Looking Back: Music on the Wharf returns for summer ‘13

Nice way to spend summer nights, tunes on the Fraser River

Music lovers will be glad to welcome back the summer concert series Music on the Wharf, sponsored by the Maple Ridge Historical Society.

We will be treated to four Monday evening free performances by modern musicians, starting on July 8 – 7:30 to 9 p.m. on the Port Haney Wharf, near the Port Haney West Coast Express station.

The first concert will be presented by Blackberry Wood, a Vancouver-based group of eight musicians. Members describe their style of music as a combination of alternative-country-gypsy-circus, which appeals to all ages.

Their web site says that Blackberry Wood arrives like a traveling caravan, “with all kinds of wondrous instruments, vocal melodies and fantastically costumed characters.”

They have performed in the United Kingdom and parts of the United States as well as western Canada.

On July 22, also at 7:30 p.m., Sean Ashby will be welcomed back for a return appearance for Music on the Wharf.

He is a singer, songwriter and guitarist who has been recording with Sarah McLachlan since 1996. He released his own album Brass and Gold in 2008.

The next concert will be on Aug. 12 – 7:30 p.m., with Norine Braun, a Vancouver based singer-songwriter who plays a mix of roots, rock, jazz, folk and blues music.

She has received several awards for her song writing and has performed in Tokyo, New York, at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, and numerous other Lower Mainland events.

For the final concert of the season, Aug. 26, Penelope Above will perform, 7-8:30 p.m.

This four-piece group from Vancouver performs modern rock with diverse vocals and groovy rhythms.

All of the musicians were born and raised in Pitt Meadows. They have been touring the Lower Mainland in Interior, making a name for themselves.

Regular audience members know they should arrive early to get a good spot on the wharf.

Nearby parking is limited.

You will need to bring deck chairs, sunglasses and a hat, and a jacket or blanket for later on when a cool breeze rises from the river.

This year the Mr. Cool Ice Cream Cart will be providing refreshments.

For the last few years we have re-arranged the set-up, with the musicians facing away from the river, giving the audience the pleasure of watching the ever varied flow of the Fraser River, tug boats with log booms or gravel loads, and small pleasure craft.

On a good night you may see the sunset, the sky streaked with coloured clouds, the moon rise and birds flying overhead along with airplanes.

As Bernice Gehring, the original founder of the concerts always says, it is magic.


Sheila Nickols is past president of the Maple Ridge Historical Society.