CNE

City Turned Country: Chad Brownlee and Leaving Thomas at the 2017 CNE

Country took over the city for a couple of hours on Saturday night at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto as Chad Brownlee and Leaving Thomas took to the legendary bandshell stage. The MDM Recordings artists took their turns belting out country hits and entertaining the assembled crowd.

Chad Brownlee - CNE 2017

Leaving Thomas opened the show with Annika and Bryton taking another chance to introduce their live show to eager country music fans. The upstart duo didn’t waste their opportunity, charming the crowd with their banter and energy, and showing off the chops that have them on a lot of Canadian country music playlists and must watch lists.

Their eight song set included the duo’s first two radio singles, Waiting Kind Of Girl and Best Adventure, and also gave the Toronto crowd a listen to their upcoming single, Blame It On The Neon, coming to your local country radio station on September 8.

Leaving Thomas - CNE 2017

Country music fans will be hearing more and more from Leaving Thomas, y’all should be ready for it.

Leaving Thomas Setlist, CNE 2017

🎤 Call It A Night
🎤 No One Needs To Know (Shania Twain)
🎤 Best Adventure
🎤 Blame It On The Neon
🎤 Shame On Me
🎤 From This Valley (The Civil Wars)
🎤 Dibs/ Cruise (K.Ballerini/Florida Georgia Line)
🎤 Waiting Kind Of Girl

Chad Brownlee, one of Canadian country music’s biggest stars, headlined the night, playing a full 17 song set, and showing all of his leading man skills on the stage.

The B.C. native played songs from the start of his career through to his most recent release, Out Of The Blue, watching and listening as fans sang and danced along, and waved their arms in the air at his direction. He held them in his hands, and they welcomed it – and it was fantastic to see. And as improbable as it might seem, the cheers and singing got louder and louder as the night went on.

Chad Brownlee - CNE 2017

Things may have been loudest when it got quietest on stage. Brownlee stood front and centre, solo with his acoustic guitar, and strummed as he sang a mashup of Thinkin’ Out Loud and Happy Man, and the crowd sang along, and everyone loved it in one of those very special moments that live music provides.

Toronto may not yet be the hotbed of country music that Calgary or Nashville are, but shows like Saturday night with Chad Brownlee showing his ability to make fans sing along to radio hits they know and love, continue to foster the growing community of country fans in the city, and will bring more shows to us in the future.

Be ready to be there and be ready to love the heck out of it!

Chad Brownlee Setlist, CNE 2017

🎤 Hood Of My Car
🎤 Smoke In The Rain
🎤 Fallin’ Over You
🎤 His Own Terms
🎤 Something We Shouldn’t Do
🎤 Hearts On Fire
🎤 Might As Well Be Me
🎤 Mercy
🎤 Out Of The Blue
🎤 Carried Away
🎤 Where The Party At
🎤 Just Because
🎤 Thinkin’ Out Loud/Happy Man (E. Sheeran/T.Rhett)
🎤 Free Fallin’ (with Leaving Thomas)
🎤 Listen
Encore:
🎤 Love Me Or Leave Me
🎤 Hate Your For It

Chad Brownlee at the 2017 CNE

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Leaving Thomas at the 2017 CNE

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2 months ago Views

TerraForm: Sam Roberts Band with Jane’s Party at the 2017 CNE

The next time someone tries to tell you that rock and roll is dead, or if you yourself feel that thought rolling through your brain, remember the Sam Roberts Band.

On Saturday night, at the legendary CNE Bandshell, we caught the Montreal rock outfit and were completely sucked in and entertained by their straight ahead, no gimmicks, Canadian summer night rock and roll show. There were no flames, fireworks, or lasers. But there were guitars, bass, drums, keys, and a whole lot of energy at the bandshell park as the boys played a mix of new songs, fan favourites, and their biggest hits in a 90 minute set.

CNE 2017 - Sam Roberts Band

It’s also important to shout out Jane’s Party, the Toronto band that opened the show and did an excellent job of representing their hometown’s rock and roll vibe. Tracks like Til You Got Yours, Cigarette Buzz, and It’s Been Years showed off their sound, and allowed the guys to put on a fun set to warm up the park. We also need to give love for the versatility in the band, with three of the four members taking a turn at lead vocals during their time on the CNE Bandshell stage.

CNE 2017 - Jane's Party

I’ve been listening to Sam Roberts and the Sam Roberts Band for all of the summers in my adult life, starting with the, The Inhuman Condition EP, in 2012, and have sung along to the hits, watched the videos, and being a fan of their rock and roll vibe. So to see them on stage in 2017, with that same spark and enthusiasm for what they do, paired with the appreciation that Sam repeatedly showed for the opportunity to play in Toronto at such a venerable venue, was a wonderful thing.

Note: Sometimes I miss Sam’s longer, floppy hair, especially when he’s dancing and playing guitar on stage.

With a 15 song setlist, and a three song encore, the Sam Roberts Band filled their time on stage completely. And from TerraForm to kick things off to Brother Down to send us all home, the Toronto crowd was engaged, singing, dancing, clapping, and raising their hands in the air with glee and gusto. Heck, Sam Roberts has so many hits to pack into his set now that it wasn’t until morning that I realized the band hadn’t played Don’t Walk Away Eileen, but if that’s the only thing missing from my idealized show, we all should be happy with what the Sam Roberts Band shared on Saturday night.

CNE 2017 - Sam Roberts Band

These five rock and rollers know what’s up. They put on a show that would have worked in a smaller, sweaty room like the Horseshoe Tavern, or in a bigger setting like the Budweiser Stage. And the fans in Toronto at the 2017 CNE knew it.

When you get the chance to see the Sam Roberts Band live, take it. The Inhuman Condition and We Were Born In A Flame put them on the map 15 years ago, but their songs, skills, and dedication to what they do has made TerraForm and their new music just as compelling and entertaining as ever.

We can’t wait to see the band again. After all, we’re all in this together.

Sam Roberts Band, 2017 CNE Setlist

※ TerraForm
※ Shapeshifters
※ Fixed to Ruin
※ Rogue Empire
※ Human Heat
※ Metal Skin
※ Hard Road
※ Spring Fever
※ Bridge to Nowhere
※ Where Have All the Good People Gone?
※ Detroit ’67
※ Roll with the Spirits
※ If You Want It
※ Them Kids
※ Chasing the Light
Encore:
※ We’re All in This Together
※ FIEND
※ Brother Down

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Jane’s Party at the 2017 CNE Bandshell Stage

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2 months ago Views

Blame It On The Neon: Leaving Thomas at Boots & Hearts 2017

We’ve said it before, playing the opening slot of the day on the main stage at a festival isn’t easy. You’ve got to set the tone, get people engaged, pull them into the crowd… and Leaving Thomas did all of that on Friday at Boots & Hearts 2017.

Annika and Bryton hopped up on the main stage and rolled through a 7 song set, including their latest single, Best Adventure and a banging cover of Shania’s No One Needs To Know. They worked the catwalk, they brought the energy that the afternoon slot needed, and they were fantastic.

We caught up with Leaving Thomas after their set for a little sit down in the grass to talk about how things are going, how crazy festival season is, and alter egos… and while Bryton told us that he doesn’t yet have one, we know from LT’s latest YouTube video that Annika’s alter ego of Suzie can be a real piece of work. But craziness aside, these two are enjoying the heck out of festival season right now. They told us that it’s a little wild to look back to a year ago, when they weren’t playing stages like Boots & Hearts and Big Valley Jamboree, but here in 2017, they’ve done both.

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Leaving Thomas

Bryton also described the experience of looking out into the BH crowd and seeing fans singing and dancing and fully embodying Waiting Kind Of Girl as surreal.

And while it may be surreal to the duo, it’s no surprise to us. The harmonies that Leaving Thomas roll out are smooth and full. The melodies they’re producing grab listeners. And their energy brings people in. The more stages they play, the more they’re going to see people singing and dancing out the in the crowd.

I asked about what’s coming next for Leaving Thomas and we learned a few things…

1) Blame It On The Neon is scheduled to be released as their next single on September 8, 2017.
2) The duo will be at the CNE on the bandshell stage opening for Chad Brownlee on Saturday, August 26, 2017.
3) They’re excited for Canadian Country Music Week and the CCMAs in September – including the always fun MDM Recordings Party, where they’ll hop up on stage to play.
4) They are looking at an early 2018 release of an EP that we can’t wait to hear.

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Leaving Thomas

Annika and Bryton are a ton of fun on stage, and we heard people talking about how good they are up there as we walked through the crowd. Those people are right, they are good. And you should keep an eye on them.

Leaving Thomas just might be the next big duo in Canadian country music.

Leaving Thomas, Boots & Hearts 2017 Setlist

🎤 Best Adventure
🎤 Call It A Night
🎤 No One Needs To Know
🎤 Blame It On The Neon
🎤 Shame On Me
🎤 Dibs/ Cruise
🎤 Waiting Kind Of Girl

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2 months ago Views

On Me: Andrew Hyatt at Boots & Hearts 2017

Rain was falling on the Friday afternoon crowd at Boots & Hearts 2017… and then it cleared and the sun came out as Andrew Hyatt and his band, The Good Intentions, took over the Front Porch stage and played their hearts out.

We caught up with Andrew after his set, and we talked about the crowd that came in to watch him play. It was a great assembly of music fans, and they were there for a good time, which always helps things. And while Andrew does love greasy, sweaty club shows – he told us that being in front of the Boots & Hearts crowd and watching them engage with the music and the band was fantastic. He told us that looking out and seeing people singing his songs back to him, the singles and the deep cuts that made the record (Iron & Ashes) because he loves them, was special because it means they’ve listened to the record that he worked so hard on.

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Andrew Hyatt

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

On stage the boys, lead by Andrew, gave it everything they have. The sound was full, with every guitar part and bass line doing its job to create a live music experience for tracks like She Ain’t You, Most Of Me, and his very first Top 20 song at country radio, On Me. The transitions from uptempo tracks to slowed down songs was seamless and well received by the crowd, with everyone willing to follow wherever they were taken.

I asked Hyatt about landing in the Top 20 with On Me, and he told me that it’s a sweet feeling. His first calls he says were to the band to share the good news. And to celebrate, he cracked a bottle of Crown Royal special reserve that he had been saving for this specific occasion.

Boots and Hearts 2017 - Andrew Hyatt

Andrew Hyatt isn’t slowing down any time soon. With the CNE booked, and showcases and performances coming up at Canadian Country Music Week and the CCMA celebrations in September, there’s still lots to prep for and look forward to.

AND, there’s big fall 2017 news that he would love to tell you about, and that we would love to tell you that we know – but we’re all going to have to stay tuned for that.

Andrew Hyatt, Boots & Hearts 2017 Setlist

🥃 That’s How I’m Livin’
🥃 Most Of Me
🥃 Girl I Do
🥃 MGR (Me And A Girl And A Radio)
🥃 We Only Kiss On Sundays
🥃 She Ain’t You
🥃 On Me

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2 months ago Views

2017 Canadian National Exhibition Northern Comfort Saloon Lineup and Schedule

If you like cold drink and hot country music, the Northern Comfort Saloon at the Canadian National Exhibition should be on your to do list this summer!

We’ve been checking out the Northern Comfort Saloon since year one in 2014, and every year there’s a pretty fantastic selection of country music to sing, drink, and dance to. In fact, just last year The Washboard Union took their turn for six days, and then won Rising Star and Roots Artist of the Year at the 2016 Canadian Country Music Awards… so ya, these are talented artists.

The 2017 lineup has some of our favourite up-and-coming artists, including Northern Comfort Saloon returnees, Cory Marquardt, Kelly Prescott, and Buck Twenty – and artists with new releases in 2017 including Johnson Crook and Andrew Hyatt.

We’ve put together the full schedule with dates and times, so you know which days to come see some of your emerging country music favourites on stage, playing originals, covers, and having a party.

Mark your calendar, and then use the poll and/or leave a comment to tell us who you’re most excited to see at this year’s CNE country bar stage!

2017 Canadian National Exhibition Northern Comfort Saloon Lineup and Schedule

Buck Twenty

Aug 18, 19, 20 – 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Related: CMAO Artist of the Month – Buck Twenty

Blue Radio

August 18, 20 – 7:30 PM – 11:00 PM

Ultimate Urban

August 19 – 7:30 PM – 11:00 PM

Johnson Crook

August 21, 22, 23 – 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Related: Call Me Home – Johnson Crook EP Release Party

Marshall Dane

August 21, 22, 23 – 7:30 PM – 11:00 PM
August 28, 29 – 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Cory Marquardt

August 24, 25, 26 – 7:30 PM – 11:00 PM

Cory Marquardt CNE 2015

Jerry Serada

August 24, 25, 26, 27 – 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Kelly Prescott

August 27, 28, 29 – 7:30 PM – 11:00 PM
Related: CMAO Artist of the Month – Kelly Prescott

Elyse Saunders

August 30, 31 – 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Andrew Hyatt

August 30, September 1 – 7:30 PM – 11:00 PM
Related: Iron & Ashes Album Review – Andrew Hyatt

CMT Music Fest - Andrew Hyatt

Ty Baynton

September 1, 2, 3 – 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Chris Buck Band

September 2, 3 – 7:30 PM – 11:00 PM
September 4 – 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Related: 5 Quick Questions with Chris Buck Band

4 months ago Views

2017 Canadian National Exhibition Bandshell Stage Lineup and Schedule

Every Toronto summer ends the same way, with the Canadian National Exhibition and its rides, food, and entertainment.

And now, still a month and a half away from opening day, we have a schedule and lineup for the legendary CNE Bandshell stage.

As always, all concerts are included with the price of CNE admission, making these some of the best value buys of the summer concert season for all music lovers.

Note: Monday to Thursday (excluding the Labour Day holiday) the CNE will offer an $8 a
After 5pm admission deal. We recommend taking advantage of it!

 

CNE 2013 Ill Scarlett

The 2017 schedule is packed with some awesome talent across genres. Canadian rock and roll veterans, Sam Roberts Band are an early must-see, joined by local favourites, USS and Dear Rouge, and former Rolling Stone cover boys, The Sheepdogs. And on the country music side, Chad Brownlee, Aaron Pritchett, and Canadian actor/singer/songwriter Kiefer Sutherland will all headline the Bandshell stage.

We would also encourage you to check out the opening acts on this year’s schedule.

Madeline Merlo, The Zolas, Leaving Thomas, Jane’s Party, and Ascot Royals will all be worth being at the stage early for… trust us.

Note: There may be more opening acts added as we get closer to the Exhibition, there are some spaces open. And remember, all of these acts and dates are subject to change.

Now, get your calendar out, look at the schedule and make your plans for the CNE.

2017 Canadian National Exhibition Bandshell Schedule

Saturday, August 19
Jane’s Party
Sam Roberts Band

Sunday, August 20
Meghan Patrick
Kiefer Sutherland

Kiefer Sutherland Band at The Horseshoe Toronto Jazz Festival 2016

Monday, August 21
The Box
Michel Pagliaro

Tuesday, August 22
Port Cities
Colin James

Wednesday, August 23
Jay Douglas
Marcia Griffiths

Thursday, August 24
Madeline Merlo
Aaron Pritchett

Friday, August 25
I Mother Earth
The Watchmen

Saturday, August 26
Leaving Thomas
Chad Brownlee

Chad Brownlee Boots and Hearts 2015

Sunday, August 27
Ascot Royals
John Kay & Steppenwolf

Monday, August 28
Pavlo

Tuesday, August 29
The Sheepdogs

Wednesday, August 30
Virginia to Vegas
Shawn Hook

Thursday, August 31
The Zolas
Dear Rouge

Dear Rouge

Friday, September 1
Beamer Wigley & Abby Stewart 
Brett Kissel

Saturday, September 2
USS

USS GreaterTorontoDay

Sunday, September 3
Desi Sub Culture
A Tribe Called Red

A Tribe Called Red OMDC Mod Club 2016

4 months ago Views

2017 Canadian National Exhibition: Northern Comfort Saloon Announcement

This week the Canadian National Exhibition announced its first round of Northern Comfort Saloon performers. Now don’t panic, we haven’t even started summer yet but it is nice to be able to look forward to some of our favourite country artists playing right here in our backyard at The Ex.

The Northern Comfort Saloon is one of our favourite spots to take a load off when we’re checking out The CNE. We love its sweet country saloon atmosphere, we love the mechanical bull, we love saloon themed food and drinks and if you haven’t seen the stage, you’re in for a treat.

Livy Jeanne CNE 2015 Northern Comfort Saloon
Livy Jeanne CNE 2015 Northern Comfort Saloon

We’ve seen some amazing acts on the NCS Stage over the years including Livy Jeanne, Leah Daniels, Marshall Dane, The Washboard Union and Cory Marquardt and this year’s lineup including Marquardt is going to be great.

One of our favourite things about sets at the Northern Comfort Saloon, they’re long! This means you’ll get a chance to hear all of your favourites, probably hear some great covers and maybe even get a chance to say hello to your favourite performers.

2017 Canadian National Exhibition, Northern Comfort Saloon Lineup (so far)

Buck Twenty – August 18 – 20 – 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Nominated this year for the CMAO’s Rising Star award, this is the second year in a row for Mike Ure & Aidan Johnson-Bujold. The energetic singer/songwriter duo will have their self-titled 2015 debut EP and their 2016 Single Here’s to the Nights to draw songs from and we’re hoping they’ll play some new songs and some great covers for us too!

Johnson Crook – August 21, 22 & 23 – 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

These guys are everywhere right now and we’re thrilled that they’ll be playing the CNE this year. By the time Noel Johnson, Jared Craig, Nathan and Trevor Crook hit the Northern Saloon stage, they’ll have a full album to play for y’all. These boys will have no trouble filling their timeslot and you should get ready to fill up the amazing dance floor that the Saloon offers up.

Cory Marquardt – August 24 to 26 – 7:30 PM – 11:00 PM

The North Bay hometown boy should look very comfortable up on the Northern Saloon stage. He put on a hell of a show last year and he’s been honing his musical chops all year long keeping busy with tons of live shows. Last year we got to hear from his album This Man as well as some great covers including Vince Gill, Merle Haggard, Eric Church, Keith Urban, Eli Young Band and Jason Aldean. Is there anything Cory can’t sing?

Elyse Saunders – August 30 & 31 – 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

The Toronto-based alt-country singer/songwriter’s Facebook profile describes her sound as “Soulful, edgy and inspiring” and we couldn’t agree more. Elyse has been putting out music since her self-titled album in 2008 and we’re hoping to hear songs from both albums and of course, we want to hear her new single Rise.

There are two sets a day, an early set from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm and a late set from 7:30 – 11:00 pm. Last year there were seven performers in all, over the duration of the fair, that leaves three spots open. So, who else do you think should play the Northern Comfort Saloon in 2017?

 

Related Posts:

All Kinds of Crazy: Livy Jeanne live at the 2015 CNE!

This Man: Cory Marquardt at the 2015 CNE!

Leah Daniels at the 2014 CNE Northern Comfort Saloon

 

4 months ago Views

Beautiful and Tragic: The Trews at the CNE 2016

For more than a decade we’ve been listening to the rock and roll stylings of The Trews, and on Saturday night we took it all in up close and personal at the CNE in Toronto.

The Antigonish, Nova Scotia natives took the stage to an awesome reception of fans who knew exactly what they were getting themselves into, and couldn’t wait to hear the hits and sing along for the night. It’s those same fans (and you too) that need to be ready for Friday, September 9 when Time Capsule hits stores and online outlets.

The Trews CNE 2016Trish caught up with John Angus MacDonald backstage to chat before the show and asked him about the album’s greatest hits & new music combo and found out that it was essential to the band that the four new songs be part of the offering. They did not want to fall into the stigma that a best of or greatest hits album is signaling the beginning of the end – because the band feels like they’ve got a lot left in them to give.

And with a 19 song set in Toronto on Saturday, they showed us all that they aren’t ready to ride off into the sunset at all. With Colin on the microphone, leading the charge, The Trews held the crowd in the palms of their hands. And when it was time to sing, the Ex got loud and proud to support the band, and we loved it. The band did too, or so we expect…

Trish: In 5 words or less can you describe how it feels when the crowd sings your songs back to you?

John Angus: Fu – cking A – maz – ing… there’s 5 syllables.

As the set played on it became clear to me that I had forgotten how much I really loved the songs that The Trews have put out since 2002. And then I realized that I was really happy that we had a Canadian band headlining a Saturday night rock and roll show, with a bunch of fans really into it. Sometimes we take CanCon for granted, but Saturday night we were proud.

The Trews CNE 2016

Trish asked about the changes in the Canadian music scene since the band broke in, and it almost seemed like John Angus didn’t know where to start. He mentioned the scaling down on the industry side with fewer people working for labels and bands. He also talked about the advent of social media, streaming, and iTunes. It’s sometimes easy to forget that all of those things are so new, and a band with a 15 year career has been on both sides of the shift. John Angus also talked about the change in crowds over the years, and how they’ve seen their fans grow up from their early twenties to their thirties – with kids. But they still see the new 20 somethings that are into the music too. It’s a mix that keeps tickets sold and makes the shows a lot of fun.

Note: When Colin stood on stage alone with his guitar and strummed and sang Highway Of Heroes I got chills. You could have heard a pin drop. It was powerful and beautiful. And when it ended I was almost surprised that the crowd didn’t burst out into Oh Canada.

Related: The Trews at 102.1 The Edge – Sugar Beach Sessions

Before Trish let John Angus get ready for the show she got to ask him about Canadian music, and got him to pick 1 band that we should be listening to right now, AND 1 band from the east coast that he thinks should be more popular across the country.

New Band: Towers. There’s new music coming, and John Angus has been in the studio to work on a couple songs with them already, so be ready.

East Coast Band: The Novaks. From St. John’s, NFLD, they started coming up about the same time as The Trews and John Angus thinks that they def. could have gotten a bigger chance. Give ‘em a listen.

The Trews are Juno nominees, East Coast and Independent Music award winners, and Canadian favourites in the genre. They’ve worked hard, and often over the last decade and a half, and by all indications, they’re ready to keep pushing.

the_TREWS_time_capsule_FINAL_Album+Cover+smColin, John Angus, Jack, Gavin, and Jeff put on a show for us at the CNE. From Lotta Work Little Love, through hits like Not Ready To Go, Hope & Ruin, and Tired Of Waiting, and the encore that included a nod to The Hip with Putting Down, and then a collaboration with Leon and Matty of The Lazys on Hold Me In Your Arms and Highway To Hell to close the show – we were all given what we were hoping for, what we expected, and what The Trews have been doing since the start.

We can’t wait to see what the next chapter brings!

The Trews Set List, CNE Toronto 2016

Lotta Work Little Love
Beautiful and Tragic
Not Ready to Go
So She’s Leaving
Paranoid Freak
Hope & Ruin
65 Roses
Power of Positive Drinking
Love Is the Real Thing
Tired of Waiting
Highway of Heroes
Dark Highway
What’s Fair Is Fair
Sing Your Heart Out
I Can’t Stop Laughing
Poor Ol’ Broken Hearted Me
Encore:
Putting Down (Hip cover)
Hold Me In Your Arms
Highway to Hell

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1 year ago Views

Howling Woman: The Lazys, Live at the CNE 2016

Rock and roll fans, listen to us, if you’re not already in on The Lazys, it’s time. Right now.

On Saturday night at the CNE in Toronto, the stage took an Australian beating when Leon, Matty, Glenn, Liam, and Andy took over and rocked their hearts out as the opening act for Canadian vets, The Trews.

We’ve had a chance to meet and chat with the boys before, and see them on stage, so we thought we were prepared for the show – but the difference between the size of the stage at the Ex and the Horseshoe is significant, and the boys took full advantage.

The Lazys CNE 2016-8631And they knew they would… Trish caught up with Leon and Matty backstage before the show and when she asked them about getting up on the big stage they were instantly excited and told her they were born for this shit!

She also asked them how their current Canadian tour has been going so far with their western shows done, and the band seemed quite happy with things. The crowds have grown since their last time through, the clubs are full, and the response has been awesome.

Here’s the thing about The Lazys when they play live – it’s a show. A real live, full blast, top volume, over the top rock and roll show. The guys put it all out there with their energy and movement and attitude from the minute they step on stage to the minute they step off. They sing and scream and dance and spew water and do everything they can to get every single person in the crowd into the party. It’s a huge piece of why we’re into the band really, the live experience is A+ top notch.

Since the boys have started spending more and more time in Canada every year we decided we wanted to ask them a couple questions that would give us some insight into the Aussie experience in the great white north.

First, we asked what 1 Canadian thing they would take home to Australia – and at almost the exact same time Leon and Matty said Caesars and Tim Hortons… which we can’t really argue with,  both are very Canadian!

Next, Trish asked the reverse, and Leon told her that he’d love to bring the Australian weather to Canada so we could all enjoy some sun and warmth all year long. And as much as we love a good snowball fight, it’s really tempting to agree with him on that!

The Lazys CNE 2016-8801

We also asked The Lazys about the bands they’re into. But before we get to that, here are some more points that we took away from the CNE show…

⭐ Matty has some of the best guitar faces and showmanship we’ve seen in a long long time.
⭐ The band is tight, which we don’t want people to overlook when they’re busy watching and listening to Matty’s solos.
⭐ Leon looks, probably 5 times per show, like he’s ready to jump straight into the crowd. And while we haven’t seen it happen yet, we’re not counting out the possibility of it happening one day.
⭐ When Matty, Glenn, and Liam sing with Leon, or around him, it fills out the sound perfectly.
⭐ Andy did one of our favourite things: Singing along at the drum kit even though he doesn’t have a mic. It’s a sure sign for us that a drummer is all in and loving what he’s part of.

Ok, so we asked the guys to tell us who their top 3 Canadian bands are, but they had some trouble with the math, so we doubled it and let Leon and Matty have 6 bands combined.

🍁 Billy Talent
🍁 The Trews
🍁 One Bad Son
🍁 The Wild
🍁 Whale and the Wolf
🍁 The Glorious Sons

Then Trish asked if there was an Australian band that we should be listening to and Leon told us that The Dead Love were the ones. Which is great for us because we saw and chatted with at CMW 2016 and already in. And we 100% agree with the boys that you should check them out and start getting as excited for new music from the Aussie rockers as we are!

The last thing we asked before the let The Lazys get ready for the stage was what they’re up to after the tour wraps. And we loved the answer, because they’re going to Vancouver to record a new record!

The Lazys CNE 2016-9042The boys have 6 weeks booked with Garth “GGGarth” Richardson (Rage Against The Machine, Rise Against, Red Hot Chili Peppers) to record. And if the new tracks sound as good as Shake It Like You Mean It, which Richardson did with the guys, then we’re pretty sure we’re going to have a full record worth yelling and dancing and singing along to.

But, before they get to that there are still a bunch of tour dates left including September 15 in Oshawa and September 16 in Toronto at the Rivoli. And we would like to strongly recommend that you get to one of those shows to see The Lazys play Howling Woman, Shake It Like You Mean It, Black Rebel, Love Your Gun, Show Me What You’re Made Of and all kinds of other high intensity bangers.

See you there!

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1 year ago Views

Every Week’s Got A Friday: High Valley at the CNE 2016

They’ve come a long way from home up in La Crete, Alberta… and the way things are going, it looks like High Valley have a lot further to go before things are all said and done.

On Sunday night we headed out to the CNE in Toronto to catch up with Brad and Curtis and check out their set, which closed out three nights in a row of country music in the city. The last time we caught up with the boys was at Boots & Hearts 2015, so there was a bunch to find out, in our few minutes before Jess Moskaluke hopped up on stage to kick-off the night.

Note: It’s amazing how great the members of the Canadian country music community are, it really is. On Sunday we were able to bring my mom to the show as a birthday present, and High Valley were awesome when she had a chance to say hello at the start of our interview. Class acts, as we expected, and as she’ll always remember.

High Valley CNE 2016 Bandshell

It turns out Sunday was a long day for High Valley. In fact, it started in Wisconsin, and the bus rolled all the way to T.O. in time for the boys to get themselves ready for a Canadian crowd in the middle of a busy summer. If you’ve been following Brad and Curtis’s adventures via social media you know that they’ve had shows on stages all over the place in the last 12 months, playing to new cities and new crowds along the way.

We asked them about some highlights, and they told us that Boston was pretty cool with about 7,000 strong singing Make You Mine back at them at the tops of their lungs. But it was London (yes, the big London) that blew them away when the entire crowd seemed to know the words to every song they played. They knew the Canadian radio hits, they knew the b-sides, they knew the acoustic YouTube stuff… as a non-traditional country market, that’s pretty awesome.

High Valley CNE 2016 BandshellWe haven’t been able to ask them how the CNE crowd compared to London from a sing along standpoint, we can tell you that a whole lot of people were out having a good time on a Sunday night. There were rows of people crowded in at the front of the stage to dance along, there were rows and rows and rows of people in the bench seats (sitting for a while, then standing with the rest of us) and all of them were clapping and moving, and yes, singing.

On stage the Rempel brothers gave us all the energy we could have hoped for, some laughs, some faith, some chances to get loud – and all the songs we love from the band… except maybe On The Combine, we missed that one. Throughout the show they moved and joked and told stories about family and songs, giving us the things that we love about country shows.

We know the guys didn’t have their families with them on the trip, so we asked about being able to balance the road and home (Nashville), and they told us that they work really hard to make it fit for them. Whether that means going home for a day or two, or bringing their families out on the road with them for a few days at a time to make sure everyone gets together time. They don’t want their kids to feel like they were raised on a bus, and we get that, but it sure does sound like it’s tough to be away, and that they’re doing everything they can to put it all together.

High Valley CNE 2016 BandshellAnd lastly, and maybe most importantly, we asked about the new album coming later this year! Brad and Curtis both seem to be really excited about this one, and there’s reason to be for sure. The November release will be their biggest, with a full international release on the same day, giving fans all over the world access to the tunes at the same time for the first time. The record also starts their recording and release career with Warner Music Nashville, which is a huge step for two brothers who started things with a 4,000km trip from La Crete to Nashville.

Check out the brand new single from their upcoming release, Every Week’s Got A Friday (call your local country station to request it) and stay tuned for more from the Rempel brothers soon!

High Valley Set List, CNE 2016

Come On Down
I’ll Be
Rescue You
She’s With Me
Young Forever
Be My Baby Tonight
Love You For A Long Time
NEW SONG
A Father’s Love (The Only Way He Knew How)
I’ll Fly Away
Make You Mine
County Line
Every Week’s Got A Friday

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1 year ago Views

Take Me Home: Jess Moskaluke at the CNE 2016

It had been a full year since we last hung out with Jess Moskaluke at Boots & Hearts 2015, but on Sunday night in Toronto at the CNE we caught up with the Kiss Me Quiet singer for a quick pre-show chat… and then watched her leave it all out on the stage during her 15 song, hour long set.

With the Canadian Country Music Awards just around the corner in London, ON we had to ask about the possibility of winning Female Artist of the Year for a third consecutive year. Jess told us that it would great if it happens, but it’s not something you can plan for. She added that the recognition and the accomplishments hit her at random times, giving her a chance to take it all in. But maybe more than anything else it seems that she’s most looking forward to see her friends in the Canadian country music industry as everyone gathers for Canadian Country Music Week.

Jess Moskaluke CNE 2016 BandshellNote: I need to thank Jess for being so cool when we introduced her to my mom, who celebrates her birthday this week. She was sweet and kind, and everything that we already know her to be.

We also asked Jess about the video for Elevator and we learned that it was a lot of fun – but really hot all day. AND that CMT’s Paul McGuire singing of Take Me Home wasn’t entirely scripted going into shoot day… which makes it way funnier to me.

On stage we got to hear Jess sing all of our favourites, leaving nobody wanting anything more than she gave, even with a torn up ankle and brace keeping her on the go! From Night We Won’t Forget to start the show, through covers of Heart, Maren Morris, and Elle King, a Shania medley, and closing with her 2014 breakout hit, Cheap Wine & Cigarettes – Jess Moskaluke had the Toronto crowd into the gig. There was singing and dancing and a whole lot of love coming from The Ex crowd to the Saskatchewan star, and it was pretty cool to see.

It had been a year since we got to say hi to Jess, and a lot happened. Here’s hoping another 12 months doesn’t go by before we get to do it again!

Jess Moskaluke Set List, CNE 2016

✹ Night We Won’t Forget
✹ Used
✹ Good Lovin’
✹ Amen Hallelujah
✹ Strong As It’s Ever Been
✹ Alone
✹ Kiss Me Quiet
✹ Good For You
✹ If You’re Not In It For Love/ Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under/ Man I Feel Like A Woman
✹ Ex’s And Oh’s
✹ My Church
✹ Elevator
✹ Take Me Home
✹ Lightning Bolt
✹ Cheap Wine & Cigarettes

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1 year ago Views

Dean Brody with Jessica Mitchell at The CNE 2016

On Saturday night we had the chance to hang with Jessica Mitchell before her set, opening up for Dean Brody at The CNE. We chatted about her time at Peller Estates Wine Country Fare and how she ended up on stage, the weather during  the Cavendish Beach Music Festival and how she graciously gave up her wrap to a poor fan who was cold and we joked about selfies.

Thanks to Jessica for hanging out!Jessica Mitchell - CNE Bandshell 2016 Jessica Mitchell - CNE Bandshell 2016-6161The crowd was in fine form and singing along to Jessica’s songs, a thing which we know makes her get a little bit choked up. The seats were full and the crowd continued to build during her set.Jessica Mitchell - CNE Bandshell 2016-6175Jessica Mitchell - CNE Bandshell 2016-6229The crowd started to chant “Dean Brody, Dean Brody, Dean Brody” and then the lights dimmed. Dean came on stage with his signature smile and the crowd exploded. Dean came with amazing energy and he was in fine form, he owned the stage.

There wasn’t an empty seat in the park and people were filling the aisles and the space at the back. It was a beautiful night in Toronto and Toronto country music fans were happy to be there.
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MORE PHOTOS OF JESSICA MITCHELL
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1 year ago Views

2016 Canadian National Exhibition: Northern Comfort Saloon Schedule & Set Times

Ever year, as summer winds down and we prepare for fall, we make our way to Exhibition Station and the Canadian National Exhibition… and when we’re there we’re sure to stop in at the Northern Comfort Saloon.

As part of Toronto’s growing country music landscape, the Saloon brings some great emerging talent to the city and gives artists a chance to perform for fans as the walk the aisles of the fair, or sit down to enjoy a cold drink and grab a bite to eat.

Note: There’s lots of room to dance in front of the stage, so if you know how to line dance or two-step, you’re more than welcome to get up on your feet and show everyone what you’ve got!

Cory-Marquardt-CNE-2015 Northen Comfort SaloonIn the past we’ve had a chance to watch and catch up with Leah Daniels, Cory Marquardt, Livy Jeanne, Marshall Dane, and more at the Northern Comfort Saloon stage, and we’re sure that this year’s lineup (including Dane) is going to be ready to continue that tradition.

All Kinds of Crazy: Livy Jeanne live at the 2015 CNE!

This Man: Cory Marquardt at the 2015 CNE!

Leah Daniels at the 2014 CNE Northern Comfort Saloon

The sets are long, which means you’re going to get a mix of originals and covers. You’re going to get a chance to pop in and out as desired. And you’re going to get a chance to see everything that these artists have to offer.

Leave a comment to tell us which day you’re coming to the CNE this summer, and hopefully we’ll see you there!

2016 Canadian National Exhibition, Northern Comfort Saloon Lineup

Buck Twenty

August 19 – 21
3:00pm – 6:00pm

Eric Ethridge

August 19 – 21
7:30pm – 11:00pm
August 22 – 24
3:00pm – 6:00pm

Marshall Dane

August 22 – 24
7:30pm – 11:00pm

Kelly Prescott

August 25 – 27
3:00pm – 6:00pm
August 28 – August 30
7:30pm – 11:00pm

Tristan Horncastle

August 25 – 27
7:30pm – 11:00pm
August 28 – August 30
3:00pm – 6:00pm

Ginger St. James

August 31 – September 2
3:00pm – 6:00pm
September 3 – September 4
7:30pm – 11:00pm

The Washboard Union

August 31 – September 2
7:30pm – 11:00pm
September 3 – 5
3:00pm – 6:00pm (7:00pm on September 5)

Washboard Union CMT Music FestLeah Daniels CNE Northern Comfort SaloonLivy Jeanne CNE 2015 Northern Comfort SaloonCory Marquardt CNE 2015Marshall Dane CNE 2014 1111Cory Marquardt CNE 2015

1 year ago Views

Workin’ On Whiskey: Jessica Mitchell at Boots & Hearts 2016!

Sometimes you catch an artist during an upward swing in their career and smile as you watch them shoot forward into new opportunities and successes… that’s exactly what’s happening right now with Jessica Mitchell.

The country singer/songwriter has had a hectic summer, starting with that video (you know the one), continuing with an opening slot on Kiefer Sutherland’s tour (more on that in a bit), and wrapping up with full band gigs, plus a stripped down performance and a special guest appearance at Boots & Hearts on Sunday.

At 1pm on the fourth day of Boots & Hearts 2016 we saw Jessica hit the SiriusXM fan stage for a short performance with her guitar player Joel (he’s really, really good) and though it was early, and the stage was small, it was pretty damn cool to watch. The stage in the woods was the perfect spot to listen to Jessica’s strong voice carry and her songs connect with the country music fans at the stage.

In her short set we got to hear Jessica play 5 songs: Workin’ On Whiskey, That Record Saved My Life, Quit Askin’ Me, Scars, A Place Called Gone, and Grown Up Things and every one of them dripped with the same commitment and connection and emotion that we’ve come to know by hearing Workin’ On Whiskey and getting to know her, even just a little bit.

Jessica Mitchell BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016-

We also sat down with Jessica Mitchell a little later in the afternoon, and got to talk for a few minutes about the summer she’s had, what’s coming up, and how her set felt… here are the highlights.

• Her Canadian Country Music Association award nomination for Roots Artist of the Year feels awesome. And we could tell by the smile on her face when she talked about it that she means it 100%.

• She’s gearing up for a really busy CCMA week in her hometown of London, Ontario. There will be shows and events and parties and the awards show… but we agreed that there probably won’t be very much sleep!

• Her recent shows with the full band have been really great. While many people saw Jessica this summer with a more stripped down sound, or have seen her strumming her guitar solo online, the full band shows bring a bigger, fuller feel and she’s excited about that. And we’re excited that we’re going to see her with the whole supporting cast at the CNE in a couple weeks.

Jessica Mitchell BH5 Boots and Hearts 2016-• Speaking of the CNE, Jessica will be opening for Dean Brody on Saturday, August 27th – and that show is free with the purchase of your regular entrance ticket for The Ex. So come on down to the grounds, wander around for the afternoon, try some weird food and then head over to the bandshell at 7:30pm to see the show!

• We asked about Kiefer Sutherland and touring with him and there were nothing but happy thoughts to share from Jessica. First she mentioned how great everyone was during the tour, making it fun and easy to be part of the group and play the shows. Second she pointed out just how great Keifer is… from his talent (what can’t he do?!) to his kindness, she gave all kinds of love to the Not Enough Whiskey singer.

• We also pointed out to her that we could see people singing along to her songs when she was on the SiriusXM stage, and she told us that she sees it too. And every time it kind of makes her pause and catch her breath… we know we’ll never know that feeling, but her description makes as much sense to us as any.

• There’s a video coming soon for her breakout single, Workin’ On Whiskey. We don’t know exactly when, but plans are being made and ideas are being sorted and then we’ll be seeing it all over CMT and the internet we’re sure.

• The last thing she told us before the hugs and goodbyes was to keep an eye on Lindsay Ell’s set, because there was a special surprise coming – and it was her. And we’re glad we knew because Jessica came out to sing Chris Stapleton’s Tennessee Whiskey (there’s a lot of whiskey in this post) with Ell, and they were awesome on the main stage.

Here’s what we can tell you about watching and listening to Jessica Mitchell… she’s easy to fall for. The emotion we talked about earlier, you can feel it. The lyrics and the feeling and the way she cares and embodies the words that she sings adds something more to the music. Something more than just hearing a song that you sing along to in the car without thinking about it.

And the longer her EP, Hold Onto The Light is around and people are picking it up, the more people are going to be feeling those words and songs when they’re singing along in the car and at her shows.

It’s been a wild summer for Jessica, but we have the feeling it’s just the beginning of bigger and busier things coming soon. Stay tuned!

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1 year ago Views

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 Views
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