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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Southwest Sound rocks Tune Up the Parks

by Adam Gault

Despite Mother Nature’s best attempts to derail last Wednesday’s Tune Up the Parks concert in Essex Centre, with ongoing torrential rains, residents still braved the threat of inclement weather to see the Kingsville-based group, Southwest Sound, and hear the unique catalogue of classic rock and country favourites.

Neil Quiring plays lead guitar in what is usually a six-piece band of brothers and friends. The band’s setlist runs the gamut from Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings, to The Eagles and Bob Seger, and everything in between.

“We’ve all been more-or-less blue-collar workers. A couple of guys work at Ford Motor Company, I had a manufacturing business. We got together 15 years ago basically as a basement band, and for the most part [we] still are,” Quiring explained of the genesis of the group. “Since the different towns have started these concert series, it gives us an opportunity to get out and play for people.”

Although mainly a cover band, members of Southwest Sound have written and recorded several original songs, along with a collection of their favourite covers a few years ago.

“We had played together for 40 years and [had] never done any recording. We finally decided, ‘we’re getting older, we better do it now or never,’” Quiring said.

Highlighting the importance of local towns promoting their own musicians and artists, Quiring explained that events like Tune Up the Parks are incredible venues for local talents to ensure they have a medium for expressing their craft, and with that, an opportunity to showcase their talent to the local community.

“Be it musicians, painters, etcetera, a town needs to promote them. So, this here is a great venue for promoting the local artists,” Quiring said. “In Essex County, it’s amazing how many singer/songwriters and artists we have. It’s all of our passion. We love performing, we love singing, we love playing.”

Tune Up the Parks, which the Town’s Arts, Culture, and Tourism Committee presents, is held every Monday at Colchester Park and every Wednesday at the Spitfire Memorial from now until September 5.

A full concert schedule can be found at

More information on Southwest Sound and its Kingsville area open studio sessions for all musicians can be found at


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