Canadian singer makes mark at Bloxwich theatre

Chuck Micallef and Dave Locke enthrall the audience on the Bookmark Bloxwich stage (Pictures by Tony Marsh)

Canadian singer songwriter Chuck Micallef brought his own style of Country, Folk and Blues music to Bloxwich when he made his mark on a local audience in a gig in the village’s remarkable little theatre at Bookmark Bloxwich last Saturday.

He was all set to appear at Bookmark Bloxwich with multi-instrumentalist Dave Luke and special guest The Trentvale Poet on Saturday 20 August.  And before the event he was already relishing taking the stage at the Elmore Row venue”I am looking forward to playing at the Bookmark – It’s a great room with a fabulous atmosphere,” he said.

The singer started writing songs for his own enjoyment at an early age before venturing out on to the stage at Thistletown Collegiate’s annual Variety Night.  At that time he was based in Rexdale in Northwest Toronto but eventually he made his way down town getting exposure at such venues as the legendary Riverboat CoffeeHouse, The Backyard Café, The Backroom of Pizza Patio, and Free Times Café.

Time for a spot of down-home philosophy, country-style

He continued to perform at venues that presented acoustic-based Country, Folk and Blues music as he travelled across Canada to British Columbia.  In 1979 Chuck returned to Toronto and was accepted on to the Humber College Music Programme as a Vocal Major.

There he met Ron Dann (pedal steel player/arranger/producer)and 1983 saw the release of his first single Within You.  That first single was followed up by English Style Lovin’. His third release Loving You charted both in Canada and in the United States.

For the past 15 years Chuck has resided in the UK playing Country Music clubs and festivals throughout the country.  He was recently asked by writer/director Chris Cook to record Man of Constant Sorrow for the film soundtrack of The Penalty King, an independently produced British feature film.

Cook also picked up Chuck’s self-penned The Moon The Stars and The Sun for another scene in the film.

Chuck introduces Mark Bailey, aka ‘The Trentvale Poet’

Chuck’s classy track record on the country scene boded well for a great night im Bloxwich’s top venue for live music, theatre, film and cultural events – and so it panned out, with real musical gold on show!

Chuck, whose soulful renditions of both his own works and classic country covers interspersed with down-home chat were received with open arms and ears by the appreciative audience, was strongly supported by versatile multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Dave Locke, whom he has known for twenty years, and by the extraordinary off-the-wall talent of Stoke-on-Trent’s Mark Bailey, aka ‘The Trentvale Poet’ who had the audience alternately in stitches and in tears between the two sets.

The poet and the musician: two different worlds, two countries on one stage

The verdict at the end of the night was certainly ‘More, please!’ and thankfully Chuck is bound to return to Bloxwich before long, hopefully with Dave, Mark and more fine country music!

You can find out more about Chuck Micallef and his music on his website here.

Live music and other events at Bookmark Bloxwich are presented by Bloxwich Library Forum in partnership with Bloxwich Library.

Special thanks from The Bloxidge Tallygraph to photographer Tony Marsh for the use of his photographs in this article. You can see more of his work on his Flickr pages via this link.

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