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Local CDs, DVD perfect County Christmas presents

A true County Christmas gift includes the music of Zeke Mazurek, Jeanette Arsenault and a DVD from countylive.ca that includes the best videos from 2010.
The long-awaited Zeke Mazurek commemorative CD, entitled “David the Bard – Zeke Mazurek Lost and Found”, is a fundraising project spearheaded by Through the Cedars Music Productions. Over the years TTCMP had casually recorded many of the shows and concerts that featured the legendary fiddler, often for no other purpose than to archive them, or to review their own recording techniques. With news of Zeke’s devastating illness, TTCMP owners Paul Johnson and Rob Kellough realized that they had a unique record of Zeke’s phenomenal contribution to Prince Edward County music and offered to mix and master representative cuts and to produce 100 CDs as their contribution to “Zeke Aid”, with all proceeds going to the Mazurek/Kerr family.
The title refers to a poignant rendition of a poem and accompanying music that was captured one night at Mt. Tabor Playhouse in Milford. It is particularly appropriate as Zeke’s real name was David, and he often expressed a wish to return to that as his stage name.
The live recordings include many familiar performing partners – Jeanette Arsenault, Bill Ostrander, Sneezy Waters, Kirby & Yates and Janet Kellough. Also included are some previously unreleased studio tracks. John McKinney and Katalin Kiss offered a song entitled “A Girl I Knew” that Zeke recorded with Aron Wilson. A studio cut of “Hewlett’s Planxty” with Tom Taylor and Randy Kempf is featured. And Tom Leighton provided “Zeke Gets a D For Love”, a spectacular song that grew from a backstage improv session and was subsequently recorded. The “D” refers, of course, to Zeke’s wife Danyne.
And yes, several of Zeke’s corny jokes have been documented for posterity.
The CD is now available at Books & Co. in Picton, who have generously waived the usual consignment fee, so that the full puchase price (except for tax) will go to Zeke’s family. Visit Through the Cedars at www.ttcmp.com

County singer/songwriter, Jeanette Arsenault unveils her new CD, “I Wish I Had Wings” Monday, Dec. 6 at Books & Company on Main Street in Picton from 6 -8 p.m.
“’I Wish I Had Wings’ is my sixth album and I have always felt that six was my lucky number because I was born on June 6th”, says Arsenault.  So a launch on the 6th of December seemed right”, she laughs.
Her lyrics tell of people caring about people and her voice soars with strength and passion. The album is a wonderful mix of both songs that inspire, and songs that create awareness for causes close to her heart.
For instance, “The Sound of Haiti” was written after the devastating earthquake in January 2010.
“I read an article that told of the sound of voices singing hymns through the night on the streets of Port-au-Prince. I was so moved by this image that this song was born.  I have also included a French version, “Reveil en Haiti” with lyrics written by Wellington-on-the-Lake resident, Micheline Lortie.
The military also receives a caring tribute on Jeanette’s new CD.
“United We Stand, Divided We Never Fall” is a song for the families of soldiers who are known as the Invisible Army.  She observed and admired how they cope with the strains of separation, their ability to take care of the home front and the courage and strength that they provide their loved ones who are serving our country.
Other causes she writes about include mental health, education for girls in developing countries and the youth “choking game”, that had tragic impact on family and friends in the community.
Despite the sadness and heart-wrenching causes she sings about, her voice, melodies and rhythms evoke powerful emotions. She takes it all personally, feels the pain, gathers strength, turns the negative to positive and sings it out as hope.
“There are so many great causes in need of attention and funding.  I usually get involved in various ways by either donating my time for benefit concerts, organizing fundraisers featuring other musicians and in this case, I am inspired to write songs to raise awareness”, says Arsenault.
“The songs I included on this album were the ones that would not let me be until they were written”.
There is one song in particular that is close to Arsenault’s heart, “I Wish I Had Wings”, which she wrote for Zeke Mazurek, the well-known and well-loved violin virtuoso who recently passed away.
“I wrote this song for Zeke when he was going through some hard times and I have dedicated this album to him”, says Arsenault.
Jeanette Arsenault’s new CD is available at Books & Company, Black River Cheese Company, Sam The Record Man & through her website at www.jeanettearsenault.ca.

countylive.ca has selected some of the best video stories from 2010 for a limited-edition collection DVD – to be available in time for Christmas.
With professional quality video and editing by Barry Silverthorn of the Electric Wallpaper Co., (www.resilientcounty.com), the DVD includes one hour and 15 minutes of County highlights.
Stories include the Habitat for Humanity Picton project, Relay for Life, Maple in the County, Canada Day in Picton, Popping Kettlecorn, County Youth Park, Waterfall Tour, Unsaved (The Picton Methodist Church demolition story), the Wind Turbine Protest, Canine Good Neighbour, Prince Edward County’s Trash Bash and Watch the Birdies.
The DVD is expected to land in early December. It will be available at the countylive.ca office, Town & Country Video, Printcraft, Stedmans, County Farm Centre and other locations. Check back here for updates.

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  1. Just to let everyone know – the first 100 copies of “David the Bard” sold out at Books & Co. very quickly, however a second batch was ordered to accommodate the demand and is now available at the bookstore.

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