Jeff Healey's Reality Opening Weekend

Marty Casey & The Lovehammers
December 16, 2006
"This is all for fun! Just getting together with some friends and playing some of our favourites from the show. Songs I haven't had the chance to perform for a while." That's how Marty Casey described what I could expect from tonight's line up at Jeff Healey's Roadhouse. Healey's was in full celebration for its opening weekend in its new location at 56 Blue Jays Way.

Fans of Rock Star INXS and Rock Star Supernova were treated to some great covers and a taste of these truly talented musician's original tunes. "People don't realize that we just didn't become musicians overnight on a reality show. We are artists that have been performing, writing and busting are asses to get our music out there for years," Patrice Pike informs me. Patrice tagged teamed with Josh Logan, both of the Supernova series and Tara Slone with Marty Casey represented the INXS rockers. With no cameras to get in their face and no "Rock Stars" to critique their performance or song choice, these very real rockers put on a very real rock show!

The Sean Cotton Band would be the house band for all tonight and they got the crowd going early with their unique 70's hipster rock. Playing songs from their latest live compilation, Sean Cotton and The Thursday Night Band, The Last Call Band, these guys are no strangers to the stage. Sean Cotton has been playing live gigs all over Ontario and as the band behind Suzie McNeil's solo project.

Petite but powerful, Patrice Pike ploughed through her two sets that included "Celebrity Skin", "My Iron Lung" and originals, "What's The Trouble" and "Beautiful Thing". I must admit, Pike didn't impress the masses on the screen and she often came off as sort of flat, not in her voice but in her personality. However, seeing and hearing her live is a whole other story. Her latest CD, Unraveling, is definitely worth a spin.

Continuing with the Supernova Rock Stars, Josh Logan's soulful tones were perfect on "Santeria" and crowd favourite "She Talks to Angels". His two originals, "In The Dark", and "Painful Breath" exemplify his bluesy style. Josh's CD will be out in February 2007 and hopefully he returns to Toronto as "I'd see him again", gushes new fan, Tracy.

Toronto native, Tara Slone got us back on the rocking track as she blew us out with Zeppelin's "Rock n' Roll" and Bowie's "Suffragette City". This girl's got some serious pipes. I had almost forgot that Slone was once in a band called Joydrop, until she played their big hit from the late 90's, "I Sometimes Wanna Die", that brought it all back. Her other original "My Little Secret" gave us a glimpse as to what we can expect when her CD, Just Look Pretty and Sing, is released on February 20, 2007.

Looking sharp in his white jacket and shades, the man dubbed as the "mad conductor" on Rock Star INXS, hit the stage running with Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out". Marty Casey was out for some fun, he came to party and he didn't disappoint. Even the covers of "Mr. Brightside", done beautifully acoustic, and "Wish You Were Here", which saw Josh and Patrice join in, turned into huge crowd sing-a-longs.

Marty did admit to "doing something very unrock n' roll, I wrote a Christmas song" and with that he introduced the latest from Marty Casey and Lovehammers, "Merry Xmas". With its catchy guitar riffs and singable chorus, this is one Christmas song that won't make you cringe every time you hear it on the radio, which is where it should be.

An encore was inevitable, even if the rockers hadn't planned it. Josh jumped at the chance with a "they sent me out here" comment and then went right into his soul idol, Stevie Wonder's "Superstitious". The party was in full swing as Patrice joined him for an informal scat.

As the crowd chanted "Marty, Marty, Marty," the man did return with the other rockers and blasted into Canadian icon, Neil Young's "Rockin In The Free World". Awesome. It really was.

To hear and see the video(featuring Suzie McNeil) of "Merry Christmas(All Year Long)" go to

Writer: Lisa Kerr

Photo:Lisa Kerr

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