Saturday, May 28, 2022

Local Metal Video Showcase!!

After a busy slate of weekend concert previews, let's dive into some recent videos from local metal acts, including a jam session clip, a solo performance, and a video explanation of a recent original song's recording progress, but leading off, here's some lineup updates and teasers!

Let's start in St. Ignace, Michigan for the latest from local progressive metalcore quartet Heavy Lies The Crown, who played their first concert since the pandemic began, and with their new lineup, on Thursday! Unfortunately, it was in Saginaw, continuing their run of non-local dates, but hopefully they melted many a face in the Lower Peninsula in their return show! Joining Brandon and Ted in their new lineup are bassist Christian Thanasiu (replacing Danny Tucker) and drummer Jaxon Massaway (replacing Cale Krist), who is credited as "The Kid" in the Facebook teaser video embedded below for the Saginaw concert. Just as a reminder, H.L.T.C. have not immediately replaced Nathan Switzer on rhythm guitar. I am not familiar with Christian or Jaxon from prior local bands, but crucially, both currently live in St. Ignace, so any distance hang-ups will be precluded, and maybe this will lead to more E.U.P. dates?

Over the past month, Heavy Lies The Crown have updated their Facebook page primarily to promote the Rock Rebel Show show in Saginaw, including this teaser clip focused on their duck mascot mask, and this short video featuring our best look yet at the new lineup jamming together, albeit without live audio. Frontman Brandon West had also entered a Michigan Metal Vocal Competition that they were promoting, and Belgian online host Evy Wisse reviewed them in her Twitch series highlighting underground rock musicians, a'la Your Music Live or You Rock. Good to see things falling into place for the new look Heavy Lies The Crown, so get all of their current updates above & below, and stay tuned for more!

Next up, here is a new teaser clip of revived Sault Ontario death metal quartet Exploring Detritus jamming, courtesy of their Facebook page on Thursday! This is not quite a full look at the band's current five-piece lineup, as new frontman Mitch Sirie is not visibly present, but we do get to see his (ex-?) Bear Hunters bandmate Justin Lam with the former Kaepora Gaebora for the first time. The 31 second clip doesn't tell us much, and Dan is unfortunately behind a pole (and glare) for most of it, but it sounds promisingly brutal while it lasts, so give it a look for yourself below!

Also, here's a new video of prolific local folk punk/extreme metal musician Chase Wigmore in action, though not on his Facebook page, rather his on-and-off label Blood Shed Productions' Facebook page. Uploaded on Tuesday, the caption-free video sees Chase playing more of a funk rock song, while impressively singing with a cigarette in his mouth! Very Primus-y vibes with this performance, but the audio quality is somewhat scratchy, and the foreground lighting is much darker than the background lighting. Check it out for yourself below!

Finally, here's a new video from local/Toronto progressive metal band PROV3RB5's Facebook page on Thursday, where guitarist Benjamin Roswell explains how the songwriting and concept of their third released single "Particles" came to be, notably with how he, Bryan, and the guest American musicians all came to the same theory about the song's meaning, while also thanking viewers of their virtual release party for the single. If you missed out, you missed a chance to win prizes, even! Ben does come off a little dry here, but he explains everything nicely and gives some solid insight into "Particles", so give it a watch , and look for more from PROV3RB5 soon!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes on the site next week! Thanks everyone!

Friday, May 27, 2022

The Glorious Sons & $onny Vybe$ Charity Show Concert Previews!!

Before we get into this weekend's remaining concert previews, just a heads up that Fort Creek will have opening acts for both of their shows at Reggie's Place this weekend, as per their Facebook page yesterday, including Short & Sweet/ex-Sense of Truth frontman Cory Murchison (credited as "Cory Daniel") tonight and the ever-prolific Tym Morrison tomorrow, fresh off of his Trading Post show tonight. Nice to see Fort Creek spread the wealth some more, and hopefully Cory & Tym set thing off on the right foot this weekend! Now, here's what you should know about two more big concerts this weekend, both with late updates to their lineups!

Local alternative hard rock/punk quartet Handsome Sandwich and newly confirmed alt-punk quintet These Magnificent Tentacles will be among the performers at the second mixed-genre benefit concert for late Manitoulin Island rapper/artist Zachary "$onny Vybe$" Cywink TOMORROW at The Rockstar Bar! A sequel to a very similar event held in October of last year that also featured Handsome Sandwich (who thankfully have been promoting tomorrow's show, unlike then), this event is again in memory of Zach, a talented MC and painter who lost a battle with drug addiction last summer, and while not from the Soo, had performed here and developed strong friendships in the local hip-hop community. Similarly to October, proceeds from tomorrow's concert will be split up between the Ontario Addictions Treatment Centre's local clinic and the Ngwaagan Gamig Recovery Centre in Wikwemikong on Manitoulin Island, so your attendance will help some extremely worthy causes!

While organizers Sooicide Records had published the performer lineup last year, I have not found anything to that effect from the same source this year, but this will be Handsome Sandwich's first gig in three weeks, and they definitely won't be alone in the non-rap contingent this year, as These Magnificent Tentacles confirmed their involvement on their Facebook page on May 18th. This will be the Tentacles' second show since publically confirming their expansion to a quintet on May 15th, in advance of their gig at a Dryer Fire open house last week, which I do profusely apologize for forgetting to include in last week's concert previews. We did cover it when first announced, at least, but hopefully they and The Dynowaves rocked the temp venue on Wilson Street to the maximum! As such, Brent Ellis & Steve Edwards appear to now be permanently focusing on guitar, with Brent still on lead vocals.

Now joining Brent & Steve in the band are Handsome Sandwich bassist Mitch Sirie (also of Exploring Detritus and, if still active, The Bear Hunters), as well as former Gnaeus bandmates Brad Irwin on the synthesizer and Brendan Garlick (nice to see him back in town) on drums. Fans of the original Gnaeus lineup should be amped for this half reunion alone, and hopefully this diverse quintet will prove a hit with the mostly rap crowd tomorrow at The Rockstar Bar, as I hope they did at Dryer Fire on the 21st (apologies again!) While a full performer lineup isn't out, Mitch (who's pulling double duty tomorrow) confirmed on his personal Facebook page on the 18th that rappers Conika, Ronin705, Bold Noize, and Fvksxvad would all be performing (only Conika was absent in October), while Comniption is credited as a co-host on the Facebook event page. Stay tuned to relevant sources for late lineup details!

The (second) $onny Vybe$ Charity Show has a 19+ age limit, 9:00 PM start time, and $8 advance tickets, which can be bought at this link for $8 (the door price jumps to $10), and Sooicide Records are asking attendees to also bring canned good donations for the St. Vincent Place Food Bank, though this isn't a mandatory appendage to admission fees. This should be a fun concert for some great causes, and if you like rap and rock, you'll get a nice sampling of both from this diverse lineup that will hopefully do Zachary and his family proud once again! Visit the above links for current & continuing details, and here's Handsome Sandwich jamming last year!

Finally for known hard rock concerts this weekend, let's head to The Sault Community Theatre Centre at White Pines Collegiate & Vocational School, as Kingston southern hard rock quintet The Glorious Sons will be headlining there THIS SUNDAY NIGHT! The third stop on The Glorious Sons' Unfinished Business Tour, this will be the two time Rock Album of the Year Juno Award winners' first headlining show of this scope in the Soo, though they reportedly played a local gig early in their run that I couldn't effectively source. As featured in this new Sault Star article by Brian Kelly featuring interview remarks by frontman Brett Emmons, The Sons will be familiar for their radio rock hits like "S.O.S. (Sawed Off Shotgun)", "Panic Attack", "Kill The Lights", and their newest "Hold Steady", but don't flee to looking for their verbatim set on Sunday. They've been making a point of changing things up show-to-show for the past six years, so deep cuts are a given, which should please diehard fans of theirs!

Despite earlier advertising hinting that she'd only be missing the US dates on this tour, it has since been confirmed that Kitchener rock musician J.J. Wilde will not be playing on the May stops, the Soo included, and no replacement openers have been announced. Co-presented by LopLops Lounge, Music Tourism, and Lisa Zed Productions, this show is sponsored by local top 40/adult contemporary station Kiss 100.5 and Sudbury's 92.7 Rock, who have been running advertising and contests for listeners both there and on the online stream. Hopefully efforts to strike a meaningful Soo connection on the former Q92 are paying off! This all ages concert has an 8:00 PM start time, and while tickets run for $85 in the floor seating or $79 in the balcony, definitely consider coming out for this one to encourage more name Canadian rock bands to stop in the Soo rather than keep on driving!

Luckily, tickets have been selling well for The Glorious Sons, with nothing left closer than the ninth row, which is a great sign, especially at these prices! Get yours at this link or at the in-person Station Mall box office. While I admittedly trend to slightly more aggressive rock bands, The Glorious Sons do have their heavy moments with their soulful, rootsy brand of original Canadian rock, and their ample familiar radio hits (including in the States) should provide lots of familiarity tomorrow, even despite their ever changing set! Visit the official Facebook event page and the above links for more details, and here's The Glorious Sons live!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and this month's YouTube Channel Profile in the coming days! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, May 26, 2022

LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS (Bone Yard, Fort Creek, And Tym Morrison), And Most Of This Weekend's Concert Previews!!

Before we get into today's weekend concert preview post, just a heads up that local classic/hard rock cover quartet Obsession's planned matinee gig at The Esquire Club on Saturday has been cancelled for "health reasons" with an unspecified band member, as per their Facebook page on Tuesday. Sounds like it must be serious to an extent if it was cancelled that relatively early, but hopefully everyone's healthy in time for their next planned date at the same venue on June 11th! Now, let's dive into most of this weekend's hard rock concert previews, specifically bands playing tomorrow in some fashion, and most of these involve SHORT NOTICE LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, so here's what you should know on this rainy Thursday!

Local hard rock singer/guitarist Tym Morrison is scheduled to play at The Mike Case Memorial Stage at The Trading Post TOMORROW NIGHT! Apologies for the short notice, Tym only announced this show via its Facebook event page on Monday. His first of two currently known dates at the outdoor stage at 1332 Great Northern Road (also playing an atypical Wednesday nighter there next week), TOMORROW'S show will be Tym's first at The Trading Post in over seven months, owing to its seasonal nature, which only sees live music bookings from May-September. As for the weather forecast, 9&10 News is projecting partly cloudy skies with a high of 12° during showtime, and the rain stopping by the afternoon, but definitely keep an eye on local weather reports if you are at all concerned. Tym's show proper begins at 7:00 PM with no age limit, cover charges, or vaccination proof in effect.

With Tym's vast setlist and strong guitar and vocal abilities, fans should be in for a solid evening of classic and hard rock covers TOMORROW NIGHT, so don't miss out on all of the outdoor action at The Trading Post, with more to come! See above for more details, and here's Tym live!

Next up, local southern hard rock trio Bone Yard will return to Shooters Downstairs Lounge not just on SATURDAY NIGHT, but also TOMORROW NIGHT! Again, apologies for the short notice on TOMORROW's show, the band's initial advertising for it only included the Saturday nighter, as was standard for Shooters since they began hosting cover bands earlier this year, but the Dennis Street nightclub confirmed via their own Facebook event page on Friday that they were booked on both nights. Clearly, the Saturday nighters are doing well enough to warrant Shooters booking Friday night shows as well as of this month, as you'll have seen when Soundcheck last played there, and hopefully Greg, Alex, and Warren deliver more southern fried classic & hard rock covers for fans & regulars alike TOMORROW and on Saturday night!

And yes, these are our first Bone Yard shows previewed on the SMS since finally rolling them into our full coverage. 8:00 PM start times, no cover charges, and 19+ age limits are in effect for Bone Yard fans this weekend, which is standard with their prior 2022 gigs there. Visit the above links for more details, and here's Bone Yard live earlier this year!

Also this weekend, fellow local southern hard rock cover band Fort Creek will return to Reggie's Place for concerts TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! Apologies again for the short notice, these dates were only announced via this poster on the band's Facebook page on Monday. These will be Fort Creek's first shows at the downtown Reggie's since early March, and should provide fans with ample opportunities to hear their own blend of hard rock, classic rock, and country covers in a familiar downtown locale, so definitely consider a run downtown for all of the action! As is seemingly a given at any Fort Creek concert, there will be merchandise giveaways both nights. New songs are also teased for their set, though no immediate word on if that includes songs from their forthcoming EP, like the one debuted at their most recent Soo Blaster gig. TOMORROW & SATURDAY's shows are 9:30 PM affairs with no cover and 19+ age limits.

While we're on the subject, Fort Creek have also confirmed that they will be opening for Metallica tribute band Sandman at Soo Blaster on July 9th! This is now basically a relocated makeup date for the April 2020 show with the same bands at The Canadian, cancelled due to the first pandemic lockdown. That would have been Fort Creek's live concert debut, so 2+ years of gigs, rehearsals, and additional chemistry can only improve things in July, so definitely get your $20 tickets for this one at this link! As for TOMORROW & SATURDAY at Reggie's, see above for details, and here's Fort Creek live!

Finally for today's previews, let's head to Sault Michigan for a pair of shows that had utter & complete advance notice, as Marquette hard rock quartet Spun will return to The Rapids Lounge at the Sault Ste. Marie Kewadin Casino branch TOMORROW & SATURDAY NIGHT! I erroneously announced these shows as being at the St. Ignace Kewadin when first mentioning them on the site, apologies for that, Spun are 100% in the Soo this weekend! Fans of the Nudge. successors will have just seen Spun at The Rapids Lounge last week, and their fan friendly blend of hard rock covers and more mainstream hits should prove to be a winning combination once again for U.P. fans this weekend! No word on Memorial Day frills given that this is a long weekend, but definitely rock out responsibly. These shows have 9:00 PM start times, 21+ age limits, and no cover. Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and here's Spun live!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for previews of this weekend's Glorious Sons and Handsome Sandwich shows (and more) next! Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

LOCAL CONCERT ALERT (Tym Morrison), A New Local Metal Band, And New Videos!!

The steady stream of new posts this week continues today with a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT and some new audio recordings from a local metal act, but first, here's a new addition to our band links that you more progressively minded metalheads will want to take notice of!

We have another new-ish local band to add to our Sault Ontario band links, and they are progressive/djent metal band PROV3RB5 (always capitalized), who have been active primarily as an international studio project so far, but have begun more of a local outreach this year. Their founding and only current local member is guitarist Benjamin Roswell, a Brantford native and current Sault Ste. Marie resident with no major prior local band ties that I'm aware of, and he's currently joined by Toronto-based bassist Bryan Lee, who has also doubled as drummer. Until last month, their singer was Australian metal vocalist Josh Ratcliff, who amicably left PROV3RB5 for personal reasons. This band had the misfortune of publically launching in March 2020, and subsequent updates were sporadic at best until 2022, when they began teasing the release of their first single "Treasure Forest" in February.

That was followed by a second single "Sea of Tranquility" in March, and you can hear both songs on multiple social media and music platforms linked here, with the songs getting exposure & play across progressive and metalcore-friendly corners of the internet since. Their third single "Particles" was launched with an online release party (as in, held via Zoom) this past Friday, and it features guest performances by guitarist Kevin Xiong of Minnesota progressive metal solo project Stelliferous and the singer of the masked Ohio metal band Echobreak. While this may not sound all that local in focus, Benjamin is looking to change that, as he did post on the local Musicians Wanted Facebook group last week that he's looking to find a singer, rhythm guitarist, and drummer to fill out PROV3RB5, preferably ones with their own recording studio access, and to send him samples of your compositions above or at this link if you're interested.

The Soo is not completely devoid of djent-able metal musicians (Kraken Mara, anyone?), so hopefully Ben finds some capable hires, as PROV3RB5 are very talented and know what to do towards a highly professional studio sound and visual presentation! Benjamin's an excellent technical guitarist with a lot of diverse influences, Bryan matches nicely on bass, and while no longer in the band, Josh had the screaming and clean vocal ability needed on their first two singles! It'll be interesting to see where PROV3RB5 go from here, but check out their three singles above and more videos on their Facebook page, and here's the well edited official music video from "Sea of Tranquility" courtesy of their YouTube channel!

Next up, here's that LOCAL CONCERT ALERT, as local hard rock singer/guitarist Tym Morrison will return to The Mike Case Memorial Stage at The Trading Post on Wednesday, June 1st! Truth be told, I have no clue why Tym is scheduled for a mid-week show like this, especially as June 1st is not a holiday (my first thought is this was a typo and he's playing there on July 1st for Canada Day). Maybe it's just a special thing to kick off the summer months? You may recall seeing Tym play outside of The Trading Post for a string of mostly weekly summer gigs last year from July-September, which were his first public dates since the pandemic began. Hopefully his unplugged hard and classic rock hits find a receptive audience next week, and we'll cover his show at The Mike Case Memorial Stage this weekend in our upcoming weekend concert preview posts. Expect a 7:00 PM start time, no cover charge, and no age limits next week.

And of course, The Trading Post is located at 1332 Great Northern Road, way down if you're not coming from up north already, but it's a nice outdoor spot for a drive, tourism, and meals, weather permitting! Visit the official Facebook event page for more details, and stay tuned for more on his prior show there this weekend in a couple of days!

Finally, here's the latest videos from Sault Michigan classical metal project Theatre of Night's YouTube channel from last week! Continuing their frequent if usually slightly cryptic studio work outside of their holiday season touring, they shared their "Metal Mozart Concerto #11" last Sunday, featuring an audio cover of the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart piece. Very solidly done take that effectively metallizes this classical staple! Nice visualizations too, but despite using a band photo featuring singer Rachel Mender front & center, this is an instrumental recording. Embedded below is "Instrumental Dark Acoustic Revenge", an original composition by keyboardist Craig Harrison and guitarist Steve Giles that gives fans an accurately described yet melodic piece of music that sets the right darker mood! It's worth noting that the band has since packaged these songs together on Spotify in a "compilation album" of their instrumental recordings not related to the Christmas season.

I don't consider albums only released on Spotify as "albums" as it's a free platform (this isn't even on Reverbnation), but you can do far worse with your time than listen to 23 well recorded epic instrumental metal songs! Good to see the Theatre of Night crew keeping busy as we approach the summer, so give their newest uploads a listen above & below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes on the site as the week continues! Thanks everyone!

Monday, May 23, 2022

A New Local Hard Rock Band, Lots Of Live Concert Videos, And More!!

After a couple of single topic posts the last two days, here's a mix of stories on this Monday morning, including a local solo project's return with new material, lots of new YouTube videos from a prominent local cover band, but let's start with a new and very promising group to check out!

We have a new local hard rock band to add to our band links, namely Raincourt, a high school-age group that launched in August of last year! Raincourt's social media presence is spotty at best, so it took a bit of work to glean the information here, but you can get more on them via their Facebook page. Named for their lead guitarist Raine Rancourt, the lineup is comprised of current White Pines Collegiate students, all members of their school band The Pine Tones, and Raine is joined by singer/guitarist Elijah Russell, bassist Owen Dearing, and drummer Jakob Kuiack (a.k.a. Jakob Fice-Lesage). Curiously, their lineup is not given on their Facebook page, I had to get the credits from this video interview that Raine took part in with the local podcast series The Boar's Nest with Don Lewis last month. For the record, The Boar's Nest doesn't appear to be music-centric (wrestling moreso), but it's cool to see Don give Raincourt some early promotion!

Raincourt first posted on Facebook last fall via video covers (complete with face masks) of Black Sabbath's "Electric Funeral" & Bob Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower" at White Pines, resurfacing in March to tease the release of their debut original single "Penny Arcade" (embedded below), though again, curiously not linked on their Facebook page. This was recorded at Mission Control Studios with producer Dustin Jones, so Raincourt are aiming high and working with the right people from the start, and you can watch more from those recording sessions in January via this video on their new YouTube channel. Official band t-shirts are also now on sale, for the record. Raine's interview on The Boar's Nest will be the best source of information on Raincourt so far (it's 57 minutes long, FYI) where you'll learn about how the band formed, Raine's future aspirations in music, the inspiration of "Penny Arcade", the support from White Pines students/faculty so far, ...

...their songwriting process, aimed local concerts to play at, recording at Mission Control Studios, musical inspirations, future plans, and much more. For hearing just one song, Don sure shows his fandom for Raincourt so far, which is cool! "Penny Arcade" will appeal to modern hard rock fans with it's catchy guitar riffs, strong production, and tight structure, and as Don often noted, you can be very surprised that this song was recorded by teenagers! That said, this is one song, so unless you're a Wolverine, you'll have only seen this and the above covers. Hopefully we hear much more from Raincourt in due course, but give their videos a look above, and here's "Penny Arcade", which is also on Spotify!

Next up, let's take a somewhat overdue look at videos of local classic/hard rock cover quartet Soundcheck that have been uploaded to drummer Glen Thomas' YouTube channel since the fall! While some of these were uploaded to the band's Facebook page at the time, not all of them were, and it's odd that many have lived here without Soundcheck giving them a public push. Ten videos of Soundcheck (with Paul or Rob on bass) have made their way to Glen's channel in the past six months, including them covering The Black Keys' "Lonely Boy" at The Esquire Club & The Tragically Hip's "New Orleans Is Sinking" at Reggie's Place. From Shooters Downstairs Lounge, you can see Soundcheck cover Shania Twain's "Man! I Feel Like A Woman", John Mellencamp's "Hurts So Good", Kenny Chesney's "Young", and ZZ Top's "TV Dinners", while the other four are from Reggie's West shows, including two from a Thursday jam night & an overhead camera angle!

These include "Young" & "TV Dinners" again (the latter video uploaded twice), plus Harlequin's "Thinking of You" and David Wilcox's "My Eyes Keep Me In Trouble". Singer/guitarist Terry Eaton sings lead on all but the Black Keys, John Mellencamp, and Kenny Chesney songs, which were handled by Cameron Oliver, and notably, Cameron was not featured in any of the Reggievelt clips except "Young". For the wide screen resolution and Cameron's presence, I'll embed the Shania cover here, believe it or not, but all will deliver for fans of Soundcheck's workmanlike and diverse set with some good hard rock bits along the way, so give these a look!

Finally, let's head to Sault Michigan, as local metal solo project X's & Y's is back in action! Led by former Life's Eclipse guitarist and Werehold Records founder Jason Mills, the project's Facebook page had been quietly deactivated in mid-late 2020, but it came back by December of that year (apologies for not noticing that until now) with a teaser video of a Casio DG-20 guitar synth. Updates were extremely sporadic afterwards, but last night, Jason uploaded a full track from the planned debut X's & Y's EP (title now anglicized from “Þe Obsidian Sömnen” to "The Obsidian Dream"). The song is named "Solid Glass", and it's a very djent-heavy instrumental that Meshuggah fans will take to, and this comes honestly to Jason if you followed his Werehold-era music, or saw his prior upload of playing all of the songs from Meshuggah's new album "Immutable" simultaneously.

The technical brutality is great, but given all of the planned Werehold albums that never got a formal paid release, who knows when "The Obsidian Dream" will go on sale, but hopefully it bucks old trends! Give this a listen below, and X's & Y's are back in our active band links!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes on the site soon! Thanks everyone!

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Our Recap Of Mike Haggith's April 2022 Live-Stream!!

After an almost four week delay, let's look at local/Thompson, Manitoba alt-hard rock musician Mike Haggith's monthly live-streamed concert from April 2022 this afternoon! No word on if he's doing one this month or not, for the record, but last month's didn't occur until the 27th, so there is still time in theory. Technical issues meant that the live-stream did not air on Facebook despite best efforts, leaving it exclusive to Mike's YouTube channel. The 2 hours & 20 minutes+ live-stream begins with Mike acknowledging the Facebook issues, while also mentioning his upgrade in audio equipment, presumably to undo all of the dreaded halts and pops that had been prevalent in his live-streams since starting to use StreamYard. For the first time since Mike began interviewing outside musicians, last month's guest was not from Sault Ste. Marie, rather Nick Howell, a blues/folk musician from Waubaushene in Central Ontario's Simcoe County.

Admittedly, Saultite interest in this episode may be weakened, especially as I don't think Nick has played shows here, but he is a very talented musician whose recommendations of releasing solo albums through Kunaki's manufacture-on-demand process heavily influenced Mike's Thompson-era albums, so don't quickly bypass him on residence alone! After a lot of assorted loose conversation, the interview proper begins about 7 minutes in with Nick discussing where he comes from, their collective experiences releasing albums with Kunaki and dialing in the audio/packaging quality, and Nick's upcoming solo album. This runs until 28 minutes in when we get our first performance, Nick doing a new original song named "A Night To Remember". Mercifully, the audio hang-ups of Mike's prior StreamYard-infused live-streams are definitely improved here, and Nick has a Thom Yorke-ish quality to his singing that I didn't expect!

After some tuning, Mike played his first song next (on his 12 string guitar, no less), namely "MorningStar", which begins about 40:45 in. Again, Mike's audio upgrades have definitely helped on his end of the video too, so no webcam halts or pops! Still not sure what changed to force those when he started using StreamYard. More discussion follows about their experiences releasing albums through Kunaki, Nick's unique "Rock Odyssey" offered through his website (seriously, give this a look), both Mike and Nick's own experiences making their websites, Mike's then-not-yet-released Steeltown Sessions video, Nick's artwork for his studio album "Traveler", and Mike's own experiences with designing album covers. Nick performs his original song "In Love With The Bottle" at about 1:04:30, with Mike following with his new song "Twist of Fate" from his next album.

That leads off the second half of the live-stream at about 1:13:00, and the between song banter afterwards is shorter, looser, and more musical before Nick returns to play "Swift Turtle: at 1:22:40.  More of the same is next, plus discussion about unique plans to play with backing tracks in live concerts, with Mike playing another yet-unreleased original next at 1:33:25, namely "I've Seen It Before". After plugging and promoting the Your Music Live and You Rock! shows that Mike has often submitted songs for (I know I'm very behind on both), as well as Mike's aims to take his indie label MorningStar Records to the next level, Nick discusses his summer plans and the idea of maybe doing live-streams of his own, along with more "Inside Baseball" talk about their albums. The music returns next with Nick playing his original song "Angry Moon" at about 1:52:30, with Mike fittingly playing "Take Back The Moon" at 2:00:30 to close his musical portion of the stream.

Sadly, the planned mandatory cover from the share contest was not played due to the winner not being present and the lack of a Facebook stream like they usually watched via, so that will be held over for next time (as such, no new share contest was held either). The last 17 minutes is mostly devoted to casual conversation and final promotion, but Nick does close by playing one more original song ("Late Nights, Early Mornings") at 2:13:40. While Nick was new to me going in, he is a very talented and genre-transcendent musician who you should give a listen, and Mike and him has a fun rapport, so check out the whole live-stream for yourself below!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes on the site this week! Thanks everyone!

Saturday, May 21, 2022

A Long Overdue Addition To Our Sault Ontario Band Links!!

It's been way too long, but it's finally time to add local classic/southern hard rock cover trio Bone Yard to our full coverage! Initially, their exclusion was chalked down to their early more country-centric years and members' concurrent work in heavier cover bands, but as time has progressed, Bone Yard have had much more of a rock focus and have became members' primary group, so let's make up for 13 years of lost time! Debuting in July 2009 at The Canadian Nightclub, Bone Yard are currently comprised of former Stiffler's Mom singer/drummer Greg Simpson (who played guitar until this year), guitarist Alex D'Ettore, and new bassist Warren Reville. Greg is the band's only constant member, and until January, he & Alex were joined by bassist Brad Stephen and drummer Ric Datson (Greg's old That's Chester bandmate). Their founding guitarist was Kevin Tallon, who Alex replaced in December 2013.

While arguably taking a secondary position to Greg's concurrent bands Stiffler's Mom and That's Chester until both of them fell inactive in the mid-2010s, Bone Yard still carved out a strong presence beforehand locally, and especially in recent years. Seven time veterans of Rotaryfest's Stage 1 (one of only four bands to play that often since 2010), Bone Yard will also be familiar to many readers from appearances at local festivals & community events like Toystock, the Ride For Sight & Ride For ARCH, and The Queen Street Cruise, alongside frequent appearances on the weekend nightclub cover circuit through March 2020, picking things back up as the pandemic allowed. They even opened for Crystal Shawanda, Aaron Pritchett, and High Valley at The Machine Shop, and they have also played out of town on occasion. Bone Yard also took a front seat in much of Greg's promotions for his old company (Choose) Maxx Entertainment.

After Brad & Ric's departures and Warren subsequently coming on board, Bone Yard 3.0 debuted on St. Patrick's Day at Reggie's Place and have been primarily seen since there and at Shooters Downstairs Lounge. In our first Bone Yard-centric LOCAL CONCERT ALERTS, you can see them at Shooters on consecutive Saturdays on May 28th & June 4th (both of those dates are at 8:00 PM with no cover and 19+ age limits), while also returning to the downtown Reggie's on Friday, June 24th & Saturday, June 25th (also 19+ & 8:00 PM affairs with no cover). Bone Yard are also scheduled to return to The Queen Street Cruise (the festival where attendees drive and then show their restored classic cars downtown) on both Friday, June 17th & Saturday, June 18th, where they will play outside of GFL Memorial Gardens at 7:00 PM both nights! Get more on the Cruise proper at their website, but this is obviously all ages, and I believe admission is free for onlookers.

There is absolutely no shortage of Bone Yard videos between YouTube & Facebook (from official band uploads at fans alike) and even SaultOnline has given them strong coverage in the past, so definitely crawl Bone Yard's social media pages for lots of live videos of theirs (no sign of the teased original song they were recording in 2019 though). Again, Bone Yard started off more country themed than they've evolved into by the late 2010s and today, but they've always shown a lot of pure talent and experience, and Greg's solid vocals and multi-instrumental skills have sure been a constant from the start! From what I've seen of the new lineup, they're in fine form with what basically feels like Stiffler's Mom with more of a southern rock influence, but there's way too many videos from the past 13 years to sum up so briefly. Become a "Bonehead" at their official Facebook fan page, and definitely crawl around to see their videos!

Apologies for the single topic today too, I had 13 years to make up for, and Bone Yard certainly are not lacking for documentation of their run! Picking a video to share from their current three piece lineup wasn't easy, but I was definitely coming back to this Reggie's clip of Bone Yard covering The Jimi Hendrix Experience's "Little Wing", which especially shows off Alex's very strong guitar solo work and a nice crunchy sound between the guys, though note that most of Bone Yard's 2022 videos are vertically oriented. Give it a look below, see much more above, and stay tuned for more news and notes on the site soon! Thanks everyone!