CMW

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
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The Treble
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One Bad Son
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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
MORE PHOTOS

AEORA
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ALICE IVY
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QUIVERS
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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
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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)

CMW 2017: Aussie Night Out Showcase

You may have noticed that there was no Aussie BBQ listed among the CMW Showcases this year. Well as of Thursday we’re thrilled to announce that there will be an Aussie Showcase after all. The Aussie Night Out Showcase will take place on Thursday, April 20th with doors at 6:00 pm at the newly relocated The Hideout!

We’ll be onsite interviewing bands and taking in the live music all night and we’d love to see you there.

First on the bill is  Aeora, electronic pop with an Aussie twist. Melbourne’s Lisa Spencer has been stirring things up in Australia and she’s bringing her unique sound to the Aussie Night Out.

You can also catch Aeora at the Painted Lady later Thursday night.

Alice Ivy the 23-year-old is a singer, guitarist and beat maker and she’s quickly developed a cult following in Australia. Come by and see what they’re excited about.

She’s doing a couple of sets during CMW and then heading to the US for a short tour.

Just after 9:00 pm  Quivers take the stage. This is their first visit to Canada and singer-songwriter, Sam J. Nicholson and his band bring a pop sound full of guitar and optimism.

This is the band’s first visit to Canada and we hope they feel like they’ve found a second home here and come back very soon.

Eliza & The Delusionals bring us Aussie indie-rock with a pop hint that gets stuck in your head. They’ll be on stage at 9:50 pm.

Founded in 2015 the band is interesting to watch but it’s the music that keeps our interest long term. Check them out online and then check them out live.

Next on the bill is Bad Pony. Brand new to me, I’m excited to see what the indie pop/rock band bring to their live performance.

The five-piece call Sydney home and they’ve been together since 2012. Their new album “Deficiency” is another step forward for the Aussie band.

Just after 11:00 Silver Love Club take the stage. The band, formerly known as Mabel are bringing a new name, a new band member and new music. I’m expecting all the energy and enthusiasm I’ve seen in the past and more. They’re one of my favourite bands period and I can hardly wait!

They’re playing four sets during the week so check the schedule and make sure you include this band on your “Must See” list.

Letters to Lions bio reads “Described as a concoction of swooning aggression and dance pop sensibility with comparisons to Kings of Leon, WU LYF, last Dinosaurs and Foals; the boys may just become your new favorite indie band.” We’re definitely in!

A 4-piece indie band from the Southern beaches of Sydney, the band consists of Curt- drums, Joel- Guitar/vox,
Jackson- bass and Adam- guitar/vox.

Heading past the midnight hour Heart Beach bring their #indiepop #oceanpop #skuzzpop #janglepop #postpunk #newwave #coolwave sound to Aussie Night Out. A fun, interesting, simple sound that draws you in. Heart Beach are from Hobart Australia and they are Claire McCarthy (vocals/bass), Jonathon McCarthy (guitar/vocals), Christopher Wessing (lead guitar/drums).

It’s going to be a late one and I’m thrilled that The Dead Love are going to be staying up late with me.  We met up with these guys last year at the Aussie BBQ and I fell hard for their music. Aussie rock at it’s best. They put on a show and always leave me wanting more. This year they’re playing four shows during CMW so you have no excuse for not seeing this band!

Rounding out the night is Pretty City. We just did a CMW 5 Quick Questions with the band and we’re looking forward to meeting and seeing them in person.

Their CMW bio describes their sound as psych indie rock and all we can say is, show up and see ’em!

We’ll keep you posted on any scheduling updates.

 

 

5 Quick Questions with Pretty City

It’s no secret that I have a special place in my heart for Aussie bands. So it should come as no surprise that my next “5 Quick Questions” is with Aussie band Pretty City. The boys call Melbourne home and their CMW bio describes their music like this… “combine Smashing Pumpkins-esque fuzzed out guitars with washy, reverb drenched vocals to produce a dreamy yet powerful rock sound”.

During CMW you can check out the band at the Mope Grooves Showcase on April 20th at Smiling Buddha at 11:00pm as well as the Aussie Night Out at The Hideout also on the 20th but at 1:50 am.

If you can’t wait for CMW, you can catch them this week in Montreal on  April 14 at M Bar, in Quebec City on April 15 at Trash Night/LE SOUS-SOL DU CERCLE and on  April 16 at The Rainbow Bistro in Ottawa.

Thanks to Drew Schapper, Pretty City’s drummer for taking the time to answer our questions. Let’s go!

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

DS: I think our dream lineup would be a four band bill with us, Cream, Brian Jonestown Massacre and You am I. That would be raucous!

Q2: What’s your favourite thing about CMW?

DS: This is our first sojourn to Canada. But we’re incredibly excited to perform and hang out at CMW. We’re mostly excited to see Canadian bands strut their stuff but also to show Canadian audiences what we’re about, and meet some great new people.


Q3:
What’s the first concert you remember going to?

DS: My sister took me to a U2 concert when I was all of about 8 years old. I don’t really remember the music that well, but it was a full stadium show with so many pyrotechnics and visuals. It was quite the spectacle and definitely showed me early on what a stadium show could look like if you’re Bono and have more cash than the World Bank in your back pocket.

Q4: What’s up next for you in 2017?

DS: 2017 is massive for us. We’ve got our second album coming out, as well as tours booked in Australia and a whopping tour of Europe in November. Very excited for the year ahead.

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

DS: There’s a band from Melbourne, and they are pretty much our world at the moment. They’re called Destrends, and I’d get on board before they take over the world.

https://soundcloud.com/pretty-city/running-around-1

5 Quick Questions with Honey Beard

As we get close to Canadian Music Week 2017 we’ve got some 5 Quick Questions entries for you. First up is Honey Beard. When I wrote my second round announcement post I gave this band a listen and loved them. The Irish-Canadian Dark Synth-Pop duo calls Toronto home and they can be seen at the Lisbon Lux & Ride The Tempo Showcase on Thursday, April 20th at Longboat Hall.

Let’s get right to it,  5 Quick Questions with Honey Beard.

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

G&T: A big inspiration for what we do is Depeche Mode, to support them would be a dream come true. Locally, fellow synth-pop band For Esmé would be a band that we’d love to play a show with, very talented and wonderful live.

We love, that they chose For Esmé because we love them too!


Q2: What are you most looking forward to at CMW?

G&T: We’ve been going to CMW for a few years now and for us, the venue hopping aspect of the festival has always been our favourite thing. It’s all about discovering the lesser known band, that’s where the excitement is for us. There is very little that can match the discovery and surprise you get when a band you know little about blows your mind. CMW are experts at providing that to the music lover.

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

Gaz: My first large concert was Metallica, Dublin in 1992. It was amazing!

Tom: My dad took me to see James Taylor for my first concert when I was about 9 years old. The first concert I went to “on my own” was a Warped Tour in Montreal. It was sweaty and muddy and dirty and amazing.

Q4: What Artist do you think we should be paying more attention to?

G&T: Impossible to pick one! There are 3 shows we would love to get to at CMW: Meet The Blue are playing at The Painted Lady at same night as us (unfortunately),an Irish Band called We, The Oceanographers are playing Stop Drop and Roll on Friday night at midnight –  but there is also a stacked bill playing at Longboat Hall on Friday night that is a ‘Women in Music‘ show with Kylo and Hey DW! We’ve seen these ladies live before and they are awesome!

Q5: What’s up next for you in 2017?

G&T: We Just released our Debut album ‘Dreamless Sleep‘ and it’s been getting a great reception so far. We are pretty hyper-critical of ourselves but we’re both very excited about what we created and right now we’re in the process of pushing the album out there to the opinion makers (which is not easy). We have a second launch show in Montreal (M-Bar) on April 29th, and then more Canadian shows over the summer before we go to Ireland to play a mini tour of festivals.

Thanks to Gaz and Tom for taking the time to answer our questions and if you’re looking for a show to fill up your Thursday night, we recommend checking out Honey Beard.

Honey Beard

CMW Preview: The Rifle & The Writer!

One of the best parts of Canadian Music Week is discovering new music. And this year as we’ve been prepping we’ve discovered that we love brother/sister country music duo, The Rifle & The Writer.

Colby and Rebekka have a showcase set coming up during CMW 2017 at Boots & Bourbon on a bill that also includes Kayla Luky, Trevor Panczak, 90 Proof Twang, and Them Dang Rattlers.

The Rifle & The Writer (already one of our new favourite band names) have a brand new album, Flowers of Chance, available to stream and download and listen to now… and to make it easy for you, we’ve embedded it at the bottom of this post. Really, you should hit play now and listen.

And while you’re letting the songs wash over you, check out the Q&A that we did with Rebekka and Colby while they’re getting ready for Canadian Music Week 2017!

Thanks to both siblings for playing along, we’re positive that their set and that showcase are going to be a lot of fun!

Q) Give everyone a little background… Where did you grow up? When did you start playing music together?

Rebekka: We grew up in the country just outside of Brockville, ON. We started performing music together in a band in 2006 at the ages of 14 & 15 – mind you, Colby and I would record ourselves singing on our tape recorder together quite before that.

Colby: I don’t remember a time in our lives when music wasn’t a part of it. It’s just always been a mainstay.

Q) And now a little more about yourselves… Can you tell us 3 fun details about you?

Rebekka: 1) I am a very shy person, and get pretty bad stage fright.
2) When I am writing songs I always have my guitar with me as I like to make a melody at the same time – they are very intertwined. I also always write songs with pen and paper in cursive writing. It feels most natural to me.
3) As a pastime I love to go to the movie theatre – there are always so many great movies to see.

Colby: 1) I love reading. I don’t think I’ve ever had a social interaction which didn’t start with or include the statement “I read this [article, book, etc] somewhere that said…” I probably sound like a pretentious idiot most of the time, but I just like sharing interesting things I’ve read with others, and usually don’t pick up on their feigned interest until long after their eyes have glazed over. It’s kind of a curse. Nearly all of my spare time is spent reading.
2) My favourite movie is Tommy Boy. We used to watch it all the time as kids. It’s one of those movies that is hilarious, yet sentimental in a very real and genuine way. Whenever I bring it up to people, not many people have seen it though, which is a real shame. On the TV side of things, I usually like shows that are more black comedy/mockumentary types. On the note of things people haven’t probably seen, I highly recommend Delocated, and Review. The latter which sadly just ended the other night.
3) I generally have very eclectic interests. Recently the pedal steel guitar has become a big one, as I’ve been trying to master what Smith Curry recorded for our album. The pedal steel guitar is an instrument for masochists. When people compliment you on your performance, it’s frustrating because you wish you were better. It’s completely irrational, but for those who play the instrument, it probably makes sense. There are so few out in the wild (especially in Canada) that I’m happy to do my part though.

Q) The new album, Flowers of Chance, was just released – how does it feel to have those 8 songs out in the world now?

Rebekka: It is very exciting, and scary for me. We have worked so many years now to get this CD release. It’s also a relief that it is finally out, and people can hear what we have been working on.

Colby: To elaborate on what Rebekka said, when people asked me how it felt to get the album released, the only thing I could really say is that it was strange. The album reflects on a time in our lives when the possibility of never making music again was a very real thing. Country music has always been a big part of our lives. I’ve personally taken so much from the genre, and it’s helped me with a lot of different things over the years. I’ve always known that I had to contribute something back in return.

We wrote all of the songs on the record ourselves, without the help of co-writers. These days most acts write a song in a room with 10 people, or are pitched a song from a list and they record it. That’s not to say that method is bad, or wrong, or even new. It’s been that way since George Jones. However, I feel these days it’s leaning even more towards just checking the boxes of certain things and looking for a hit. Literally the first thing I said to Rebekka when we formed The Rifle & The Writer was that I wanted the songs to be whatever we wanted them to be. I wanted the music to be personally expressive, and work as a sort of catharsis for the hard times we’ve had. I’ve always said we wouldn’t do what is popular just to sell CD’s. Been there, tried that. I didn’t like it then, I don’t like it now.

I think it’s strange to have the album released because it’s like inviting strangers into take a look at the most personal aspects of your life. I will say that it is the first thing I’ve ever made that I wasn’t ashamed to put my name on. That’s not hyperbole either, I am very proud of this album. Hopefully others enjoy the journey and are willing to see where we were coming from with the material.

Q) We’ve been able to talk to a few sibling duos… what do you see as unique in your partnership as artists?

Colby: When it comes to certain things, Rebekka and I couldn’t be more different. However, on the fundamentals, we always see eye to eye, and I think that is why we work so well together. As we are siblings, I would be lying to tell you that we don’t fight about a lot of different things. I am an incredibly difficult person to deal with, and there are a lot of different people who would be willing to attest to that. I’m really awful at explaining myself, and why certain things should be a certain way, and am therefore naturally contentious. During these times, it’s like the unstoppable force vs. the immovable object. Our fights usually result in a complete halting of work, and is always due to a breakdown in communication. Ironically, we are usually fighting on the same team, as we more often than not have arrived at the same solution. Basically, we argue about the same position, and then are yelling at each other that we both agree. It’s a weird work environment.

Q) You’ve got an awesome Saturday night showcase lined up at Boots & Bourbon during Canadian Music Week – what are you most looking forward to from the show?

Rebekka: Having a good time on stage with my band, and performing our show to a new audience. We have never been in Boots and Bourbon so we are very excited to be performing for the first time in this Toronto venue.

Colby: I wish we were in Toronto a little while longer so that we could check out more bands at CMW. It’s awesome to be in a city with so many musicians performing in all these different venues. I’m looking forward to performing at Boots & Bourbon for the first time. You never really know what to expect when you play at a new venue, and as such it’s always an exciting experience.

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

Colby: We’ve worked hard to contribute our own story to the tapestry that is Country music. We’re just going to be up on stage telling that story the only way that we know how. Hopefully people will be able to relate to what we’ve tried to do with our music.

Canadian Music Week 2017 – Round 2 Artist Announcement

On January 19th we gave you the first wave of artists announced for Canadian Music Week 2017 and today we’ve got the next wave. Get ready, the list jumps from 120 to 367 bands from 24 countries.

Big names added to the list include Wolf Parade, Earl Sweatshirt, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Allie X, Danko Jones, The Beaches, Repartee and so many more! Here’s the updated list!CMW Announce February 17
It’s “Canadian” Music Week so you can expect lots of Canadian bands but we’re also given the opportunity to see bands from all over the world. This year CMW’s international spotlight is on France. With a population of 66.7 million France is ranked the 5th largest music market. This spotlight is an amazing opportunity for all of the bands to promote their music to music buyers from France.

When you have some time to kill, head on over to the artists listing page, it’s amazing and a little bit overwhelming. My first perusal of the page had me adding Josh Halverson to my list. Josh has a cool, clear voice that pulled me in instantly and made me want to see what he brings to the table live. I hope when the schedule is released that I’m able to get to see him perform. Also on my list, Honey Beard, the Irish-Canadian Dark Synth-Pop duo from Toronto. The music is interesting and I want to know more about “Toronto’s best kept secret in electronic pop”.

There are lots of familiar bands on this list and the challenge will be to find a balance between making sure I see some of my favourites and checking out new and possibly once in a lifetime performances.

This is one of my favourite times of the year to live in Toronto. The city explodes with music, music industry people and musicians. I can hardly wait for April!

CMW wristbands are one sale now and are priced at $75 for the Explorer pass and $150 for the Explorer +Pass which includes priority access to all club series venues and Access Concert Series shows, click here for wristbands and all the details!

Why We Love Summer Festival Season!

The 2016 summer festival season has already started in Toronto. We’ve had Canadian Music Week, Bestival, Field Trip, NXNE, and that’s not half of what’s coming before the season wraps and fall settles in.

As music fans and reviewers this is our busiest and most awesome time of year. When all is said and done we’ll have watched, reviewed, photographed, and/or interviewed well over 100 acts… and we love it. The chance to hit a venue (or a series of venues) and catch act after act do their best to make an impression on new fans while also giving their diehards a taste of what they love is amazing. The energy that comes from the stage and from the floor/field always reminds us why we love live music, and why we do what we do.

In the last few years we’ve had a chance to cover CMW, Boots & Hearts, WayHome, TURF, Riot Fest, the CNE, and other festivals – and they all have that 1 thing in common, the energy and vibe that comes from live music and a great crowd.

It doesn’t matter if we’re at a side stage in the middle of the day for Vance Joy and Walk The Moon or if we’re at the main stage for headliners like Neil Young and Eric Church, it’s the same feeling. Yes, a packed main stage with 40,000 screaming, singing, dancing fans is amazing… but don’t underestimate what a crowded side stage and the feeling that you’re seeing an act on the verge of explosion can feel like.

We’ve seen Jess Moskaluke, Sam Hunt, Dear Rouge, and Hozier own a smaller stage, and having the “we saw them when” stories are awesome memories to share.

Dear Rouge

One of our favourite things about festival season, no matter which festival we’re talking about, is that you as fans all have the chance to make these memories and enjoy these moments too! Once you’re through the gates you have the opportunity to see your favourites and take a chance on emerging artists all in the same day or weekend. It’s true that sacrifices must be made at times when you’re working through a multi-stage or venue festival packed with acts, and sometimes you’ll hear later about an amazing set that you missed… but that has never ever stopped us from wanting to experience the great things that a summer music festival provides.

Value is also a HUGE part of the summer festival season, even if it doesn’t look like it sometimes. Sticker shock is real when looking at some of the bigger festivals and a 3 or 4 day experience. But when you’re able to take a step back, realize that you’re looking at 3 or 4 stages, 70 or 80 acts, and some amazing moments and memories waiting to happen. If 3 bands are going to cost you $80 to $200 for good seats, $300 to $500 for 3 days and 25x the acts ends up as a really, really, really good deal!

From a fan point of view, which we never forget, the meet and greet and VIP upgrades are also a huge bonus to summer festival season. Big name artists become available to meet their biggest fans, festivals make sweet spaces with luxury menus and bars, and still you get to be close to the stage to share special moments with the rest of the fans. Last year we saw some super happy fans come out from backstage after meeting Florida Georgia Line. It’s hard to even describe how pumped they were after that little moment they got – and then got to see them on stage to close the show. Those are memories that aren’t going away any time soon, and are totally worth camping and paying a premium festival ticket price.

Florida Georgia Line Boots and Hearts 2015

But, what always ends up carrying the most weight in festival season are the headliners. Their faces are on posters and online ads. Their celebrity and hits are used to increase excitement and ticket sales… and this year we’re pumped for who we’re going to see!

Our 2016 summer festival schedule has CMT Music Fest, WayHome, and Boots & Hearts (chronologically) as highlights and in the 9 combined nights of those 3 festivals we’ll be seeing Eric Church, Zac Brown Band, LCD Soundsystem, Arcade Fire, The Killers, Jake Owen, Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, and Tim McGraw in headlining spots. That’s huge. Those are bucket list type artists for a lot of fans… and we’re sure that they aren’t going to disappoint.

Note: We are certainly aware of the lack of female presence in the headlining acts of these festivals and hope to see more equal representation in 2017 and beyond.

We know that music fans love summer festival season. We see it in the campgrounds and parking lots and open fields and late night dance parties. We see it on the faces of suntanned (or burned) guys and girls holding cold drinks on hot days. We see it online months in advance as Twitter and Facebook blow up with conversations about lineups and contests and announcements. And we see it in the dancing and singing and grooving that happens when the music is playing – and that’s what matters most of all.

We can’t wait to continue the 2016 summer festival season… and when it’s over we’ll start looking ahead to 2017.

Here’s hoping we see you enjoying some of your favourite music in the sunshine this summer!

Crowd Canadian Flag St. Vincent WayHome Art and Music FestivalDallas Smith CNE 2015boots-and-hearts-2013-crowd-oh-canada

1 year ago

CMW 2016: Tommy Stinson Showcase with Frankie Lee at The Horseshoe

With Canadian Music Week in full swing on Thursday night, we headed to The Horseshoe for the Tommy Stinson Showcase.

On stage when we arrived was Frankie Lee. Accompanied by drums and a bass player Frankie’s sound drew me to the back of the Horseshoe. He brings a kind of Neil Young alternative country vibe – which we love.

Frankie Lee The Horseshoe CMW 2016One of the things we love about CMW is finding amazing artists we’ve never heard of, Frankie falls in this category. Unassuming on stage, he sings with a smooth, quiet intensity. Originally from Mississippi, his family later moved to Minnesota. Losing his father at the age of 12, Frankie threw himself into music and was given the protection and nurturing of fellow artists.

Dropping out of college at 20 he headed to Nashville where he met the legendary Merle Haggard. Moving on to Austin, TX and then LA he’s picked up a few things along the road. Moving back home to Minnesota to be close to family Lee has put down some roots.

Frankie Lee The Horseshoe CMW 2016In 2013, he put out a studio EP, Middle West and caught the attention of influential local radio station KCMP/The Current. Lee has been working on a new full-length album, American Dreamer and it’s set to be released on July 8th. You can download the first single Where Do We Belong and the album is now available for pre-order.

For us, it felt like Frankie Lee had come home, The Horseshoe was the perfect spot for this set and it sounded to us like he could have played this set, here, anytime in the past 40 years.

Tommy Stinson The Horseshoe CMW 2016Next up was our Showcase Headliner, Tommy Stinson. With the 11PM time slot, and the energy coming from a big Raptors win, the crowd was up for this! The audience wasn’t shy, and Tommy didn’t need to encourage people to get up close and personal.

Decked out in an awesome black and grey striped suit, the guitar playing Stinson was a force to be reckoned with. Years of experience haven’t gone to waste, he started playing bass at the age of 11 and has played with Soul Asylum, Guns N’ Roses, Perfect, Bash & Pop, and The Replacements. It’s safe to say he’s picked up a few things along the way.

Tommy Stinson The Horseshoe CMW 2016Pulling songs from both Perfect and Bash & Pop, Tommy worked up the crowd, and a few songs in had to stop and take off his jacket, saying “We’re gonna slow down the pace, before I have a fucking heart attack”. We thought Tommy’s idea of slowed down was still a pretty quick pace and he’d keep up with any of the other bands we’d seen that night. At 49 years of age, Tommy shows no signs of slowly down, and we’re pretty happy about that.

We were also treated to a sweet acoustic mini set, sans amps and it was amazing how fast the crowd went quiet so they could hear. Tommy, an acoustic guitar, and a little red lighting set the mood very nicely. Great set to end out our Thursday night.

Tommy Stinson CMW 2016 Set List

Not This Time
Makes Me Happy (Perfect Cover)
It’s a Drag
Never Wanted to Know
Bad News
Anything Could Happen
Making Of An Asshole (Perfect Cover)
Jesus Loves You
Don’t Deserve You
Moment Too Soon
Breathing Room
Anybody Else
Zero to Stupid
Come What May
On The Rocks
Unfuck You

Nothin’
Light Of Day
Come To Hide
Alternative Monkey (Perfect Cover)
Motivation
Never Aim To Please (Bash & Pop song)
Friday Night Is Killing Me (Bash & Pop song)

MORE PHOTOS
Frankie Lee
Frankie Lee The Horseshoe CMW 2016 Frankie Lee The Horseshoe CMW 2016 Frankie Lee The Horseshoe CMW 2016 Frankie Lee The Horseshoe CMW 2016 Frankie Lee The Horseshoe CMW 2016Tommy Stinson
Tommy Stinson The Horseshoe CMW 2016 Tommy Stinson The Horseshoe CMW 2016 Tommy Stinson The Horseshoe CMW 2016 Tommy Stinson The Horseshoe CMW 2016 Tommy Stinson The Horseshoe CMW 2016

 

 

2 years ago

CMW 2016: WayHome x CMW Showcase

Heartstreets, Lucas DiPasqualie, Kiki Rowe, Amir Obe, HUMANS

On Saturday night, our CMW journey found us checking out the amazing talent at The Mod Club. WayHome Music and Arts Festival knows a few things about putting together a great group of talent and Saturday was no exception.

Heartstreets - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016Up first were Emma Beko and Gabrielle Godon, better known as Heartstreets. As soon as the music started the crowd surged towards the stage. The pair exuded power and energy and had the audience eating out of their hands.

The Montreal-based girls brought a blend of electronic influenced Hip Hop and RnB and delivered a fully committed performance.

Finishing up the set with “Under My Skin” they delivered a message that we should all heed, “I don’t care if you don’t like me, cause… I love myself !”. They did a fantastic job warming up the crowd and we really liked them! They’ve got a brand new EP out, “You & I” and you can get it here!

Lucas DiPasquale - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016Up next was Lucas DiPasquale who arrived armed with an acoustic guitar, and he was joined by drums and bass. Lucas is not your typical singer/songwriter and, we were treated to some pretty sweet rap sequences through his performances.

The Markham born singer has a sweet voice and we felt like there was almost an innocence about the performance. He’s got a new EP out, “Post Secondary” and there are a few collaborators you’ll recognize.

We loved watching and the audience seemed to really like it too. We’ll be trying to catch his set when he hits the WayHome stage.

Kiki Rowe - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016Taking the middle spot on the bill was Kiki Rowe, aka Keandra Shan Lal. The young singer/songwriter from Mississauga sang a combination of originals and covers and she connected well with the audience.

Kiki’s blend of pop and R&B were delivered with her sweet voice and we look forward to whatever’s coming next from this artist. You can sample her debut album here and we’re pretty sure you’ll be picking up your very own copy.

Amir Obe - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016At this point in the evening, you could feel the energy change. The audience moved in and people continued to stream in until the floor was jammed. The lights
went down and the music came up. It was dark, very dark and smoky and Austin Millz got things started.

And then Amir Obé appeared. This was the moment the crowd was waiting for. There was no doubt that Amir was in complete control of this room. To say the crowd was into it is a serious understatement. There was singing, dancing, jumping up and down and we think this will play perfectly on a late night WayHome stage.

Amir’s bio says he’s from Detrooklyn, USA, I love this!

HUMANS - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016Closing out the night were HUMANS. Robbie Slade & Peter Ricq were bathed in light, backed by a cool white blow-up cloud-like feature, and had the crowd dancing immediately. They were up at the front of the stage and the combination of DJing and singing were engaging.

They fuse experimental electronic elements with catchy indie-pop hooks and it really works. The Vancouver-based duo will be a welcome addition to the WayHome festival this year.

The WayHome team put together a great sampling of talent for their WayHome X CMW Showcase and we’re very glad we were there to see it.

MORE PHOTOS!

Heartstreets
Heartstreets - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016 Heartstreets - Gabrielle Godon The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016 Heartstreets - Emma Beko The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016 Heartstreets - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016 Heartstreets - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016
Lucas DiPasquale
Lucas DiPasquale - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016 Lucas DiPasquale - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016 Lucas DiPasquale - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016 Lucas DiPasquale - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016 Lucas DiPasquale - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016Kiki Rowe
Kiki Rowe - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016 Kiki Rowe - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016 Kiki Rowe - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016 Kiki Rowe - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016Amir Obé with Austin Millz

Amir Obe - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016 Amir Obe - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016 Amir Obe - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016 Amir Obe - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016 Amir Obe - Austin Millz- The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016Amir Obe - Austin Millz- The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016 Amir Obe - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016HUMANS
HUMANS - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016 HUMANS - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016 HUMANS - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016 HUMANS - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016 HUMANS - The Mod Club WayHome x CMW 2016

 

 

 

 

2 years ago

CMW 2016: Boots & Hearts Hot Shots Showcase – Photo Review

On Tuesday, May 3 at The Phoenix, Boots & Hearts brought a country music party to Toronto!

In partnership with KX96 and KX94.7, the Canadian Music Week Hot Shots Showcase featured Blackjack Billy, Meghan Patrick, Eric Ethridge, the James Barker Band, Dani Strong, and Kansas Stone in a 5 hour concert that had the crowd singing, dancing, and stomping along from start to finish.

We were there to shoot the show, and have a ton of photos we want to share with you.

Thanks to Ray Williams for shooting with us, you can find him on Twitter at @aperfectpixel  and he’ll have more photos from more shows coming up soon on thereviewsarein.com!

Enjoy the shots, and click here to check out our full review of the Boots & Hearts Hot Shots Showcase!

Blackjack Billy

Black Jack Billy Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixelBlackjack Billy Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016Blackjack Billy Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixelBlackjack Billy Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016BlackjackBilly Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixelBlackjack Billy Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016Blackjack Billy Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016Blackjack Billy Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixelBlackjack Billy Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016Blackjack Billy Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixelBlackjackBilly Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixelBlackjack Billy Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016Blackjack Billy Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixelBlackjack Billy Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixel

Meghan Patrick

Meghan Patrick Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixel Meghan Patrick Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixel Meghan Patrick Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixel Meghan Patrick Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixel Meghan Patrick Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixel Meghan Patrick The Phoenix full CMW 2016-2196 Meghan Patrick The Phoenix CMW 2016 Meghan Patrick The Phoenix CMW 2016 Meghan Patrick The Phoenix CMW 2016 Meghan Patrick The Phoenix CMW 2016 Meghan Patrick The Phoenix CMW 2016 Meghan Patrick The Phoenix CMW 2016 Meghan Patrick Band The Phoenix CMW 2016 Meghan Patrick Band The Phoenix CMW 2016 Meghan Patrick Band The Phoenix CMW 2016 Meghan Patrick The Phoenix CMW 2016

Eric Ethridge

Eric Ethridge Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-5267Eric Ethridge Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Eric Ethridge Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-2094 Eric Ethridge Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-2086 Eric Ethridge Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-2042 Eric Ethridge Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-2041 Eric Ethridge Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-5281 Eric Ethridge Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-5286 Eric Ethridge Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-5294 Eric Ethridge Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-5296 Eric Ethridge Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016Eric Ethridge Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016Eric Ethridge Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016Eric Ethridge Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016Eric Ethridge Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016Eric Ethridge Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016

Dani Strong

Dani Strong Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Dani Strong Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Dani Strong Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Dani Strong Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Dani Strong Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Dani Strong Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Dani Strong Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016Dani Strong Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016

James Barker Band

James Barker Band The Phoenix Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016James Barker Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 James Barker Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 James Barker Band The Phoenix Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 James Barker Band The Phoenix Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 James Barker Band The Phoenix Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 James Barker Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 James Barker Band Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016

Kansas Stone

Kansas Stone The Phoenix Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016Kansas Stone The Phoenix Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Kansas Stone Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 - Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixel Kansas Stone Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixel Kansas Stone Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixel Kansas Stone Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Photo Credit Ray Williams - @APerfectPixel Kansas Stone The Phoenix Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Kansas Stone The Phoenix Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Kansas Stone The Phoenix Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Kansas Stone The Phoenix Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016 Kansas Stone The Phoenix Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016

 

2 years ago

CMW 2016: Boots & Hearts Hot Shots Showcase!

Tuesday night CMW went country at The Phoenix, when Boots & Hearts, KX96, and KX94.7 took over the joint and brought 6 acts up to the stage to take their turns making boots stomp and drinks flow.

The party was a pre-celebration of Boots & Hearts 5th anniversary festival this August, but it was also a showcase event for some up-and-coming talent that was more than ready to do their work in front of a crowd that was hungry for action on a Tuesday night. And before we continue, I know that Tuesday isn’t generally a party kind of night, but from the first note to the last, you’d have had a hard time proving it.

Before the show there were ticket holders ready and waiting and lined up down the lane and onto the sidewalk on Sherbourne. And when the doors opened at 7pm a rush of people came in, looking for their spot to catch the show, checking out the merch at the back, and making their way to the bar for round 1 of the night.

Boots & Hearts Hot Shots CMW Showcase Lineup

★ Kansas Stone
★ Dani Strong
★ James Barker Band
★ Eric Ethridge
★ Meghan Patrick
★ Blackjack Billy

First up was Kansas Stone, a Barrie band ready to make waves with their rock/country vibe and ready to party persona.

The boys were handed a tough task, a cold crowd eager to see the headliners later in the night, but they didn’t back down, and they didn’t disappoint. Matt and Brian gave The Phoenix a taste of what they have to offer with Country In The City, Hand In Mine, Country 101, Drink On, and a sweet little cover of FGL’s ‘Round Here.

With a new album coming in the next few months and an EP coming at the end of May, we’re betting that Kansas Stone is going to be around here a lot more in the very near future.

Kansas Stone The Phoenix Boots and Hearts Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-1744

Dani Strong took the stage with the crowd in a party mood, and she did not let them down. With a full band behind her the room was full of sound, and smiles almost as big as the one of Dani’s own face. The BC born Strong looked genuinely happy to be playing, and it came through in her songs.

We got an upbeat, good timing set that featured some big power moments and notes that reminded me of Sheryl Crow… and we can call that a good thing.

Dani impressed, and we can’t wait for more of that full band party atmosphere when we see her again.

Dani Strong The Phoenix Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-5212

Third to hit the stage, and certainly up to the task, was the James Barker Band!

These 5 boys are the reigning winners of the Boots & Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase and will be back on stage at B&H this August. And while it’s been a few months since we’ve seen them, it doesn’t look like they’ve missed a beat.

Tracks like Livin’ The Dream, Babe Watch, Lawn Chair Lazy (coming to radio soon), and even a medley that included Lose Yourself and Killin’ In The Name Of were perfect for a party, and again, even on a Tuesday, the crowd was ready and willing to play along and party with them. The band is tight, the harmonies are well worked, and these boys aren’t hard to look at… which makes it easy to predict that we’ll see more of them soon.

James Barker Band The Phoenix Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-1981

Eric Ethridge followed the Barker boys, and in a leather jacket that many of the women in the crowd wish he would have just taken off, provided another level of excitement as Tuesday night wore on.

A huge 7 man band took over the stage and filled The Phoenix with sound, and they did it with a ton of energy. Nobody stood still, nobody took a song off, and nobody in the crowd was disappointed. Eric had people dancing and singing and grooving with a set that included Stay A Little Longer, Between Me & You, and The South – and if given the chance we know he would have stayed up there longer and given more.

Next time… we’re sure of it.

Eric Ethridge Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-2042

2nd to last, but maybe most anticipated was Meghan Patrick.

Meghan took the stage to a big pop from the crowd, her full band behind her ready to play, and a smile on her face that told us she was ready for the party.

Check out our full review of Meghan’s set, photos, and her setlist HERE!

Meghan Patrick The Phoenix full CMW 2016-2196

Last, but most certainly not least, came Blackjack Billy.

We’ve talked about bands getting a party started, and keeping a party going, but these boys, when they step on stage, they ARE the party!

Right out of the gate Blackjack Billy brought an energy pop to the crowd that felt perfect after the build up throughout the night. They got a little loud, they got a little crazy, and they gave just as much as they possibly could to the audience.

The crowd sang and danced and drank along with tracks like Slow Dancin’ Under The Sheets, Blood Sweat, And Beer, Working On You, and a crowd favourite that they wrote with Tim Hicks… an unofficial Canadian anthem… Stronger Beer.

If you haven’t seen Blackjack Billy live, no matter what night of the week, you owe it to yourself to keep tabs on when they’re coming to a town near you.

Trust us.

Black Jack Billy Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-2345Black Jack Billy Boots and Hearts KX Hot Shots Showcase CMW 2016-2458

Want more photos & videos from the Boots & Hearts Hot Shots CMW Showcase!

2 years ago

CMW 2016 Spotlight: Meghan Patrick

What a difference a year makes…

At CMW 2015 we caught Meghan Patrick at a small showcase at The Supermarket. She was awesome, she turned heads, and we were very happy to see her do her thing. And now, just 12 months later, we’ve had the chance to see Meghan start to break out with the success of Bow Chicka Wow Wow on country radio, the early returns on her debut album, Grace & Grit, and the response to her Boots & Hearts CMW Hot Shots Showcase set Tuesday night at The Phoenix!

Meghan Patrick The Phoenix CMW 2016We have to give some big love to the Boots & Hearts team for their work with CMW to put this show together. It was a great night of country music, and along with Meghan Patrick we got to see Kansas Stone, Dani Strong, the James Barker Band, Eric Ethridge, and headliners Blackjack Billy. And if you were ever wondering if country fans would pack a room on a Tuesday night for a showcase… the answer is yes.

On stage with her full band behind her, Meghan tore into her set right away with the title track of her album, and she had the entire crowd with her as she did it. It was exciting to feel the vibe in the air as Meghan started to play. The country fans at The Phoenix knew that they were seeing a rising star, and an artist that they’re going to hear a lot more from in the future.

Meghan transitioned smoothly between loud, fun, fast songs, and her slowed down, sweet, even sad tracks. It was a performance that proved to new fans that she was the real deal with more than just 1 trick up her sleeve. And it was further proof to anyone who already knew that she’s well on her way.

As for Tuesday, we heard a total of 7 songs from Ms. Patrick, and while it was excellent, and we were all very happy to have heard them, we would have been really okay with 4 or 5 more!

Meghan Patrick CMW 2016 Set List

★ Grace & Grit
★ Long Way From Waylon
★ Be Country With Me
★ I Believe In Beer
★ Jolene
★ I Won’t Drink
★ Bow Chicka Wow Wow

Meghan Patrick The Phoenix CMW 2016As Meghan and the band worked through the set it would have been hard for anyone to tell that she’s in the midst of the first major jump in her career. Meghan worked the stage like a vet, engaging the crowd, not shying away from the spotlight, and putting on the kind of show that will translate well to her festival dates this summer (Boots & Hearts, Cavendish Beach Music Fest, CMT Music Fest, RBC Bluesfest) and beyond.

We’ve been following Meghan’s career for a few years now as she’s put in the work and time and effort to get to where she is right now. It’s been an exciting ride, one that we know she’s happy to be on, and that isn’t anywhere near over yet.

Stay tuned, you’re going to hear a lot more from Meghan Patrick!

Meghan Patrick The Phoenix CMW 2016Meghan Patrick The Phoenix CMW 2016

2 years ago

CMW 2016 Preview: The Honest Heart Collective

The Honest Heart Collective is a six-piece Thunder Bay band getting ready to take Canadian Music Week by storm.

The band is made up of  Ryan MacDonald on vocals and guitar, Nic MacDonald on bass and vocals, Jay Savage on drums, Kevin Heerema on guitar,  Conner Harris on keyboards and vocals, and Keenan Kosolowski on guitar.

We caught up with Nic from The Honest Heart Collective to ask some questions about the band, CMW and more.

Let’s dive into the questions!

The Honest Hearts Collective

photo credit The Trenches Media

Q. Can you tell us how the band came together?

A. I wish there was an easier way to explain the conception of The Honest Heart Collective but there really isn’t – I’ll try to keep this as short and sweet as possible. The band started out as my brother Ryan’s solo project while he was living in Ottawa. The original name of the band was actually RM & The Honest Heart Collective, the idea was that he would write all of the music and then enlist myself, along with a revolving door of friends and musicians to back us once he moved home to Thunder Bay. The only problem was that the “friends and musicians” Ryan recruited had no intention of ever leaving. These people were all of our best friends, we’d been in bands with them before and they were willing to drop everything to dive headfirst into this band. Their commitment was palpable. For that reason, we collectively decided to drop the “RM &” from the beginning of our name upon the release our debut album Liar’s Club. Unfortunately, since then a few members have come and gone but the inspiration behind the band has stayed the same.

Q. You describe your music as “Folk-infused rock with a punk mentality”, can you elaborate a little for us?

A. We chose the words “Folk-infused rock” because way before there were six guys in this band, there was only one, one guy with an acoustic guitar writing folk songs. As the band grew our sound evolved. It became mainly comprised of guitar driven rock but we like to think that it’s still backed by the same honest, sentimental lyrics and songwriting that make good folk music. But we all grew up listening to punk and hardcore bands and they have majorly influenced the way we play our instruments. If you come out and see our live shows it will all make perfect sense.

Q. Was there a “moment” where you knew music was your future?

A. Was there a “moment”? I can’t say that it’s happened quite yet. I remember getting my first guitar when I was ten years old and thinking that it would be a miracle if I could make a future for myself by playing it. A few years later I attempted to start my first band with my best friend Kevin (who now plays guitar in The Honest Heart Collective) – that never even got off the ground. There were a few more bands throughout the years but none ever went anywhere. I guess you could say that the guys in The Collective have been breaking our backs our whole lives trying to earn that “moment”. In truth, I’m still not one hundred percent sure that music is my future, but I’ll never stop trying my hardest to make sure that it’s always a major part of it.

The Honest Heart Collective

photo credit Dave Jansen

Q. We love CMW for a lot of reasons, what’s your favourite thing about this festival?

A. My favourite thing about CMW would have to be the 4am last call! Not because of the booze (maybe a little because of the booze), but because of the music! The extension keeps the music going well into the night and makes for some pretty excellent late night finds. You never know who you’ll find playing at 2:35AM on a Saturday night at the Rivoli or any other bar for that matter. Could be your new favourite band. I love CMW.

Q. Do you have any advice for bands just getting started?

A. That’s a tough question for me to answer since I myself consider The Honest Heart Collective a band that’s “just getting started”. However, we have had a few small successes in the short time that we’ve been a band. All I can say is never stop having fun with it, or at least trying to have fun with it. I know it can be disheartening to show up to a city you’ve never been to before and play to no one but the sound guy and two drunken idiots who spray beer all over your band (true story). But who knows? Maybe those drunken idiots will try to fistfight a bunch of cops on the sidewalk during your load out (also true). I guess what I’m trying to say is enjoy yourself, enjoy your band and enjoy every show to the fullest. Or else what’s the point?

Q. If we got a peek at your playlists right now, what artists would we find?

A. Oh dear *laughs*. My musical taste is everywhere. In any given playlist you’ll find songs from bands like Arkells and The Gaslight Anthem all the way to Counterparts and Every Time I Die. Right now I’m absolutely hooked on this band called Have Mercy, it’s just really good indie rock with semblances of the emo/post-hardcore music that I loved when I was a little kid. They’re seriously cool in my books.

Q. In 50 words or less, can you describe for our readers what to expect from a The Honest Heart Collective live show?

A. Energy. (I just saved you 49 words)  See us live during Canadian Music Week, check out our schedule here!

cmw dates thhc

Find the Honest Heart Collective online at the following locations!

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

Thanks to Nic for taking the time to answer our questions and don’t forget to add these guys to your CMW schedule!

2 years ago
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