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People looking for a little Southern flavour with their breakfast can now enjoy a musical meal at a North side restaurant.
The Ruby Moon on Court Street is serving up a bluegrass brunch every Sunday. Listeners can hear local musicians playing everything from fiddles to banjos from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Manager Aubrey Brandt said he and friend Kevin Element got the idea based on how successful similar brunches have been at places like the legendary Dakota Tavern in Toronto. Brandt said since starting the event July 1, it’s been hugely successful.
“I think it’s just because it’s happy sounding music and its acoustic music. There’s no amplification happening. I think it’s very intimate for the listener and the performer and it’s a lot of fun.”
While it highlights local bluegrass bands like Vickers Creek and King’s Highway, anyone who wants to play can show up and get on stage.
“Anybody can show up with a guitar,” Brandt said. “Strictly bluegrass of course but anybody can show up.”
Local blues legend Tracy K showed up last weekend to play harmonica. Because the small room doesn’t require any amplification, K was even singing from the staircase at one point while a full crowd clapped along.
“It’s just naturally a beautiful sounding room for acoustic music,” Brandt said.
While he’s usually playing Bach and Beethoven with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, bassist Martin Blanchet is a regular at the bluegrass brunch. He said he enjoys the fact that bluegrass is something that can bring musicians of all skill levels together. Like chess, the genre is easy to learn but difficult to master.
“The challenge is to bring that chord progression to the next level,” he said. “It’s what you do with it that makes it nice or not.”
Blanchet said although it’s nice to play big rooms on a big stage, bluegrass sounds better in a small space.
The bluegrass brunch runs every Sunday. There is no cover.
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