Music at Daisy Dell Farm - theHumm July 2021
Music at Daisy Dell Farm - theHumm July 2021
By Kris Riendeau
As we emerge from months of lockdown and take our first tentative steps back into the “real” world, one of the first experiences many of us are seeking is that of live performances. Remember that elusive but transformative feeling of sharing a great vibe with musicians and fellow audience members? Tapping your feet and grooving along, mouthing the words to your favourite songs? Fortunately for the Ottawa Valley, Barb (Mattiacci) McIlquham recalls all those great feelings, having experienced them both as a performer and a live music lover. Her desire to help musicians get gigging again led her to offer up her home at Daisy Dell Farm as a venue for intimate outdoor concerts this summer. We contacted Barb to find out more.
theHumm: Let’s start with the line-up. Who have you got coming to play, and how did you choose those particular performers?
Barb McIlquham: We wanted to hold a concert here last summer with Rick Fines, but it was very late in the season when we thought of it, so we decided on this year. When we got in touch with Rick in the new year he was all for it, so we had the idea of making it into a concert series with one concert per month starting from May to October. Rick agreed to kick things off in May. Once the lockdown happened though, we had to postpone his concert until July 24. I have known Rick since the 1980s when I lived in Peterborough. He is an awesome musician, writer and performer. I have had a few occasions to play with him and it’s always fun.
Marie-Lynn Hammond is coming on July 17. I have been a fan of hers since hearing her in Stringband when I was a teenager and just beginning my own music career. So you could say she had an effect on my style and love of acoustic music.
On August 21 Ian Tamblyn will be performing. I am really excited about this as I have listened to his music for so many years. I love his guitar playing and voice. His music is always my number-one choice when I need to chill out. Then on September 11 Washboard Hank will be here. I have known Hank since my Peterborough days and he never disappoints with his humour, musicality and performance style. He is one in a million that’s for sure.
For the end of the concert series, I will be playing under my stage name Barb Mattiacci on October 2. I’ve been busy performing and recording kids’ music for the past few years, so I am really happy to be stepping away from that and to be playing for a wider audience again. I will be playing some newly written material as well as stuff from a previous album. I always throw in a few cover tunes too.
So, needless to say, the line-up started with my love for all of the performers’ music. I know that many of them have lots of fans in the area as well.
Tell us a bit about how you and your husband ended up at Daisy Dell, and why it makes a great musical venue.
We are so fortunate to call Perth our home. My husband Scott is from Peterborough, and we met years ago when I lived there. We found ourselves in the Hamilton area for many years, raising our kids to be close to my family (I am originally from Burlington). We always had this dream that once the kids were out of high school we would find a place in the country. Well, we found the place and couldn’t be happier. We have been here for two years now. We have horses, chickens and barn cats. There are lots of forests and fields and we even have a yurt that we rent out on Airbnb. The setting is pretty idyllic. We have a riding ring for the horses that has covered stage platforms. One day as I was walking up the path, I stopped and looked at the platform and thought, “that is a perfect stage and setting for an outdoor concert.” Then the wheels started turning!
What can audiences expect when they attend an outdoor concert at Daisy Dell?
It’s a beautiful setting — peaceful, fresh air, birds chirping. In front of the stage is a beautiful grassed area with perfectly spaced trees. When people purchase their tickets, we ask that they bring their own lawnchairs, blankets, coolers with drinks, bug spray and an umbrella. It’s very comfortable and laid back. We are only selling 25 tickets per concert so the size of the audience will be just enough to make it a cozy and intimate setting.
You are a musician in your own right, with a couple of CDs and a long history of performing under your belt. What have those experiences taught you about the live music scene in Canada?
For me, the live performance is one of the driving forces that enables me to share all of my creative thoughts and music. The interaction between a listening audience and the performer is essential to understanding the art of the music when played live. When you craft a song, you want to share it. It’s part of the process, at least for me. This last year has been so hard for musicians — not only financially and artistically, but also because of that rare gift of exchange that many musicians benefit from when they are singing and playing to a live audience. The audience response, the interaction, the smiles, the reassurance — it’s all so vital.
I notice that almost all of the ticket price goes directly to the performers. Why is it so important to support our Canadian musicians, particularly right now?
We intend to fully support the musicians. As everyone knows, it’s been a rough year financially. We have the space, we have the stage, we have the will and enthusiasm, so why not share that?
Tickets for all shows are $30 each, available from Tickets Please ticketsplease.ca . For up-to-date details, follow Daisy Dell Farm on Facebook.
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