(From left band members Rob Gusevs on keyboards, and Rodney St Amand on bass performing while artist Paul Murray paints during Music ‘N Arts Collide at Migration Hall in Kingsville, Ontario, on November 29, 2019. Photo above by Dan Boshart / Eyes On Windsor.)
Kingsville’s Migration Hall was the first stop in a three show Music ‘N Arts Collide tour featuring speed painting by renowned Windsor/Tecumseh fine artist Paul Murray and an all-star band led by award winning guitarist/humorist Wendell Ferguson. Ferguson, a 2014 Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame inductee has been called “Canada’a ultimate musician” and has won six CCMA Guitarist Of The Year awards, two back up band of the year awards and several nominations including a Juno nomination. He’s an in demand session player who has either toured or recorded with a host of well known performers including George Fox, Duane Steele, Shania Twain, The Dixie Chicks, Deana Carter, Patty Loveless, Gordon Lightfoot, Sylvia Tyson and many more. This was the third installment of Music ‘N Arts Collide and all proceeds raised benefit The Children’s Wish Foundation. Previous tours of this event took place in 2018 and 2015.
This year featured the music of The Beatles (dubbed The Ultimate Beatles Tribute No Wigs Tour) with Murray painting and creating artworks of the Fab Four while blind folded, with glue and glitter using his foot to “paint” with the glue, and painting with the canvas spinning or upside down. The various artworks featuring each of John, Paul, George and Ringo were then offered by auction to the audience via text bids. One of the more impressive pieces created on this night was done on 4 separate spinning canvases that when pieced together form a portrait of George Harrison.
Murray’s speed painting shows have helped represent Canada. He has performed this show for the World Cup Championships opening ceremonies and tours in Ontario and in the USA, usually to raise money for charities. Murray, a self-imposed hermit who spends most of his time in seclusion creating refined paintings of the last stand of the pioneer lifestyle (that take months to complete), is now on center stage and creating art in minutes and entertaining audiences all for a good cause.
In a separate incident, the morning of the third show in Watford, Murray and crew member Paul Drouillard were involved in an accident when hitting a patch of black ice. They slid into a large ditch totaling the truck they were driving. The trailer they were hauling was loaded with production material for the show. With the help of band members Wendell Ferguson and Sarah Smith, Murray and Drouillard salvaged what they could from the production materials and made it to the show only 15 minutes late. The show went on successfully and patrons had no idea what had happened earlier in the day, a testament to everyone’s professionalism.
Joining Wendell Ferguson in the band were the sweet sounds of international folk duo Marla and David Celia. Marla, hailing from Heidelberg Germany and David who calls Mississauga home, have been touring together across Canada and Europe for the past four years and have wowed audiences with their onstage chemistry, musicianship and lush harmonies.
Handling most of the lead vocals was London singer/songwriter Sarah Smith, herself a multiple music award winner who performs around 300 shows a year across Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Sarah brought an original flare to the Beatles classics, making for a unique night of music that had people up and dancing. Rounding out the band were Gary Taylor on drums and vocals, Rodney St Amand on bass and vocals and Rob Gusevs on keys.
With the success of these shows, plans are for this to continue on an annual basis. Paul has raised over one million dollars for various charities over the years and enjoys, along with his wife Kati-Jane, creating a unique entertainment experience each year and supporting charities that are close to their hearts. For more information visit http://www.paulmurray.com and https://makeawish.ca
Article & Photos by Dan Boshart
Dan Boshart is a talented photographer from Windsor, Ontario, who is looking forward to spending more time on concert photography when he retires from his full time job in the automotive industry. In addition to shooting bands, he has an interest in travel, architectural and street photography. Some of Dan’s photos can be viewed on Instagram and he can be followed on Twitter or his 27th Floor Photography Facebook Page.