SPRING BAY – About 75 people attended a concert by talented musician Duncan Cameron at the Perivale Gallery last Friday evening, all for a great cause.
“This is our third concert of the summer, which was our goal,” Perivale Gallery owner Shannon McMullan told the Recorder prior to the concert. “My daughter is the director of the Eastern Ontario Liver Foundation of Canada. My father died of liver cancer and so we decided to hold these fundraising concerts for the Liver Foundation of Canada and the Manitoulin Food Bank. So these concerts benefit a national charity as well as a local charity.”
Ms. McMullan noted, “everyone understands the need for food banks to receive help at Christmas time, but not everyone realizes the need is there throughout the year. A monetary donation can make all the difference in the world at any time of the year.”
As Mr. Cameron took to the outdoor stage under a beautiful sky and the treetop canopy at Perivale Gallery, Ms. McMullan noted, “We have a very talented musician-singer here tonight, Duncan Cameron.”
“Thank you for all coming this evening,” said Mr. Cameron. “I grew up with music in my family; my father (Stewart) was from Scotland and was a musician and storyteller. He loved to sing songs from Scotland and Ireland and was well respected in Toronto for his traditional singing.”
Mr. Cameron was born in a family where ancient ballads and storytelling was a natural part of his life. According to his mother, Dianne, Mr. Cameron could sing before he could talk.
At the age of six Mr. Cameron decided he wanted to learn an instrument, but wanted to play something that neither his sister nor his father (who were both multi-instrumentalist musicians) played. More than anything it was the fiddle in Scottish, Irish and Appalachian music that piqued his interest.
When Mr. Cameron was 10 years old, his family moved to Sudbury where they began performing together. He also learned to play many of the instruments his father played including mandolin, dulcimer, concertina guitar, banjo and harmonica. He later added the tin whistle, bouzouki and bodhran to his repertoire. He played several of these instruments at his concern Friday.
In 2000, Mr. Cameron recorded his first solo album, ‘The Whistling Thief,’ combining influences from Celtic, funk, latin and pop music. Its arrangements in particular impressed Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle champion Pierre Schryer who then asked Mr. Cameron to join his band. For many years they toured together in Canada, the US and the UK. In 2003 they recorded ‘Blue Drag’ which was nominated for a Juno Award.
Mr. Cameron continued to perform solo and with other bands as well, notably Fig For a Kiss. Their album ‘Fallen Leaf,’ which includes many of Mr. Cameron’s original compositions, was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award in 2006.
When he lived in Newfoundland in 2009, within a year he was playing with the Irish Descendants, one of Canada’s most well known Celtic groups.
Mr. Cameron began the show with the classic ‘Farewell to Nova Scotia’ and that set the tone for a great night of music and storytelling. Mr. Cameron went on to point out some of his musical influences, including his father and Andy Irvine. The show also included several Irish and French tunes, and others such as ‘Country Road’ and the Gordon Lightfoot classic ‘In the Early Morning Rain,’ as well as many more. It was great night of music, all in support of a great cause—actually, two.