Canadian Music Week

Late Show: The Beaches Album Review

Toronto rock and roll quartet, The Beaches, have released their much anticipated full-length debut album, Late Show, and fans of the band have reason to rejoice.

Named for their neighbourhood in the east end of the city, the band has been putting in work on stage for the last four years, building their GRL BND brand, and earning new fans from their hometown and beyond. The WayHome and Canadian Music Week alumni have wowed us at The Phoenix and The Horseshoe, and haven’t slowed down or let up since they started this ball rolling.

With Late Show, Jordan, Kylie, Eliza, and Leandra have shown that they are ready for the late night spotlight, mixing their enthusiasm for what they do with experience-honed writing and musicianship that leads them from track to track.

While I was listening to the album I found myself thinking about Haim and The Darcys, and when the last song finished, Spotify immediately rolled into the Arkells, and that worked too. This is a collection of songs that fans will be able to slide into playlists seamlessly, and with ease.

Songs like Money, Gold, Turn Me On, the title track all lend themselves to a party if you want it – and will translate from the album to the stage as these rocking women plug in and turn up the volume. Which leads me to this recommendation, when you press play on The Beaches record, turn it up.

The youth, attitude, energy and ability that The Beaches combine on this album should be celebrated. There is no jaded rock star shit here. There’s no “been there done that” drag. This is a rock and roll album that puts forth everything that we want from rock and roll. We can feel the drums and guitar. The bass holds the rhythm we need. And on vocals, the 12 songs on the album all pull their weight and earn their plays.

Note: For what it’s worth, my early favourite track (based on repeated listens) is Walk Like That. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is I keep coming back for… but trust me, I keep coming back for more.

These four rockers come together to form a tight band, with an authentic sound. They play for themselves, they are themselves, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Find tickets to a show when The Beaches are near you… and be ready for a good time.

The Beaches, Late Show Tracklist

1. Back Of My Heart
2. Money
3. Moment
4. Let Me Touch
5. T-Shirt
6. Turn Me On
7. Gold
8. Highway 6
9. Late Show
10. Keeper
11. Walk Like That
12. Sweet Life

1 week ago No Comments Views

River Town Saints: Self Titled Album Review

Nobody has been waiting, or is more excited for the River Town Saints self-titled album than the River Town Saints.

The boys in the band have been working hard for the last three years to entertain, write, record, and make country music their lives… and they truly love it. We’ve seen with our own eyes just how much effort and passion these five dudes bring to the table, or stage rather, when they have the chance, and have no doubts about their ability to do it on a larger scale as we move forward.

Heck, they’ve already graduated from the Boots & Bourbon stage where we first saw them during Canadian Music Week 2015 (just months before they signed with Open Road Recordings), to an opening spot on Kip Moore’s tour this year.

And this new album, including previous singles, A Little Bit Goes A Long Way, Cherry Bomb, and the Top 10, Bonfire, will give RTS fans more music to sink their teeth into. Eight tracks fill out the record, and while we do wish that number was 12 or 13, we know that these new tracks… including the brand new single, Woke Up Like This, will surely connect with live audiences, streamers, and radio listeners from coast to coast – creating bigger, louder, longer sing alongs than the band has ever heard before!

We also know that the penchant for covers, medleys, and good times aren’t likely to go anywhere when River Town Saints play River Town Saints, live.

But for now, Chris, Chris, Jeremy, Jordan, and Dan should celebrate this new, debut, album release. It’s a great achievement that is worthy of pride. And, more importantly, it’s a good country record, it’s a fun listen, it sounds great, and it represents everything we’ve come to know and love about the band and its members. It’s fun loving, good timing, happy listening country music. There are no artificial colours or flavours, this is River Town Saints.

From Bonfire through to Hungover It, River Town Saints have recorded an album that is going to get a lot of play by a lot of people this summer. And it will deserve every single spin that it gets!

River Town Saints Tracklist

1. Bonfire
2. Cherry Bomb
3. Woke Up Like This
4. How I Got To You
5. A Little Bit Goes A Long Way
6. Friday Night
7. I Hope You’re Driving
8. Hungover It
9. A Little Bit Goes A Long Way – Acoustic

Get yourself ready to listen and love and share this album. And when you see River Town Saints live, give Chris LaBelle a fist bump. He’ll know why.

River Town Saints BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016-River Town Saints CMW 2016 Boots and BourbonRiver Town Saints BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016-

5 months ago Views

On Me: Andrew Hyatt Video Release

Hot on the heels of his Iron & Ashes album release, the critical and fan acclaim for the heartbreaking track, She Ain’t You, and two successful sets during Canadian Music Week, Andrew Hyatt has a brand new song for you to hear, and a video for you to watch.

Related: Iron & Ashes: Andrew Hyatt Album Review and Q&A

Hit play now and watch Hyatt’s new video for On Me. The video features scenes from the capital of country music, Nashville, the studio during recording, the stage of The Phoenix concert theatre during his soundcheck and show opening for Drake White & The Big Fire during CMW 2017, and more.

Related: CMW 2017: Livin’ The Dream with Drake White, Alee, Andrew Hyatt and Friends

And if you haven’t yet seen them, check out these CMT One Shot videos for She Ain’t You and We Only Kiss On Sundays.

Enjoy, and stay tuned for more from the pride of the Nickel City, Andrew Hyatt.

 

5 months ago Views

Iron & Ashes: Andrew Hyatt Album Review and Q&A

Sometimes it’s hard not to write about artists and albums without using tired adjectives and metaphors. Sometimes it’s easy to just lean on previously printed sentiment and move on. But sometimes it isn’t easy, sometimes there’s more to the story, and more to the music.

It really feels like this is one of those times.

Andrew Hyatt isn’t new to the country music scene in Ontario or Canada. Country fans know him from his radio singles, That’s How I’m Living, MGR (Me And A Girl And A Radio), and his most recent release, the CMT featured, She Ain’t You. Those who have listened know that Andrew is the real deal, that he’s got the voice to back up the songs and the songs to connect with listeners. And those who have seen him on stage know that he’s not a studio creation.

And now, with the release of his debut full-length album, Iron & Ashes, Andrew Hyatt seems ready to show more people, open more eyes, and put himself in a brighter spotlight.

The disc (or download, or stream) offers 12 tracks, moving smoothly from top to bottom, and telling stories that are all too relatable. Hyatt isn’t just singing about girls and beer and pickup trucks. He’s not just selling promises of good times and sunshine. He’s telling stories that feel real. These are songs that will allow you to close your eyes and either remember a time in your life, or create a movie in your head of what this thing might look like. This album is complete, not just because it features 12 tracks and not four, but because it completes a journey, it takes its time with you, and it gives you everything it’s got. Yes, it would be awesome if there were another six songs tacked on the end, but nobody is going to feel cheated when the acoustic cut of She Ain’t You finishes playing.

We’ve had the chance recently to talk to, and about, Andrew more than once. We saw him live twice during Canadian Music Week, where he poured it all out, sweating and singing and slaying on stage – and we gladly told stories about those sets. We also had the opportunity to help feature Andrew Hyatt as the Country Music Association of Ontario’s Artist of the Month for May 2017. Telling a little bit more about where he’s from, the work he’s put in, and how far we think he can go.

But this post isn’t about that. It’s about telling you that Andrew Hyatt has a collection of songs on Iron & Ashes that deserve to be heard, played, replayed, sung along to, and listened to in silence. There’s no wrong way to consume this record. It isn’t one dimensional. Like we said, it connects.

Iron & Ashes Tracklist

1. That’s How I’m Living
2. MGR (Me And A Girl And A Radio)
3. She Ain’t You – Band Version
4. Girl I Do
5. Can’t Win ‘Em All
6. Goodbye Gone
7. Running On Empty
8. We Only Kiss On Sundays
9. Most Of Me
10. On Me
11. Laid Back Easy
12. She Ain’t You

We don’t grade albums, we don’t give out stars, we don’t put our thumbs up or down – but we do recommend music that we like, and that we think you’ll like.

This is that music. It passes our subjective tests, and we believe that it’s worthy of your time and attention.

We also think that Andrew Hyatt is a star in the making, a name that you’re going to get used to hearing, and a good dude on top of that.

We had the chance to catch up with Mr. Hyatt to ask him about the album, playing live, and cover bands – and while we didn’t ask him to rank himself as a social thinker, deep drinker, good time chaser or, good love maker, we may have to the next time we catch him.

Thanks to Andrew for his time and his answers. Check out the Q&A now, and hit play on the stream to listen to Iron & Ashes.

Trust us.

Q. If you could use 1 word to describe the feeling of Iron & Ashes
coming out, what would it be?

AH. Thankful

Q. Did you have a goal or theme in mind when you were writing the songs
for the album?

AH. I had been going through a lot of changes in my personal life and I really needed to write it down.

There was a quote by Leo Tolstoy that says: “truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.”

That sort of set me in the direction of writing the record and how refining life can be uncomfortable but worth it.

Q. She Ain’t You grabbed a lot of people’s attention. What do you think
it is about that song that connects with people?

AH. Honestly it’s relatable. I got really vulnerable and honest on that song.. people connect because they’ve all lived it.

Q. What is your favourite thing about playing a stripped down set?

AH. I love being able to tell the stories and let people in a little more on the intimacy of the songs.

Q. What is your favourite thing about playing a set with the full band?

AH. The energy of standing in stage with some of your best friends is amazing. Before shows, no matter how tired we are we always remind each other that at 65 (if we make it) we will be wishing for it !

Q. If you were going to front a cover band, who would you be covering?

AH. I’d be in an Alan Jackson cover band just so I could grow a duster and water ski in jeans!

Note: If you don’t know what Andrew’s talking about, click this link -> https://youtu.be/JW5UEW2kYvc

Q. In 25 words or less, describe what Iron & Ashes is to you as an album?

AH. Most of this record I was given the opportunity to just make music and put it out… it’s scary but I’m proud of the end result.

And proud he should be.

Listen to Andrew Hyatt’s Iron & Ashes now…

5 months ago Views

Aussie Night Out: Marcelo Garibotto Q&A

For an Aussie, Marcelo Garibotto has a very Canadian nickname. The man they call Moose works hard in the music industry, as a manager, advocate, entrepreneur and more.

And during Canadian Music Week 2017, Garibotto acted as a show booker, putting together the Aussie Night Out at The Hideout when the traditional CMW Aussie BBQ wasn’t booked for the festival. We hung out with Moose that night, talking shop, talking music, and listening to some great talent from the other side of the world. And we realized that he had some insight to share that we weren’t going to find here at home.

So, with thanks to Marcelo, here’s a Q&A we put together that sheds some light on the Australian music scene, why bands keep coming to Toronto, who we should be listening to next, and more…

Here we go!

Q) Set the scene for us, what’s the music industry situation like in Australia right now? We’ve heard it’s rough for bands trying to play and make a go of it, is that true? (get political if you want. talk about venues closing, attitudes, etc., whatever you want)

MG) Well it’s kind of a tricky question to answer, YES it’s hard at the moment but I think it’s hard everywhere, the game has changed a lot over the past 10 years, labels have been on a downward spiral, economies collapsing and the whole music landscape changing. In saying that, I think it’s a good time to be in the game, we’ve had an increase for the first time in a decade, 6% up. It’s still down several billion dollars from what it was but up is always good right? In Australia and especially Sydney there have been venues being shut down left and right, but at the same time others have opened up! I think the biggest issue we have in Australia is that we are supersaturated with a lot of music all around the world and no real protection system to nurture Australian talent, not like in Canada… Anyway that’s my 5c worth, I could be wrong everyone has their own theory about it all.

Q) What do you think makes Toronto and Canadian Music Week so inviting or tempting to Australian bands?

MG) The fact that everyone here (Toronto) is very accommodating, it feels like people want to go out and watch music and there is a lot of camaraderie here for Aussies, I mean we are a pretty likeable bunch all over the world but it feels like what our home should be like when we visit here… Not sure what the rest of Canada is like, looking forward to exploring it as well… There is lots of love here and we certainly feel it!

Silver Love Club - Adelaide Hall - Canadian Music Week 2017Silver Love Club @ Adelaide Hall, CMW 2017

Q) We’ve seen bands like Silver Love Club, The Dead Love and The Lazys make the long trip to play their music – to the best of your knowledge, has it been worth it?

MG) I can only really comment on what Silver Love Club got out of it the 2nd time round (Formally MABEL), it was definitely worth it, the networking and fan base increased considerably, it always tests a band when they have to perform to a new crowd, scary and exciting at the same time. I know the boys from The Dead Love a bit and I think that they are doing very well, I know that those boys don’t muck around, they wouldn’t come back to Canada if it wasn’t working for them… As for the Lazy’s well the proof is in the pudding as they say, it looks like they are killing it, deservingly so!

Q) With no afternoon Aussie BBQ organized for CMW this year you stepped up and put together the Aussie Night Out at The Hideout, why was it important to you that the show came together and went on in 2017?

MG) Well I think it was super important to have an Aussie Showcase of some sort, to travel 20+ hours literally to the other side of the planet and not have a showcase for Australian acts would of been a real shame… When I was notified that it wasn’t going to happen (The Aussie BBQ) I was gutted, it was a pretty low point. But me being me, I thought to myself “Nah stuff that” (stuff being replaced with a word starting with F) I can do it, I can put something together and I know I can pull in all the Aussies I know to get it done, so I did! I might of been the instigator but there were a lot of people in the background that supported the event, Geoff Trio form Code One and Larry Heath from The AU Review supported the event as well… It was so important that we had to have 2 showcase in the same night!!! The Aussie Night Out @ The Hideout and The Aussie Breakfast @Rivoli, so the 20th of April 2017 was the day that the Aussies took over Toronto!!

Q) Success can be measured in many forms, in your own words and your own way, do you think the Aussie Night Out was a success?

MG) Absolutely, first of all to see the quality of the bands that played and how good the crowd was for the show, for a last minute put together showcase that very little advertising and marketing I think it was a great night! Most of the bands that could of played did and some of them had 2 shows on the same night so if you missed out on one you knew you could see them at the other venue.

Aussie Night Out - Bad PonyBad Pony @ the Aussie Night Out,  CMW 2017

Q) And if there isn’t a BBQ in 2018 (or maybe even if there is) do you think you’ll put together a follow-up to this year’s show?

MG) I think that if there is an Aussie BBQ next year I will leave it to Sounds Australia to do it, they are the best at it. Sounds does an amazing job ALL around the world putting on Australian showcases at these kinds of events (Midem, SXSW, CMW, CMJ etc..). It’s not my core business, if I put on a showcase next year, its will probably have more of an international feel, I like to connect artists, industry, general fans from all over the world, it’s what I do. So if I was to do something I wouldn’t want to compete, I would like to compliment and add value.

Q) Help everyone find some new music to listen to… give us a list of 5 Australian artists we should all give a listen to.

MG) Oh ok, this is putting me on the spot… I will give you 5 other bands that were not at CMW.

1. Tenderfoot – Blues / Rock band John Mayer meets Ryan Adams with a Tom Petty / Bob Dylan sound to it: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0cAed9YivTN7Yq2BnjRNyt

2. L-Fresh The Lion – He is one of my favourites right now, he’s a Hip Hop artist and if anyone knows me that is sooooo NOT my genre, I think that’s why it makes it special. Produced by ARIA nominated producer Michael McGlynn: https://open.spotify.com/artist/1pWigxBjUwEk9xH0Ks1r8L

3. MOZA – These guys are running HOT right now, great songwriters and producers to boot! https://open.spotify.com/artist/1YUKNG5hEk2HXP8k1a1wWE

4. The Khanz – The Khanz are a nostalgic dose of the naughties with a contemporary edge… think Glass Animals meets The Pixies… Picasso on an acid trip.” https://open.spotify.com/artist/4dTEyXWVvm7BV5FA7KWwsU

5. Anabelle Kay – Incredible voice and another fantastic songwriter. https://open.spotify.com/artist/4ug9vNhVwertbSzTEd3Zeu

Aussie Night Out QuiversQuivers @ the Aussie Night Out,  CMW 2017

Marcelo Garibotto – photo credit: Ash King

 

5 months ago Views

CMW 2017: SiriusXM House w/ High Valley, Jess Moskaluke & Madeline Merlo

Saturday night at Canadian Music Week is a big one. Big shows, big crowds, and the unofficial end to a week jam-packed full of music. So it should come as no surprise that the country music show at The Great Hall was busy, loud, and pumping out fantastic music that everyone in the room was into.

The SiriusXM House lineup of Madeline Merlo, Jess Moskaluke, and High Valley brought a heap of hits, energy, and star power to the stage. Canadian country fans know their music, buy their albums, and see them on tour whenever they come through town. So it was no surprise to hear cheers and sing-alongs through the night.

What was an awesome surprise was hearing brand new, unreleased music from both Madeline and Jess. We’ve been lucky, as fans, to hear everything these two women have released to date, and all of their fans are going to be lucky to hear these new songs… because they were good, and a lot of fun.

And while it was no surprise at all, High Valley was awesome. But more on that coming up.

The first on stage, and very clearly ready to put on a show and get the Saturday party started, was Madeline Merlo.

With her energy up, a big smile on her face, and the band ready to go, Madeline started with Honey Jack, which is always a good choice for her. The crowd, full of energy, just as much as Madeline on stage, sang along to the radio hit and set the tone for what was to come.

And what came, was awesome. Brand new music, including Fresh Out and Flamingo Motel, which will be her next radio single, was awesome to hear. The upbeat track is a lot of fun, and got feet moving and heads nodding and people excited for what’s next from the Maple Ridge, BC artist.

We already knew that Madeline was good, Canadian country fans already knew, but the strength in her voice and performance on Saturday night at CMW was as much confirmation as we’d ever hope to see. She killed it and proved that her name belongs in the conversation with any of the top female artists that anyone can think of or name or want to see and hear.

Job well done!

Madeline Merlo, CMW 2017 Set List

✰ Honey Jack
✰ Whatcha Wanna Do About It
✰ Motel Flamingo
✰ Over And Over
✰ Fresh Out
✰ Sinking Like A Stone
✰ Summer Made Me Do It
✰ Neon Love
✰ War Paint

Jess Moskaluke, the 2014, 2015, and 2016 CCMA Female Artist of the Year and 2017 Juno Winner for Country Album of the Year hit the stage in the middle of the show.

Adored by the crowd, and her fans from coast-to-coast, Moskaluke hit the stage and got a full buy in from the Toronto audience at The Great Hall. They loved her. Loved her voice. Loved her band. Loved her energy and willingness to give everything she had in her show.

And her voice… in top shape, and impressing the hell out of everyone, was sweet and powerful and exactly we could have hoped to hear. But the best thing we heard from her was that there will be a new album in 2017.

That’s right, Jess Moskaluke will release a new album, full of new music, in 2017!

To see where Jess is now, from where she started and where she was when we first met and featured her with a Q&A. She’s amazing. She’s talented. And she deserves every single bit of success that finds its way to her.

High fives and hugs.

Jess Moskaluke, CMW 2017 Set List

✰ Night We Won’t Forget
✰ Used
✰ Save Some Of That Whiskey
✰ Kiss Me Quiet
✰ Good For You
✰ Kill Your Love
✰ Take Me Home
✰ Elevator
✰ Lightning Bolt
✰ Drive Me Away
✰ Cheap Wine & Cigarettes

Brad and Curtis Rempel, the farm boy brothers from Alberta that are High Valley, closed the show and were the main event headliners that we knew they were.

These guys are the real deal, earning a reputation for themselves in the United States the way they have in Canada since we first heard songs like On The Combine and I Will Stand By You.

On stage on Saturday night, High Valley hit the ground running. They were there for the Toronto crowd, and were clearly prepared for a big night. The crowd was prepared too, they were loud (like really loud), and they sang along (like really loud), and it was easy to see that these brothers were loved.

And even early in the set, before they’d had a chance to get to some of their biggest hits, there was an energy spike when they turned County Line into Fishin’ In The Dark, just for a minute.

We’ve seen High Valley a few times over the last few years, and we will continue to see them whenever we have the chance. They are that fun to watch. They are that good on stage. And album by album, they continue to put out music that we can get into – and that country fans in Canada, the United States and beyond can get into as well.

High Valley, CMW 2017 Set List

✰ Dear Life
✰ Come On Down
✰ Rescue You
✰ County Line
✰ Be My Baby Tonight
✰ Young Forever
✰ Every Week’s Got A Friday
✰ Roads We’ve Never Taken
✰ Father’s Love
✰ I’ll Fly Away
✰ Love You For A Long Time
✰ She’s With Me
✰ Make You Mine
✰ I Be U Be

More photos from SiriusXM House, Canadian Music Week 2017!

6 months ago Views

CMW 2017: UTA / Julian Taylor Band with One Bad Son, Birds of Bellwoods and Friends

Saturday night of Canadian Music Week is huge. And while there are a couple of shows on Sunday, it’s really the last night of big, late shows. And… it’s Saturday night with a 4:00 AM last call!

We found ourselves at The Horseshoe Tavern for the United Talent Agency’s Showcase featuring The Julian Taylor Band. With an outstanding roster, UTA was able to put together a dynamic show. The supporting lineup included The Dead Projectionists, The Treble, One Bad Son, Midnight Shine, Julian Taylor Band, Birds of Bellwoods, Towers, and Radio Caroline.

One quick note, Midnight Shine was a late addition after Adam Baldwin was unable to play the showcase.

We arrived very early and were first in line, the only way to guarantee a good spot near the stage and our favourite bench seat. Now we don’t recommend trying to stand on that bench, not unless you want to get chucked out by security, but they do turn a blind eye to people sitting on the top of said bench. A nifty little trick for those of us who are of the shorter persuasion. Shout out to Lorna and Ian who we met in line and who were our table companions for most of the evening. They’re huge Julian Taylor fans and try to get to all of his live shows.

Our first band, The Dead Projectionists are a five-piece band who call Toronto home. They’ve got an ethereal rock thing going on and they were the perfect choice to get things started. I’ll be keeping my eye on their local live schedule. They’ve got a self-recorded and self-released album, called Detractor and we think you should give it a listen.
The Dead Projectionists - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017

Second on the bill of eight, were The Treble. An alt-rock band from Winnipeg who delivered amazing harmonies, beautiful melodies and great hooks.  They released their debut album in February and Modernaires should be on your playlist. Their live performance was mesmerizing. I have to admit, there was a moment where I wondered about lead singer, Mark Brusegard, “How cool do you have to be to wear a leather jacket when it’s so hot?”.

As the guys played the room continued to fill up and by the time they finished the room was full.
The Treble - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017

At 10:00 One Bad Son arrived. And they arrived with a bang. Energetic and at full volume, Shane and the rest of the band dominated the room. It was loud and it was fun and everybody was all in. There was jumping, spinning, flying hair and fingers. There was epic rock wailing and screaming. The Saskatoon boys were on fire!

They played old songs and their new single Raging Bull and they talked about working hard, here in Toronto to finish the new album. We’re definitely looking forward to that release party.
One Bad Son - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017One Bad Son - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017

Now if we’re being honest here, I wouldn’t have wanted to be the band to play after One Bad Son. How do you follow that? Next up was our last minute replacement band Midnight Shine. And yet when the guys got on stage and started playing, it was very different, and it was perfect. Still rock but with a lighter approach, blending roots, classic rock and modern rock. The four-piece from James Bay were engaging and Zach Tomatuk shredded on his gorgeous Ibanez JEM guitar. With it’s the tree of life inlay and gold bindings and trim, it was hard to look away.

Adrian Sutherland on lead vocals is a warm and charming presence on stage and along with George Gillies on drums and Stan Louttit on bass, they come together as one. Their voices blend together beautifully and the lyrics take us to open fields and northern Ontario. They were nominated for Best Rock CD at the 2015 Indigenous Music Awards and they’ve got a brand new single out too! Check out Sister Love below.
Moonlight Shine - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017

At the midnight hour The Julian Taylor Band took the stage. The stage was bursting with musicians, instruments, equipment and it was spectacular. Horns, two keyboards, drums, bass and guitars creating a full rich backdrop for Julian’s vocals.

We got to hear Fever, Set Me Free, Bobbi Champagne and so many more. Before singing the uplifting Just a Little Bit, Julian asked us if we’ve ever felt like giving up and admitted that yep, even he has. It didn’t feel like banter, it felt like a sincere conversation. This song’s a reminder that we should never give up and it was one of my favourite moments of the set.

For those of you who’ve never seen Julian live, you’re in for the most awesome surprise. Nothing can prepare you for the force that is The Julian Taylor Band. A non-stop, balls-out, sing from your heart connection. Rock, soul, R&B, jazz who needs labels? Let’s go with energetic, fun, infectious, make you wanna get up and dance music.

When the band left the stage, the crowd chanted hopefully for an encore until the tech put them out of their misery and turned up the bumper music.
Julian Taylor Band - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017 Julian Taylor Band - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017At this point, there was a shift in the crowd. People who had come specifically to see Julian started to make their way towards the exit but at the same time, new people seemed to surge forward. By the time Birds of Bellwoods picked up their instruments the room was teeming with fans.

The Horseshoe now held a fairly young group and they were all singing along. It’s been a while since I’ve been to a live performance and there have been changes. Everything seemed just a little bit more. A little bit more theatrical, a little louder, a little more intense.

I got to hear some of my favourites from The Fifth including a powerful sing along version of Roll Your Stone and  a much more intense version of Grey Ghosts. There were lots of new songs including their brand new single, A Year Ago. Lead singer Stevie let us know that the new album is on it’s way and I for one, am looking forward to it.

If you haven’t seen Birds of Bellwoods live, you should.
Birds of Bellwoods - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017 Birds of Bellwoods - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017The crowd had thinned out a bit by the time Towers started to play. The bar was now more comfortably full and the band kept the energy level high.

I hadn’t seen Towers since December 2015 and clearly the guys are just getting better and better.
Towers - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017At about 2:15 I headed home. I’m still sorry that I missed the end of their set and that I didn’t get a chance to check out Radio Caroline but I needed some well deserved sleep. I’ve filed this band away as a band I need to see soon. It was an amazing week and honestly, I can’t wait to do it all over again next year.

MORE PHOTOS

The Dead Projectionists
The Dead Projectionists - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017 The Dead Projectionists - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017 The Dead Projectionists - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017 The Dead Projectionists - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017 The Dead Projectionists - Julian Taylor Showcase - CMW2017

The Treble
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One Bad Son
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6 months ago Views

CMW 2017: Game On, James Barker Band Release Party with Andrew Hyatt, Dan Davidson and Friends

Friday nights are good for parties. Country music is good for parties. Canadian Music Week is good for parties. Now, go ahead and put all three of those things together and you’ve got yourself a red hot night, and we were there.

On Friday at Boots & Bourbon Saloon on Queen Street East, we hung out with artists, industry, and a heap of fans as 5 acts hit the stage, headlined by the James Barker Band as they celebrated the release of their brand new EP, Game On. The room was packed. There was excitement and positivity and adrenaline in the air… and on stage there were smiles and laughs and sweat and songs from start to finish.

In sports it’s common to hear someone say that they need to leave it all on the field/ice/court/whatever. On Friday night it was the same deal, everyone that performed, from Dani Strong to The Reklaws to Dan Davidson to Andrew Hyatt to JBB at the end, left it all on stage. And we saw it and appreciated the hell out of it.

Side Note: There were some awesome entertainers in the room to check out this show… we think we saw all of them, but maybe we missed a couple. Here’s our list: Jess Moskaluke, Washboard Union, Leah Daniels, Kris Barclay, Ben Hudson, Karli June, Vanessa Marie Carter.

Dani Strong kicked off the show, in her Maple Leafs t-shirt, openly cheering for the home team to pull out a win. She was excited, entertaining, and exactly what we know her to be on stage. Dani is one of the happiest and funniest performers we know. This woman loves to play, and as the opener she did a fantastic job of greeting the early crowd and setting the tone for the night.

We recommend checking Dani Strong out in person and online – where you might just catch her playing and singing in the bathroom on a pretty regular basis.

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Following Dani, much to our personal delight, were The Reklaws.

Stuart and Jenna have been on our radar since day 1. And it was exciting for us to see them on stage with new songs, strong voices, an energetic performance, and the same charisma we know and love.

It had been a while since we’d seen the sibling singers, so it was extra special to see the growth in their game. And to be able to talk to both of them, and find out just how excited they are about the new music was the cherry on top. With their label (Universal) behind them, and the crowd response to their set on the Boots & Bourbon stage, we’re sure that we’ll be seeing and hearing more from The Reklaws sooner rather than later.

High five, hugs and good jobs to Jenna and Stuart.

In the middle of the bill, all the way from Alberta, was Dan Davidson. And he made his presence felt and earned a warm welcome from Toronto country music fans.

With radio hits like Found and Barn Burner to share, Davidson brought sing alongs to the crowd and looked like he absolutely loved every minute of the action. With his full band firing on all cylinders, the sound pumped perfectly through the speakers and moved through the room. People danced and sang and cheered – and it was certainly a momentum builder at the mid-way point of the party.

Side Note: We were lucky enough to see half of Nice Horse up on stage singing with Davidson. They sounded great, added to the show, and made us want to see all of them doing their own thing on the spotlight.

The energy that Dan Davidson brings to the stage is undeniable, and his experience with Tupelo Honey shines through in his performances. But it’s also pretty clear that he’s found a home in Canadian country music… and that you’ll be hearing a whole lot more of him before long!

Second to last, in the “get y’all ready for the headliner” slot, was a late add to the party plans. Andrew Hyatt, fresh off his killer performance at The Phoenix on Tuesday night, hit the Boots & Bourbon stage like a force of nature.

Side Note: I talked to Andrew about the set on Saturday night and he told me that it felt like the old punk shows that he went to as a teen. The crowd brought it, and he felt like he should have been looking for a rafter to hang from.

The crowd was on fire, Hyatt’s band The Good Intentions were loud, tight, and locked in, and Andrew poured his heart and a gallon of sweat into his set. The Sudbury native pulled the Toronto crowd in and gave them what they wanted and all he had. With MGR (Me And A Girl And A Radio), Livin’ The Dream, Love Drunk to get folks singing along, there was no denying the power and fun of the set.

Side Note: Hyatt also gave us a surprise by bringing up Alee to sing her top 20 hit, and their co-write, Moonshine. It was a fun moment, and it’s a great song.

And when Hyatt got to his newest release, She Ain’t You, there were goosebumps in the room. The power of the lyrics, the feelings, and how he presented it all in one piece were outstanding and impossible for me to quantify because I am all in on this song.

With a new album coming in May, and a summer that looks to be full of stage time, Andrew Hyatt is going to make noise. Be ready for it.

Rounding out the night, celebrating the release of their debut, and blowing the roof off of the joint, was James Barker Band.

The boys were on fire – excited about the day, excited about the show, and full of everything we’ve come to know about them. These dudes like to play music, they have fun doing it, and it’s plastered all over their faces.

From the right side of the stage to the left we watched 5 play, sing, and smile their way through their set. And the fans on the floor were all in, singing along to radio hits Just Sayin’, Chills, and Lawn Chair Lazy – as well as a pretty sweet little cover of George Thorogood’s Keep Your Hands To Yourself.

Since winning the Emerging Artist Showcase at Boots & Hearts in 2015 there has been no stopping these guys. And with the release of the Game On EP, upcoming tour dates all over the country, and the backing of their label (Universal) there is no telling just how high the ceiling is for the James Barker Band.

Side Note: It’s been cool to see the evolution in the boys since their big win as well. From the get-go they had talent that we could all see, but the last year and a half has given them a chance to get tighter, smoother, and has turned them into the kind of live performers that country music fans are going to line up to see for a long time.

Seriously, seeing these guys in 2017 at Boots & Bourbon for Canadian Music Week may have been the last chance Toronto had to get that up close and personal.

And they enjoyed it!

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6 months ago Views

CMW 2017: Aussie Night Out ft. Silver Love Club, Bad Pony and Friends

If anything can help you forget about a rainy April night, it’s a party. And if there’s anyone that knows how to eff up a party, it’s the Aussies.

So on a rainy Thursday night in Toronto, we hit the newly opened, and very sharp looking, The Hideout on College St., we hit the Aussie Night Showcase and watched the night turn into a super fun time with music and dancing and drinks and more.

There were 10 acts on the bill for the Canadian Music Week event… but because CMW is what it is, we saw 6 acts of the night and wanna tell you all about them.

1) Aeora

With her keys, Mac, and mic, Aeora hit the stage for her first show in Canada – and first show outside of Australia. As she sang and moved through her set, we could hear the power in her voice, available whenever she reached for it. And it was easy to recognize the smoothness and ease that she works with.

Tracks in the set like Medicine, Up To You, and Bossy (her new single) had a lot of vibe we could get into. Beats that were a lot of fun. And while Aeora told us that she was feeling some nerves, she worked through them and performed wonderfully. Here’s hoping we see her back at CMW again in 2018.
Aussie Night Out Aeora Aussie Night Out Aeora

2) Alice Ivy

Constant sound and motion – that’s what we got from Alice Ivy. This set was another Canadian debut, and from the very first note, Alice was putting in work!

Heavy on the beats and the fun, this is Aussie music that you can’t help but want to move and dance and shake your ass to. In fact, if you were looking for music to dance to at about 1am, we would be happy to recommend Alice Ivy to you. Trust, it’s a good time. And, when you need a break to catch your breath, just watch how great it is when she bounces all over the stage, works her guitar, and makes the music happen. It’s pretty great.
Aussie Night Out Alice Ivy Aussie Night Out Alice Ivy

3) Quivers

Another North American debut, Quivers plugged in and were the first full band performance of the night. The sound was bigger, filled the room, and got us ready for what was coming up later in the show.

The quartet was fun to listen to, providing catchy/ poppy/ harmonized vocals that came from a fantastic mix of the 2 male and female voices up on the stage. As they played on we got to hear their single, Pigeons, and when the set ended, we wanted more. More to hear and groove on and enjoy throughout the night.
Aussie Night Out - Quivers Aussie Night Out Quivers

4) Eliza & The Delusionals

Fourth act of the night, fourth Canadian debut, Eliza & the Delusionals took the stage as a 3-piece (though they usually aren’t) and gave it all they had.

We instantly heard the loudest guitar of the show to that point, and were impressed at how tight and loud and fun and into it they were. All the way from Brisbane to Toronto, songs like Outside and Salt (the band’s newest single) made us want more. Made us want to see them take a bigger stage with the whole band, and sharing the energy and sound that they’ve shown us they have to give.

We’re in – we’d recommend that you get in too.
Aussie Night Out - Eliza and the Delusionals Aussie Night Out - Eliza and the Delusionals

5) Bad Pony

These 5 dudes took the stage, filled it with bodies, instruments, and sound… and we loved it. Bad Pony are a lot of fun. They play hard. They had harmonies that were both surprising and impressive. And more than anything, they rocked and rolled and entertained the hell out of the crowd at The Hideout.

Their set looks like organized chaos. There are so many things going on at the same time. Always someone bouncing, rocking, and putting on the kind of show that you can’t help but love if you love live music.

Bad Pony have been touring the US on the strength of their single, Deficiency, which we heard them blast through the speakers – and if this short set was any indication of what they can do with more time, we hope they’re back in Toronto soon to show us what they’ve got up their sleeves.
Aussie Night Out - Bad Pony Aussie Night Out - Bad Pony

6) Silver Love Club

This was our second chance of the week to catch Silver Love Club on stage… and it was worth the repeat.

From start to finish our boys put on a show that was all kinds of good. They put out a heap of volume, and energy to match it. Mikey, as a lead singer, does everything that a frontman should, with all kinds of live rock and roll sound in his voice he moved from song to song without missing a step. And supported by some killer guitar work from Romeo, sweet sweet bass lines from Alvin, and enthusiastic drum work from Neel, Silver Love Club made the crowd happy.

Their new single Ghost Town highlighted the set. Showing off a political edge pointed at Australian government, it pulls no punches and, as we’ve been told, is just the start of the kind of message and music these boys are ready to push out and share with their folks back home, and their fans here in Canada as well.

We already knew we were into Silver Love Club, we’re doubling down now. Get on and enjoy the ride.
Aussie Night Out Silver Love Club Aussie Night Out Silver Love Club
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AEORA
Aussie Night Out Aeora Aussie Night Out Aeora
ALICE IVY
Aussie Night Out Alice Ivy Aussie Night Out Alice Ivy Aussie Night Out Alice Ivy
QUIVERS
Aussie Night Out Quivers Aussie Night Out QuiversELIZA AND THE DELUSIONALS
Aussie Night Out - Eliza and the Delusionals Aussie Night Out - Eliza and the DelusionalsBAD PONY
Aussie Night Out - Bad Pony Aussie Night Out - Bad Pony Aussie Night Out - Bad PonySILVER LOVE CLUB
Aussie Night Out Silver Love Club Aussie Night Out Silver Love Club Aussie Night Out Silver Love Club Aussie Night Out Silver Love Club Aussie Night Out Silver Love Club Aussie Night Out Silver Love Club Aussie Night Out Silver Love Club Aussie Night Out Silver Love Club Aussie Night Out Silver Love Club Aussie Night Out Silver Love Club

6 months ago Views

CMW 2017 Interview: The Honest Heart Collective

Early in the week, we had a chance to chat with The Honest Heart Collective before their Canadian Music Week opening night showcase. Thanks to Kevin Heerema and Ryan MacDonald for taking time between sound checks and all that other stuff bands do before a show, to talk to us.

It was a busy time and we were briefly and happily interrupted by the arrival of 3/4 of Silver Love Club, hugs and hand shaking commenced. Next, sound check proved too loud for us to hear over so we headed outside into the sunshine to continue. Let me just say, I love this stuff.
The Honest Heart Collective - Adelaide Hall - Canadian Music Week 2017We started out with an icebreaker question, pulled straight from their bio which claims they guys have an affinity for Irish Whiskey. Let’s get started!

Q1: What’s your favourite whiskey?

KH: Highland Park
RM: Select Reserve Jameson

Q2: What artist/band would you most love to have on a dream bill with you?

RM: Silver Love Club
KH: Catfish and the Bottleman
RM: The Killers
KH: Against Me, this almost happened, and City and Colour.

There are definitely some great choices here. And the guys kinda gushed about Silver Love Club. We get it, we love them too. We’re definitely going to have to follow up on this, almost happened, story!

At this point, the conversation went totally off the rails and the guys went to …Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift, of course. 

Q3: What’s your favourite thing about CMW?

RM: 4:00 am last call and Sneaky Dee’s after the show.

What’s not to love about late night Sneaky Dee’s nachos?

Q4: What are you listening to right now?

KH: The Maine‘s New Record
RM: The New Flatliners

We talked about finding new music and playing it on repeat. These albums fit in this category. You can check out Lovely Little Lonely by The Maines and Inviting Light by The Flatliners by following the links.The Honest Heart Collective - Adelaide Hall - Canadian Music Week 2017Q5: What Artist/band do you think we should be paying more attention to?

RM: Texas King
KH: I was just going to say
RM: Someone local, Emily Kohne . “She has a great voice, she’s a great songwriter, and she plays better guitar than me.”

Texas King has been on our radar for about a year and we have to agree that they’re one you should pay attention to. Emily Kohne is new to us so we looked her up, listened to some songs, and we love her voice and her guitar skills.

Q6: Have you had one of those breakthrough or aha moments?

RM: No
KH: Not Yet

The long answer, they’ve had a few things happen where it’s starting to feel like something. A show last year at Rivoli sprang to mind but they’re still waiting for that big “moment” to happen. They talked about how hard and convoluted the process is for bands.

They talked about how hard and convoluted the process is for bands. “There’s so many bands out there trying to do this. You have to work really hard. I kinda feel like us being from Thunder Bay means we have to work harder. I mean we live 17 hours away from here. We haven’t had an aha moment but we’ve been grinding the whole time.”

Q7: What’s the first concert you remember going to?

RH: “Great Big Sea, they played at the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium. My dad took me and it was, it pretty much changed my life. It was sold out, there were 1,500 people singing along. But that wasn’t the one that changed my life. It was the second concert I ever went to. It was Colin James and watching that guy play guitar, made me wanna play guitar. I mean, I Just Came Back to Say Goodbye.”

Kevin prefaced his answer with a “My answer sucks.” We disagree, we think his answer is awesome!

KH: “My first actual, big production concert was N’Sync. It sucked! I got dragged at 7 years old. I was already into punk and rock music and everything but I had to. And then the next shows, I got my mom to take me to Sam Roberts. I was probably like 10. He played on my birthday. That really got me into, that looks really cool up there, that would be fun. And my very first show at a bar in the music scene, listening to hardcore punk was Protest The Hero and a couple of other metal bands and that got me thinking, this is where I want to be.”The Honest Heart Collective - Adelaide Hall - Canadian Music Week 2017Q8: What’s up next for the rest of 2017?

They’re working on a new record. There’s no working title, that they can tell us yet. They’re in the demo stage, with two more demos to cut and then they’re ready to move forward. The guys are hoping to get into the studio in the early summer and get a new release out by fall.

Additionally, they’ll be finishing up this tour, then it’s home to work on the album. There will be lots of time tracking in the studio. They’ve also got some smaller festival shows coming up. So watch for those!

Thanks to Kevin and Ryan for the chat. We’re anticipating that “aha moment” is coming soon!

Find the Honest Heart Collective online at the following locations!

The Honest Heart Collective
Twitter || Facebook || Instagram || YouTube
Bandcamp || iTunes || SoundCloud

The Honest Heart Collective

 

6 months ago Views

5 Quick Questions with Aces Wyld

Aces Wyld, a band out of Saskatoon hit Toronto, along with so many other bands for Canadian Music Week. They headlined a showcase on Thursday night at Boots and Bourbon and we had the chance to ask the guys 5 Questions.

Q1: What artist/band would you most love to have on a bill with you?

AW: Eric Church! His live performance and songwriting is on another level. Huge fan of that guy.

Q2: What is your favourite thing about CMW?

 AW: Networking with all the other artists and industry folks.

Q3: What is the first concert you remember going to?

AW: Default (Dallas Smith)  in Regina, Sk.

Q4: What’s up next for you in 2017?

AW: We have a single release coming up May 1st, followed by a busy summer schedule!

Q5: What Artist do you think we should be paying more attention to?

AW: Tenille Arts and The Hunter Brothers. Some amazing Saskatchewan Talent right there!

Thanks to Aces Wyld for taking the time to answer our questions. We’ll be looking for the single release.
AcesWyld

 

6 months ago Views

CMW 2017: The Indies

One of our favourite things during Canadian Music Week is The Indies. Sponsored by Jim Beam and Indie88 it’s a fun night of music and recognition.

There were some amazing performances and we’ve got the full list of nominees and winners at the end of this post.

First up, The Jim Beam Make History Talent Search Winners, The Nursery. It’s fun energetic freak pop and we liked it!

CMW2017 - The Indies - The NurseryCMW2017 - The Indies - The NurseryThe next performance comes from one of our favourite Montreal bands, REPARTEE. If you haven’t heard Dukes, you’ve been living under a rock. We were not surprised when they took home the POP ARTIST/GROUP OF THE YEAR award
CMW2017 - The Indies - Repartee
CMW2017 - The Indies - ReparteeCMW2017 - The Indies - ReparteeThe two-time Juno Award winner Dan Mangan was up next. He was presented with the Jim Beam’s Make History Award and then treated us to an awesome performance.
CMW2017 - The Indies - Dan ManganCMW2017 - The Indies - Dan ManganCMW2017 - The Indies - Dan ManganPerforming next, The Wooden Sky. They’ve got a brand new album out, Swimming in Strange Waters and we were happy to be able to hear some new material.
Adding to their list of amazing feats, 54-40 have been added to the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. So much fun seeing this band, there’s no question why they’re still around.

They’ve got a new album out, La Difference – A History Unplugged, and it’s everything a 54-40 album should be.
CMW2017 - The Indies - 54-40CMW2017 - The Indies - 54-40CMW2017 - The Indies - 54-40CMW2017 - The Indies - 54-40CMW2017 - The Indies - 54-40Finishing up the performances, our headliner, Hollerado. They’ve also got brand new music (Born Yesterday) and it’s awesome! Love their energy and we can’t get enough of these guys. CMW2017 - The Indies - HolleradoCMW2017 - The Indies - HolleradoCMW2017 - The Indies - HolleradoCMW2017 - The Indies - Hollerado
Here’s a list of all the nominees and winners. Congratulations!

2017 INDIE AWARDS WINNERS

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

A TRIBE CALLED RED – WE ARE THE HALLUCI NATION (PIRATES BLEND)
ANDY SHAUF – THE PARTY (ARTS & CRAFTS)
BASIA BULAT – GOOD ADVICE (SECRET CITY)
KAYTRANADA – 99.9% (HW&W/ULTRA)
PUP – THE DREAM IS OVER (ROYAL MOUNTAIN)

SINGLE OF THE YEAR
BOB MOSES – TEARING ME UP (DOMINO)
GRIMES – FLESH WITHOUT BLOOD (CRYSTAL MATH)
JULY TALK – PUSH AND PULL (SLEEPLESS)
THE STRUMBELLAS – WE DON’T KNOW (SIX SHOOTER)
THE ZOLAS – SWOONER (LIGHT ORGAN)

GROUP OF THE YEAR
A TRIBE CALLED RED (PIRATES BLEND)
JAPANDROIDS (ARTS & CRAFTS)
JULY TALK (SLEEPLESS)
TOKYO POLICE CLUB (DINE ALONE)
WINTERSLEEP (DINE ALONE)

ARTIST OF THE YEAR
BASIA BULAT (SECRET CITY)
HANNAH GEORGAS (DINE ALONE)
KAYTRANADA (HW&W/ULTRA)
RIVER TIBER (INDEPENDENT)
TANYA TAGAQ (SIX SHOOTER)

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR
ANDY SHAUF – QUITE LIKE YOU; THE MAGICIAN (ARTS & CRAFTS)
BOB MOSES – TEARING ME UP (DOMINO)
DAN MANGAN – RACE TO THE BOTTOM (ARTS & CRAFTS)
KAI – NEVER BE LIKE YOU (FEAT. FLUME) (FUTURE CLASSIC)
THE STRUMBELLAS – SPIRITS; WE DON’T KNOW (SIX SHOOTER)

ALTERNATIVE ARTIST/GROUP OF THE YEAR
AUSTRA (PINK FIZZ)
CHARLOTTE DAY WILSON (INDEPENDENT)
OPERATORS (LAST GANG)
PLANTS AND ANIMALS (SECRET CITY)
WEAVES (BUZZ)

ELECTRONIC/DANCE ARTIST/GROUP OF THE YEAR
HOLY FUCK (LAST GANG)
JESSY LANZA (GEEJ)
JUNIOR BOYS  (GEEJ)
TIM HECKER (PAPER BAG)
ZEDS DEAD (DEADBEATS)

FRANCOPHONE ARTIST/GROUP OF THE YEAR
ALACLAIR ENSEMBLE (7IÈME CIEL)
DEAD OBIES (BONSOUND)
FRED FORTIN (GROSSE BOÎTE)
KLÔ PELGAG (COYOTE)
KORIASS (7IÈME CIEL)

INDIGENOUS ARTIST/GROUP OF THE YEAR
AMANDA RHEAUME (INDEPENDENT)
CRYSTAL SHAWANDA (NEW SUN)
JACE MARTIN (INDEPENDENT)
SILLA + RISE (BALANCED RECORDS)
TWIN FLAMES (INDEPENDENT)

POP ARTIST/GROUP OF THE YEAR
CHARLOTTE CARDIN (CULT NATION)
COLEMAN HELL (604)
MARIANAS TRENCH (604)
REPARTEE (SLEEPLESS)
VIRGINIA TO VEGAS (WAX)

RAP/R&B ARTIST/GROUP OF THE YEAR
CLAIRMONT THE SECOND (BLACK BOX)
JAZZ CARTIER (INDEPENDENT)
RIVER TIBER (INDEPENDENT)
TANIKA CHARLES (INDEPENDENT)
TASHA THE AMAZON (THE TRUTH MUSIC GROUP / HOT STREAM ENTERTAINMENT)

ROCK ARTIST/GROUP OF THE YEAR
BLACK MOUNTAIN (DINE ALONE)
MONSTER TRUCK (DINE ALONE)
PUP (ROYAL MOUNTAIN)
THE PACK A.D. (CADENCE MUSIC)
WHITE LUNG (DOMINO)

SINGER-SONGWRITER ARTIST/GROUP OF THE YEAR
DANIEL ROMANO (NEW WEST)
DONOVAN WOODS (MEANT WELL)
JOHN K SAMSON (ANTI-)
LISA LEBLANC (BONSOUND)
TERRA LIGHTFOOT (SONIC UNYON)

INTERNATIONAL ARTIST/GROUP OF THE YEAR
ANDERSON .PAAK (STEEL WOOL/OBE)
ANGEL OLSEN (JAGJAGUWAR)
CAR SEAT HEADREST (MATADOR RECORDS)
CHANCE THE RAPPER (INDEPENDENT)
FRANK OCEAN (BOYS DON’T CRY)

6 months ago Views

CMW 2017: Livin’ The Dream with Drake White, Alee, Andrew Hyatt and Friends

The road to Boots & Hearts 2017 made at stop in Toronto during Canadian Music Week, and we were there to take it in – and enjoy the party at the Boots & Hearts + KX Country Hot Shots Concert Series.

Country music fans started walking through the doors as soon as they opened. They made their way to the bar, the taco stand (the fish tacos with a touch of hot sauce were fantastic btw), and the stage to get ready for a night full of action.

With 5 talented acts on the bill, there was no shortage of singalong, shake-along, and snap-along moments.

The night’s lineup played out like this…

☞ Kris Barclay
☞ Kendra Kay
☞ Andrew Hyatt
☞ Alee
☞ Drake White and the Big Fire

That opening slot, the one that Kris Barclay grabbed hold of with both hands, can be a tricky one. People are excited, but they’re already thinking about the headliner. People are ready to party, but they haven’t even finished their first drink yet. And still, Mr. Barclay made it his mission to get things started with a bang – and he killed it.

The energy pumped into his cover of Queen’s classic Fat Bottomed Girls, the sweetness in Good Wine, Old Vinyl & You gave everyone in the room a look at what Kris Barclay has to offer and what he can bring to the table – and what we’ll be looking for as his career moves forward.

With a Manitoba Country Music Association (MCMA) award for Female Artist Of The Year under her belt, Kendra Kay came into Toronto as a new face and voice to some, but not new to the game. Accompanied by her band in a plugged in, but stripped down set, Kay kept the party going with a mix of covers and originals that the Toronto CMW crowd got into.

Her cover of Here For The Party was a strong way to introduce herself to the crowd, and her own tracks, I Take My Country and Swinging Door did plenty to showcase her talent as a singer and a performer.

And, before the set was through, Kendra introduced the crowd to her upcoming single, My Way, which comes to radio and your ears in May. You’re going to like it. Trust us.

Right in the middle of the lineup, our listening and party pleasure – Andrew Hyatt took the stage and gave us exactly what we didn’t know we were hoping for from him.

We caught Andrew’s sound check and had were surprised to see so many dudes with guitars on stage with him. It was awesome – and certainly made the wait for his set exciting. And when he hit the stage, with his full band, plugged in and ready to go, it was time for a party!

From That’s How I’m Livin’ to Love Drunk to MGR (Me And A Girl And A Radio), Hyatt kept his energy at a 10, enjoying the hell out of the stage, his guitar, and the sound that his packed stage of instruments and instrumentalists were pushing through the speakers.

But before he was done for the night, Andrew showed off a song that’s been in our heads, on our minds, and all over the internet lately. She Ain’t You is already making an impact. It’s haunting, heartbreaking, beautifully crafted and performed… and while I have stopped myself from saying this a few times, I believe it could and should be for Andrew Hyatt what Workin’ On Whiskey was for Jessica Mitchell in 2016.

Following Hyatt, and keeping the energy up, was Edmonton’s Alee. With her guitar strapped on, Alee brough the crowd to her with sound and stunning look. Bad Habit, the title track to her brand new album (look for Bad Habit on Friday, April 21, 2017) made an instant impression. And performances of her current single When I Do, and one of my favourite all-time songs, Strawberry Wine did what they should have – made a whole lot of people very happy.

There are two notes in my book from the show that I feel need to be shared almost exactly as they’re scibbled down…

1) Smooth & sweet. Sassy when she wants to be.
2) She’s really, really good.

That’s what I wrote – and when Alee sang Moonshine, a track that I could easily put on playlists all day long, I felt as happy as I did during any point in the night.

Be ready for that new album, Alee is going places.

Last on the bill, in the headliner slot, and 100% worth the wait, was Drake White and the Big Fire!

All the way from Alabama to Canadian Music Week, Drake White lit the place up. As he was introduced and the Big Fire took the stage, the crowd got loud and as excited as they would have for any headliner. And when the music started, they sang and cheered from start to finish.

Tracks like That Don’t Cost A Dime, Story, and Heartbeat had the room buzzing – and had me looking at Drake White and thinking to myself, this is what an Alabama singer/songwriter would look like in a dream.

Drake White is an entertainer. He’s a performer. And he’s the real deal. Ask anyone who’s seen him and they’ll tell you that you need to see him the next time you have a chance. He’s a storyteller and a singer, he’s involved with the crowd, and he truly looks like he’s loving every minute of it.

And speaking of loving things… any time a country artist wants to share excellent covers of George Michael’s Faith and 4 Non Blonde’s What’s Up, I’m ready to love it, and I did.

Add in the chance to watch, sway, and sing along to Back To Free, Take Me As I Am, Makin’ Me Look Good Again, and Livin’ The Dream, and it’s fair to say that Drake White and the Big Fire were headliners in every sense of the word, and deserve every chance they get to play for as many people as they can shove into a room.

We can’t wait to see him at Boots & Hearts 2017!

 

6 months ago Views

5 Quick Questions with Silver Love Club

In our latest 5 Quick Questions, we talk to Michael Votano of Silver Love Club about changes, new music, food and more!

Silver Love Club have lots of shows during Canadian Music Week including opening night at the Honest Heart Collective Showcase and The Aussie Night Out ShowcaseCheck here for dates, places and times!

Q1: It’s been a year since we saw you last, and a lot has changed… Can you tell us about your new name, new drummer, and whatever else might be new with you?

MV: A whole year already?!? Feels like only yesterday we were sitting out the front of The Horseshoe chatting music with some beers. New year, new name, new drummer!! Unfortunately, we ran into another artist with our previous name, who was quite a bit more established than we, so we thought it best to make the change. Also ‘Silver Love Club’ is way more fun!! As for the new drummer, our best mate Neel who we’ve been friends with since forever was able to make the commitment necessary to take on the role this year, which was perfect! He’s a killer drummer & killer dude so couldn’t have found a better brother if we tried!!

Q2: You’ve also got brand new music to share, how excited are you for that?

MV: Super pumped to play almost an entirely new set at CMW this year. Really happy with the development of the new tunes. They’re a little dirtier & filthier but still a goddamn party! The tunes also all say something. I feel as though I’ve gotten a lot of my chest through the new tracks.


Q3: You’re going to be super busy during CMW with 4 scheduled shows, but are there things you want to do/places you want to visit while you’re in Toronto?

MV: YES!! We want to eat!! Point me towards to tastiest wings, poutine, burritos, dumplings, pizza & I’ll be there!!

Q3: What is your favourite thing about Canadian Music Week?

MV: The vibe is killer! So many bands, so many music lovers, you’re continually surrounded by people who share your greatest passion. The week is a great way to feed your musical soul. Also, it’s one massive party!!

Q4: What does the rest of 2017 look like for Silver Love Club?

MV: New tracks! Lots of new tracks! One every couple of months is the plan. Also touring there’s nothing better than playing your tunes for a room full of people who want to feel something.


Q5: In 50 words or so, can you tell everyone what to expect from your music and your live show?

MV: A dirty, sweaty, loud party! Fuzzed out guitars, thumping bass, stomping drums & screaming soulful vocals. Probably a few swear words too. We are Australian!

Thanks to Michael for taking the time to answer our questions.

You can find Silver Love Club at these fine internet locations. 

Facebook: SilverLoveClub
Instagram: silverloveclub
Twitter: silverloveclub
Youtube: SilverLoveClub

6 months ago Views

CMW 2017: The Honest Heart Collective Showcase

Canadian Music Week opening night, finally! On Tuesday night we headed to Adelaide Hall a little early to interview tonight’s headliners, The Honest Heart Collective. We’ll have that interview up shortly. But let’s talk about tonight’s lineup.

I like to call this one, the night of rock bands and their fabulous frontmen. First on stage were Bad River. There isn’t a lot online about this band, except for the bandcamp page. I listened, I liked them and they put on a great set live.
Bad River - Adelaide Hall - Canadian Music Week 2017The second band of the night was Silver Love Club. It’s been a year since I’ve seen this band live and for the record, that’s too long. Their set was almost exclusively new material with my favourite song thrown in for fun. Amazing energy, fun, and they’re technically so tight. They’re playing all over this festival and you should go see them!
Silver Love Club - Adelaide Hall - Canadian Music Week 2017 My surprise for the evening came in the form of The Danger Bees. Frontman David Macmichael is quirky and fun. He commands your attention and the band backs him up with precision. There were moments of “hey that’s very Weezeresque” but just hints of it. They’re pretty unique and I enjoyed their set immensely. Last thought, I was left wondering is that Run DMC tee meant ironically? I don’t think so.
Danger Bees - Adelaide Hall - Canadian Music Week 2017Our fourth band of the night was Le Trouble. This Montreal-based band fit perfectly on the bill. High energy, fun entertaining front man and really great musicianship. Montreal isn’t far and I hope they visit often.
Le Trouble - Adelaide Hall - Canadian Music Week 2017Getting the spot before the headliner is kind of a big deal. Texas King took this responsibility seriously and brought their A game. It’s been a year since I saw the band last and they’ve got a lot of new material. Jordan Macdonald and his band turned up the volume and the crowd responded by singing along.
Texas King - Adelaide Hall - Canadian Music Week 2017When The Honest Heart Collective hit the stage it was after midnight and Adelaide Hall was packed. Not bad for a Tuesday night! I love this band. I love how rich their sound is. They’ve got new music to play and rumour has it they’re recording an album later this year. Okay, it’s not a rumour Ryan told me himself. Our full interview with the band will be up shortly. Watch this space.

This band fills up the room, fills up the stage and fills up my heart. Touching lyrics, great harmonies, if you haven’t listened yet, you should.
The Honest Heart Collective - Adelaide Hall - Canadian Music Week 2017
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6 months ago Views
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