Category: UnChained

RBC Bluesfest Revue: Still Winter Hills

RBC Bluesfest Revue: Still Winter Hills

With a nice throwback sound, blending catchy melodies and quality musicianship, Still Winter Hills are a band that would feel at home in any decade. Their songs have a good pace that keeps your foot tapping and your head nodding and their on stage camaraderie makes their live shows a joy to watch. They’re reminiscent of the kinds of bands […]

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UnChained Preview: Amnesia Rockfest

UnChained Preview: Amnesia Rockfest

The Little Festival That Could: Rock lives on in Montebello Good old fashioned rock is becoming a dinosaur on the festival circuit. In an industry dominated by folk rock, indie, EDM and other genres, the days of big guitar riffs, live heavy drums and overpowering vocals seem to be a fading memory. Thankfully, for those of us that need to […]

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RBC Bluesfest Revue: John Allaire and the Campistas

RBC Bluesfest Revue: John Allaire and the Campistas

I once heard someone say that there is nothing like the sound of a guy who’s been through it all and lived to tell the tale. John Allaire has that sound. With their contagious mixture of modern alternative and old bar room country, John Allaire and the Campistas sound like no one else you will hear at Bluesfest. Allaire’s voice […]

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RBC Bluesfest Revue: Farewell Davidson

RBC Bluesfest Revue: Farewell Davidson

Farewell Davidson could be one of the big surprises of Bluesfest 2014. With a melodic but rocky sound reminiscent of Kings of Leon or Sloan and well written, relatable lyrics, Farewell Davidson are a throwback to the kind of folky alternative music that was made popular in the 1990’s and, still, holds favor today. Live, Farewell Davidson are a fun […]

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RBC Bluesfest Revue: BlakDenim

RBC Bluesfest Revue: BlakDenim

There’s something to be said for artists who take something that’s been done and turn it on its head. BlakDenim, a hip hop band out of Ottawa, is the perfect example of this. While maintaining the tight lyricism and sharp wordplay of many traditional rappers, BlakDenim ups the ante with a vast sound and an orchestra’s worth of instruments (including […]

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RBC Bluesfest Revue: Angelique Francis

RBC Bluesfest Revue: Angelique Francis

There’s an old saying that goes, “Age is nothing but a number”. Angelique Francis, with her booming and majestic voice that begets images of a classic 1970s soul singer, is proof of that. She first performed at Bluesfest in 2011 and has performed, among other places, at Canada Day festivities, the Super Ex, and the Canadian War Museum. Oh, and […]

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UnChained Interview: Jessy Lanza

UnChained Interview: Jessy Lanza

With a sound that reminds you of everything from Off The Wall-era Michael Jackson to modern day indie music, Jessy Lanza is currently a hot commodity. Fresh off a performance at the prestigious South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, Lanza is in the midst of touring her debut album, Pull My Hair Back. The album itself (which Lanza co-produced) is an […]

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UnChained Interview: Caitlin from Bella Clava

UnChained Interview: Caitlin from Bella Clava

There was a time when having a female lead singer was note-worthy for a band like Bella Clava and made them stand out. Luckily for society, we have reached a point where more can be written about Bella Clava’s catchy riffs and energetic sound than about the gender of any of their band members. The music industry has evolved to […]

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UnChained Interview: Tommy Hanson

UnChained Interview: Tommy Hanson

There are few things more synonymous with Canada than hockey and beer. Thus, how fitting is it for a Canadian band to brew its own beer and pay homage to the Hanson brothers (everyone’s favorite violent but lovable cinematic hockey goons). Consisting of Robbie and Johnny Hanson (brothers Rob and John Wright), Tommy Hanson (Tom Holliston) and ‘Some Guy’ Hanson, […]

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UnChained Reviews: “Pirate Radio” by The Electric Revival

UnChained Reviews: “Pirate Radio” by The Electric Revival

The famous saying is that with great power comes great responsibility. Well, with great talent come great expectations. When you hear a great riff, you get excited. When a songs jumps out at you with energy and ferocity, you get pumped. When talent is evident, you look forward to hearing something special. In the case of Pirate Radio by The […]

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UnChained Reviews: “Solt Olio” by The Velvet Ants

UnChained Reviews: “Solt Olio” by The Velvet Ants

I had a dream recently about a video store my dad used to take me to. We’d rent a couple of VHS tapes every weekend and sometimes would watch them all, sometimes just one. I had a knack for re-watching a tape I liked a good 50 times over. It is a fond memory of mine but, realistically, is nothing […]

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UnChained Reviews: A Night With The Creepshow

UnChained Reviews: A Night With The Creepshow

Attending a live show, be it as a fan or critic, always comes with a certain set of expectations. You know the music, you know the audience and you know the energy. Gauging whether the show is good or not is often a by-product of those expectations. So what happens when there are no expectations? I’ll be the first to […]

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UnChained Reviews: “The Kennedy Suite” by Cowboy Junkies

UnChained Reviews: “The Kennedy Suite” by Cowboy Junkies

It’s been 50 years since that fateful day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated. A lot has been written and a lot of movies have been made about it. Musicians, on the other hand, have rarely approached the topic. Cowboy Junkies aim to change that. Their sprawling epic record The Kennedy Suite (also being staged as a post-modern musical) doesn’t […]

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UnChained Reviews: “Raccoon Dead on the Side of the Road” by Racoon Wedding

UnChained Reviews: “Raccoon Dead on the Side of the Road” by Racoon Wedding

Rock and roll was originally founded under two principles: fun and rebellion. There are no true rebels left in rock music. It has all been done and what was once counter culture has become mainstream. There are, however, a precious few bands left that still have fun in their recordings. It’s easy to say you’re having fun – it’s a […]

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UnChained Reviews: Classified live at Crazy Horse

UnChained Reviews: Classified live at Crazy Horse

Classified live at Crazy Horse in Kanata, Ontario on October 10, 2013. You can always tell veteran savvy. It is more than a person’s age or ability and it is something that can not be bought or learned. As such, you can always tell when a live performer has been through the grind, has played the empty and dingy bars […]

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Tall Tall Shadow by Basia Bulat

UnChained Reviews: ‘Tall Tall Shadow’ by Basia Bulat

When listening to a very talented artist, there is sometimes a disconnect between the album they’ve made and the album you wish they’d made. This does not happen to diminish what the record offers but instead to put the onus on the potential the artist has. This was my experience with Tall Tall Shadow by Basia Bulat. It is immediately […]

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UnChained Reviews: ‘StillNative’ by StillNative

UnChained Reviews: ‘StillNative’ by StillNative

Certain bars have an ambiance about them. You often see these bars in movies – the air is smoky, the women are cheap but not easy and the whiskey is strong. The kind of bar where weathered men sit around and talk about their lives while a local band in the background provides the mood and the rock. Not many […]

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UnChained Reviews: ‘Diamond Rough’ by Autopilot

UnChained Reviews: ‘Diamond Rough’ by Autopilot

There’s something to be said about music that sets a certain mood. Your mind drifts away and your thoughts and logic are replaced by a rush of emotion – sometimes positive, sometimes negative, sometimes neither. It may last for only a fleeting moment but when a mood is created, it leaves an indelible mark. Diamond Rough, the new record from […]

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UnChained Reviews: ‘Clover’ by Jadea Kelly

UnChained Reviews: ‘Clover’ by Jadea Kelly

Her voice is gentle. She’s young and has a certain fragility to her sound. Then it dawns on you – what sounded fragile is hardened. The gentle voice masks a stirring undercurrent of emotion. And she may be young but she has lived. And all it takes is one line. One lyric. All it takes is Jadea Kelly telling you […]

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UnChained Reviews: ‘Late Night Souls’ by Still Winter Hills

UnChained Reviews: ‘Late Night Souls’ by Still Winter Hills

 Momentum is a tricky thing. Sustained momentum can carry a record through slower spots. While interrupted momentum can stop a record in its tracks. Unfortunately, the latter happens on Still Winter Hills new record, the brilliantly titled, Late Night Souls. The first minute or so of “Silversprings”, the album opener, comes in with an energy and ferocity that forces you […]

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