Always For You: JJ Shiplett and Johnson Crook Hit Toronto and Oshawa!

On back-to-back nights in Toronto and Oshawa, ON – JJ Shiplett and Johnson Crook took the stage and put on the kinds of shows that make music fans want to hear more, see more, and do it all over again.

Friday night’s show saw the 2 acts play early sets at Toronto’s Dakota Tavern and Saturday saw them travel down the 401 to Oshawa’s Moustache Club to wrap up their weekend. We were there on both nights to grab photos, videos, and on Saturday we had a chance to sit down with JJ to talk about his new album, the holidays, what’s coming up in 2017 and more.

Johnson Crook opened both shows, bringing their personal brand of country harmonies to the stage playing songs that we’ve heard them hit at previous shows, and showing us that they are more and more ready for bigger things each time. During the set lead singer Noel Johnson told the crowd that the band’s debut EP will be available in February 2017, which is exciting for us to hear. And exciting for the boys too.

AND, without spoiling any surprises, we are telling you now that you should be on the lookout for a very special appearance on one of the tracks from a Canadian legend!

You can download or stream Johnson Crook’s lead single Minnedosa now, and with their EP release be ready for tracks like Canada To Heartbreak, Hardwired, and Mr. Nobody.

Johnson Crook at The Dakota Tavern

After the brief break between bands, JJ Shiplett and his accompanying musicians hit the stage to put on their show… and ain’t nobody disappointed that they were there to see it on either night.

JJ has been putting in work, from coast-to-coast, sharing his music, exposing people to the tracks they know, and ones that they’ll hear on his upcoming record – release date: Late January 2017.

I asked JJ about the album on Saturday when we sat down and in his responses it was clear to see that he’s ready for everyone to hear it and dig in. In fact, the album has been ready for a bit now, the design elements have been finished up, and now all that’s left to do is the waiting… and Mr. Shiplett is ready for that part to be over.

It’s kinda hard, he said, to see people digging the songs that he’s playing on stage, but knowing that they can’t yet go home and listen to them again. Soon, that will change.

On stage in Toronto and Oshawa we heard the songs we have been able to listen to at home in Higher Ground, Always For You, and Something To Believe In (all featured on JJ’s 2016 EP, The EP) and they truly are songs to listen to over and over again.

JJ Shiplett at The Dakota

As JJ sipped our pre-show beers I also asked him about his recent stop at the House of Strombo to play for cameras, Facebook Live, and the man himself who has been Canada’s Boyfriend, and a beacon for music for Canadians since his early days at Much Music and The Edge 102.1.

JJ told me that going to Stroumboulopoulos’ house was the first time they’d met – and that he sat down to hang out and play two songs, one cover and one original… and while I didn’t ask which original he played at the house (I’m sure it will show up on The Strombo Show YouTube channel), I did watch the video of his Tom Waits’ Hold On cover, and I dug it. As a music fan it’s cool to watch those videos, as a performer it sounds like it’s a cool experience as well. And I like that.

And before we finished our beers and JJ headed upstairs to get ready for his Saturday set at The Moustache Club, I asked him to look into the future a little bit and tell me what’s coming next.

Starting with the holidays, JJ told me that things will get a little quieter. He’ll head home to Calgary and spend time with this family (who are apparently really great debaters), and with his new (used) piano that he just got tuned and can’t wait to play. So if you’re JJ’s neighbour and you start hearing keys and Christmas carols in the next few weeks, that’s exactly what’s going on!

I also poked a little bit, asking about 2017 and touring and what’s going to happen. And while there weren’t a lot of details, it’s clear that JJ wants to be out on the road, playing the new album and introducing people to the songs they’ll be able to go home and listen to. He knows that he’s got to put in the work, and he’s all for it.

And having seen the man do his thing on a few occasions in 2016, we can tell you that he’s more than up to the challenge of getting out there, hitting the road and showing each and every one of you what he’s got to give.

Before JJ Shiplett wrapped his sets this weekend with Something To Believe In, he gave us something that we’ve seen and loved from Canadian musicians in 2016… a tribute to The Tragically Hip. JJ and his boys played Grace, Too – and while it wasn’t quite as emotional as Gord was in Kingston (or Calgary, where JJ saw two shows), it was special and appreciated. And you can watch it right here.

JJ Shiplett at The Dakota

Keep your eyes and ears open for more from both Johnson Crook and JJ Shiplett – these are names that are ready to be on the tip of your tongue when you’re talking about music with your friends and fellow fans.

And keep your eyes on this space for more, because we aren’t done with these guys yet!

More photos of JJ Shiplett at The Dakota Tavern, Toronto.

JJ Shiplett at The DakotaJJ Shiplett at The DakotaJJ Shiplett at The DakotaJJ Shiplett at The DakotaJJ Shiplett at The DakotaJJ Shiplett at The Dakota

More photos of Johnson Crook at The Dakota Tavern, Toronto.

Johnson Crook at The Dakota Tavern Johnson Crook at The Dakota Tavern Johnson Crook at The Dakota Tavern

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Always For You: JJ Shiplett and Johnson Crook Hit Toronto and Oshawa!

On back-to-back nights in Toronto and Oshawa, ON – JJ Shiplett and Johnson Crook took the stage and put on the kinds of shows that make music fans want to hear more, see more, and do it all over again.

Friday night’s show saw the 2 acts play early sets at Toronto’s Dakota Tavern and Saturday saw them travel down the 401 to Oshawa’s Moustache Club to wrap up their weekend. We were there on both nights to grab photos, videos, and on Saturday we had a chance to sit down with JJ to talk about his new album, the holidays, what’s coming up in 2017 and more.

Johnson Crook opened both shows, bringing their personal brand of country harmonies to the stage playing songs that we’ve heard them hit at previous shows, and showing us that they are more and more ready for bigger things each time. During the set lead singer Noel Johnson told the crowd that the band’s debut EP will be available in February 2017, which is exciting for us to hear. And exciting for the boys too.

AND, without spoiling any surprises, we are telling you now that you should be on the lookout for a very special appearance on one of the tracks from a Canadian legend!

You can download or stream Johnson Crook’s lead single Minnedosa now, and with their EP release be ready for tracks like Canada To Heartbreak, Hardwired, and Mr. Nobody.

Johnson Crook at The Dakota Tavern

After the brief break between bands, JJ Shiplett and his accompanying musicians hit the stage to put on their show… and ain’t nobody disappointed that they were there to see it on either night.

JJ has been putting in work, from coast-to-coast, sharing his music, exposing people to the tracks they know, and ones that they’ll hear on his upcoming record – release date: Late January 2017.

I asked JJ about the album on Saturday when we sat down and in his responses it was clear to see that he’s ready for everyone to hear it and dig in. In fact, the album has been ready for a bit now, the design elements have been finished up, and now all that’s left to do is the waiting… and Mr. Shiplett is ready for that part to be over.

It’s kinda hard, he said, to see people digging the songs that he’s playing on stage, but knowing that they can’t yet go home and listen to them again. Soon, that will change.

On stage in Toronto and Oshawa we heard the songs we have been able to listen to at home in Higher Ground, Always For You, and Something To Believe In (all featured on JJ’s 2016 EP, The EP) and they truly are songs to listen to over and over again.

JJ Shiplett at The Dakota

As JJ sipped our pre-show beers I also asked him about his recent stop at the House of Strombo to play for cameras, Facebook Live, and the man himself who has been Canada’s Boyfriend, and a beacon for music for Canadians since his early days at Much Music and The Edge 102.1.

JJ told me that going to Stroumboulopoulos’ house was the first time they’d met – and that he sat down to hang out and play two songs, one cover and one original… and while I didn’t ask which original he played at the house (I’m sure it will show up on The Strombo Show YouTube channel), I did watch the video of his Tom Waits’ Hold On cover, and I dug it. As a music fan it’s cool to watch those videos, as a performer it sounds like it’s a cool experience as well. And I like that.

And before we finished our beers and JJ headed upstairs to get ready for his Saturday set at The Moustache Club, I asked him to look into the future a little bit and tell me what’s coming next.

Starting with the holidays, JJ told me that things will get a little quieter. He’ll head home to Calgary and spend time with this family (who are apparently really great debaters), and with his new (used) piano that he just got tuned and can’t wait to play. So if you’re JJ’s neighbour and you start hearing keys and Christmas carols in the next few weeks, that’s exactly what’s going on!

I also poked a little bit, asking about 2017 and touring and what’s going to happen. And while there weren’t a lot of details, it’s clear that JJ wants to be out on the road, playing the new album and introducing people to the songs they’ll be able to go home and listen to. He knows that he’s got to put in the work, and he’s all for it.

And having seen the man do his thing on a few occasions in 2016, we can tell you that he’s more than up to the challenge of getting out there, hitting the road and showing each and every one of you what he’s got to give.

Before JJ Shiplett wrapped his sets this weekend with Something To Believe In, he gave us something that we’ve seen and loved from Canadian musicians in 2016… a tribute to The Tragically Hip. JJ and his boys played Grace, Too – and while it wasn’t quite as emotional as Gord was in Kingston (or Calgary, where JJ saw two shows), it was special and appreciated. And you can watch it right here.

JJ Shiplett at The Dakota

Keep your eyes and ears open for more from both Johnson Crook and JJ Shiplett – these are names that are ready to be on the tip of your tongue when you’re talking about music with your friends and fellow fans.

And keep your eyes on this space for more, because we aren’t done with these guys yet!

More photos of JJ Shiplett at The Dakota Tavern, Toronto.

JJ Shiplett at The DakotaJJ Shiplett at The DakotaJJ Shiplett at The DakotaJJ Shiplett at The DakotaJJ Shiplett at The DakotaJJ Shiplett at The Dakota

More photos of Johnson Crook at The Dakota Tavern, Toronto.

Johnson Crook at The Dakota Tavern Johnson Crook at The Dakota Tavern Johnson Crook at The Dakota Tavern

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