Concert aims to give radio station a boost

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After starting out 13 years ago with a transmitter, tower and antenna purchased through eBay, the folks at Amherst Island Radio have embarked on an ambitious fundraising campaign to finally replace them with brand new equipment.

Blushing Brides Maurice Raymond, left, and Paul Martin play the Glimmer Twins in a Rolling Stones tribute that has rolled along for more than three decades. (Supplied Photo)

The volunteer-run station aims to buy a one-kilowatt transmitter, which will increase its signal strength fourfold, as well as a new tower and antenna.

As it is now, CJAI 92.1 FM’s signal can only heard on the west side of Kingston, station president Eric Tremblay said.

“The No. 1 piece of feedback that we get from listeners is that our signal is not strong enough when they cross the centre line of town, because as Kingston dips toward the water, the signal starts to erode,” he said. “We’re gonna solve that once and for all.”

But, before that can happen, the station will need to raise the money to pay for it. This year’s campaign aims to raise $25,000, which is double last year’s goal, and Tremblay suspects they’ll likely need to set a similar goal next year.

The first “off-site” fundraiser takes place Saturday night at BluMartini with a concert headlined by the Blushing Brides, the long-running “Stones Clones” who got their start in Kingston decades ago. Also playing Saturday night are country band the Mill-Rights, rockers Sweet Talk Jackie and the Stares, and hip-hop act BAG$=Bags Money.

There’s a reason the lineup for the station’s 13th anniversary party Saturday night spans different genres, Tremblay noted.

“It’s an eclectic lineup to reflect that at Amherst Island Radio we are not a single format,” said Tremblay, who has served as the station’s president for the past four years.

“We encourage diversity in music. You never know what song we’re going to play next. It could be Dolly Parton or it could be Metallica. It doesn’t matter to us. There’s good music in every genre, and I think that’s what makes it really fun to listen to our radio station.”

Saturday night’s show starts at 7:30 at 178 Ontario St. Cover is $15.

A couple of music seasons are wrapping up this weekend at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

The Melos Choir and Period Instruments calls it a season Saturday with a special performance, “Early Music and Dance from the Middle East to France, 9th-19th Centuries.” Melos will welcome a number of guests, including musical ensemble Alpharabius and traditional Egyptian dancer Nada El Masriya.

Alpharabius, led by renowned Arabic music historian George Sawa, and Melos will present readings in addition to music and dance from Egypt and Baroque France. It’ll also be a chance to hear rarely heard Arabic instruments such as the qanun, oud and santour.

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Isabel, 390 King St. W., and tickets are $28 apiece.

The following afternoon, it will be Orchestra Kingston’s turn to take the stage at the King Street venue.

Joining them for “Legends & Light” will be the Quinte Symphony. Together, they will perform rarely heard works — rare because so many musicians are needed to do them properly — by the likes of Wagner and Tchaikovsky, among others.

The concert will also see the premiere of “Danza! A Suite of 4 Latin Dances,” composed by Orchestra Kingston conductor John Palmer.

The show starts at 2:30 p.m., and tickets are $22 and $27.

There are a couple of curious shows at the Grand Theatre this week.

Saturday night sees former Headpins singer Darby Mills (and her Project) perform solo material from her rereleased album Flying Solo. Opening the show will be 1980s rockers the Killer Dwarfs. The show starts at 7:30, and tickets are $53.89 and $30.97, plus HST and handling fee.

Friday sees the return of the Musical Box to the Grand stage. The Montreal-based group brings along its new show, “A Genesis Extravaganza,” which sees them meticulously perform early songs by the iconic band in the same way Genesis originally performed them (even Phil Collins and Steve Hackett have performed with them). If you love early, Peter Gabriel-led Genesis, this show is one to consider. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert are $68.48, $59.63 and $46.80, plus HST and handling fee.

While on the subject of returning acts, Wax Mannequin will be back in Kingston this week, Friday to be exact. He’ll be performing that evening at Musiikki Cafe with opener Saffron A. The singer-songwriter, who plays octave mandolin and mandocello, will be performing tracks from her new EP, Resilience. The show starts at 8 p.m.

Also returning to Kingston his week will be the Miles Davis-influenced Brownman Electryc Trio, who will be performing at the Mansion Thursday. Trumpeter Brownman Ali leads the modern jazz trio, which will take the stage right after the Placeholders. Advance tickets are $15.

Saturday night at the RCHA Club on Ontario Street, you can catch Logan Murray and the Spoon Lickers as they release their new blues album, Barricades. Expect to see a few familiar faces in the longtime studio owner/producer’s backing band, including Kingston favourite Pat Temple on bass. Tickets are $10 and the show gets underway at 9 p.m.