yes, my hands are usually busy, and when they're not, my mind is generally going full tilt. I wish I'd been this creative at a younger age ... I'd have so much more polish to my work by now. The learning curve can be steep at times.


Sea People said...

My God Lynn you have a life!!! i went to Bridgewater today...

Cheryl Reid said...

Thanks again for coming out to the show! And thank you for repairing my bracelet and making me such a beautiful ring! I love it!

Lynn Sponagle said...

You're so welcome Cheryl. It's a pleasure to lend a helping hand to a fellow struggling artist. I loved your show.