Category Archives: Music

Kelley Mooney to perform at St. John’s United Church in Moncton on Nov. 13

Kelley Mooney - Moncton - Nov 13 2015 - WEB
Click on the photo for a larger version of the poster.

Charlottetown, PEI, singer/songwriter Kelley Mooney will be performing songs from her new spiritual album Still – and other previous hits – at a concert to be held on Friday, Nov. 13, at St. John’s United Church, 75 Alma St., Moncton.

Kelley Mooney headshotShe is best known for her Easter version of Leonard Cohen’s classic Hallelujah and will be performing that song and others from her current album. In 2006, her parish priest requested Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah for Easter mass. While Cohen’s lyrics are brilliant, Kelley decided to write verses to reflect the Easter story. Her version has been viewed more than 11 million times on YouTube and GodTube combined, and was ranked on two Billboard charts.

Mooney’s current album, Still, came about as a result of a serious illness – ulcerative colitis – which saw her hospitalized for nine weeks, including two major surgeries and a recovery of more than seven months before returning to work. Her experience led her to record a gospel album which includes standard gospel songs such as I Surrender All, Amazing Grace, and How Great Thou Art, together with original songs about her illness and other personal issues. There is a story behind almost every song — and they can be found at Her first album, Tomorrow, won the 2012 Music PEI Country Recording of the Year (it includes Hallelujah) and has been on the CD Baby top sellers’ list since May 2014. Still was recently added to that list.

Still album coverAlso joining Mooney for a few songs (including Hallelujah) is the Chorale Voce dell‘Anima led by Monette Gould, the same choir which accompanied Kelley in her famous 2010 YouTube video of Hallelujah.

Admission is $10 per person + one non-perishable food donation for the Karing Kitchen, a non-profit community kitchen operating out of the basement of St. John’s United Church. Karing Kitchen serves approximately 500 meals per day to those in need in Greater Moncton. (Please note: Admission is paid at the door.)

For more information, please contact:

Kelley Mooney

Dieppe’s Chantal Arsenault launches new album on May 27

Chantal Arsenault - Une virgule

Dedicated family physician, wife and mother by day… talented singer, songwriter and musician by night!

Join Chantal Arsenault at the launch of her first album, Une virgule, on Tuesday, May 27, from 5-7 p.m. at the Empress Theatre (side entrance of Capitol Theatre), 811 Main Street, Moncton. Everyone welcome!

Don’t miss what’s sure to be an amazing event! CDs will be available for sale at the event and will also be available on iTunes. Mark your calendars now!

Chantal Arsenault


Hump Day: Sometimes it really pays off to just go with your instincts

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

I have a YouTube channel and have uploaded a number of videos. Some are weather related. Some are pet related. I even posted a recipe. There are also uploads of old family movies that I had converted digitally from 8mm film.

The recipe video has done quite well, as have a few others, but one in particular went viral as soon as I uploaded it on June 15, 2010, and in the past week has gained nearly one million views thanks to some good luck not of my own doing! Yes, one million! By the time you read this, it will likely have surpassed the 1.5 million mark.

My cousin Kelley Mooney is a talented singer who fronts a couple of bands on P.E.I. where she lives in Charlottetown with her husband. She had come out with a cassette (yes, a cassette) years ago, but decided to release a CD in 2011. Over the years, she’s played a few times in Moncton, once at the old church in Beaumont during a summer concert series, once at the Moncton Press Club opening for Catherine MacLellan, and, of course, there was her incredible performance of her spiritual lyrical adaptation of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah which she performed with Monette Gould’s Chorale Voce dell’Anima choir on June 1, 2010, at the Monument Lefebvre in Memramcook.

Kelley Mooney and Brian Cormier
Kelley Mooney and Brian Cormier

How Kelley’s version came about is that she was asked by her parish priest in Iona, P.E.I., to sing Hallelujah one year during Easter mass. Now, it should be said that just because a song has the word ‘hallelujah’ in it doesn’t mean it’s suitable for church. This was the case this time, because when Kelley read the lyrics more closely, she was quite certain that the modern song didn’t belong in Easter Sunday mass.

With that said, wanting to please the priest, she got to work adapting the song to the Easter message, keeping the tune but changing the words to a much more religious meaning that was directly related to Easter.

The results spoke for themselves. The song was a big hit and it became a regular part of her repertoire. She eventually got the official rights to perform the lyrical adaptation and the legend goes that Leonard Cohen himself gave the thumbs up to her version when he heard it. (At least that’s what she was told by ‘someone in the know.’)

I decided on the day of her Memramcook performance that I’d record it for posterity. In the back of my mind, I thought maybe it would go viral. Mind you, I had no idea if it really would, but I thought I’d try, at least. After looking around town for a new high-definition video camera, I decided that my ‘terrible little digital camera’ (as it is now known) would have to do. Even in 2010, technology was very expensive. Since then, prices have come down, but I nearly spent $1,000 just to properly record the performance, hence the decision to go with what I already owned.

I came to my senses, though, and proceeded to record the performance by simply holding my ‘terrible little digital camera’and pointing at the stage in the darkened room. My hands were shaking a bit because of the angle at which I had to hold the camera. If you’ve seen the video, that’s why the video quality is not great.

To say the least, the performance went well. Kelley got an immediate standing ovation and the crowd went wild with applause and cheering. It was one of those magical musical moments. You just had to be there. I decided then and there after seeing the crowd’s reaction that I’d be uploading the performance to YouTube. Let’s try this out! But first, I had to get permission from Kelley and Monette.

Both agreed immediately, but Monette insisted on having the professionally recorded soundtrack replace the soundtrack that would have been recorded on my ‘terrible little digital camera.’ I shake my head, because at the time I thought she was being a bit silly. But I listened to her and took her advice. I should have never questioned her wisdom. Monette knew what she was doing. Never doubt a pro!

The sound technician working at the concert that evening was kind enough to replace my recording’s low-quality mono soundtrack with the professionally recorded version – the one you hear on the video if you watch it. Needless to say, it sounded amazing. Without that soundtrack, the video would have certainly been relegated to the trash heap of banal YouTube videos that are a dime a dozen. The star of the video is the soundtrack. It certainly wasn’t the grainy video footage itself.

When it hit YouTube, it started to gain in popularity as people watched and shared. Over the years, it would climb in views thanks to people sharing it on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, or simply emailing the link to friends and family. A couple of weeks before Easter this year, the video had reached 520,000 views. Not bad for a video recorded locally!

But the Internet is a funny thing. If just the right website shares something, a video can have a second viral life. When posted the video on April 15, the video exploded in views, earning nearly one million more views in seven days. Since then, Kelley’s been inundated with emails and requests for the lyrics from around the world.

When I was sitting in my chair in the auditorium on that June night in 2010, holding my so-called ‘terrible little camera’and recording Kelley and the choir, I never guessed how the video would do. I learned a lesson that day: sometimes you just have to go with your gut feeling in life, trust your intuition and hope for a little help along the way. And that, my friends, gets a big old “Hallelujah!” from me!

Hump Day: Sympathy for ‘The Whistler’ in a Nana-state stage scolding

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

Our next Friday the 13th doesn’t occur until June, but that doesn’t mean superstition doesn’t surround us daily. I’ll bet you that June 13 will be a slow day for special events such as weddings and important meetings. When it comes to superstitions, I don’t let them run my life – not even a little bit. I think they’re silly. I don’t walk under ladders because it’s unsafe, not because it’s unlucky. It’s common sense.

I did witness a bit of public superstition recently that was quite dramatic, actually. International best-selling singer Nana Mouskouri held her last concert in North America in Moncton as part of her 80th birthday tour. Moncton ended up being the last stop on the Canadian leg of the tour because the American leg of the tour had been cancelled due to work visa complications.

Since she’s turning 80 in October, Nana’s international touring days are likely almost over, so those who saw her in concert in Moncton could very well have been attending the last concert she’ll ever give in North America, period. It was a fitting farewell with standing ovations and bravos. She started right on time at 8 p.m. and performed until about 9:45 p.m., definitely giving fans their money’s worth.

Nana Mouskouri
Nana Mouskouri

I was lucky enough to snag a couple of front-row tickets as a birthday present for an aunt, however she was not feeling well that day, so I brought my mother instead. Despite a bit of hesitancy at first, she ended up absolutely loving the concert. Seeing a star perform from the front row is always an experience. I love watching the interaction with the band, the facial expressions and how they ‘really look’ up close without the soft lenses of photography or being altered by computer editing.

Those who sit in the front row are usually super fans. They buy their tickets the day they go on sale and try to make sure they’re good and healthy on the day of the concert. After all, it’s not every day that you get such great seats to a concert!

One gentleman just a few seats down from us was clearly one of Nana’s super fans. He would was just so happy to see her. Obviously, he had been looking forward to this concert for a very long time. He would jump up and clap enthusiastically often. I’m pretty sure he was the first one to stand up during her welcoming standing ovation as the concert began. He would applaud with his hands over his head. Like I said, he was a super fan and he was having a great time.

Now, before I tell you what happened, I have to tell you that before Nana walked on stage, a video montage played on the screen showing her entire career from her early appearances on black-and-white television to her (supposed) farewell concert a few years ago. (Obviously, she decided to come back.) One scene showed her just before she went on stage many years ago. In what appeared to be a pre-show ritual, she knocked on the wall in a very precise pattern before walking on stage. Immediately, I thought it looked like a good-luck charm or superstition on her part. Harmless, though – or so I thought.

Now, back to our super fan. He clapped. He cheered. He laughed. He was enamoured by Nana’s presence. He was happy, if not ecstatic.

But then it happened. As the band played the introduction to what he recognized was one of his favourite songs, he whistled – you know, a whistle as part of showing happiness toward the performer. Well, Nana was having none of that, let me tell you! From the stage, as the band continued to play, she looked down at the front-row super fan and asked, “Did you whistle?” Either he was in shock or couldn’t believe she was talking to him, so she repeated her question in front of the sold-out audience of 2,200 in the hall.

I don’t know if he responded. He was probably in shock. I felt terrible for him. His idol was admonishing him from the stage. Finally, she explained her question. “You should never whistle at a singer or actor. It’s very bad luck,” she said, before instructing her band to start the song over. Take that, super fan!

This was a new one for me, but the origin of whistling being considered bad luck is explained this way in the Wikipedia entry for whistling, “Related to a similar rule for sailing ships, it is considered bad luck for an actor to whistle on or off stage. As original stage crews were hired from ships in port (theatrical rigging has its origins in sailing rigging), sailors, and by extension theatrical riggers, used coded whistles to communicate scene changes. Actors who whistled would confuse them into changing the set or scenery and could result in injury or death. In today’s theatres, the stage crew normally uses an intercom or cue light system.”

Well, who knew? I certainly didn’t And I’m sure Nana Mouskouri’s super fan didn’t know either. He was just showing some love! Since then, the poor well-meaning guy has become known by many who attended the concert as ‘The Whistler.’

The point of all of this is that – no matter how famous you are – you can be a prisoner of superstition. I was stunned when she stopped the concert to educate an audience member on the whistling superstition. I think we all felt awkward for him.

Getting chewed out in front of 2,200 people by your favourite singer must have been awful. What was otherwise a delightful concert-going experience was tainted by a ridiculous superstition with a base in (ancient) reality but which holds no water in this day and age. Hopefully Nana’s super fan still loves her, but performers – no matter how famous – should realize that a fan’s heartfelt admiration is worth more than superstition.

This week’s giveaway: NBYO concert tickets and CD

NBYO on the Boulevard featuring David Myles
Promotional poster for NBYO on the Boulevard featuring David Myles. (Click on the photo for a larger version of the poster.)

This week’s newsletter giveaway is a double whammy! Not only will you receive two tickets to the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra’s NBYO on the Boulevard concert featuring David Myles on Saturday, March 22, at 7 p.m., but you’ll also win a copy of the Orchestra’s ECMA-winning Forbidden City Tour CD, recorded at the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, in 2007. The concert with David Myles will be held at the Wesleyan Celebration Centre, 945 St. George Blvd., Moncton.

David Myles is a multiple JUNO, MMVA and ECMA award-winning recording artist and will be joining the NBYO as their special guest at NBYO on the Boulevard. Mr. Myles is a born collaborator, from his JUNO Award-winning collaboration with Classified (Inner Ninja), to his duet with opera diva Measha Brueggergosman (Whole to My Half), to his new co-write on Matt Andersen’s record Weightless.

Please note: Even if you don’t win the tickets, you can buy them here!

For details on how to enter your name in the giveaway, check out this week’s newsletter. If you’re not already a subscriber, you can subscribe by filling out the form in the right-hand column of this website.

Thank you to the NBYO for donating the tickets for this giveaway!