Hugh’s Room is not the Air Canada Centre and the patrons of Hugh’s Room are not your average tee-shirt wearing Triumph fans. What they are though are fans of quality music and the Emmett/Dunlop duo delivered that in spades amidst the intimate setting of the Dundas Street West venue. Yes Rik Emmett was there to plug his latest “Then Again” CD which is a collection of acoustic interpretations of Triumph hits such as `Magic Power’, `Fight The Good Fight’, `Lay It On The Line’ and `Never Surrender’ which became acoustic duets with support from his long-term acoustic buddy Dave Dunlop.
Emmett, the former Triumph guitarist, also squeezed in one track (`No Rest For The Wicked’) from his new concept cd titled “Marco’s Secret Songbook’ plus covers from his “Recovery Room 9” CD which included Don Henley’s `Boys Of Summer’ and Stevie Wonder’s `Superstition’.
Hugh’s Room, Toronto – December 15th 2012
Photography by: Ted Van Boort
And this being a Christmas show, Emmett and Dunlop tossed in a couple of Christmas carols including `Winter Wonderland’, `Oh Holy Night’ and the encore-capping `Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’
Emmett & Dunlop have made a habit of playing the intimate room prior to Christmas and their performance Saturday was both relaxed and infectious. Their playful banter with the audience was contagious. When some male yelled out “I love you Rik!”, Emmett’s quick-fire response was; “And I love you too sir! In a manly fashion.”
Mixed in was some stunning classical guitar work on `Petite Etude’, `Midsummer Daydream’ and `Fantasy Serenade’ along with a riveting guitar duel between Emmettt and Dunlop on `Three Clouds Across The Moon’. Dunlop even took a turn in the vocal spotlight with `Only Time Will Tell’ a song he co-wrote with Emmett.
As a former rocker, Emmett thrives in the freedom away from bombastic pyro and overbearing lights. He is, foremost a singer/songwriter/ performer and even the Triumph songs take on a new light when stripped down to their basic form.
By the time Emmett and Dunlop had gotten around to an encore which featured `Suitcase Blues’ and their Santa Claus sing-along finale, the capacity crowd was on their collective feet in appreciation of a classic performance.