Stories in Spaces: Tom Wilson @ Crow. Bar

Something I never imagined possible, a culinary experience combined with live music.

Let me explain… I grew up going to concerts, I spent my formative years frequenting live music dives across Canada and let me tell you… food and concerts didn’t mix (unless you were double dared to eat one of those pickled bar eggs). Concerts were just not places where you would sit in a comfy chair, talk softly with friends over votive candles and have a 3 course culinary experience.  Even at a Theatre or an Arena food just isn’t a thing.  The usual plan is to go for dinner FIRST, then hit up the concert. 

Last night Crow. Bar and Variety in my local community of Collingwood, Ontario changed all of that with their monthly dinner and concert series "The Crow Sessions".  The inaugural night of this monthly series featured an exquisite three course meal prepared by chef Shaun Edmonstone and a performance by the incredibly talented singer, songwriter, painter and as he amusingly reminded us with as much gravitas as he could muster ‘author’ Tom Wilson.

Tom has stage presence to spare which shines through everything he does musically and artistically.  His ability to find beauty as well as pain in the scars of his family’s experience is masterfully illustrated in his book "Beautiful Scars".  Last night Tom read excerpts from the stories featured in his first book over musical beds provided by keyboardist Jesse O'Brian channeling a little Jim Morrison in "An American Prayer" (an album I was completely obsessed with as a teen and I'm pretty sure I can still  annoyingly recite: every.single.word).  Tom also sang songs from his lengthy career and with as much skill and timing as a stand up comedian he made us all laugh and cry a little. Tom’s late in life discovery of his indigenous heritage and his ability to honour it with humility, patience, grace and respect is admirable and proof that people really do connect most with vulnerability.  In the spirit of community and connection Tom stuck around to meet, chat and mingle with attendees and sign books.

Tom Wilson explaining to the audience that the "creative process saved my life... from a school kid to today" under the moody glow of Crow's iconic neon sign buzzing out the words "MUSIC SAVES" was an unforgettable moment from a beautiful night. Congratulations to Crow. Bar and Variety for an inspired evening of food, music, community and culture.  I look forward to many more to come and to the next in the series featuring Joey Landreth on March 13th.