We’re used to seeing far-off places in our media. New York lofts, tropical beaches, Icelandic vistas—all perks of living in the Internet age. But it can make it all too easy to forget about the scenery and stories in our own backyard. Darryl James’ Close Kicks project is unabashedly local, and there’s a thrill of recognition in his music videos to seeing our landscapes and streets not as stand-ins for another place or era, but as themselves. Speaking to James and his collaborator Luis Segura, aka Louwop, at Lindsay’s Academy Theatre, it’s clear their commitment to nurturing the local scene runs deep.
A mark of professionalism in music is control over dynamics—the understanding of how to move between quiet and loud for maximum impact. Watching Cale Crowe perform, one thing that stands out is his ability to glide smoothly from a whisper to a roar. The singer-songwriter looks relaxed and comfortable onstage at Cobourg’s Victoria Hall, even as he plays stripped-down acoustic versions of his songs without the loop pedals he usually employs to build more complex arrangements. When he steps off stage, he gives credit to the venue for being especially conducive to live music.
Music scenes don’t happen automatically. They must be nurtured, week after week and month after month, by disciplined and passionate individuals who offer their energy to the community. They might be musicians themselves, leading a jam or bringing out crowds to a regular residency, or they might be venue owners opening their space to artists. As one of Bobcaygeon’s most active songwriters with a full-time music teaching schedule, Kelly Burrows easily qualifies as a prime mover in the Kawartha Lakes scene.