Kelly McGuire's midweek collaborators

Halifax Music Club at the Paragon places musicians of all genres into a weekly mashup. It's fast becoming a must-do for everyone from Garrett Mason to Carmen Townsend.

Hump day is usually the day that gets you closer to the weekend, but the last Wednesday of 2009 began a new mid-week tradition---Halifax Music Club at the Paragon. The Club brings musicians and artists from different genres together to collaborate, with local blues musician Garrett Mason, Cape Breton darling Carmen Townsend and actor/dancer/jack-of-all-trades Cory Bowles stepping up as regulars this month, along with guests like Adam Baldwin.

Not composed of random collaboration, organizer Kelly McGuire says the Music Club will have artists practicing before the shows to perform new material.

"All the musicians are really interested in it because it's not like an open mic, or an open jam, where you don't really know who's gonna show up or whether you're going to enjoy playing with them," says McGuire. She adds that she'll be acting as matchmaker for new-to-each-other artists to keep things rolling.

Anna Danova, the comedic alter ego of Ann Denny, is on the list of Music Club regulars. Denny's been in Halifax for two-and-a-half years, and says it's tough to find artists for collaboration---especially across different genres of art and music. "It can be a little awkward---'Oh hey, hi, uh, wanna collab?'" Denny asks in a mock voice, extending an arm out as if meeting someone for the first time. "But here, there's a space that we all come to together."

Denny's particularly excited to work with Three Sheet beat-boxer Eric McIntyre, while co-host Townsend has set her sights on a bigger fish.

"If Jack White ever shows up..." says Townsend, trailing off with thoughts of The White Stripes frontman.

Mason brings the dreaming back to Halifax. "I think it'd be cool to do some things with synth keyboards," he says. "My roommate is in the band Jenocide, and I really like what they're doing, even though it's the total opposite of what I'm doing."

McGuire nods her head in agreement to Mason's suggestion, and says there's no limit to what the artists can mix up. Well, there may be one. "I don't know about Jack White for Carmen, but I'll try," she says, laughing.