Happy Canada Day! 

From butter tarts to rhythm & blues legends; how to have a kick-ass Canada Day in Whistler

There are those who would spend Canada Day holed up in their living room listening to orchestral versions of Kool And The Gang’s Celebration on CBC Radio and stuffing their face with baked goods.

And there are those that look forward to the nation’s birthday as a more social occasion.

To each his/her own.

The former should remember to pick up lots of radio batteries at the local hardware store and a couple boxes of delicious home-made butter tarts at the Whistler Farmers’ Market this Sunday.

The latter can pick and choose from a number of cool Canada Day events on Thursday, July 1, such as:

Who: Motor City Rhythm & Blues Pioneers — Stanley Mitchell, Kenny Martin & Joe Weaver

Where: Buffalo Bill’s

We’re missing the mark with these stuffed shirt U.N.-style conferences we invoke in the name of international diplomacy. If we want to solve conflicts and bring warring world nations together, the obvious solution is to invite them to a big-ol’ barbecue.

It’s amazing what can come together when people gather ’round to chew on charcoal-fired meats and shoot the summer breeze.

A few years back, for example, it was at a hazy, lazy summer barbecue that old friends and recording artists Joe Weaver, Stanley Mitchell and Kenny Martin began to reminisce about old times. After all, they had a lot in common, all three having hit records to their name in 1950s pre-Motown era Detroit.

Their easy chemistry and tight friendship sparked an idea with drummer/producer and fellow barbecue guest RJ Spangler – a vintage R&B revue starring the trio as The Motor City Rhythm & Blues Pioneers. The concept manifested into a smooth, soulful self-titled album released in 2002 on Blue Suit Records and has consequently revived their touring careers.

They’ll be touring through our fair village this Thursday.

With over 150 years of performing between them, Whistler R&B and classic blues fans should be licking their lips in anticipation of hearing classics like Mitchell’s Four O’Clock in the Morning and Martin’s I’m Sorry.

These guys sing with the kind of heart that new money can’t buy. You ain’t heard nothin’ until you hear their molasses-speed Motor City version of I’ll Be A Man For You.

All of those tears that you used to cry, when you be all alone.

I’ll hold your body close to me baby, your tears will be gone.

I’ll be there for you. I will be a man for you.

A man for you baby. That’s what I wanna do.

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