St. Marys Journal Argus
Lately, Stephanie Martin, owner of the Deep Waters Music store in downtown St. Marys, is having trouble keeping the voice of Canadian rock singer Sass Jordan out of her mind. But on Saturday, May 31, she’ll have no trouble broadening her musical horizons, as she’s joined on stage at the Black Angus Restaurant by her son, Dustin Smith, and four good music-making friends who call themselves The Stonetown Sistas.
“I play guitar and sing. He’s my guitarist,” Martin says of her son, Dustin Smith, who also happens to operate a music store/music lessons business not unlike his mother’s, in Mitchell.
The Stonetown Sistas, meanwhile, “are a group of girls I’ve been performing with for a number of years.” They’re all from St. Marys, although the one “Sista” who was born and raised here is the only one of the five who now actually lives elsewhere.
They sing, as well as play mandolin and two types of hand drums: the Celtic-style bodhrán and the Peruvian-inspired cajon.
Speaking to the Journal Argus last week, Martin admitted to being slightly distracted from her planning for the May 31 concert. That’s because she had just been asked by St. Marys-based singer/songwriter Emm Gryner to perform a duet with her at the Save VIA fundraising concert, Saturday, June 7 at the St. Marys Town Hall auditorium. Martin, whose years spent outduelling bar patrons across southwestern Ontario with her commanding on-stage vocals, is certainly well-suited to take the place of Sass Jordan for Gryner’s song Sunrise Sometime. That’s the song, from Gryner’s 2010 album of duets entitled Gem & I, that featured the impressive Jordan.
Still, it’s understandable that Martin might be a bit nervous.
That certainly won’t be the case on May 31, however, as she’s joined on stage by familiar family and friends.
“It should be an interesting blend of new, old, pop, country, folk,” she said of the upcoming Black Angus gig. “We’ll do mainly cover songs with a few originals thrown in.”
“We do everything from stuff that’s on the radio now, to a lot of older stuff. And it’s not always what you might expect. Dustin, who’s 21, does a great (Chuck Berry’s) Johnny B. Goode. And I might be doing some Katy Perry.”
Dustin, she says, “just adds this whole new world to the show when he plays his guitar.” And with the Sistas contributing their harmonies and diverse instrumentation, “it’s a fun, spontaneous show.”
Martin has three full-length CD recordings to her name, and is also the representative to the recording industry performers’ association for the Stratford region.
When the Merchant House pub was open on Queen Street, she performed regularly there. This will be the first time she has played a concert at the Black Angus.