Last year, local singer and songwriter Matthew de Zoete decided to organize a local tribute to the Kinks in honour of an important pop musical hallmark with a fundraiser for a local nature reserve. It combined his love for the pastoral and the musical elements of inspiration for de Zoete and a year later there’s a new album to celebrate with a new show.
“The place was packed and we raised a bit over five thousand dollars for the Bruce Trail Conservancy so that people can have more local green space to walk through and enjoy,” recalls de Zoete. “The event created a really positive and enjoyable feeling. The venue seemed to have something really going on that night. I was really pleased how it all came together with an appreciative audience in a nice space where it felt like a community concert with the audience involved as well — it was near magical for me.
“I wanted to recreate that kind of magic and with the fiftieth anniversary of the Beatles’ Abbey Road this year,” adds de Zoete. “I was thinking of albums I’ve loved for a while — but when you experience the album as a whole, it’s kind of more than the sum of all its songs. Listening to Abbey Road end to end conjures up a different experience and different feelings. There’s a cumulative effect for me — there’s joy but a beautiful melancholy that goes together that moves through the song cycle and it’s such a powerful experience.”
Featuring Joel Banks, Andrew Jonathon, Johan de Zoete, Matthew de Zoete, Jordan Fox, Hamilton Choir Project, Dylan Hudecki, Melissa Marie Marchese, Wayne Petti, Kori Pop, Greg Preston, Dan Rodrigues, Lisa Savard-Quong, Tiny Bill Cody, and Ian Venema, de Zoete leads a similar band with a whole new line up of guests to take on the Beatles.
“The backing band is the same because I get along with them and they’re all willing to put in the time for this kind of a charity concert but I gave myself the challenge of enlisting a completely new set of guest performers to get to know more people from the local music scene,” says de Zoete. “In addition to a full performance of Abbey Road there are going to be a few surprises as well.”
All proceeds will go to the Bruce Trail Conservancy to help in its mission of preserving a ribbon of wilderness, for everyone, forever. The Bruce Trail Conservancy is a charitable organization dedicated to establishing a conservation corridor containing a public footpath along the Niagara Escarpment. With the success of last year’s event, de Zoete returns to the more intimate and pastoral setting of the Rock on Locke church to offer a novel event and some musical magic.
“It seems like a good cause — to preserve some land that even if it’s not wilderness, it can still be undeveloped,” says de Zoete. “The escarpment is pretty unique and runs through a big chunk of Southern Ontario and fairly accessible to a lot of people in a heavily populated area. So keeping it unspoiled seems like a worthy cause for a lot of different reasons. The Rock on Locke has a great layout and size and makes for a great listening concert experience. It also doesn’t feel like a traditional audience performer situation. It really feels like a community coming together and makes for a real special concert.
“We anticipate selling out again and we’re already quite close to it so that’s why there will be no tickets sold at the door,” adds de Zoete. “If you want to come you’ve got to buy in advance and save yourself from disappointment, maybe see another live show somewhere else in Hamilton. This is a licensed event — a cash bar with craft beer, wine, coffee, and tea available. There will also be a selection of excellent silent auction items from local stores so bring your checkbook. Beatles fans and local music fans should come but also people that want to support local land preservation. I hope all of them come and experience this album in its entirety. It’s a worthwhile experience from what you can get from a piece of art, of music, and I hope we can give people a chance to experience that.”
Abbey Road - A Beatles Tribute for the Bruce Trail happens Saturday November 2 at the Rock on Locke (Church of St John the Evangelist, 320 Charlton Ave W). Doors open at 7 pm, and the concert starts at 8 pm. Tickets are available for $25 via https://www.bruha.com/event/5009 and there will be No ticket sales at the door. Click on brucetrail.org, rockonlocke.ca or colourfilm.ca