Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Big Three at Billie's Place: Bailing Out Your Valentine's Blues

The Big 3 @ Billie's Place
Mr. Chill, Scotty "Shooze" Hughes & Ron Leary

This is the kind of show that inspired me to take this direction with this blog. When these guys unite their super powers it is a perfect example of the extremely high level of talent we have in our midst that could slip past you if you don't carry on in certain circles. Kelly Hoppe AKA Mr. Chill (formerly of Big Sugar fame), Scotty "Shooze" Hughes and Ron Leary are of the highest quality songwriters, collaborators and performers this city has EVER seen. Ron is the mayor of Windsor music and his story-telling tunes have rambled their way across the vast Canadian map building a reputation for Ron as a dedicated road warrior who will run down any opportunity to further his music. You must check him out.>

Kelly has had all the success any Canadian musician could dream of and he's back in Windsor, kicking the shit out of his harmonica, because he wants to be here and sees value in things some of us may neglect. He is as humble as gentlemen get, but don't let his kind rockabilly exterior fool you, when he rocks that mouth harp he is nothing but mean. WHOOO BOY!

Scotty wraps the trio together with complimentary licks that seem effortless while he grooves along with the music, but are nothing short of genius. He has as firm a hold on musical structure and dynamics as any guitar player I've seen and he always looks to be having such an awesome time while he's playing that it has an infectious effect on everybody present. These guys mesh very well together and their show exemplifies the experience and awareness that their track record implies.

Billie's Place (3179 Sandwich Street) is yet another great West side pub, with a great story and experience. Billie worked at the DH for years and was a favorite bartender for many. She banked some cash over the years and eventually bought her own place across the street, staying true to the neighbourhood that loved her and giving them another place to gather together for food, booze, music and socializing. This pub is personal and warm and the cemented two dollar whiskey's don't make anything colder. It's like a great house party when this place gets jumpin' so pop in tonight or any other time to support local causes and great music. Valentine's day heart ache has a friend in folk music, rockabilly and cheap whisky.

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