I’ve finally unpacked from my tour out east and am getting back to what I consider “normal” and thought I should probably update this blog thing. The last couple of entries have been rants so I want this one to have more of a “happy” feel to it. One of the coolest things about doing what I do is that I get to meet tons of amazing musicians and hear incredible music that not many people know about! So today I am going to let you in on what I listen to, awesome people I get to play with, and hopefully introduce you to someone you’ve never heard before.
First off, one of the coolest cats I know and one of my favourite people to gig with; Keturah Johnson. Keturah is a musician out of Ottawa and her music kicks almost as much ass as that wicked voice of hers. You’ve gotta hear this chick sing; hauntingly beautiful. If you came out to the release show for “it’s not black & white” you know what I’m talking about. We should totally record our version of Creep together.
The guys from Nerds With Guitars from Toronto may be some of my favourite people in the world. I played in a couple bands with Sean back when I was writing songs about learning to drive (something about 90 in the 50 and a back spasm may or may not have occurred) and Alex is just all kinds of awesome. If you like tunes that are funny and you are a “nerd”, you’ll love ’em.
When I was in Moncton I had the opportunity to play with these crazy buggers from Montreal, The Steady Swagger. I can honestly say that that was the best night of the tour. When describing their sound I would have to say Tom Waits meets System of a Down meets a bunch of drunk and angry pirates and the Muppets. We stayed up way too late, drinking too much and playing Pink Floyd covers. They’re coming out this way on November 3rd (it’s a Sunday) to play a matinee show with us at the Central in Toronto and you need to come check out their awesomeness.
Speaking of Moncton, this isn’t a band, but Plan B needs a shout out in this. I love this place! Tracey, Cody, Alex, Marcus, Meadow and the rest of the crew there restore my faith in what I do. I would consider moving to Moncton just so that I could be a regular at this venue.
July Talk is a Toronto band that I heard on Indie 88 a little while ago and I fucking love their stuff. They’re making some noise right now and gaining speed which is awesome because their music is incredible. They’re opening for another amazing musician, Frank Turner, at the Sound Academy soon and I couldn’t get my ticket fast enough.
If you haven’t heard of Ben Caplan and the Casual Smokers out of Halifax, we obviously haven’t seen each other in a while. Ben’s got a new spin on an old style which makes his music easy to love. He also has an epic beard.
Dan Brooks from Oshawa is one of the only people I will admit is possibly a bigger Tom Waits fan than I. Dan’s music is awesome and he’s playing at the Moustache Club in Oshawa with me tonight. He’s got a record coming out and I think he’s only making physical copies that are vinyl, which is pretty slick. Check him out!
Last night I was at Maxwell’s Music House in Waterloo and played with Texas King from London. They killed it live! I had to admit defeat to their drummer in a contest of the best beard in the room; if they weren’t so good at music I’d be bitter about the loss. Well done sir. They’re touring Ontario right now so if you get a chance to see them, do it.
Before I left on tour, I had an opportunity to play at the Vault art gallery in Oshawa with B.C.’s Devon Coyote and Oshawa’s Gibbran & Tamsynn-Lee. This was one of the coolest nights I’ve experienced. Devon’s bass player D’Arcy was in one of the most rockin’ bands in Toronto a couple years ago, The Unknown Culprits (RIP), and it was great to meet up with him again. Devon Coyote and myself were playing a show together and Gibbran & Tamsynn-Lee were there as listeners, but we turned it into a giant jam show with all three acts working together. These two groups are some of the most talented musicians I’ve had the pleasure to jam and play with.
Last but not least on this list (I’ll do more because I’m sure I’ve forgotten other people and would hate to not give them some love) is Jont currently from Halifax. The other night my friend Will shoots me a text to come to a show with him. I show up and Jont is on stage alone just spilling his soul out. This man’s music and message are beautiful and you should really listen to it on a rainy day.
Anyway, I’ve gotta get ready for the show at the Moustache Club tonight so I’m going to end this post here. Once again, thanks for listening and I hope to see you all around soon!