Mooney fills up the Olde Dublin

Mooney fills up the Olde Dublin


June 17th, 2011

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Well, what a jam-packed crowd it was at the Olde Dublin Pub this past Sunday evening.

From 6 p.m. onward, folks were filling up the room — all pouring in to see a singer/songwriter who has been turning quite a few heads lately on the Island music scene.

Just after 7 p.m., flanked by an array of some of the best musicians on P.E.I., Kelley Mooney took the stage for the launch of her brand new CD as she turned and faced the pub in excitement.

“Can’t believe the crowd!” she said. “I better not screw things up!”

From this casually laid back and self-deprecating introduction, she spring-boarded into a two-set, two-hour show that was quite the opposite in demeanour. Professional, confident and simply stunning in its delivery, the performance surely left many absolutely blown away by the end of the night.

What strikes you most powerfully upon hearing Mooney is actually the power in itself. It’s a voice that has an energy, depth, range, control, clarity and character in its bright vibrato that is unquestionably one of the best around.

And this power hit home right away, with Mooney’s first tune of the night, Lead Me On — and onward into the next song, which is actually the title track for the CD, Tomorrow.

As Mooney strummed her acoustic and later switched to showcase her good skills on the piano as well, she was supported by just an unbelievable cast of musicians, including backup singers Meaghan Blanchard and Katie McGarry, Jon Matthews, who was the recording engineer for Tomorrow, on acoustic guitar and tambourine, a solid rhythm section of Carl Cormier and Jason Rogerson on bass and then the fierce skills of Brian Langille on electric guitar.

And that was just the core group.

There was also Gordie MacKeeman on fiddle, Thomas Webb on pedal steel and Mark Geddes on standup bass — the Island’s country slam-dunk trio.

And that was just in the first half.

Then there was the show-stopping way in which the second half began, featuring Mooney’s two nephews, Sam and Josh Langille, on bass and drums. The 10- and 12-year-olds played alongside their father, Brian (as their proud auntie looked on), and they were just as rock steady as two old pros up there. It was incredible!

It’s also pretty obvious where their careers are headed.

That was just the beginning of the second half.

Then came the spectacular 11-piece band that sprawled out off the stage and all over the entire corner of the Olde Dublin to finish off the show with a massive bang.

David Gordon on keyboard, with a fantastic four-piece horn section featuring Jessica Willis on baritone sax, Miranda Godkin on trumpet, Dan St. Amand on cornet and Glen Strickey on alto sax, made up the final cast of characters for Mooney’s total of 16 for the night.

And what a sound! It was a kind of original R&B, Tina Turner-esque, soul-groove that has hardly ever been done around here. So refreshing, catchy, and just … hot damn, she’s gotta’ take this act on the road!

All I can say is this: If only there were a dance floor. It was filled with musicians!

But in all this musical force, the show could not have ended more powerfully than it did — with just Mooney herself onstage, singing her own re-written Christian version of Hallelujah (which now has over 350,000 views on YouTube).

It sent chills up spines, brought tears to eyes, serenaded souls and turned a downtown pub into a glowing sanctuary.


– Out and About by Todd MacLean