| Mar 30, 2006

Feature Article - March 30, 2006

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Feature Article - March 30, 2006

Rollin' down the line to CafeMerea


It was a packed house at Cafe Merea on Friday, March 24 as patrons came out to hear Randy Kay and pay tribute to Johnny Cash.


Johnny Cash was an artist who faced his dark side, whose aim in life was to sing songs, and by simply doing that he touched the lives of millions. Cash always gave one hundred percent when he was on stage. He liked people, and treated everyone with humanity and respect, and so does Randy Kay. Randy is a performer from Sharbot Lake who thrilled the audience at CafMerea with tunes like "Folsom Prison Blues" and "Will the Circle be Unbroken". He has played Nashville and venues across North America and will be returning to Nashville in the fall. Terry Donohue, an outstanding lead guitarist from Smiths Falls , and bass player Ed Ashton from Perth accompanied Randy for two sets of Cash classics.

Gene Bassett is an engrossing storyteller from Lanark who told a tale about cutting firewood. In his story called "Bushed", Gene read how "the idyllic serenity of the forest changed instantly into a cacophony of white noise. The chain saws wailed and sputtered, the skidder snorted, belched diesel, and grunted". Gene’s stories are like snapshots, capturing moments in the lives of people living in the country.

Poet, Michelle Larin from Perth is very honest and has an assured voice that speaks to the heart. Inspired by the life of Johnny Cash, her poem "Winter in June" related a very human tale of addiction and pain, of compassion and healing. The poem read by Carl Edgar Law from Kingston entitled "Crossing the River" was based on a novel by Larry McMurtry and told a tragic story.

Carol A. Stephen, a writer from Carleton Place , read her poem "A Day for Donkeys" which spoke of the passing of winter, with its "pale blue spring-promise sky, and trickle-down sounds of melting corn snow".

Special guest, Barbara Handley read a gripping poem about the flu that was surprisingly frank and comical.

During intermission, pianist Les Russett, bass player Ed Ashton and guitarist Bob Leviton played a mixed set of original compositions.

Cafe Merea is about the promotion of art in the community. In its tenth month of production, CafMerea has established itself as a popular event that takes place in the old schoolhouse in McDonalds Corners. As part of MERA's (McDonalds Corners Elphin Recreation and Arts) creative programming, the coffeehouse provides an opportunity for performing artists to present their work in a relaxed and intimate setting. Executive producer Les Russett invites all performers who are interested in playing at CafMerea to call 613-279-1081 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The next CafMerea will be held on Friday, April 21 at 8 PM and will be called "An Evening with Henry David Thoreau" featuring Howard Clifford. Admission is $10 pp; $15/family

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