Even though our beloved Tiger Cats lost this Sunday and ended their season early, the day was not a total bust. It was great actually. Filled with awesome music and even better friends.

My friend Andrea Rehill (some of you Hamiltonians might know her) is a huge Bruce Springsteen fan. I’m not talking the kind who goes to every show that comes to Toronto and surrounding area. I’m talking super-fan – driving to Jersey on the regular, is covered in tribute tattoos, and even has his manager’s number in her phone. I guess you could say she likes him.

But she’s not only a fan of Bruce, she’s also a great part of the Hamilton community and is always looking for ways to give back. That’s where the Light of Day fundraiser comes in. The fundraiser started in 1998 in New Jersey after Bob Benjamin, a music industry veteran and friend of The Boss, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He recruited his music industry friends and colleagues to put their talents towards raising money for the devastating disease. The event now spans countries all over the world and has raised more than a million dollars.

The event has been held in Niagara over the years, but Andrea decided to bring the show to Hamilton this year – This Ain’t Hollywood on James Street North to be precise. She recruited some good friends to help out with the whole-day event. Her co-host for the afternoon was Vincent Pastore (a.k.a. “Big Pussy” from the Sopranos) and you could say Andrea left a lasting impression on him – see the video below.


I missed the afternoon show because of the Ti-Cat game, but Andrea lined-up a great set of musicians. The Black Velvetinas, Joe D’Urso and Stone Caravan, Gary US Bonds, the great Willie Nile, and Hamilton gems the Dinner Belles, consisting of Brad Germain from The Marble Index and Spirits, with the effortless vocals of Terra Lightfoot.

Willie Nile – House of 1000 Guitars

The Dinner Belles

I got there around 9 pm when George Petit from Alexis on Fire was DJing some stellar retro tracks and The Black Spurs were about to go on. Black Spurs are an alt-country band from St. Catharines that definitely had my toes tappin’. Check out their website for streamed songs off their newest release.

We sat ourselves down for a beer and were joined by a sweet man who was missing his teeth and apparently his voice box. Using sign language, he offered some very nice comments about our hair and faces (at least I think they were compliments – maybe I had something on my face), and then it was time for the Roxwells to perform. They have a large following in Niagara and once they hit the stage it was clear why. Their songs had the whole bar tapping on anything and everything, and doing the quintessential concert “head bob”. I had to get up early the next morning for work, so I missed The Greasemarks, but I’m sure they would have been worth the late night.

I guess it’s just another of the many great reasons I love living in downtown Hamilton. Events like these are often at our doorstep and they never disappoint.

Thanks Andrea for an amazing night! If any of you out there are interested in bringing Light of Day to your city (and I hope some of you are), visit www.lightofday.org for more info.

Check out mamalovesmusic50‘s youtube channel for more videos of great performances from the Light of Day Fundraiser, including Vincent Pastore performing vocals for The Dinner Belles.

* If you are a member or manager of the above band and you would like your track removed, please contact us and we will swiftly oblige. Fans – new or old – please support these bands by using your coffee money to buy their records.