24
Feb
14

SAB SABOURIN-ROCK N’ ROLL HEART..AND THE HEALING POWER OF MUSIC-BY JOHN EMMS

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Peter Sabourin aka SAB steps lightly as he exits his van with loving wife Teena and greets his fans and friends at the door of Kirkland’ Lake’s Northern College entrance.

Still wincing in pain from his recent cancer treatments that have sent him into remission, he is without a doubt the result of a miracle. 

Maybe a rock n’ roll miracle.  

The kind you read about it, and get choked about it that is. 

Sab and his Family Band are here for his first major concert since his remission. 

It’s a sold out show with David Wilcox as headliner, but it is abundantly clear that people have come from all over the North to see and greet him.

As he walks through the hallways towards the stage with his entourage he is greeted by many people in his trademark new leather top hat, new embroidered coat, and of course his famous snakeskin boots. 

Sab is no mere mortal. 

No folks, Sab represents the true living and breathing rock n’ roll spirit. You simply don’t see it anymore.  

It harks to old road stories, living on a smoky dream that was built upon small clubs and hard won and lost personal relationships.  

SAB is a throwback to the days of Bobby Orr who has on this night through the help of Robin Connelly and the Kirkland Lake Festivals Committee, and Canadian rock icon Tom Cochrane donated an autographed number 4 Orr Jersey that Sab lost in the fire that destroyed his farmhouse. 

The fire which made national news came at height of his 2 year battle with Leukemia, and tonight’s presentation that I witness from the front of the stage, clearly moves Sab, his band, and the audience. 

This of course sets the stage for a dramatic set of music. 

From the outset, this is where the healing power of music sets in. 

It starts with the special eye contact that only the secret brotherhood of musicians knows about. 

The feeling of the music and dynamics that takes the players on a musical rush that only musicians know about. 

It does not happen often. All of us know that. 

It’s hard to describe, but maybe think of the Bobby Orr goal photo in mid-air or how you felt when you cranked up Life Is A Highway on a hot summer night.  

Flanked by long time (22 years) musical foil and friend Danny “Waxxie” Belbin his bassist and harmony vocalist Sab plays the 50 minute show like it was his last.  

On this night he also joined by Timmins Alumni Moe Guiho on congas/vocals, Yvon Clouthier on sax and Monty Kirkpatrick on trumpet.

In fact, his solo on the coda of Sab’s hit song Friendships wafts through the air floating on breathy elegance as Sab and Waxxie tear the heart out of the vocals. 

If that was not enough Sab is backed by Partland Brothers/Ronnie Hawkins piano player Brent Bailey, 13 year old drummer Levi Post and 17 year old lead guitarist Brody Post who Sab describes as his “sons”

All three provide spontaneous combustion to the engine driving the set to exhaustion. 

That engine is of course Sab.  

That would be the man with the hearty laugh, the big heart, and the soul of a true rock n’ roll outlaw. 

JOHN EMMS is a veteran music journalist, online blog and radio host and singer-songwriter with Canadian rockers The Shaftmen http://www.theshaftmen.com

 

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