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Originally published by Parry Sound North Star on Wednesday, August 18, 2004. All rights reserved.

Belting out Wide Mouth music at Stockey

by Stephannie Johnson, Parry Sound North Star

Somehow I'm surprised the very roof of the Charles W. Stockey Centre didn't blow off with the astounding music from the two Canadian power houses who thrilled the crowd - Parry Sound's Red Umbrella and Saskatchewan's Wide Mouth Mason.

The two groups took to the stage of the performing arts centre on August 15, with about 150 family, friends and fans rocking along to the bands' old and new tunes.

Red Umbrella opened for Wide Mouth Mason, giving us a taste of a few songs off their new album that will be hitting the record stores in the spring.

My favourites of the night were Home, Straight Jacket and the mock-country hit Don't Follow Me.

Lead singer Jeremy Michaelis encouraged the audience to get to their feet, clap along and groove to the heavy beat kept by drummer Jason Rosewell.

I had trouble sitting still myself. It was my first time hearing Red Umbrella and I was instantly hooked. Their sound reminded me of my favourite group, Matthew Good Band's second album Underdogs.

I was especially impressed with the bass and drum solos by Kevin Swartwood and Mr. Rosewell, while Jeremy appeared to be having some technical difficulties.

What I thought was an added twist to an already awesome sounding band, was the subtle and sometimes in-your-face sounds from the keyboard, played by Dennis Michaelis, who also sings back up.

Following Red Umbrella's 45-minute set came Wide Mouth Mason.

The trio, hailing from Saskatoon, have been musically inclined and hooked since they were in grade school.

Mr. Rosewell introduced the band as his "all time favourite" and said he felt like it was his owner personal concert.

What a show it was. The energy these guys threw off, ricocheted off of the wooden and stone walls of the Stockey Centre and back to the audience.

As I got up to take pictures, I found myself drumming to the insistent bass and awesome vocals of some familiar and not so familiar hits.

I have to say, that I'm seriously considering picking up a copy of Red Umbrella's last album, Residue of Design and getting back into the bluesy alternative sounds and strength of Wide Mouth Mason.

Copyright © Parry Sound North Star

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