Coal Mine Theatre presents their first ever Coal Mine Concert, the world premiere of RUMOURS by Fleetwood Mac, February 4-25, 2018 at the intimate Coal Mine Theatre. Ted Dykstra, Coal Mine Co-Chief Engineer and RUMOURS creative guide, has assembled a local group of musicians to play the album live in order from start to finish. “Two years-ago I was driving around town and listening to Rumours for the first time in a long time, but I still knew every note. At the same time, it was like I had never heard it before. The complexity, the simplicity, the musicianship; surely one of the finest records ever made.”

The press release states, “This is not a re-interpretation of the record, nor a jukebox musical”. However, it appears that is exactly what it is, either that or a Fleetwood Mac cover band. Don’t get me wrong, cover bands are all the rage these days, and this sounds like a great concept idea, but there is much room for improvement as well.

Released in 1977, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours is the seventh best-selling album of all time (the third best-selling 70s album), moving 800,000 copies per week at its height and selling more than 40 million copies to date. With the arrival of Rumours, Fleetwood Mac underwent “that alchemic transmigration from lead to gold” according to Rolling Stone’s five-star review of the record. Its success made Fleetwood Mac a cultural phenomenon and set a template for pop music forever.

With this performance being done in a theatre space, one could assume the performance might be somewhat theatrical in nature and perhaps not just a straight up music performance. However, that is not the case. There were no visuals, no anecdotes about the album, or explanation of the lyrics. In fact, there was very little interaction with the audience at all, and what little there was seemed to fall flat on those in attendance. Asking the audience “who has heard the album” seems a bit silly, considering the majority attending were of middle age and beyond. Telling people they could “chair dance” also fell short with the crowd. Albeit, the crowd seemed to be half a sleep the entire time.

So what separates this production from going to see a local bar band covering Fleetwood Mac? Nothing really. And there lies the problem. Paying $40 to see this “production”, one might expect a bit more than just hearing the album performed live. Perhaps some vintage visuals in the background, a bit of dialogue, or even some creative 70s era outfits for the band. Instead, the musicians were dressed as they do everyday, millennial and hipster vogue. Overall, they delivered what was promised, but it could have been done so much better.

Lead guitarist and vocalist, Mike Borkosky is a musician who has played with Alannah Myles, Carole Pope, Sass Jordan, Lee Aaron, Canadian Idol; a producer who has worked with illScarlett, Low Level Flight, Rex Goudie, Melanie Doane, Sabrina Whyatt, Creepy Crawlies; and lead vocalist for the band The Test Icicles.

Toronto vocalist and songwriter, SATE combines blistering hard rock and gritty funk with “a tornado of a stage presence,” (NOW).  Her full-length debut album, RedBlack&Blue, was declared one of 2016’s most anticipated releases by the Globe and Mail. Daughter of Salome Bey, and formerly known as Saidah Baba Talibah, SATE understands desire and is prepared to sate it!

Andrea Ramolo is a multiple Canadian Folk Music Award nominee, and one-half of the acclaimed folk/pop duo Scarlett Jane.  Her third solo album NUDA, produced by Michael Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) was released in 2017 and included in that year’s Polaris Prize Longer List. Andrea has performed alongside such Canadian artists as Gordon Lightfoot, Ron Sexsmith, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Lynn Miles and Adam Cohen.

Multi-genre bassist, electric and upright, Jen Benton has performed nationally and abroad with Alex Lifeson, Andy Kim, Ron Sexsmith, Colin James, Dru, Kim Mitchell, Sam Roberts, Serena Ryder, august, Lily Frost, Lights, Sarah Slean, The Cliks, Luke Doucet, Divine Brown, Mark Holmes, and Lorraine Segato to name a few.  She can also play a mean trumpet!

Since graduating as a percussion major from the Humber College Contemporary Music program, Steven Foster has toured the world as a drummer, guitarist, singer and songwriter in bands such as Doldrums, Moon King, Jaron Freeman-Fox and the Opposite of Everything, Snowblink and others. He also has his own project, Omhouse; has composed music for a chamber ensemble; and has musical directed for theatre.

Derek Giberson, on keys, has been playing professionally for nearly 20 years; as bandleader of the nine-piece powerhouse Professors Of Funk and member of the Julian Taylor Band, and with musicians Sass Jordan, Shakura S’aida, Chris Caddell, Emmanuel Jal, Tyler Shaw, Carvin Winans and Ivana Santilli.

Sound designer and live sound engineer, Roger Psutka has worked with a diverse range of acts across the music industry including Our Lady Peace, Chantel Kreviazuk, Blue Man Group, Dean Brody, George Canyon, Remy Shand, Simple Plan, Sheryl Crow, and many more.

So while each of the six musicians on stage are experienced and put on a great show, this could have worked just the same at a local neighbourhood bar for a $5.00 cover charge. Fleetwood Mac fans in Toronto might also want to check this event out on May 4, 2018 – Fleetmac Wood Presents Rumours Rave

RUMOURS by FLEETWOOD MAC
Opening Night: Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Coal Mine Theatre, 1454 Danforth Avenue, Toronto
Tuesday-Sunday @ 7:30 • Sunday Matinee @ 2pm
Sunday Performances Added at 7:30pm on February 11, 18 & 25
(Sunday, February 4th Preview @ 7:30pm only)
All Tickets $42.50 + hst (previews $25 + hst)
FB/coalminetheatre • @coalminetheatre • YouTube/coalminetheatre
#cmRUMOURS

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.