EP 012 aired on August 4th, 2014.
The acts included in the show (in order of appearance) were Three Days Grace, Scott Merritt, Greg Ball, Steve Wilkinson, Gordon Downie, Barry Brown, Hugh Dillon, Luck's X-Rd, Dean Batstone, Great Urban Band, Dan Paul Rogers, Craig McIntyre
and Matt Hughes
Three Days Grace needs little introduction for Canadian music fans. Huge hit-makers on the hard rock scene. Nor would it be necessary to remind readers that they began their days in Norwood, up on highway 7 east of Peterborough. What most general music fans may not know is that 3 of the members originally worked together in the band Groundswell, whom we played a track by back in Ep 002. In late 1997 Adam Gontier, Neil Sanderson and Matt Walst had decided Groundswell hadn't caused enough of a... swell, hence their choice to start up Three Days Grace. Trivia telling complete: opening this show we hit play on 'Break', their single off the 2009 album 'Life Starts Now'. Though Gontier has since left, with success like theirs you can expect no break from hearing more from them.
MEMBERS: Adam Gontier, Brad Walst, Neil Sanderson, Barry Stock and Matt Walst
Originally from Brantford, Scott Merritt was up next on EOP. Probably better known to most as a studio guru for the likes of Fred Eaglesmith, Stephen Fearing, Garnet Rogers, Katherine Wheatley, Grievous Angels, Ian Tamblyn, Mike Stevens & Matt Anderson and Suzi Vinnick (cliche "to name a few" otherwise inserted here), Mr. Merritt has released 5 albums of his own to date, beginning with the rare 'Desperate Cosmetics' LP in 1979, continuing through the 80s on labels such as Duke Street and I.R.S.. His debut album was produced by Hamilton's son-to-fame Daniel Lanois for Scott's own independant label. It's a great piece of original Canadiana, if there were such a proper category. Taking a chance with some adjectives here... folky-pop-meets-curious-quirkiness - nothing short of truly original. 'Time for a Good Find' fits perfectly as an instruction to those not already familiar with his recordings. His releases are extremely recommended, particularly for the non-cloth-eared listener.
Greg Ball took his time getting around to being a recording artist. Following a spell in Vancouver (and various trips around the Western Hemisphere), this Stratford ONT native eventually settled in Kingston. Once there, he took a kick at the fame can with the band The Harpies; however they split up shortly after recording an album. Undaunted, Greg chose that time to go solo. His songwriting talents and unique vocals shine through on the track 'Ignorant', from his 2013 CD 'Mr. Rightplace', proving it's never too late to do the right thing.
A theme was used to assemble the next four tunes together: 'Solo Recordings From Vocalists In Bands You've Heard Before'.
- Steve Wilkinson
of The Wilkinsons
, the family trio country act.
Prior to officially grouping together as The Wilkinsons
in 1997, Steve
was making the rounds in Canada and the USA to establish himself as a songwriter. This included his appearance at a few contests along the way, resulting in Steve
getting his track 'My Old Guitar'
released on the various artists tape 'Canadian Open Country Singing Contest: The Winners'
back in 1993. A sign of things to come for him there. He resides up around highway 7 these days and can still be seen performing now and then.
- Gordon Downie of The Tragically Hip.
The country's love for The Hip cannot be overstated. The same goes for describing Downie's passion for creativity. A theme such as this would not be complete without including a solo track by him such as 'Chancellor' from his 'Coke Machine Glow' album released in 2001. Both Downie and The Hip are true Canadian gems.
- Barry Brown of The Family Brown.
Long-time country music fans would agree Ottawa's The Family Brown were one of the nation's most beloved acts in their genre; their achievement of being the most award winning band in Canada still holds the record. Their ace in the hole for their 20+ years career (and more than a dozen albums plus 2 with spin-offs Prescott-Brown and Tracey Brown & Lonesome Daddy) was the songwriting of the brother and vocalist Barry Brown. Barry became very well respected in the industry for his writing, eventually having covers done by artists like Anne Murray, Susan Aglukark, Johnny Reid and Charlie Major. The business eventually drew some solo recordings out of him, 'Talk to My Heart' being one of them. Released in 1992 on the 'Songwriter Sessions Vol. 2' CD by RCA Records, the track shines with those skills of his, including his great vocals. Passionate, humble, talented - they don't make'm like Barry anymore.
- Hugh Dillon of Headstones.
Some may know Hugh Dillon more for his acting career (movies like Hard Core Logo, Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning and Trailer Park Boys: The Movie; or TV's Flashpoint, Degrassi: The Next Generation, ReGenesis, The Killing, Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight and Continuum). Fans of acts from eastern ONT, though, will know Kingston's Mr. Dillon just as much for his Headstones work and his solo material. 'Ten Feet Tall' from his 'Works Well With Others', released in 2009, is how he must be feeling these days. A fired-up, captivating individual, to be sure.
Picton's Luck's X-Rd
describe themselves as 'folk / alternative country', and we couldn't agree more. Paring things down to feature the trio's straightforward charisma suits them perfectly. From their '1951'
album (out in 2008) we played 'Think About You'
next on Ep 012
. Recorded at Northumberland 29 Studios near Warkworth, that whole album captures them cleanly, crisply and very effectively. Add this one to your collection - you won't be sorry.
MEMBERS: Mark Despault, John deVries and Jamie Snider
Dean Batstone may have been born in Newfoundland, but eastern ONT was lucky enough to have Dean begin his music career here, the Ottawa region to be more precise. Cutting his teeth with an indie 1982 album called 'Batstone', Dean has gone on to release 7 more albums, plus establish himself very respectively in New York. From his second release in 1991, 'On the Outside', 'I Grew Up' is a great pop/rock track, indicative of that whole album's quality. Another rare totally indie eastern ONT artist that's been making it in his own way.
Great Urban Band may have been around a short while (very difficult to find out more on these guys), but their live 'Great Urban Band' album shines like the group had been together for many years, with very tight, energetic performances and arrangements giving their original material a fantastic and impressive 'pop'. There's rock, soul, funk... and much more on this LP. The song we spun next, 'Gillian Weiss', was in the middle of side 2 off that 1979 debut, recorded at The Manor in Kingston. Should you require some more evidence, the album is now available for purchase on Bandcamp.com from one of the band members. This is one of those acts you'll wish you could have seen.
MEMBERS: Robert Arlidge, Douglas Atkinson, Frode Nilsen and Jim Sherwood
Trenton-born, Ottawa Valley-raised country performer Dan Paul Rogers has a voice that most vocalists strive for - chock full of emotion, conviction, great tone and pitch. If you're only used to performances that have been auto-tuned, singers like Dan will set your ears right. A regular performer and recording artist in the 80s, Dan saw the release of his 'Love Martyr' album in 1987, which we sourced his hit single 'You're Just a Little Doll' from (actually, the 1988 CD release from the Netherlands...). Dan still performs occasionally to this day. Can Con Country doesn't get any better.
Craig McIntyre, a Perth native (now based in Kingston), dove into his music career by his twenties. The lover of great pop and country songs in him developed steadily enough so that by 2008 (part of a period he spent in Los Angeles) he finally had his first album released, simply titled 'Silent'. It was the track 'Rainy Day Woman' that stood out for us the first time we heard that album. And it'd be no surprise if the whole dang thing proved to be one of your favourites.
Matt Hughes was great artist to close of this EOP show with. 'Make It Better' from his 'Discovery' indie album released in 2013 might cause you to band your head a bit... in a good way, that is. He's got that cool mix of classic rock and modern edge few acts seem to have, which makes this Kingstonian's stuff that more enjoyable. Great rock from the Limestone City - no need to follow that with anything else.