I ask you to take this challenge. Choose a venue you have never been to and choose an act you know nothing about. Just go in with an open attitude and the patience to hear some new sounds. This is the reason I love what I do. I get to do this often, especially when I am in the mood.
I ventured in the Tranzac at Bathurst and Bloor to see an acoustic show from a singer/songwriter named David Dino White who hails from North Bay Ontario. It was a pay what you can, evening, so if he sucked, I didn’t have to feel guilty. The pressure was all on him.
I sat down and there was an opener called Michael McDonnell. He got up on stage and he reminded me of a young soft spoken Grizzly Adams, who wears his outdoor clothes with a sense of pride. I was to find out later he purchased this top in Moose Creek, Ontario where the owner of this store would put up your picture if you took a picture with that shirt somewhere other than Moose Creek. Sounds like a cool tradition, I think I will take a road trip up there in the summer.
I digress, Michael’s songs are personal, heartfelt and have some good messages that you can carry home. The surprise came when he began playing a song called, “If you feel”. When he came to the solo, two people in the back of the room began to do a whistling solo which trumped Michael’s guitar solo. He even had them do an extended jam that had the room laughing out loud.
Here are a couple images from Michael McDonnell’s performance:
After that fun little performance we had the young man from North Bay representing his acoustic set. D.D.White came screaming out of the starting gate with a full on ruckus that felt like you have just been thrown into the ice bucket challenge. A real wakeup call! As you settled into his high octane way of performing, you soon realized, this guy has some pretty interesting arrangement built into these songs. He mixes musical genres that shouldn’t fit so well, but he makes it happen. He truly was a one man show with his guitar and bass drum and some kind of high hat. His lyrics are fun, intense and intelligent. He knows how to keep the audience engaged. He seems to have mastered the art of dramatic pauses in his songs. His points of view are thought provoking, like the one about weed clearing your head, while modern meds take you nowhere. I kind of agree with that one. He took us back to his very first song, Pet Names”, where he was inspired by all the crappy, baby, baby songs out there.
He talked about how he was using a go fund me page to get his recording off the ground, and if you pledged $100, he would write a personal song for you. It turns out his Aunt did just that for her husband who was turning 50. D.D.White wrote about his uncle and how he loved to hunt and fish and wrote about fish heads. We actually got to see a photo of him as a child with a large pot above his head with a large fish head sticking out of it. This was the other great surprise, who would have thought a song about fish heads would make such a great and joyous song? He joked and said this is what he will be famous for in his career. I hope everyone has a chance to hear this one live. I guarantee it will put a huge smile on your face.
I found out after the show that D.D. will be making Toronto his home soon. This is just awesome news for Toronto, but it will leave North Bay a little colder.
Here are a few images from David Dino White’s performance:
To learn more about this up and coming performer go to… https://www.daviddinowhite.com/
Michael McDonnel is currently with the Band Jumple and Dr Draw.