The Man, The Myth, The Legend… and Neverland 


If I still wrote things on paper, there would currently be a pile of crumpled up pieces lying at my feet as I write this. What to say… It’s not like pandemic times have been the greatest for full-time musicians. Losing all of our performances, therefore performance income, and trying to stretch online tip jar money to the fullest extent. As creative minds we try to think outside the box and be hopeful, but to say the least – it’s been a challenge for the music community. Several months ago now I reached out to the new (and super awesome) owners of The Mustang Drive-In in Prince Edward County, where I’m originally from. I told them about an idea I had and they were open-minded and enthusiastic to team up and help make my dream of a drive-in style live show a reality. The following weeks/months were spent working out details, re-working out details as the pandemic rules changed in our area, and finally prepping to announce our big event date and info. Skip to this past Friday, July 24th. We were going to launch our promo and ticket links by day’s end when I got the call. The worst kind of call. The call you can’t even really dread because you don’t think, in your wildest dreams, that a call like that would happen. The call was from one of my band mates, letting me know that one of my other band mates was terminally ill with bone cancer. It is one of the worst moments of my life. I can say that. With 39 years on this planet, I have a few doozies, but this one really hit hard. My beloved band mate Papa is very sick. I have performed with him in different bands for over 15 years. He’s mostly been my bass player, but once when we couldn’t find a guitarist for our blues band about a dozen years ago, he became my guitar player as well. He’s like that. Crazy talented. Hands down one of the most loved and respected musicians in the Kingston, Ontario region. He’s also probably the best musician around here too. That’s really saying something when you live in a city like Kingston.   I’ve never heard anyone speak poorly of Papa (otherwise known as Zak Colbert), but he is talked about frequently. His brain interprets music unlike anyone else I know. He can turn his 6-string bass into an orchestra of sound that somehow draws you in with an accessibility that catches the attention of even the most basic of music appreciators. People who know music theory are blown away by Papa’s ability to turn simple chord progressions into masterpieces of musical adventure, while still staying true to a song’s leading melody. He creates a solid platform for the singers and lead instrumentalists he works with. He never demands spotlight, but the eye is always drawn to him on stage. He oozes wisdom, subtle strength and superhuman cool. He’s inspired me in so many ways and one of the favourite performances I’ve ever been a part of is our duo version of The Tragically Hip’s ‘Long Time Running.’  One voice and one bass… with one bad-ass bass player. Zak Colbert – the man, the myth, the legend (as I like to say), is a genius. This blog was supposed to show balance between how the universe throws us the good and the bad. I wanted to tell you about how the bigger picture in my life exemplifies both light and darkness. But dozens of virtual crumpled pieces of paper lay at my feet. I’m at a loss for words. I am heartbroken and even the good and exciting parts of life and career right now feel dull and lacklustre. But in the famous words of every entertainer that ever existed… The show must go on. Typically the medicine for me is getting on a stage and performing. No matter how sad or angry or frustrated I am, performing takes me to Neverland. I am transported. I am relieved of the darkness that sometimes plagues me and all I feel is heart-filling joy. I get to share this joy with audiences and most directly with the family on stage with me – my band mates. I don’t know what the coming weeks and months look like for Papa as he navigates these waters, but another band mate and myself created a Go Fund Me page to help raise some funds so the family are able to feel a little more supported. If you’re able to give, even a few dollars, please know that it is appreciated from the bottom of my heart. If you’re ready for a dose of live music, perhaps I’ll see you at one of our two shows on August 22nd. I’ll be ready for a little dose of Neverland… Wishing you health, safety and happiness. Love, Emily 

MANAGER – Gord Hunter – management@themissemily.com

PUBLICIST – Eric Alper – eric@thatericalper.com

MERCHANDISE – Jude Murano – missemilymerch@gmail.com

SOCIAL MEDIA – Amanda Relyea-Voss – amanda@remixsm.com 

ARTIST – Miss Emily: emily@emilyfennell.com 

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