Night Kitchen Too, now in its sixth season, is an acoustic variety show occurring monthly from September to June. Musicians and spoken word artists from the Quinte region come together to perform at the Pinnacle Playhouse in downtown Belleville.
The show itself is not-for-profit, with proceeds from concerts distributed among the performers. Audiences can expect to see a range of seasoned professionals and artists performing for the first time. Any aspiring artists out there? This is your jam (literally)!
Informal jams that follow the show enable all of the evening’s talent play together; the audience is invited to sing and dance along or sit back and enjoy the sounds.
Each event also includes a featured performer, a well-developed artist who’s got what it takes to develop a professional career. October’s featured act is Lynn and Billy, whose bluesy blend of acoustic guitar and harmonica will have you gently swaying in your seat.
How long have you and Billy been performing together? How would you describe your sound?
Billy and I have been together for 37 years. Billy has always played blues cross harp – so 50 years or so. I have always owned a guitar but played little. We played at the end of parties until my fingers hurt.
Five years ago we sold our farm just off of Marlbank Road in Tweed and I bought my GUILD D47 on consignment from the 12th Fret in Toronto. It was owned by Colin Linden, and I am a BIG fan of his – so that is my “almost famous”.
This guitar is so right for me that I haven’t stopped playing it since December 2013. It was then that Billy and I started going to open mics, and we continue to play wherever we can. We play interpretive blues, some folk and early rock.
What sets Night Kitchen Too apart from other variety/open-mic shows?
NK2 is such a great opportunity for both players and audience. Although the one song format is challenging, it is a great opportunity to share.
Meeting other musicians, being [supported] by Joe Callahan, the exposure and the perfect sound accompanied by an appreciative audience–it can’t be praised too much.
What do you notice about the musician/artist community in the region?
Since we started playing locally in late 2013 the open mic circuit has grown.
Sometimes the camaraderie between the musicians is as much of a buzz as actually playing. Opportunities to get our sea legs at the Bonisteel (Old Church Theatre), Port Bistro, local legions, Signal Brewery and of course NK2, are appreciated and such a boost for new players.
Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians/poets in the region?
When I told a seasoned musician about how nervous I was, he answered that most people in an audience just wish they could play. I would say you have to love playing and the rest is TIME.
What I believe is that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. I figure I play 20 hours a week x 50 weeks, that is 1,000 hours, which means it takes 10 years. I’m maybe half way there?
What’s your favourite thing to do in the region when you’re not performing?
Billy is a photographer and studies and takes photos all the time. By trade I am a journalist/writer and I like to document moments in time – not for publication but just to play with the words.
We plant and sell approximately 2,000 garlic bulbs a year–and I make LOTS of pesto. We also have two Morgan horses boarded with a good friend. My mare is 24 this year and she came to me at 3 years old. Billy has loved his 22 year old gelding for 14 years.