Elyse Saunders

Anthem: Brett Kissel and Friends at the 2017 CNE

As Friday night grew darker and the music played on, Brett Kissel looked out over the CNE crowd and exclaimed, “I think it’s safe to say that country music is alive and well in Toronto!”.

The Alberta native couldn’t have been more correct on a day when 5 Canadian country artists took the stage at the Canadian National Exhibition. On the Northern Comfort Saloon stage both Ty Baynton and Andrew Hyatt played three hour sets for exhibition attendees, and on the legendary bandshell stage, Abby Stewart and Beamer Wigley opened for Brett Kissel himself, the 2016 Canadian Country Music Association Male Artist of the Year and Fans’ Choice Award winner.

Note: Not on stage, but also seen catching the music and enjoying The Ex were Elyse Saunders and Lindsay Broughton, talented country singers in their own rights!

As the bandshell stage began with Abby Stewart and Beamer Wigley, the crowd began to build. The two teenage country singers and songwriters played a selection of original songs and covers of popular duets including Keith Urban/Miranda Lambert’s We Were Us, Chris Young/Cassadee Pope’s Think Of You, and Jason Aldean/Kelly Clarkson’s Don’t You Wanna Stay. Both of the up-and-comers showed the kind of stage presence that will carry them into the future of their careers, and their talent (which continues to grow) is apparent now to anyone who sees and hears them.

Keep your eyes open for more from Abby Stewart and Beamer Wigley on the Canadian country music scene.

During a break in the bandshell action we jumped over to the Saloon to see Andrew Hyatt on stage, and the Nickel City native didn’t disappoint. As we know him to do, Hyatt put on a show that featured covers like Keith Urban’s Cop Car, his own fan favourites including, MGR (Me And A Girl And A Radio) and She Ain’t You, plus his first radio Top 20 single, On Me.

When the time came for the main event on the bandshell stage, Toronto was ready.

Brett Kissel and his band hit the stage hard, opening the set with Started With A Song and continuing with a string of hits, covers, and new songs that stretched into the night and kept summer alive as the Labour Day long weekend started.

As cheers rang out, Kissel and his dudes gave their last show of the summer everything they had. Their enthusiasm and energy were likely boosted (very reasonably) by the pre-show presentation of gold records for Started With A Song and Pick Me Up – his first two golds – but not his last.

It’s obvious to say that Brett Kissel is one of Canadian country music’s biggest stars, but what has become clear to us is that he keeps getting better and better as the songs, albums, shows, and years accumulate in his career. The differences are small, but visible. The showmanship, the engagement, the comfort levels, the willingness to take a chance, the heart on his sleeve, the passion for the show – they have all increased since we first saw him in 2014, and when he played the CNE bandshell stage two years ago in 2015.

Related: Brett Kissel at the 2015 CNE!

One of our favourite moments in the set came when Brett introduced Take It Easy by his favourite band, The Eagles. He told the crowd that it was his band’s favourite song to play by the legendary rockers, and that they’d like to play it in tribute of Glenn Frey, who passed away in 2016. Kissel also sent the song out to his dad who is currently in hospital, but we hope will be home very soon. It was emotional and sweet, and everything we love about moments that come from live music experiences.

Note: We would like to send our best wishes to Brett, his family, and his dad. If you would like to pass on your positive vibes, click here and send him a tweet.

Another of our favourite moments came earlier in the show when a five year old named Reggie and his dad came up on stage to meet Brett. Reggie was a little shy on stage, but his fandom was rewarded with a signed guitar from the singer, and his name being chanted loudly by the Toronto crowd. It was a special moment, and one we hope he repeats as often as possible.

This Canadian kid, the dude nominated for five Canadian Country Music Association awards (Male Artist, Single, Video, Songwriter, and Interactive Artist of the Year ) in 2017, and performing on the award show Sunday, September 8 on the CBC, is the real deal. He’s legit. He’s a star. And we’re happy that we’ve seen him along the way.

Friday night in Toronto, Brett Kissel and his band finished their summer with a bang. They were loud, they were happy, they were strong, and they made everyone in the crowd hope that they’ll be back again soon.

Brett Kissel Setlist, CNE 2017

🇨🇦 Started With A Song
🇨🇦 Something You Just Don’t Forget
🇨🇦 She’s Desire
🇨🇦 Canadian Kid
🇨🇦 Tough People Do
🇨🇦 Anthem
🇨🇦 Pick Me Up
🇨🇦 Cool With That
🇨🇦 Take It Easy (The Eagles)
🇨🇦 We Were That Song
🇨🇦 I Didn’t Fall In Love With Your Hair
🇨🇦 Airwaves
🇨🇦 Ordinary Day (Great Big Sea)
🇨🇦 Callin’ Baton Rouge (Garth Brooks)
🇨🇦 Raise Your Glass/Pour Some Sugar On Me (Def Leppard)
🇨🇦 Thank God I’m A Country Boy (John Denver)/Honey, I’m Good (Andy Grammer)/Mountain Music (Alabama)
Encore:
🇨🇦 3,2,1

Brett Kissel at the 2017 CNE

Andrew Hyatt at the 2017 CNE

Abby Stewart and Beamer Wigley at the 2017 CNE

3 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

5 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

 

5 months ago Views

Country Day at Steve’s Music Store: Toronto

On Saturday October 17th, right smack in the middle of Indie Week, Steve’s Music Store in Toronto held  “Steve’s Country Corner, Country Day”.

Steve’s is supporting new and emerging country artists in their brand new “Country Corner” space in conjunction with Boots and Bourbon. This seems to us like a very good match and they’ve been spreading the word about this space via live shows sporting a cool banner. Love the look and warmth of the room and love the great signs made by Jynx at Creatively Jynx. They’re adorable!Steve's Music Store Country CornerSteve's Music Country CornerThe performance which included Elyse Saunders, Don Graham and Alessia Cohle, was broadcast live on CIUT 89.5 and it gathered quite a crowd on Queen Street. Elyse got things started for us.

The Mississauga resident is originally from Peterborough and has been making her way in country music. This performance showed her talent and rapidly growing experience in the genre. Steve's Country Corner Elyse SaundersOn the flip side of the emerging artist coin was Don Graham, our second performer.

Don has been playing, writing and producing country music since the 1960’s. He’s partner in a music publishing business and he has a new album out titled “A Willing Heart”.Steve's Country Corner Don GrahamOur headliner for the day was the lovely and talented Alessia Cohle.

Accompanied on guitar by Gianluca Mauro, Alessia took control of the crowd and delivered an amazing performance. This emerging artist has a long history in music, having started at the age of four!

She has multiple music degrees and also teaches. Alessia is touring to support her EP “Let’s Get Gone“, and word has it she’ll have a new album out in early 2016.Steve's Country Corner Alessia CohleSteve's Music Country Corner Alessia CohleBoots and Bourbon has been in the forefront of country music since opening in Toronto in 2013 and winning the Country Club of the Year award from the Canadian Country Music Association. And Steve’s has been supporting the Toronto music scene since 1977.

This is a terrific partnership which will continue to benefit emerging artists. Thanks to Dorrian Promotions for putting this event on our radar.

 

2 years ago Views
Scroll to top