The Juno Awards Gala I had the pleasure of being in St. John’s, Newfoundland during Juno week back in April. I was volunteering and had the fortune of being a “seat filler” during the awards gala where I got to sit with Glass Tiger and April Wine!! Michael Buble, The Great Lake Swimmers, Justin Bieber and Jully Black were all performers but I have to say, the highlight was singing along with a few thousand people to K’Naans “Wavin’ Flag.” The whole week was stellar and there was talent everywhere… what a magical city full of amazing artisitc creativity. Even with the fog and grey skies everyday, it is by far the most colourful place I have been to!!
These brothers sure can tear it up! Hailing from Ottawa Ontario, Muddy and Danny Watters, have an eclectic sound of rock meets sweat meets funk meets Love. I have been to a few of their shows (even sharing the stage with them), however the best show to date in my mind, and one of my favourites of 2010, has to be back in May, when they were competing for 150 000 big ones as part of The Big Money Shot. The combined magic between these brothers makes you want to scream and shout and dance and scream and shout all over again. Get ready to rock N rumble while out on the town listening to their music, they just released an album “Rock and Roll Mansion” which you should go out and find A.S.A.P.
The Beauties are one of my ALL TIME FAVOURITE bands… If you ever have the chance to see them, I highly recommend it. The BEST venue for seeing their stellar-ness is in Toronto at “The Dakota Tavern.” They play on Sunday nights, and all the greats come out to see them, and sometimes join in on a song or two; Kathleen Edwards, Justin Rutledge, Colin Cripps to name a few. The best drummer on the planet just happens to drum with them, and YES, that is a HUGE statement, considering I play with some amazingly awesome drummers, but Derek Downham is FIERCE. Not to mention their jams, they go someplace else entirely, somewhere dreamy, and have the unique ability to take ALL of us with them on their journey. I am sure they won’t be playing every Sunday night for long, as they have wild talent and will most definitely be playing the whole world soon.
Plants & Animals
Another HOT Canadian band out of Montreal, Quebec. They too are going CRAZY big right now, and seeing them at Wakefield Quebec’s LEGENDARY Black Sheep Inn, is a priviledge I will not forget. It was a cold November night, my big brother Jeff’s birthday to be exact, and what a brilliant show. Warren, lead singer, has a voice that can kill. And he does “kill it” holy smokes. They are a trio who sound like a rock orchestra, and you REALLY have to listen to some of their sounds if you haven’t already. They tour the world and you may be lucky to catch them in a village or city near you!!
Sweet soulful melancholy Flora Poste. A songstress hailing from Aylmer Quebec, now in Canada’s fabulous city of Montreal, is taking over stereos one note at a time. Flora Poste a.k.a Melissa Trottier, is a dear friend, whom I have been listening to alongside campfires and coffee tables for the past few years now. Only, in 2010 we saw the release of her first, her debut album “In the Open.” And I am incredibly thankful that she decided to share her sweet sounds with the world. I had the great honour of seeing her sing in Canada’s legendary “Juke Joint” The Black Sheep Inn, alongside the Gatineau River, in front of thick red velvet curtains…What a love-soul-filled vocal she possesses, and I do not speak lightly when speaking of vocals, let me tell ya!! So go on out, or stay at home and FIND Flora Poste, you will not be sorry!!
This woman has a freedom on stage that comes from YEARS of experience. She rules the room and has attitude! She raps, she dances, she poetry slams, she’s coy, she’s playful, she is soulful and her lyrics, combined with melody and computer beats, speak to us all. A few years ago, I saw her play and wasn’t really here or there about it, but the CD came into my hands, and I played it over and over and over. A few years later, the CD is missing and out of sight out of mind, until this October, when I was in attendance at The OCFF (festival conference), there she was, on the roster to play. I was watching this tiger woman in a small hub of a hotel room, displaying her raw talent in a showcase room, the size of a closet and I was mesmorized. Phew. Amazing.
Brock Zeman is a genius song writer. He blows me away. A mix of Steve Earle meets Tom Waits, this Canadian Lanark Country artist, is a secret that needs to be shared with the world. As a song-writer myself, finding the lyrics doesn’t come easy, Brock makes it look as easy as frying bacon in the pan. I had the pleasure of immersing myself into his sound in Perth Ontario at O’reilly’s Pub this past Autumn, and although we have shared shows in the past, a whole new pile of inspiration was born into my life. Sometimes I go to his homepage, just to read his “story” songs… REALLY, go check him out. You too will be changed forever! Thanks Brock!!
This woman is a fabulous songstress with the unique abillty to keep you entranced during her entire performance. I am not easily ridden with goosebumps, but she gives them to me, all over. Her voice is haunting and her show is full of beauty, wonder, sexiness and she even plays the Theramin!! She tours with her husband Jose, who is a subtle guitar genius, can I say that? His playing is so subtle and adds to her voice like honey to chamomile. I was at Wakefield’s reknownd Black Sheep Inn (once again!), and listening to them perform in front of those pretty red velvet curtains and under a star lit sky by the River was a thriling evening of inspiration.
The Pathological Lovers
This is the HOTTEST new band out of St. John’s, Newfoundland, hands down. I Love the music that comes from that beautiful corner of the world, but there is something SO fine about these guys, they make you want to get up and dance the night away! Jody Richardson is a household name in these parts, and his lyrics combined with his swirling melodies have the “POW” and “WOW” factors. I had the pleasure of seeing The Lovers rock out at one of St. John’s’ finest (and dirtiest) venues for live music, The Ship Pub, where it’s no problem to get hot and sweaty, letting loose until the wee hours. It’s a difficult thing to get off the Island, let alone getting a whole band off… so I can only PRAY that one day they will tour around Canada, but in the meantime, pick up one of their cd’s or download it… or if you want to see an AWESOME video, google them, and check out “Best Served” and listen to the lyrics if you can.
Fish ‘N Bird
This is a band full of young’uns who are a total talent package. Coming from various parts of Canada, mostly B.C and now living in Toronto, this is a folk grass pop band that you WILL hear of sooner than later, of this I am sure. Being based out of Wakefield Quebec, I can see the best of the best in music at The Black Sheep Inn, which I may have mentioned earlier?? In any case, I had never heard of this blissful meets melancholic group,and was SO happy to walk into that room and hear their sounds. Fiddle meets stand up bass, meets TAYLOR ASHTON vocal-man-extra-ordinaire. Like GOOSE bump vocals… On top of it all, they have no ego, when their music is going to put them all on the map… Let’s hope the innocence prevails and they continue to thrive in their grassy rooty lovey dirty dark happy musical magical journey. Fish N Bird. Great band, GREAT name too.