January 21, 2014, 7:30pm, Castro's Lounge- 2116 Queen St. E., Toronto Ontario
"Hometown Bluegrass always give the most exciting live performances on the Ontario festival circuit" - Dan Joseph CKWR Waterloo, Festival MC
"Watching the 5 member band perform with the 3 microphones spread across the stage made the audience feel like they were back in the 30's and 40's when it took real skill from the performers to balance the instruments and vocals. Each member sang and demonstrated very tight vocal harmonies. You could really tell these guys love to play. They had the audience in the palm of their hands from the high skill level combined with having us laughing at all their jokes. True professionals and a great act to see." - Jason Hales, Acoustice Blend Cafe
(l-r.. Mike Kirley, Sherry O'Connor, Leslie Dawn Knowles, Al Benner, Don Couchie)
Entertainment value is what the Hometown Bluegrass Show adds to any event. You'll have to go a long way to find a group of people who enjoy what they're doing more than these folks. Brought together by their love for Bluegrass music Leslie, Don, Sherry, Mike & Al combine unique skills, years of experience and the personalities needed to produce their brand of exciting, highly entertaining Bluegrass Music. An all round show containing traditional bluegrass, original music, humour & gospel music time proven to be suitable for any venue and guaranteed to keep your toes tapping for weeks to come.
return to top
Hometown's bassist Ed McDowell has decided to take retirement seriously and is moving to the Minden area. His contributions to the band have been many and a huge part of our success over the years. We wish Ed and Irene the very best in their new adventure. We are very happy to announce that Sherry O'Connor is joining Hometown on the bass and vocals. Sherry is a veteran of the local Bluegrass scene and a good friend of the band. Sherry brings a strong bass line and a powerful new vocal dimension to Hometown Bluegrass. The future is promising.
After 12 years with Hometown Bluegrass Wayne Douglas has decided to retire from the band to persue a lifelong dream of making music with his son. We wish him well and thank him for all the great years we have had together. It is with great pleasure that we announce that Don Couchie will be replacing Wayne on guitar and as lead singer. Don is a 40 year veteran of Bluegrass music in Ontario, a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.
Leslie returned to the band after a 5 month battle with the health Gods on July 4 knocking the socks off everyone at our concert at the Tottenham Bandshell. She says she's a tough cat and hasn't even started using up her 9 lives yet.
One-Holer Records is proud to announce the arrival of Hometown Bluegrass’s 2nd CD….”Home Again”. 14 heartfelt cuts with all five band members taking the lead singing role on at least one cut. Requested tunes include the Mike Kirley original "Grandma's Apron", Leslie Dawn Knowles powerful & moving arrangement of "Amazing Grace" and Wayne Douglas's show stopping version of Kentucky Waltz. Long-time fans will not be disappointed with this generous serving of Bluegrass by this very popular Southern Ontario band. CD release party will be Wed. June 24th, 8pm at The Man of Yorke, Mill St. Tottenham
Leslie Dawn again nominated for Fiddler of the Year (2008)
Leslie has been nominated as the Fiddler of
the Year at the upcoming Central Canadian Bluegrass Awards at the Deerhurst Inn
in Huntsville November 21 - 23, 2008. Check out Leslie's fiddling
here. If you wish to vote on the Bluegrass awards you can call Tony DeBoer
at 705-758-9049 to be placed on the voting list and
receive a ballot form.
Hometown Bluegrass Back in the Recording Studio
We started laying tracks at Jason LaPrade's studio last February and hope to have our second CD of requested tunes out before the end of the summer.
Leslie Dawn Nominated as Fiddler of the Year
Leslie has been nominated as the Fiddler of the Year at the upcoming Central Canadian Bluegrass Awards at the Deerhurst Inn in Huntsville November 23 - 25, 2007.
return to top
The Boys & Girls
Don Couchie -
Don started playing Bluegrass in 1970. Since then he has played for Bluegrass bands all over Ontario and the northeastern United States. His soulfull voice brings a traditional Bluegrass/Oldtime sound to anything he sings and plays guitar in a rock solid straight ahead Bluegrass style. Don also plays banjo and fiddle with the best of them and writes songs that sound like they were written by the pioneers of this music.
Mike Kirley -
A founding member of Hometown Bluegrass Mike sings the tenor harmony and brings a unique approach in his lead singing on songs like Sunny Side Of The Mountain and I'm Just The Way I Used To Be. He has an innovative approach to mandolin playing and ably handles the guitar duties when called upon. He's also been known to throw in the odd fiddle tune. Mike is a great song writer drawing on his family ties as a source for many of his songs.
Leslie Dawn Knowles -
Leslie's huge talent and experience adds the heart and soul that only a fiddle can bring to the band. Leslie is a professional musician with credentials that include 3 years with the great Toronto Bluegrass band Roses In The Snow not to mention 30 years in the first violin section of the Toronto Symphony.
Al Benner -
Also a founding member Al handles the banjo duties with a hard driving traditional approach. Vocally he sings the baritone harmony, bass in the quartet and lead on occasion.
Sherry O'Connor -
Sherry's solid bass playing combined with a great Bluegrass vocal range singing both lead and harmonies adds a whole new dimension to the band. Sherry brings a wealth of experience gainedc with the groups SmallTown Girlz, Churchville Park and Twisted Poly.
return to top
Some of the venues Hometown Bluegrass have been proud to perform at include: The Tottenham Bluegrass Festival, Uxbridge Fair, Toronto's Horseshoe Tavern, River Valley Bluegrass Festival, Roy Thomson Hall, Orangeville Fair, Deerhurst Inn, Alliston Potato Festival, Beeton Fair, and the Gladstone Hotel.
return to top
Al Benner - (905) 936-2008, - email: email@example.com
Mike Kirley - (519) 653-4975 - email: firstname.lastname@example.org
return to top