Music to Our Ears
An Interview with Trevor Lubin - theHumm October 2021

Music to Our Ears
An Interview with Trevor Lubin - theHumm October 2021

By Kris Riendeau

A few years back, I (along with my husband, our twenty-something kids and their twenty-something friends) were regularly rocking out to the high-energy music of the Ramblin’ Valley Band. They seemed to play any chance they got, and filled local venues with enthusiastic fans who knew the members by name and their lyrics by heart. Alas, the band is no longer together, but we were delighted to hear that the talented Trevor Lubin has been playing locally, often in the company of his former bandmate Joe McDonald. theHumm contacted Trevor to find out more about his musical plans.

theHumm: Let’s start with the good stuff — who have you been playing with lately, and what gigs do you have coming up?

Trevor Lubin: I recently had the good fortune of playing with my long-time musical compatriot, Joseph McDonald — not only one of the primary songwriters and guitar players from the Ramblin’ Valley Band, but also my first, and longest, musical collaborator. We first met and started jamming in Grade 9, and we’ve continued to play together since then, pushing one another to greater and greater heights with a friendly competition.

Coming up, I’ll be playing with the funk/soul jam band Mecca of Stank at Live on Elgin on October 3, and at Daniel O’Connell’s on October 30 and November 26. I’ll also be accompanying Ottawa singer Crystalena at a live virtual event at Algonquin Commons Theatre on October 8 as part of the Sounds of Hope Benefit Concert.

How have you weathered the pandemic? Have you been able to continue playing and teaching music?

Compared to many of my peers, I’ve been incredibly lucky in how my own business evolved over the course of the pandemic. Like so many others, I lost thousands of dollars in upcoming concerts when the first lockdown mandates were announced last year. I’m very grateful to Wendy Whittaker, my former boss and proprietor of Mississippi Mills Musicworks before it closed — she was incredibly kind and supportive to me after the store and school closed, providing me with a full client list of students that I have had the pleasure of teaching remotely for the last year-and-a-half. Unlike so many others, who had to move into new industries to make a living wage, I had, and continue to have, the privilege of teaching enthusiastic students of all ages.

The most difficult thing has been adapting to the new medium of remote lessons and trying to maintain a quality of instruction in spite of the limitations. It’s difficult enough to teach one-on-one, and I’ve only worked with a maximum of eight students in one session, so I can only imagine and respect the workload of so many teachers in the local school board who have had to teach classes of thirty or more.

On top of that, I began working earlier this year with Craig Cardiff as a recording engineer and session player for an enterprise that has us working with various school boards, teaching songwriting, how to use recording software, and helping young people to find their own voice and compose their own songs. In a strange twist, I find myself more busy than I was before the onset of Covid.

The trials of the last year-and-a-half have also been an opportunity to understand myself as an artist, and where my own strengths and limitations lie. I’ve discovered, among other things, how beholden I am to others, whether it be in a band or otherwise, to motivate my own practice and writing. Learning to be a solo artist, by necessity, and being my own taskmaster has proved one of the most difficult skills to develop. When you’re playing eight hours a day for others, whether as a session player or teacher, it’s quite a challenge to remain motivated to work on your own projects when all you want to do is take a break. It’s the old story — monetizing a passion puts one at risk of losing that very same passion. I’ve found that my own ideal way of decompressing after a long day has been revisiting my interest in the hard sciences and perusing old textbooks. If nothing else, this pandemic has given me an opportunity to return to some of the academic interests that animated me in my university days.

How are you feeling about the prospects for live music this fall and winter?

I’ve been very pleasantly surprised, both at the enthusiasm and gratitude of audiences who have been deprived of an opportunity to enjoy live music, and at many club owners and managers who have been more accommodating, both financially and otherwise, in sourcing local musicians to play their venues. I’ve been playing regularly since August, on average one show a week, with little sign of slowing down. Admittedly, I’m somewhat fearful of what a fourth wave might bring this coming winter season, but if mortality and morbidity indicators continue to trend downwards, I’m cautiously optimistic for continued growth in the Ottawa music scene, as performers and proprietors adapt to the latest safety measures and capacity limits. One of the things I’ve missed most during the pandemic has been keeping close contact with the local music community as it exists in music bars and concert halls across the city. There have been so many familiar faces and friends I’ve been glad to reconnect with, now that the spaces that host these events are open once more. Some of my favourite places, like Irene’s Pub and Live On Elgin, have weathered the storm, while other great music venues have not, and they will be missed. We can only hope that new businesses will be brave enough to fill the niches left open in the Ottawa scene.

If in-person performance opportunities become scarce again, are there other ways that fans can support you and your music?

Now that I have the equipment, infrastructure and skillset to record music, I’m looking forward to experimenting with livestreams and releasing content, both as a means to continue playing in the event of another lockdown, but also because it is a new frontier in how we consume music that’s here to stay. I’ve been inspired to watch a few friends commit to working almost entirely online, whether streaming their own daily performances, or connecting with artists and being hired to play on their songs via online marketplaces like Fiverr. What it means to be a working musician is even now being shaped in the internet age, where geographical barriers no longer prevent collaboration and transactions between artists, and fans, halfway around the world. That change is only being accelerated, and I’m very interested to see what happens next.

If people want to find out about other upcoming gigs, and/or contact you about lessons, where should they go to find you?

They can find show details on my social media, whether from Trevor Lubin on Facebook, or as trevorlubin on Instagram. And if they’d like to inquire about lessons on many a string instrument, whether guitar, bass, mandolin, banjo or ukulele, they need only send me an email at trevor.lubin@gmail.com .

 

Keith Busher — Art Advocate & Provocateur, Gallery Owner and Curator - theHumm October 2021

By Sally Hansen

Art… and Soul

He’s not a secret agent, but Keith Busher knows how to use his unconventional art to elicit an emotional response. Ideally, he hopes to cause you to explore your reactions to some of his more disturbing pieces. As an artist, he explores his other side as well, producing beautiful abstracts in completely unorthodox ways, and writing oddly original poetry to encourage youth through the perils of surviving their teens.

Busher has burst onto the largely traditional arts scene ......

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Romp, Stomp & Chomp!
Thanksgiving Art Tour in Mississippi Mills
- theHumm October 2021

This Thanksgiving weekend, take a romp through the colourful and historic backroads of Mississippi Mills to enjoy three — yes, three — art tours in one special event! On October 9 and 10, the Mississippi Mills Art Romp will combine the artistic expressions of the Maple Run Tour, the Crown and Pumpkin Studio Tour, and Art in the Attic. Over 40 artists and artisans will welcome you to heritage buildings, unique shops, a craft brewery, and even a Christmas tree farm, as well as&......

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One Day Only Open Studio
Art by Catherine Orfald and Rita Redner
- theHumm October 2021

There will be a One Day Only Open Studio on Saturday, October 9 from 10am to 5pm at Catherine Orfald’s painting studio, located at 1848 Old Brooke Road in Maberly. Rita Redner will be a guest with her pottery. Covid protocols will be in place: please wear a mask and respect distancing.

Catherine will be exhibiting pieces from this year’s DRAW retreat dumoine.org/draw . This Dumoine River Art for Wilderness retreat had 15 ar......

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More Music at MERA! - theHumm October 2021

That’s the enthusiastic start to the missive theHumm received recently from our friends up at MERA (McDonalds Corners & Elphin Recreation & Arts). We are delighted that they have started their Music at MERA concert series again, and we’d like to encourage our readers to support them by attending. All concerts take place on Sundays at 2pm, and you’ll find the details below.

Paul Marleyn & Frédéric Lacroix

On October 3, the very popul......

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From Quiet to Concerts
Almonte in Concert Returns to Old Town Hall This Fall
- theHumm October 2021

By Maureen Nevins is the Artistic Director of Almonte in Concert

The Ron Caron Auditorium in Almonte Old Town Hall is set to come alive again with the sound of music! After cancelling its 2020-21 season because of the pandemic, Almonte in Concert returns for its 41st season.

The series opens on a light note on October 30, with clarinetist Christopher Hall and the nationally renowned string quartet Quatuor Andara. Hall is well known for delighting audiences both with beautiful music and injections of humour, and th......

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Leave the Leaves (and other counter-intuitive suggestions) - theHumm October 2021

By Scott Hortop

If you’re like me, you are hearing about climate change every day — and you’re seeing its effect in your own backyard.

Are fewer types of birds visiting your bird feeder? Current estimates indicate that North America is home to nearly three billion fewer birds today compared to 1970 — that’s more than 1 in 4 birds that have disappeared from the landscape in a mere half-century.

Remember when every summer car trip meant you had to scrub the windshield and the grill, because it w......

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Rural Root Goes Fishing!
The Great Kooshog Lake Hollis McCauley Fishing Derby
- theHumm October 2021

What a better way to start off a renewed theatre season than with a comedy? Rural Root Theatre Company will be performing The Great Kooshog Lake Hollis McCauley Fishing Derby by Norm Foster, directed by Helen and Martin Weeden, at the Northwind Wireless Fibe Centre in Constance Bay. Performances will take place on November 7 at 2pm, and from November 9–13 at 7:30pm.

This play is a “fish out of water” tale centering around James, a naive business techie who thinks he’s r......

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Fall Colours Walk at Blueberry Mountain - theHumm October 2021

One of the best places in Lanark County to witness a panoramic view of fall colours is from the top of Blueberry Mountain at cliffLAND. This singularly beautiful display of nature remains central to the upcoming Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT) event on Sunday, October 3. This is a special fundraising day to learn more about and help support MMLT’s conservation work. Come and hike the gently rising trail at your own time and pace and enjoy one of the Seven Wonders of Lanark......

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Red Trillium Fall Tour - theHumm October 2021

If the crisp autumn air and turning colours have you yearning to get out into the countryside, you’ll be delighted to hear that twenty talented artists are participating in the Fall 2021 Red Trillium Studio Tour over the weekend of October 23 and 24!

Red Trillium showcases the studios of some of West Carleton’s most talented artists and fine craftspeople. Just twenty minutes beyond Kanata, into the scenic countryside around Carp, Dunrobin and Kinburn, you will be welcomed at studios featuri......

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Pumpkins-Plus in Perth
Ghost Walks, Pumpkin Carving and More!
- theHumm October 2021

From Pumpkins at the Palace, the Perth Ghost Walk, concerts, theatre productions and more, you’ll find so much to do in Perth for Halloween!

You won’t want to miss the famous Perth Ghost Walk starting from Perth Museum (11 Gore St. E.) on October 28, 29 and 30. The walks are led by historian Susan Code McDougall, who will tell you some of the eerie tales in Perth’s past and outline the buildings where ghost sightings have been reported. The tour is targeted toward adults but is suitable for ......

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Lanark County Climate Action Survey — Add Your Voice! - theHumm October 2021

By Chandler Swain

You have a chance to contribute to plans to address the Climate Crisis in Lanark County and Smiths Falls. A team from Climate Network Lanark worked to create a comprehensive survey to find out what Lanark County residents are currently doing and what they plan to do to address climate change.

The following information was taken from climatenetworklanark.ca , where you can find a link to the survey right on the home page.

Lanark Co......

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Great Veggie Grow-Off
Growing Food, Building Communities
- theHumm October 2021

Back in 2014, a friendly competition between Mississippi Mills and Carleton Place/Beckwith resulted in 2,860 pounds of fresh produce being donated to the Lanark County Food Bank. Since then, the Great Veggie Grow-Off (GVGO) has expanded to include the communities of Perth, Drummond/North Elmsley, Tay Valley, Lanark Highlands and Smiths Falls, and in 2020 a staggering 16,541 pounds of food were grown and donated to area food banks. This year, organizers are hoping to break previous records, and every......

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In the Middle of the World at MVTM - theHumm October 2021

From October 2 to December 18, the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum is excited to welcome guest curator Miranda Bouchard and new tapestry work by renowned textile artists Penny Berens and Judy Martin.

The naturally dyed, slow-stitched textile works of these two artists inspire ways of seeing, sensing and reflection that are simultaneously outwards, at our surroundings; and inwards, at the landscapes within us.

Martin and Berens render time ......

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Ecotay Re-Emerges! - theHumm October 2021

By John Pigeau

With their first season of business coming to a close in the fall, the new owners of Ecotay are still extremely excited — about all that’s happened, and also about what’s to come.

The new owners of the beautiful refurbished barns in Tay Valley are Natasha Lackey, her husband Justin, and Natasha’s cousin Susan Noonan. For Natasha and Justin, being able to buy the place back in June when it came up for sale felt a bit like a fairy tale.

“Not only did Sarah and I grow up just around the corner,......

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Silent Auction for Mississippi Mills Libraries - theHumm October 2021

By Pam Harris

Established in January 2020, the Friends of the Mississippi Mills Public Library (FMMPL) is a volunteer fundraising group that works to support and promote the services of the Mississippi Mi......

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Come and Hike for Home Hospice! - theHumm October 2021

This year is the ninth time that Home Hospice North Lanark (HHNL) is participating in the annual Hike for Hospice. This is part of a national initiative organized by the Canadian Hospice Palliati......

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Perth Celebrates Can. Library Month - theHumm October 2021

October is Canadian Library Month! During this month, libraries and their partners across Canada raise awareness of the valuable role libraries play in Canadians’ lives. For 2021, Ontario Public ......

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Sisters in Spirit Vigil in Perth - theHumm October 2021

By — Submitted the Lanark County Neighbours for Truth and Reconciliation

On October 4, the Sisters in Spirit Vigil will be held in many places across Canada. In Perth, the Vigil will take place at the Healing Forest Memorial in Last Duel Park at 5.30pm. The event......

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Music to Our Ears
An Interview with Trevor Lubin
- theHumm October 2021

By Kris Riendeau

A few years back, I (along with my husband, our twenty-something kids and their twenty-something friends) were regularly rocking out to the high-energy music of the Ramblin’ Valley Band. They see......

...more

Harvest Time at theCP Farmers’ Market - theHumm October 2021

Although the official Harvest Festival took place at the Carleton Place Farmers’ Market on September 18, there will still be still lots of delicious produce available until their closing wee......

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Back to the Arts!
Perth’s Omnes Arts Circle Offers Classes in Music, Dance, Theatre and Visual Arts
- theHumm October 2021

By Kris Riendeau

Back in 2016, Taisha Lesser moved back to her hometown of Perth with her newly-minted Master’s degree and opened The Music Circle — offering piano and voice lessons in her home studio. That studi......

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Dispatches from an Age-Friendly Community - theHumm October 2021

By Jeff Mills

Age-Friendly North Lanark wants to share the good news about the incredible seniors of our area. The 31,990 people aged 65-plus make up 22% of Lanark County’s total population but are often perce......

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Field Naturalists Talks - theHumm October 2021

The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists will continue their series of Zoom nature talks on the theme of “Human Interactions with the Natural World”.

Humans interact with the environment thro......

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Typing with One Hand - theHumm October 2021

By Glenda Jones

My Dad was an old-school two-finger typist of the Hunt & Peck method. But when he got going, it was pure music. Clack, clack, clack, ding, zzziipp!, and he’d throw the carriage back across to......

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