By Dan Rankin
(Publisher’s Note: we found Dan’s questions for his interview with “Devito and Schwartz” on his computer so we forwarded these questions to musician Kevin Graham so Dan could have one last interview. Devito and Schwartz, comprised of twin brothers and St. Marys natives Kevin & Sean Graham, will be performing tonight at the St. Marys Golf & Country Club
Dan: Between the two of you, how many ugly sweaters do you think you and Sean own? Kevin: I think one or two. Sean has one of the Abominable Snowman from the old Rudolph movie eating a gingerbread cookie. I have that Bautista print that says “Merry Flippin’ Christmas” but it’s not overly ugly.
Dan: What are some of your favourites? Any doozies to break out on Friday? Kevin: The Snowman one that Sean has is an obvious favourite. I’m scrambling at the moment and will have to check out the selection at Value Village this week. Dan: Have you got any favourite memories you can share from Christmas parties in St. Marys over the years?
Kevin: It’s always kind of a blur to be honest, we just like playing and everyone is usually in a pretty good mood! Our last show really as “Dress Rehearsal” was at the Creamery in 2013 right before Christmas – that one sticks out as being really energetic. The turn-out is usually bigger than at other times.
Dan: What are some of the things you like best about Christmas in St. Marys? Kevin: Pretty much everything – being around family and friends that we don’t see as often as we’d like. The Christmas lights downtown and at the Flats are always welcoming. There’s usually more snow here than in Toronto too. I remember they used to play Christmas music through speakers on the street for a few years – not sure if they do that anymore? Dan: Apart from the golf course, where else have you been performing lately?
Kevin: We play every three months or so at a bar called Graffiti’s in Kensington Market (in Toronto). Other than that we haven’t played all that much but we are playing for a friends Christmas party tonight at the Toronto Legion of all places! Dan: What have you two been up to in the second half of 2016? I think I remember seeing Sean was in South America…
Kevin: Sean travels everywhere for work – In 2016 he’s been to Galapagos, Australia, England, Costa Rica, Peru, Cambodia I think….I get envious! Otherwise though we lead very normal lives in Toronto with a focus on having as many good times as possible. Most things seem to revolve around music and sports and wine and craft breweries.
Dan: Any other news as to recording or touring? Kevin: I’ve started recording songs with a friend of mine who lives in Etobicoke – most of the songs I write are built on the foundation of me and a guitar so we’re getting that done and will add stuff like bass, piano, and vocal harmonies after. I’ve recorded 14 demos over the past few weeks so there’s certainly no shortage of material. As for touring, we’ve got nothing in the works which is a shame because it’s the best part about playing music.
Dan: What’s planned for Friday night? Any new covers, new originals, or anything special on tap? Kevin: We might play some new originals early on and we’ve learned some of our favourite Christmas songs which is something we haven’t really done in the past – there’s a lot of gems out there. As for new covers we always have some ready but only play them if they fit the mood or energy. We’ll likely pay homage to the likes of The Hip and Leonard Cohen, as we should.