Gordie MacKeeman and Meaghan Blanchard
by Charlie Hansen
As autumn takes a firm grip on PEI I’d like to take some time to talk about two Island-based acts. One is a group of four top-notch musicians and the other is an extremely talented individual artist.
As Hamlet says, “the play’s the thing.” Now I’m no Shakespeare but I subscribe to the philosophy of the show’s the thing.
Both of these acts entertain the audience by, not only being extremely talented artists but by having “that thing” that is the missing element in many artists that are very good but will never be great.
The first artist I want to talk about is the most successful Island-based artist in many years or perhaps ever, Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys.
Gordie and his group are not only impeccably talented musicians but they are a dynamic stage act made up of tried and true, almost cliched routines based on early vaudeville along with modern hell bent for leather tunes and lots of natural comedic licks that flow naturally as the show rolls along. The Rhythm Boys; Thomas Webb, Mark Geddes, and Peter Cann are the perfect foil to Gordie’s bombastic fiddle playing and supernatural terpsichorean rampages.
Gordie and his rhythm boys have just returned from a tour in the UK, were home for about a week and left for a tour of Alberta. They are one of the most in demand groups in the country and every show they play is a guaranteed sell out and a return engagement. Gordie and His Rhythm Boys have released a new CD called Pickin’ and Clickin’.
The second artist that I’d like to talk about is a talented singer, songwriter and musician who has just released a brand new CD called She’s Gonna Fly, Meaghan Blanchard. Now Meaghan doesn’t dance like Gordie or play the fiddle but she is a dynamite entertainer that, in my humble opinion is the best thing to come out of PEI since Gene MacLellan. She’s a natural entertainer. Her act isn’t a vaudeville act or anything close but she has a personality that makes you love her at first sight. There are people that just walk onto the stage and you’re entertained. Johnny Cash comes to mind. Meaghan has a natural and unassuming sense of humour that rolls out of her as effortlessly as her songs. She has “it,” whatever it is and it shines as bright as the north lights in autumn.
Meaghan has just completed a tour of the UK with Dan Walsh and is off to Ontario and Quebec for another tour. Meaghan is another PEI success story that proves that you can be successful and still live in PEI.
Until next time don’t forget to support live country and bluegrass music and listen to Bluegrass Island on CFCY 95.1 FM in Charlottetown and on the net at cfcy.fm.