11th Annual Healing Garden Music Fest

Saturday, 2007 April 21
Maxwell Theater, 33 Marrett Road, Lexington, Massachusetts
The 2007 edition of the Healing Garden Music Fest features Harvey Reid and Joyce Andersen and Ray Legere & Patio Grass, with special guests Ana Miura, Matt Leavenworth, and Edmond Boudreau for an evening of music with proceeds going to the Mary Eagan Garden at the Children’s Hospital Boston at Waltham and the future Healing Gardens at the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centres.
$18 in advance, $22 at the door; $2 discount for Canadian-American Club members, WUMB members, French Club members, and BBU members, seniors, and students.


“Les Trois Guitares”: Matt Leavenworth, Ray Legere, and Harvey Reid

Ray Legere on guitar

Harvey Reid on guitar

Matt Leavenworth on guitar

Edmond Boudreau on mandolin

Terry Eagan on bass guitar and Edmond Boudreau on mandolin

Matt Leavenworth on backing fiddle

Ana Miura on guitar

Edmond Boudreau on bass guitar

Joyce Andersen on fiddle and Harvey Reid on guitar

Joyce Andersen on fiddle and Harvey Reid on autoharp

Matt Leavenworth on guitar and Joyce Andersen on guitar

Ray Legere on mandolin, Joyce Andersen on guitar, and Frank Doody on banjo

Harvey Reid on guitar

Harvey Reid on autoharp

Ray Legere on mandolin, Joyce Andersen on fiddle, and Harvey Reid on banjo

Joyce Andersen on fiddle and Harvey Reid on guitar

Melanie Yasinski presents a thank-you memento to Terry Eagan
as Linda Eagen in the middle and Jan Vanderhorst, the emcee at the right, look on

Ray Legere on fiddle

“Ray Legere and the Patio Grass”: Ray Legere on mandolin,
Bob Dick on bass, Paul Hebert on guitar and lead vocals, and
Frank Doody on banjo

Ray Legere on mandolin

“Ray Legere and the Patio Grass”: Ray Legere on fiddle,
Bob Dick on bass, Paul Hebert on mandolin, and
Frank Doody on guitar and lead vocals

Ray Legere on mandolin, Bob Dick on bass, Joyce Andersen on guitar, and
Harvey Reid on guitar

Matt Leavenworth on fiddle, Ray Legere on fiddle, Edmond Boudreau on mandolin,
Bob Dick on bass, Paul Hebert on guitar, Joyce Andersen on fiddle, and
Frank Doody on banjo

Matt Leavenworth on fiddle, Ray Legere on fiddle, Joyce Andersen on fiddle, and
Edmond Boudreau on mandolin

Ana Miura on guitar, Paul Hebert on guitar, Harvey Reid on mandolin, and
Frank Doody on banjo

Edmond Boudreau on mandolin, Bob Dick on bass, Ana Miura on guitar, and
Paul Hebert on guitar

Review for the Cape Breton Music List
(Posted 2007 April 24)[1]

Terry Eagan is a kind, generous man whose passion resulted in bringing together this past Saturday evening in the Maxwell Theater of the National Heritage Museum in Lexington (Massachusetts) a group of fine musicians for this year’s Healing Garden Music Fest, the 11th in a series which funds the creation and maintenance of healing gardens, patio gardens where patients battling cancer can find solace, hope, and a place of serenity and beauty. The construction of such a garden was the wish of Terry’s wife Mary, who succumbed to leukemia in 1992; as a result of Terry’s tireless pursuit in realizing her wish, the Mary Eagan Garden opened in 2001 adjoining the Beth Israel Deaconess Cancer Care Center in Waltham (Massachusetts) and efforts are now underway to create similar gardens at the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centres in Ottawa, Ontario. This work has involved many musicians from both the US and Canada, who have come together to raise the funds necessary through concerts and other endeavors, including the excellent recordings (some featuring very fine Cape Breton artists) offered on the Patio Records label, the profits of which go entirely to this cause.

This year’s show had less Scottish traditional music than in previous concerts in the series that I have attended, though there was some. Most was music with which I am not overly familiar, though I have enjoyed both folk and bluegrass music for many years now; I found what was on offer at this concert to be excellent and was delighted I attended.

Jan Vanderhorst of CKPC in Brantford (Ontario) was the emcee for the evening, as he was also last year. The concert opened with Trois Guitares, a collaboration of three multi-instrumentalists, Matt Leavenworth, Ray Legere, and Harvey Reid, all playing (various forms of) guitar. Matt, a two-time New England Country Music Association award winner for whom I can find no official web page (but did find numerous mentions in a Google search), is a talented accompanist on fiddle, mandolin, and guitar and a singer as well. Ray Legere, whom I had previously heard on Marcia Palmater’s Downeast Cèilidh show, but never live, is a master fiddler and mandolin player from Amherst (Nova Scotia); as this number clearly demonstrated, he is a fine guitar player as well. Harvey Reid was new to me; as the evening was to demonstrate, he’s an excellent player of many instruments and a singer and songwriter to boot. This opener, where the three traded licks at a furious pace, had to my ears a distinctly Nashvillean sound, though it was not all that distant musically from a Guitar Summit set at Celtic Colours. It was very fine playing from all three guitarists and was over far too soon.

This was followed by a bluesy song from Matt Leavenworth, who accompanied himself on guitar and was joined by Edmond Boudreau (who now lives in the Boston area, but was originally from Chéticamp where he and Joe Cormier were childhood friends) on mandolin and Terry Eagan on electric guitar.

Next, Ana Miura, a singer/songwriter and guitarist from the Ottawa valley whom Terry met last year, joined Matt on backing fiddle, Edmond on mandolin, and Terry on electric guitar in a very modern song. She gave us two more songs, accompanied by Matt and Edmond, that were very different from the initial number and demonstrated her wide range of singing styles.

The remainder of the first half of the show was given over to Joyce Andersen and Harvey Reid, a duo who have been collaborating for some time—between them they have twenty-five recordings—and are now married with a young son. Like Harvey, Joyce is a multi-instrumentalist, playing fiddle and guitar, and a fine singer. Many of the songs they gave us sounded to my less than knowledgeable ears as if they came from Appalachia, though some had more overtly Celtic influences; their repertoire demonstrated a wide range of styles, from pure instrumentals to beautiful folk songs of “hearts mending”, to laments (“the only good years we had were the tires on our car”), to what I think of as mountain “hollers”, and on to bluegrass and beyond to blues. Their voices blend together very well and the ease with which they switched instruments, Joyce between fiddle and guitar, and Harvey from guitar to autoharp to banjo to mandolin, demonstrated their wide range of musical talents. Ray joined them on stage for three of their numbers playing guitar and mandolin, and Frank Doody, of whom more later, for one playing banjo. My favourite piece of this session was a lovely instrumental set featuring Joyce on fiddle and Harvey on autoharp that started with a tune of Irish origin and segued into the Lord of the Dance; the fiddle/autoharp combination was absolutely gorgeous and the playing impeccable. The remainder of the session, even if not what I listen to every day, was still very enjoyable and I was delighted to have been exposed to their fine music.

After intermission, Linda Eagen, President and CEO, and Melanie Yasinski, Director, of the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation took to the stage and presented a thank-you memento for all of the work Terry Eagan has done for the cause.

Then, Ray Legere and the Patio Grass (so named for this evening after the Patio Records label), took the stage and entertained for most of the second half of the concert. Except for the bassist, Bob Dick, who is from Massachusetts, the others in the group are active in the bluegrass scene in the Maritimes, with considerable activity around Moncton; as best as I can gather from the web, they do not form a band, but nevertheless do often play together. In any case, the ensemble was greatly at ease on stage and sounded as if they had been making music together for many years.

Their first number was a very fine instrumental bluegrass set that captured the audience’s complete attention and held them rapt for the remainder of the concert. Their second introduced us to the vocal pyrotechnics of Paul Hebert (for whom I can find no official web page, but who shows up on a number of web sites), a man with an amazing vocal range who was the lead vocalist on many of the numbers and also plays guitar and mandolin. Ray switched back and forth between fiddle and mandolin all night long, changing the group’s sound as he did so and making it interesting. Bob Dick on bass kept the rhythm going and added a fine vocal accompaniment to the mix as needed. Frank Doody (for whom I can again find no official web page, but who has appeared on a CD released by the Bluegrass Diamonds, the well-known Maritime bluegrass group, and at numerous bluegrass festivals) hails from Peggys Cove (Nova Scotia); he played both banjo and guitar and occasionally took the lead on vocals. The ensemble as a whole played and sounded, to my ears at least, as pure bluegrass as they come.

There was one break, where Ray on fiddle accompanied by Frank on guitar, did a traditional fiddle set as a special request from the audience; this was, it goes without saying, my favourite set of the evening. Ray is a spectacular fiddle player—he currently tours with Bowfire and his web site has a long list of his musical accomplishments and awards–blazingly fast and accurate, and Frank’s accompaniment on guitar was superb; the sound was quite distinct from traditional Cape Breton Scottish music—it lacked the cuts and Cape Breton ornamentation and sounded more “French” to my ears, though very much in the Scottish tradition; it was a marvellous performance and I’d gladly enjoy hearing them play more. Frank then sang a song he wrote after the crash of Swiss Air Flight 111 off Peggys Cove, on which Paul and Bob joined in to produce a haunting lament. After several more bluegrass numbers, all thoroughly enjoyable, they prepared to leave the stage. The audience rose as one to demand yet another number and only then reluctantly allowed them to leave. It was a tremendous performance.

But the evening wasn’t over yet! Joyce and Harvey joined Ray and Bob to sing My Heart Is Filled with Love, requested by Terry. And then came the finale, with everyone on stage, jamming and having a great old time playing together. And the audience was as into it as the musicians! It was an amazing conclusion to a wonderful, nearly three full hours of top-notch musical entertainment.

I would like to thank Terry very much for mounting this wonderful show, for the passion and dedication he brings to the cause, and for his fine and generous hospitality. It is a night I will long remember with gratitude.

[1] This version has been updated to provide a link to the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation that was missing in the posted version; it also adds an omitted name from the description of the presentation to Terry and corrects a misspelled name. Thanks to Terry for providing this information.