Gab Godon and Emma Beko are HeartStreets, and they are a game changer if I've ever been humbled enough to see such a thing live. Hailing from Montreal, where just so much great Canadian music rolls out of, these two make me proud to be a female in the music world.
SOCAN invited them to camp. This is a thing. It's a pretty exclusive songwriters camps we've been hearing about for a while now but I have yet to meet anyone who's been lucky enough to go. This place is the stuff of legends ya'll, a huge group of writers, some of the top producers in this country, all gathered and isolated deep in the Canuck woods for a solid week of sequestered writing and performance. Oh to be a fly on those tent walls. Or maybe cabins, yeah, probably cabins cause SOCAN can roll like that :)
These two women are unassuming, down to earth, you wouldn't know walking through a crowd as they approached the stage they were about to literally blow the minds of everyone there. It's just them and a laptop. That's it. What they have created with this is nothing short of musical genius. This is the band to watch.
Not sure what this guy isn't up to these days but playing live shows again can be added to the incredible mix of managing bands like The National (you read that right). It was such an incredible night of solid Cuff the Duke fans revelling in their sudden return and new fans forged in the foggy, heady goodness of Koop Stage, Riverfest.
Then Wayne stepped into my trailer and told me what deems to be his favourite story. One all his friends know but one never shared publically before now. Feeling a little honoured here... no big deal.
It's about Hayden, coincidentally the first live show I ever saw was Hayden, It was in St. Catharines in the 90's and yes, he did make everyone sit down for his shows then. 14-year-old Paula did so and loved, LOVED the talent that guy brought. So did Wayne. Years later they would work together closely and become friends, then Steve Buscemi became their friend. Kinda a big deal.
Hilarity and honestly some good parenting tips came outta this interview.
Find Cuff the Duke
Find The National
Find The Odd Years
and then thank me later :)
Katrin Sawatzky, Jordan Gabriel and now AJ Johnson are Royal Castles. They sit down with me after their main stage show at Riverfest and get into stories, such great stories you guys. Tattoos in Majorca level good. It's a new level I'm coining here in honour of their storytelling abilities on this very episode.
Their new album JUST came out, its called Play It Loud, an instructional term because while this band has folk roots it also has major punk and indie rock influence mixed in and I gotta say, the result is a damned good time.
Flashback to a Hollerado show where Clara Legault bought an auctioned off guitar from the renowned and beloved band (who also played Riverfest!) and going to the AMT alone at night didn't seem like a healthy choice - so Clara asked another woman to go with her. This was Emily. Along the way, they chatted about music and both had similar interests in the genre and playing live. They decided to do a show together. A short while later Clara was headed into the karaoke bar she had been working at (as a bartender) and met Maya, her bartending replacement. Clara was there to pick up her last paycheque, Maya had just started work and noticed Clara's ukelele. The two struck up a conversation about it and Clara thought Maya would be a good third for the band.
She was. The band Motel Raphael, named after the infamous derelict motel of the same name in downtown Montreal's seedy underbelly, was born shortly thereafter and we are all thankful for the kismet and foresight of these incredibly talented women. They have built an amazing sound together and are being lauded as "the most exciting band to come out of Montreal since Arcade Fire" by such aficionados as GQ Magazine UK.
That is really saying something. And these women, Clara, Emily and Maya have much to say and sing. Please check them out, they are brilliant and talented and make me want to join a band immediately.
One of my favourite quotes from the interview: Hello Kitty Nightmares.
From their website www.msthofficial.com
My Son the Hurricane is a brass infused funk beast. No dance floor is safe.
Hailing from Niagara/Toronto, the perennial festival closers and dance floor inciters mix New Orleans style grooves with funk, jazz and hip hop. Bolstered by a giant horn section and the well-oiled rhythm players, charismatic emcee Jacob Bergsma and charmingly sassy vocalist Sylvie Kindree drive the show, creating a spectacle of sound, and challenging the crowd to keep up to their collective energy. My Son the Hurricane has “stood out like a sore, yet extremely talented thumb at every show they’ve played” (Pulse Niagara), and become revered for their live performances.
Riding the success of their sophomore release “Cashing a Deadman’s Cheque” (feat. U.S.S. frontman Ash Buchholtz and three-time Juno/Polaris nominee D-Sisive), the Hurricane was featured on the CBC and Much More Music. Their blending of styles, penchant for inciting dance parties, and penning of introspective ballads (Pushin’ Up Daisies) has garnered them high praise on the Canadian festival circuit from BC to PEI, with breakout performances at Hillside, Evolve, Riverfest, Kispiox Valley, Follyfest, Beaches Jazz, Summerfolk, Peterborough Folk Fest, and many more.
Juno nominee Danno O’Shea acts as the drummer and ringleader for the mammoth project, spurring the group to weave through different styles on the latest album Is This What You Want?!, recorded at Phase One Studios with engineer Jeff Pelletier (Big Sugar, Ludacris). Leading up to the album’s 2016 release, it was a featured stream on Exclaim!, and found its way to Canadian airwaves, including CBC Radio One, Edge 102.1, and 97.7 Hitz FM, which spotlighted the Hurricane as a “Band on the Verge”. Is This What You Want?! brings a new flavour to the Hurricane repertoire, building on their stellar reputation as one of Canada's most amazing live shows; "a fusion that one simply needs to experience live” (Buying Shots for Bands).
Raina Douris of CBC Music's Mornings joins me in studio (ahem, trailer. But like a decked-out mother of a trailer backstage at a music festival, so ya know, a studio) for a one-on-one chat about, well, everything. She's a music buff and major fan of Canadian music so we had quite a bit to talk about and she tells great stories.
Listen in to our convo and thank you again Raina, it was a pleasure.
Laurel Sprengelmeyer lives in Montreal, she's a visual artist, producer and musician and when she's making music, she's Little Scream.
We tell each other ghost stories. For real. It's also the theme of her podcast (soon to be released) and she's going to kill it, like she kills at EVERY DAMN THING SHE DOES because she's amazing.
Every little girl needs to be introduced to Laurel. I didn't have a lot of heros growing up and I've talked about it in my show before, there was no woman out there doing what I wanted (read: There WERE, there SUPER FREAKING WERE but there was no way for me to see/hear/experience their incredible talent and see firsthand how I was going to be able to pursue my creative passions to their fulfillment, there was no internet, there was little to no media coverage of women doing anything but starring in tampon ads and hawking mom jeans) and she is living proof not giving a hot damn what people think is an excellent fuel for creativity.
She has worked with The National (part of Riverfest 2018!!), Barr Brothers, Saltband and countless others as well. Please go and check her out at www.littlescream.com and follow her on Twitter @littlescream - I'll see you there.
Follow me too if you aren't already, I love people!! @stories_podcast and no, I don't have a Facebook page and I make no apologies for that.
Love you though,
You cannot see Shred Kelly live and not fall a little bit in love with them. So really, I had little choice in delving into it with this group after their set at Riverfest and the results are clear and glorious, they my new fav.
Tim Newton, Sage McBride, Jordan Vlasschaert, Ty West and of course Eddie Annett are Shred Kelly, hailing from Fernie BC. Where? Oh yeah, it's that small but their sound is pretty huge.
I play Archipelago at the end of the episode, their new single and you are going to love it. Check out their tour dates this summer and go see them, you will not regret it.
@shredkelly on Twitter
Thanks again you guys, loved it.