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Townehouse plans Bowie tribute concert

Tributes to rock and roll legend David Bowie reverberated around the world when it was announced the prolific artist died in his home in New York on Jan. 10. Sudbury's Townehouse Tavern will join the chorus with a tribute concert planned for Feb.
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Tributes to rock and roll legend David Bowie reverberated around the world when it was announced the prolific artist died in his home in New York on Sunday, Jan. 10. File photo.
Tributes to rock and roll legend David Bowie reverberated around the world when it was announced the prolific artist died in his home in New York on Jan. 10.

Sudbury's Townehouse Tavern will join the chorus with a tribute concert planned for Feb. 13 to celebrate Bowie's life and musical legacy.

Bowie succumbed to an 18-month battle with cancer, only two days after his 69th birthday.

On his birthday, he released his final record, “Blackstar”, which garnered almost universal acclaim nearly 50 years into a musical career that inspired countless musicians.

Paul Loewenberg, the Townehouse's manager, said he first listened to Bowie when he was in high school and worked part-time at a record store.

His first introduction to his discography was the 1983 album “Let's Dance”, and he worked his way back from there.

If he had to choose, Loewenberg said his favourite Bowie record would probably be 1971's “Hunky Dory.”

It was the album that cemented Bowie's place as a fully realized artist, Loewenberg said.

In January 1990, Loewenberg and his friend Skip Viitala drove to Toronto to see Bowie perform in his Sound and Vision tour.

Loewenberg said he remembered Bowie being a better guitar player than he expected.

The tour was widely promoted as the last time the artist would play his classic hit songs from the 1970s and 1980s while on tour. In future performances, he would focus on his more current output.

“He continued making new and brave music until the last year of his life,” Loewenberg said. “It's admirable for an artist to dedicate a whole life to looking forward, rather than looking backwards.”

Bowie's greatest influence on Loewenberg was how he helped foster the careers of some of his own musical heroes, including Lou Reed and Iggy Pop.

As for the Feb. 13, tribute concert, Loewenberg said the Townehouse house band, which includes Dan and Ryan Levecque, Matt Foy, and himself, will go through Bowie's wide-ranging discography, starting with his pre-Space Oddity output, all the way to his more recent albums.

The concert will be a fundraiser for the Northern Lights Festival Boréal 2016. Tickets are $10 at the door.

Jonathan Migneault

About the Author: Jonathan Migneault

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