Up on stage, harmony is a good thing. For the bandmates of Crackerjack Palace, that applies to both their vocal style and their relationship.
Both will be on display Sunday afternoon at the Commercial Tavern in Maryhill.
Crackerjack Palace plays a mix of classics, heavy on ’60s and ’70s, with an emphasis on harmonies in choosing the set list.
“We’re a different classic rock band,” says drummer Grant Heywood, who adds his voice into the mix.
“Harmonies and vocals are the focus.”
That’s why you’ll hear tunes that ranges from the Rolling Stones to Vince Gill, from the Eagles to The Moody Blues. Throw in some Van Morrison, Three Dog Night, Strawberry Alarm Clock and Tom Petty and you’ve got the makings of something very harmonious.
Given the long list of great classics, coming up with a list for a show isn’t always easy.
“It’s like a great, big well: there’s so much to chose from,” says Heywood.
Crackerjack Palace originally formed in 2004 when Paul Bartlett, a doctor, put together a band for a fundraising concert in Tavistock, with proceeds going to combat AIDS in Africa. The first set list featured only Beatles songs, but soon expanded as the band continued to play shows, with a few personnel changes along the way.
The current line-up includes Mark Diotallevi (keyboards), Barry Klein (backup vocals/lead guitar), Tom Elliott (lead vocals/guitar), Dan Munro (bass and guitar), Lyle Denny (bass and guitar) and Heywood.
As with Heywood, many of the members have other gigs that keep them busy, but they get together regularly for shows and practice sessions.
“We rehearse weekly – we try to keep the band tight.”
Along with club shows like the one in Maryhill, the band plays an assortment of dances, concert venues and fundraising events.
Heywood is a familiar face at the Commercial Tavern, playing regularly with a variety of line-ups. There’s plenty of country in is repertoire, including stints on the Barn Dance circuit. Some of the others have been known to pick a song or two.
“We may even do a couple of country tunes,” he laughs of Sunday’s set list.
He’s looking forward to the show this weekend, enjoying the vibe of Crackerjack Palace, which he likens to a longtime area favourite with whom he’s played, Major Hoople’s Boarding House.
“It’s a lot of fun. We have a great time with the music.”
Crackerjack Palace performs at the Commercial Tavern Sunday (October 15) at 3 p.m. Tickets are available at the venue, 1303 Maryhill Rd., or by calling 519-648-3644. For more information, visit www.commercialtavern.ca.