By Will McGuirk
The culture of a place is the voice of the place and at one time the voice of Oshawa would have been 94.9FM DJ Matt Diamond who championed so many local musicians in his years on air at the station.
He has since moved to the home of the Petes but he feels the heart ache of Oshawa and has organized what he calls a night off for the city as it worries over the closing of GM at the end of the year.
To that end he has called upon one other distinct voice of Oshawa, The Stables, to reunite for an evening at the Oshawa Music Hall Saturday Apr. 20 2019. Peterboro’ pal Melissa Payne will also perform as well as Diamond’s new project Say Ritual
This thing hits home,” says Diamond (real name Holtby) “my father-in-law still works with the company. I think of my happiest days in the city; I started music and radio there, and have really wonderful relationships because of the music scene there. I felt like it would be an honour to play that room, and have The Stables do it again and The Music Hall made it happen.”
“The city needs a night off. . . to get together like it was 10 years ago. Melissa Payne is a dear friend to all of us, and her new record is bonkers. It's a perfect addition to the night and I'm so happy she agreed to play.”
Diamond has been active in Peterborough playing Buddy Holly in an on stage production as well as hosting open mics. He has continued to build community one song at a time. It was through these endeavours he met his current bandmates, Robert Hedge, Michael Gray, and Evan Sheffield. This new act he has is called Say Ritual and sees Diamond in tough rock mode. Liam Archer handles the beats but former Champion Heartache’r Craig T Toutant subs in as necessary and it will be certainly necessary to have T in the Hall the eve of Easter Sunday.
Diamond says while he started in music as a the voice man, he has grown as a musician and was ready to just rock out.
“There was something that had to come out,” he says. “When we first started, I only sang. I stood up there with a mic and a bottle of whatever, but I knew I wanted to write pop songs. I wanted to write music that could be played loudly, and with a margin of ‘here goes.’ Bar rock. It's just where I'm at. I have my family, and I have music. It's time to have some fun.”
So let your voices be heard Oshawa and go out and have some fun. The future can wait, at least for one night.