It’s been some months now since January 2019, when we participated in another “Spirit of John” benefit concert for the Alzheimer’s Association of Toronto. These concerts are for their Music Project, which help give dementia patients access to the music of their past, rekindling memories and bringing comfort, familiarity.
SotW has been dormant since our final shows in 2016, so we treasure these opportunities to play music together again.
This year we played the opening set, with a variety of singers, and it was a blast. Damhnait Doyle did a spectacular rendition of “Home For A Rest”, Andrew Cash sang a great version of “Slow Learner” with Danny Greenspoon sitting in for the guitar solo, Dayna Manning lit up “July”, while Matthew Harder rocked “D 4 Democracy” and “Canadian Skye”, Jim Cuddy delivered a stately and graceful “Not Just A Train”, Andy Maise and Josh from the Skydiggers gave us a powerful “Venice is Sinking”, Danny Greaves sang “Political” beautifully, and Chris Tait was fabulous singing “5 Free Minutes”.
The second set with the House Band featuring Chris Tait was nothing short of amazing. Tom Cochrane was a surprise addition, showing up for a couple of excellent songs. Everyone “put the welly” to a setlist of some of John’s favourite music, with the closer by Andy Maise being John’s “Thank You”. Not a dry eye in the house.
The band was presented with a little surprise, a platinum single for Home For A Rest. John’s wife Jill was in attendance and accepted his plaque, John wasn’t able to come out and join in the festivities as he has in previous years. We spontaneously auctioned off the “band” plaque to add to the Music Project coffers. There’s a generous person out there with a platinum record hanging on their wall, with our thanks!
Overall, the benefit was a resounding success, raising over $100k for the Music Project.
Many belated thanks to all involved and hope to see you again before long.