PEI 2014 Main Stage & Red Shores Stage
After the breakthrough of Masterpiece Theatre in 2009 and a lot of ensuing months on the road, Ramsay and bandmates Ian Casselman, Mike Ayley, and Matt Webb were eager to start recording again. They finally settled into Ramsay’s studio to begin work on their next theatrical masterpiece by the end of 2010. Hot off the heels of their new album Ever After, the award winning band is taking to touring again in 2014.
When electro-rock sensation Lights first hit the music scene in 2008, she was just a songwriter with a synth and a dream. Her name may have been pluralized but Lights Poxleitner was a one-woman show who played and programmed her own instruments and sang her own lyrics. This admirable self-reliance is rare in pop—in fact, Lights, signed a publishing deal at 16 and began writing songs for other artists—but after her 2008 self-titled debut EP (precocious enough to earn her a best new artist Juno) and gold-selling full-length follow-up The Listening,
Dylan Menzie is an up and coming artist from Belle River, PEI. The indie rocker’s love for his home on the east coast of Canada is shown in his writing and style. Quickly gaining a reputation as a captivating entertainer his highly anticipated prolific debut EP “Heather Avenue” was released on October 22nd, 2013.
Sam Roberts Band
Sam Roberts may call Montreal home, but his music occupies a less definable space: the place between studious intellect and gut reaction; between psychedelic transcendence and the cold, hard truth; between fist-pumped, hockey-lovin’ hellraising and melancholic vulnerability. His 2002 breakthrough EP, The Inhuman Condition (40,000 copies sold in Canada and still cha-chinging), was a heaven-sent prophecy from the classic-pop gods translated into street-level terms, and while there was no denying Sam’s way with ultra-addictive melody, he also displayed astonishing breadth in just six tracks, from knockout power-pop punches (‘Don’t Walk Away Eileen) and moody folk mysticism (‘Brother Down,’ the official soundtrack of summer 2002) to extended psych-pop jams (‘Where Have All the Good People Gone?) and middle-finger-waving rockers (‘This is How I Live’). For those of us seeking something real amid the boob-jobbed divas and brow-pierced bohunks cluttering the musical landscape, Sam was almost too good to be true: an uncompromising, no-bullshit rock purist who could hold his own on the charts, and who’d absorbed the most important lessons of music history and updated them with a renewed sense of urgency for the here and now.
Hey Rosetta! is an alt-rock band from St. John’s, Newfoundland. The group consists of singer/songwriter, Tim Baker along with Romesh Thavanathan, Adam Hogan, Phil Maloney, Josh Ward, Kinley Dowling and Mara Pellerin. Founded in 2005 after Baker returned from a road trip with a briefcase full of songs, the band has amassed a devoted following for their intimate songwriting and energized live shows. It was while recording 2008’s breakthrough album Into Your Lungs (and around in your heart and on through your blood) that Tim Baker began to fully realize his remarkable vocal and lyrical abilities, and the band made a huge creative leap forward. They spent nearly three years on the road, touring in support of Into Your Lungs and were named one the top five Canadian acts to watch by Billboard Magazine. Their 2011 album, Seeds, brought the band further critical acclaim, including a JUNO nomination for New Group of the Year. Like it’s predecessor, it was short listed for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize. The band also released a holiday EP, A Cup Of Kindness Yet, in late 2012. Hey Rosetta! are currently recording the follow-up to Seeds with Montreal native Marcus Paquin (Local Natives, Arcade Fire, The National).
If you’re a fan of Canadian rock, chances are you’ve already seen Adam Baldwin on stage. If you live in Atlantic Canada, you might know him as one of the region’s best-kept secrets. Most recently, he joined Matt Mays as special guest on a cross-Canada solo tour in the fall of 2013. The Dartmouth, NS based triple threat (guitars, keys, vocals) started as a member of the exuberant teenaged outfit Gloryhound & The Skyhawks before joining Matt Mays & El Torpedo in 2009. Since then, Baldwin has honed his chops playing some of North America’s most respected stages with Matt Mays while working steadily on his own material. His first release, a self-titled EP, runs the gamut from gorgeous ballads like ‘Burning Man’ and ‘Love You With My Eyes Closed’ to rockers like ‘Bold As Brass’ and ‘Tarred And Feathered’. This release signals that it’s time for Adam Baldwin to move out of the shadows and into the spotlight where he belongs.
Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr
Formed in late 2009, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. is the off-kilter title under which Detroit-area natives Joshua Epstein and Daniel Zott record, release and perform music.
Initially beginning as an exercise in collaboration undertaken with very little intention of ever being publicly consumed, the band’s trajectory has been as unexpected as it has been unlikely. In just a few short years, fans have seen the project grow from basement recording project–to media curiosity–to an international touring ensemble widely recognized for their joy-fueled live offerings.
While Epstein and Zott have no ties to popular NASCAR circuit driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. nor his late father, the band’s peculiar name was initially suggested to the duo on a lark. The pair assert that the strange moniker has been kept in tact due to the freedom they came to realize such a title gave them to explore whatever musical endeavors they could think up. “The idea being”, Epstein says, “that if one can accept a band being named Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., then you’ve already opened yourself up to listening to anything that band can come up with. You’ve already decided to leave expectations behind.
It’s mere seconds into a typical track by The Motorleague that listeners realize what they’re in for. Be it a blistering single-string guitar riff delivered through an amp that’s seemingly been set afire or a bludgeoning smash to the snare drum, this band delivers its punk-influenced hard rock with an unrelenting urgency from start to finish. Or at least that was the case with the band’s heralded 2009 debut LP, Black Noise… their 2013 follow-up Acknowledge, Acknowledge also features a flurry of high-energy, riff-anchored rock, it’s also much more dynamic and expressive – and that was the idea from the outset. Formed in Moncton, NB from the relics of revered local rock outfits The Ditchpigs and The Monoxides, The Motorleague was originally an outlet for lead vocalist/guitarist/primary songwriter Don Levandier and his band mates to blend a penchant for ‘90s skate punk with the sludgier sounds of stoner rock. “I never knew whether I wanted to be in a punk band or Fu Manchu rip-off,” Levandier says of the group’s formative years, and even now, traces of each are audible in the band’s output.
North Lakes are five rock and rollers from Charlottetown who pack big melodies and vivid lyrical imagery into seamless garage anthems. Both of their records have garnered Music PEI Awards for Rock Album of the Year and the band is currently in pre-production for their third.
The story of The Killers’ first ten years together – during which they went from Vegas bellhops to Glaston- bury headliners, earning themselves a reputation as one of the world’s finest live bands and amassing a collection of Brit, NME, MTV and (most recently) ASCAP Awards that their collective mantelpiece now heaves under – is a tale of runaway success. Meanwhile, with the record Battle Born now finally in the can, all four members are eager to get it out on the road and re-introduce the world to The Killers, starting with a series of American and European dates this summer.
Death Cab for Cutie
Death Cab for Cutie were an unlikely success story in the 2000s, a band that started on a small Seattle-based label and gradually became standard-bearers for a style of sweet indie rock that emphasized gentle melodies and vulnerable, emotionally candid lyrics. Unlike many of their contemporaries, their relatively slow ascent mirrors the pattern set by bands like R.E.M. in the 1980s, they first built a foundation among a dedicated fanbase and then graduated to more commercial appeal. Taking a name from a 1960s rockabilly song about a girl name Cutie who gets in a taxi accident after cheating on her boyfriend, the group started as an outlet for the singer/songwriter Ben Gibbard- Rolling Stone.
Matt Mays is on a quest to find and create the music that he hears in his head. When he stays still the sound of it drifts farther away: “when the vibrations stop,” he says “it’s time to move on.” A few years back, Matt left wherever he was living at the time to embark on a journey into open space. To live in the midst of a world where anything could happen. A crusade into the sound, traversing the vast musical divide that he calls home. Mexico, California, Indonesia, Hawaii, Costa Rica, New York… wherever. He used surfing, yoga, and a ukulele as tools to bring him closer to the melodies and words in his head. Eventually, the sound was found. As soon as he stepped off the plane in Halifax he started work an album he called Coyote: a proper home for all his experiences. Imagery painted with song. Coyote covers the whole spectrum of the sound that Mays finally found. “I’ve always loved animals that are beautiful but dangerous,” Matt explains. “It’s a good analogy for life. Coyotes are native to Canada, Mexico and the United States and that’s where I lived while writing this album.”
Drive By Truckers
Member, Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley, Brad Morgan, Jay Gonzalez, Matt Patton just released their #12 album by Athens titled “English Oceans”. Georgia’s Drive-By Truckers, is an elegantly balanced and deeply engaged new effort that finds the group refreshed and firing on all cylinders. All but one of the collection’s 13 new songs, written by singer-guitarists and co-founding members Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, were recorded during 13 days of sessions in August 2013 with longtime producer David Barbe. Six of the songs were the result of a burst of writing activity by Cooley. “I had time to write,” Cooley says. “After we came off the road last time, we decided we were going to let it rest for a while. So I had time to really focus. I kind of had to re-learn how to write, because I didn’t write as many songs as I’d wanted on the last couple of records. I was happy with these songs, and thrilled to go in and record so many that I felt real strongly about.”
Canadian rapper Kardinal Offishall is arguably the best-kept secret in Canadian hip-hop, a genre that is in itself the best-kept secret in hip-hop. The 6’4″ rapper is also known as one of the best producers in Canada, having helped produce albums for other Toronto artists. Born Jason Harrow, Kardinal Offishall started rapping early and was winning competitions when he was 12. Signed to a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Music Canada at the age of 20, Offishall blended soul, dancehall, reggae, hip-hop, and a wholly inventive approach to beats on his 21-track debut album, Eye & I. Offishall earned a name for his work with other artists, including the Rascalz hit single “Northern Touch,” along with Canadian rappers Choclair, Checkmate, and Thrust. He also produced much of Choclair’s album Ice Cold and played several instruments on the tracks, including the catchy piano hook in Choclair’s hit single, “Let’s Ride.” With the success of Choclair, Kardinal released his 12″ “Husslin’,” which quickly became an underground favorite and showed that the lanky rapper had the potential to reach audiences on both sides of the border.
Afie Jurvanen, who performs as Bahamas, recorded his debut, Pink Strat, in a cabin in rural Ontario in the winter of 2008, with his roommate at the time, Robbie Lackritz (Jamie Lidell, Feist). Many of the songs were saved up over a period of 5 years of touring as part of Jason Collett’s band, and then Feist’s band. Similar to an old John Hammond or JJ Cale recording, the production is straight-forward, simple, and full of character–highlighting the storytelling and quaintness of the performances. Though the arrangements are sparse, Jurvanen plays bass, drums, piano, various percussion, organ, slide, acoustic, and nylon string guitars, and his friends from Zeus, The Great Lake Swimmers, and Feist also join him on a few of the tracks. Since the release of Pink Strat in summer 2009, Bahamas has performed with Elvis Costello, Sam Roberts, the Weakerthans, the Constantines, Amy Millan, and most recently finished touring with Wilco. He is currently embarking on Jason Collett’s Bonfire Ball Revue tour alongside Zeus and just received his first Juno nomination for Roots Album of the Year.
Upon returning to Toronto from a final European tour with his band, Peter Dreimanis sat in a candlelit bar paying little attention to the beat-up acoustic guitar being passed from patron to patron around him; that was until it found its home in the hands of Leah Fay. He sat listening; dumfounded, realizing heʼd met his match.After linking up with Ian Docherty, Josh Warburton and Danny Miles, the band created a signature sound that is not easy to pigeonhole. Imagine Tom Waits and Amy Millan shouting whiskey-soaked lullabies while backed by the members of Crazy Horse and youʼd have a good start. Striking a frenzied balance between Americana and dance-floor-filling indie-rock, July Talkʼs Beauty and the Beast aesthetic burns a little going down, but is sure to warm your belly and have you coming back for more.After a year of relentless touring with the likes of Frank Turner, Billy Talent, Matt Mays, Arkells, & Sam Roberts, their live performances have gained a reputation as one of the most high energy, magnetic acts in the country. (Recently noted, July Talk was nominated for the CBCʼs Bucky Awards as ʻBest Live Actʼ). After a national American tour in the summer of 2013, they returned to the studio to polish off a release for October 15th (including Top 10 charting single ʻGuns & Ammunitionʼ) once again hit the road in support the album. This latest coast-to-coast Canadian tour was a sold out success.
Explicit Language in Soundcloud Link.
The Town Heroes
The Town Heroes are a Halifax, Canada based alt-rock power duo crafting catchy, lyrical, hard-hitting and anthemic songs that sound like a party you wish you were at. The band is nominated for three 2014 East Coast Music Awards including Rock Recording of the Year, Rising Star and Music Video of the Year for “New York City”. The Town Heroes were Voted Best Band in The Coast’s 2012 Best of Music poll, TTH have toured Finland, performed at The Reepherbahn Festival in Hamburg, Germany, The Great Escape Festival in Brighton, UK, and have showcased their talent at Music Week in Toronto, Molson Canadian Nova Scotia Music Week, the East Coast Music Awards and were selected as the Nova Scotia Regional winners for the National Radio Star Song Writing competition. Although minimalist in terms of numbers, their sound is anything but that. Self-described as “The most noise two Cape Bretoners can make”, that noise is a cascade of passion, urgency and belief in their songs. On stage they move like intense caricatures – soaked in sweat, pushing every chord, note and beat to the limit. A structured wall of sound emerges; familiar yet distinctive.