<span id="back-to-top-inner"></span>


Toronto / CMW

Ah, Canadian Music Week. It’s my third time visiting you in four years, and you’re usually alright.

Live at Mitzi's Sister for CMW - photo by Shannon Lepere (www.shannonlepere.com)

This time was different though, as I had a showcase at Mitzi’s Sister on Queen St West. Not just west, but WAY West. Near the end, West. Very far away from all the other venues, which was a bit concerning, seeing as it was a very similar situation to what happened when I played at NXNE in 2008. With that being said, there was still a pretty decent crowd that made it out that Thursday, despite the fact that a huge list of great bands were playing elsewhere.

The lineup at Mitzi’s was solid though; Kalle Mattson from Ottawa (originally Sault Ste Marie), The Folk from Toronto (originally Guelph), and Laganza from Toronto).

Live at Mitzi's Sister for CMW - photo by Shannon Lepere (www.shannonlepere.com)

Over the next few days I did check out some other acts though, including Lifestory: Monologue. There was also an Australian showcase/BBQ at the Horseshoe in the afternoon which filled my day schedule and my belly.

I also went to the conferences and ended up gaining the most from this trip than any of the previous ones. Possibly because I actually know quite a few people that come there year after year, and that networking does seem to be paying off, slowly but surely! I also saw some cool bands I’ve never been able to see before, doing acoustic sets, including Michou and Hollerado.

March 11th and 12th – Guelph – Jimmy Jazz

photo by Shannon Lepere

2 shows in Guelph came at a crazy time. We kept traveling back and forth to Toronto during the day to attend the CMW panels, but then would drive to whatever city the show was in that evening. This meant we played in Guelph at Jimmy Jazz on the 11th, stayed up until 3 am, drove to Toronto at 7 am, then drove back from Toronto at 6 pm in order to play at around 10 pm that night, once again at Jimmy Jazz. This type of scenario had been going on for a couple of days, so I actually took the opportunity to take a nap in the car before the first show.

Banquet - photo by Shannon Lepere

That first night I played with Banquet and The Music Box. Both bands shared some similar members, but the difference in material was clear. Banquet was a folky, rootsy trio, while the Music Box brought a lot more rock, with a full band and drummer. My good friend Brent Coleman put on the show, and did a fantastic job (as usual). It’s interesting playing at Jimmy Jazz, because there’s no cover, so the people that attend aren’t necessarily there for music, but they’ll stick around if they like it. I was stoked because I managed to grab people’s attention both nights, and had them clapping along by the end of it too!

Robin Jools Wright from Texting Mackenzie - photo by Shannon Lepere

The second night I shared a bill with Texting Mackenzie, an eclectic indie/rock band that likes to blend genres (one of my favourites!). I’d been in touch with Robin Wright, the vocalist/guitar player for quite a while, as I’m stoked to bring them to Thunder Bay. They’d start a song with a campy feel, then switch into punk rock mid phrase only to bring it into something different right after that. That night we crashed at Shannon’s friend Sean Mackay’s place. He also hooked us up with a delicious vegetarian lasagna earlier that day, which we were late for because of crazy Toronto rush hour traffic (sorry again!).