colin macdonaldLiUNA! Bluesfest Windsor kicked off a new livestream series called Yunity with Colin Macdonald of Nova Scotia rock band The Trews last Saturday. The intimate acoustic show featured Macdonald performing a variety of Trews originals from under quarantine in his home in Toronto for just under an hour.

“I was asked to do this by my good buddy Jeff Burrows from the Tea Party,” Macdonald said when he opened the show.

Wearing a handmaid t-shirt with a heart and the letters NS in tribute to the fallen victims of the Nova Scotia shootings in mid April that killed 22, he opened the show with the powerful and suitable song Sing Your Heart Out which first appeared on The Trews album Acoustic, followed by one of the biggest of their hits Poor Old Broken Heart.

It’s evident from the performance that Macdonald has an incredible voice and still loves to sing. It’s odd seeing rockers more relaxed in their relaxed home environments. It takes away some of the “rock star” appeal that has taken bands like The Trews years to build up, but this new approach has given the band members and the music a totally different life and feel. And it’s great to see.

The most touching moment in the concert was a passionate performance of Highway of Heroes, which he dedicated to the people of Nova Scotia in remembrance of that horrible shooting event in his home province. The title song from the 2010 album seemed more potent and relevant than ever before.

“I feel Windsor has an incredible amount of talent,” he said before performing Under The Sun. “It must be either its proximity to Motown or there’s something in the water that produces Canadian guitar geniuses and musicians all around. I feel like a lot of the best players in the country are from Windsor. It’s always a little intimidating playing there because I feel like a lot of people in the crowd smoke us.”

Macdonald also performed the latest Trews single God Speed Rebel which was originally recorded and held on to for a future release. A video was filmed using Zoom and it was released in April. The acoustic version looses its rock and roll vibe, but the acoustic version brought the words to life in a different way.

The acoustic solo presentation worked well with songs like I Can’t Stop Laughing and Ishmael & Maggie. Additionally, the select few piano numbers were very intimate, including a great version of If You Wanna Start Again.

Macdonald closed the show with the hits So She’s Leaving and Not Ready To Go.

This was a great kickoff to a new series that makes the best of the musical element of Bluesfest during the turmoil of the COVID-19 crisis. The series continues with a new concert this Saturday (May 9) at 8pm featuring Jeff Martin of The Tea Party at the Bluesfest Windsor Facebook Page (

Watch the entire Colin Macdonald performance here:

Set list:

  • Sing Your Heart Out
  • Poor Old Broken Hearted Me
  • I Can’t Stop Laughing
  • Highway of Heroes
  • No More Saying Goodbye
  • Under The Sun
  • Tired of Waiting
  • God Speed Rebel
  • Vintage Love
  • Ishmael & Maggie
  • If You Wanna Start Again
  • In The Morning
  • Hope and Ruin
  • So She’s Leaving
  • Not Ready To Go

Jeff Martin Bluesfest

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