Mimi O'Bonsawin at Legendary Gladstone - Legend in The Making

Mimi Photo Credit Paul Brown.jpg

Submitted by Don Graham
Photo at right: Photo Credit Paul Brown

With her new self titled album hitting the streets officially last week with a CD release attended by friends, family, fans and music industry A Listers, Mimi O'Bonsawin seized the moment.

The 20 year old singer/songwriter owned the stage from  the downbeat until the last note rung in the room and hung in the air at the legendary Gladstone Hotel Ballroom in the Queen West area of Toronto. Producer and co-writer Thomas Wade, who this night doubled as guitar player and musical director, assembled some the area's finest musicians and background singers to insure the live sound was as close to the record as possible. And that they did.

Mimi O'Bonsawin CD ReleasePhoto Credit Paul BrownMimi O'Bonsawin CD Release
Photo Credit Paul Brown
The set started with the lead single “Stone Gaze” with Mimi’s trademark dreadlocks piled on hear head in a loose bun and high heels to go with her beautiful stage dress. The band rocked the tune with the first two words "Shiver, Shiver" setting the musical tone for the set. The confidence in Mimi’s voice and her delivery  belied her age and stage experience. The lady is a natural and commands attention. The relative newcomer owned the audience and the song; you knew her time had come and she had arrived. The enthusiastic  applause after the opening number only strengthened her mood as she shook her ginger dreads loose and kicked the grown up high heels off and became the free spirited Mimi, barefoot and uninhibited.

Mimi O'BonsawinPhoto Credit Gail HarveyMimi O'Bonsawin
Photo Credit Gail Harvey
The catchy “Pedalin'” featuring a tenor banjo and guitalele had the audience swaying to the bouncy melody and encouraging lyric, whatever happens in life  “keep pedalin”.

Photographer legend and Film/TV Director extraordinare Gail Harvey made time in her busy schedule to catch the show, as did country singer Jamie Warren and GEL Music Group's Shelley Buffitt who made the trip down from Marathon, Ontario. CIMA/CMW's Kathy Hahn was there as well as  Last Tango’s Yvonne Valnea, Alanna Meme from Orange Lounge, Dave McMillan of True North Records, Cheri Diamond of EMG, Dave Cutter from the Logoed CD company, Irene Carroll of iSEE, manager and industry icon Barry Haugen, Glenda Fordham of Fordham PR, Steve Thomson of Backstage Productions, Stevie Connor and the folks from the Secret Garden Radio Show, Mark Smith, handler to th stars, and journalists Michael Williams and Lenny Stoute from Cashbox Magazine who were the media sponsors of the evening. Cashbox Canada had the pleasure of having Don Graham host the event. Along with industry, fans and friends it was a great turnout to watch the audience enjoying the making of a star on this amazing night.

The set flowed perfectly, never a slow moment and the riveting performance made the night fly by. Songs like “Til the Night”, “Out of Bounds”, “Risk It” and “Beautiful Garbage“ all from the CD grabbed the attendees and the  musical journey ended with the only cover of the night “ Baby, Baby ( Falling in Love)”. For her encore Mimi and her all star band did “Da Gingah“, a tribute to all the 'gingers in the world' because 'nobody listens to da gingha, but da gingah knows something you don’t know”. Maybe so but on this night the thing I DO know is we all heard new music from an old soul and the  emergence of a new talent that will be making musical history for years to come. On this night at the Gladstone in Toronto a musical legend was born.

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Mimi O'Bonsawin at the Legendary GladstonePhoto Credit Paul BrownMimi O'Bonsawin at the Legendary Gladstone
Photo Credit Paul Brown