Matty Simpson

We get all kinds here at Barber Shop Podcast, all kinds of beautiful, sustaining music and the real deal from our rich pool of real music and real musicians. 

Matty Simpson has seen and done quite a bit in his life as a musician, his natural curiosity and abilities on the guitar evident from very early on. Combined with the fact that his parents’ business was in importing, there were many different types of musical instruments to experiment with, helping to form the quiet, fearless attitude required to be both empathetic and bold in accompaniment. A great lover of the golden era rock and roll, Matty knows all the licks and has a few of his own to raise tired eyebrows everywhere. 

Those eyes eventually belonged to none other than Fred Eaglesmith, the undisputed king of DIY indie musicians. Fred and the Fredheads who follow him everywhere, have had the opportunity to see and hear what a remarkable player and harmonized sideman he has become, as have the millions who saw him on network tv a few years ago on The Late Show with David Letterman.

Of course a fellow with this skill set would also write beautiful songs and arrangements dripping with honest imagery, right? A full time immersion in music leads to the riffs and melodies, scribbled phrases and turn arounds, eventually melding together into a well crafted beauty.  Matty has been, and continues to compose, compile and collect these songs for an upcoming solo record that will surely hit the mark square in the feels.

On this beautiful summer night in early February (it was 16.5 degrees Celsius), we welcomed Matty and Justine Fischer along with Charlie Tirone for a good time with a side of insight. Light and easy with lots of laughter is the way to go, and we go hard at it with this bunch as the band all share stories and tracks from their earlier musical projects. 

Don’t touch that dial, or mouse, or whatever you touch in the future as you hark back to the days when Matty Simpson wasn’t a household name. Well, some houses anyway.

Another great show with great people on a great night at Barber Shop Podcast as we all watch the sunrise on the cusp of greatness.



Sarah Beatty

We all remember the times in life where we experience growth, joy and the beautiful synergy of convergence. For us at Barber Shop Podcast, one that comes to mind occurred on October 9, 2013 when we met Sarah Beatty for the first time and saw and heard why she was so loved and respected amongst the Hamilton musical family. Honest and open, bright and articulate, the demure Beatty carries her fiercely defended sensibilities with silken gloves, delivering smart, catchy songs with a solid guitar hand and a voice at once both sweet and guileless, yet very much on point. 

Did we mention the girl is a scientist too? Seriously. Not only does she have the dedication and chops to hang with the best in this music hotbed, but she has the raw brain power and the work ethic to study and obtain a science degree, she’s still building her dream to change the world for better, no matter what hemisphere of grey matter she is in.

This show is short but sweet, kinda like her. A long overdue reunion and a genuine mutual admiration party all in less than an hour. Spinning a few tunes from her self-titled CD and performing a couple live, Sarah Beatty spends just enough time with us to ensure we won’t be forgetting her any time soon.

Lo and behold – Sarah Beatty on Barber Shop Podcast


Mo’ Kauffey

Making it in this business means playing the part. If you’re a singer-songwriter, that part is equal parts history and geography. Hailing from Colorado and being an actual child of the 50’s and 60’s meant Mo’ Kauffey was front and centre for all of the seminal moments in American music with a million dollar view. Prone to thought and concept, his connection to music grew with his writing prowess and the rough-neck stylings of a dungaree minstrel were worked like so much slurry as to reveal the gold nuggets within.
Truth in music is an essential ingredient and that recipe proved to be a hit with the good people and bad actors that caught a whiff.
Canada was a million miles away until a fair lady and a desire to explore the unknown brought him to our parts some years back and he settled into the rich tri-city music scene, making friends and good impressions pretty well wherever he went.
On this chilly late January night he brings the band and message to Barber Shop Podcast with a few tales and a few songs for our listening pleasure. Relaxed and insightful, the unique mix of blues, country and folk is a great soundtrack to another sweet episode of Barber Shop Podcast.


Hachey The MouthPEACE

Beat boxers are a dime a dozen, and no punk ass kid is going to invade these hallowed halls with conspicuous attitude and questionable talent.  Good thing we never have to deal with that kind of shit here in Hamilton because we have one of the very best mouth masters around.  Hachey The MouthPEACE was as conspicuous and as incorrigible as youd expect coming up with too much going on upstairs and not enough downstairs.  Ahead of the curve and unafraid of the pitfalls, the attention seeking lad broke ground with the innovative and intoxicating ability to lay beats and mimic the world of music he heard in his head.  Bringing forth the efforts and desire, the early forays in the world of live performance led to meetings and opportunities that continue to bear fruit for this sharp eyed bastard, a good lad in a shitty world speaking truths amidst the shit.  Blessed with the ability, schooled by life and absolutely fearless, Hachey makes music on the fly, and on this January night we have one of the best meetings of the mind that have taken place ever – from nothing to something fine in a split second. Give it up for one of our special children on this episode of Barber Shop Podcast.



It takes all kinds to make music and make a difference in this world, the young and the old, the weak and the strong, the meek and the brave. Taking hold of an idea and an ideal, wrapping one’s history and desires tightly in hand is the call of duty for every artist and Terry and Eva Graves are no different. These seminal members of the folk group Headframe were attracted to each others aura in their youth, the passions of the time rekindled some twenty-odd years later after life had their way with both of them. What once was there was again in spades, a pair of real adventurers who took up together and strove to make a difference in their new/old life together. Politics make strange bedfellows and there’s nothing better to set the mood than music. Dylan, Young, Guthrie, are all names that hark to the message. Song and dance men in a suit of enlightenment, people like Terry and Eva shared their love of music and used the many hours of isolation to connect in tune. Writing and creating melodies that speak of love, life, power and greed, dirty politics and big business takes righteous indignation and subtle insight in equal measure, creating a rich palate of folk music that is so very Canadian and yet still somehow world music.
Headframe is the musical love child that sprang forth and the five members have produced the material to make a point and make a difference. Terry and Eva dropped by to sing a few of their tunes and share some stories with the Barber and everyone had smiles and a good feeling was all around.
Nice and easy – on Barber Shop Podcast.


Ruby’s Revenge

Brantford Rockers Ruby’s Revenge have the formula of originality, character and moxy to actually make a legitimate stab at a life in music in this cold, hard world. Blessed with both natural and technological gifts, Jenna and Justin share a very real spark and ground while remaining humbly fierce in their intent and delivery. Full on lipstick winks and wry smiles make the groove of their sound both respective and respectful to the genres that gave birth to their sound. The Smiths, Pixies and old school rock provides some of the texture and strength while the shy and tender bits make the whole thing so very accessible. The release of their CD allowed Ruby’s Revenge the opportunity to paint their own portrait with great precision and feel, making for a wonderful record that truly captures the feel and intent of the band with the mix of power, passion and playfulness.
What you see isn’t always what you get – sometimes it is. In the case of the little band that could, named for a wee dog’s mission, the trials and bumps are all part of the journey. And what a journey it is.


Another Koren Christmas Preview

Christmas can be the best of times or the worst of times, depending on your place in time. Comfort and joy are not guaranteed, the cold fingers of winters isolation often taking from those who need the most help in making it through the fray. God bless those who are able to give of themselves so completely during the holidays, providing not only the words and music to give sustenance to those in need but also the raw materials any band of brothers and sisters need to make a real difference.
Frank Koren knows he is blessed. Blessed with a tight knit family that all poses the honed gift of music, and a wide array of top-flight associates and friends, he takes his music very seriously. For the second straight year, The Koren Family Christmas made its way to The Pearl Company in downtown Hamilton for a show that gets as good as it gives. Partnering with Hamilton Food Share, the now annual showcase of local talent is heavy on bright lights and warm hearts with more feel than you’ll ever find on the tele at home. Generous and genuine, the long list of artists brings home the peace and passion of the season while also raising cash and food stocks for those who need it the most.
This Christmas, we at Barber Shop Podcast welcomed in Frank and some friends to give us all a taste of the holiday spread, as Anderus and Dell & Burns made the trek to BOXO Studio for this weeks episode, a deep and reflective time for us all.
Music is so much more than background music at the mall, so much more than the obligatory and customary aural trimmings of the season. Music is love. Truth. Beauty.
Merry Christmas everyone, may the season be kind and your heart free and light.



Gillian Nicola

Gillian Nicola is more than another up-and-coming singer/songwriter from Hamilton, Ontario. With a blend of folk, rock, and soul influences, Gillian creates a sound that honours her diverse taste honourably. With a voice that is often likened to Janis Joplin, Gillian brings authenticity and vulnerability to her music. With her band, Gillian Nicola & The Radio Interference, they combine the honesty of folk music with the power of rock and soul to create a sound both unique to them and one that offers something for everyone.

Gillian started off 2015 with a bang, with a performance at the JUNO Concert Series: The Love Song Edition at Hamilton’s Mills’ Hardware alongside many legendary Hamilton musicians. Soon after, Gillian was declared a Regional Finalist in the CBC Searchlight Competition and was selected for the CIRAA Mentorship Program, where she received one-on-one mentorship with Livy Jeanne (Black Box Records, Universal Music) over the summer of 2015. These successes are timely as Gillian embarks on her newest EP, which will be released in early 2016, but Barber Shop Podcast viewers get a sneak peek as she plays some of them live tonight with her brother Ben.
While her roots are certainly still in folk music, new influences have inspired Gillian to write with different sounds in mind. The music on this new recording is inspired by musicians such as Kathleen Edwards, Neko Case and the aforementioned Joni Mitchell, and features a contrast of light and dark sounds and a much more ambient sound than she has used in the past.

A classically trained vocalist from a young age, Gillian’s love of music began as a child. After completing studies at the University of Toronto, Gillian stormed onto the Hamilton and Toronto music scenes in 2012 with her first acoustic EP, Afterburn. She followed this soon after with 2013’s Chasing the Wind, a six-song EP, which Gillian followed up with her first Ontario tour. The album was not only a personal success: Chasing the Wind was nominated for two Hamilton Music Awards and the Toronto Independent Music Awards.

All in all, a very sweet treat to have visit on a mild December Wednesday, a very sweet treat indeed.


Bill Dillon

The things that make the man are as big as they are small, for what makes the man is always a milieux of convergence in a much bigger plan. It’s doubtful that there is anyone born in the dawn of the 50’s who has experienced the tapestry of popular music in such a wonderful Forrest Gump kind of way as the unlikely savant of the guitar that is Bill Dillon. Lacking the bravado and cockiness associated with most guitar heroes, Dillon possesses the purest and most transparent of filters, gossamer nuances favoured by the likes of Ian Thomas, The Pretenders, Gordon Lightfoot, Dan Lanois, Ronnie Hawkins, Robbie Robertson, Paul Simon, Edie Brickell, Sarah McLachlan ….to name a few. 

Born on the mean streets with a fierce angel to guide and protect and an ever present demon to torment him, his childhood begged for the comfort and escape music offered that stilted child. Bestowed with a natural gift and a burning desire, a tenuous connection to Grimsby and Hamilton’s position between there and Toronto meant Dillon was soon to discover the steeping brew and musical hotbed that the steel city has always been known so well to be. Relationships formed, friendships made and that symmetrical symbiotic serendipity began to swirl and take him away.

Chateaus and villas, classic cars and jets to Monaco were not just a dream for this cat, it was his life.

Who would have thought, after all of that, he would be so humble, so kind, so wise and so incredibly real? As a Beatles fan, the diddy that is When I’m 64 must have struck home for Bill this year, the days now glowing orange-red in the long shadows. This is 2 hours of pure Bill Dillon; a life in music and the music in life rolled out on the grass to lie on, on the most beautiful of summer nights.



Pretty Archie

When we get old and experienced, it is often fun to look back to our 20’s and remember those moments that shaped our future. Well, way back in episode 29 in March of 2013 we welcomed our first out-of-towners to the show; a clan from Cape Breton by the name of Pretty Archie. Crammed in a corner of a cluttered basement with basic gear, the episode that ensued served to show the potential of this show – a glimpse of just how good it can be. Warm, friendly, sage, polite, funny, wicked and wise beyond their years, the boys played with loose precision, trading stories and sweet harmonies long into the night. Viewed over 1,600 times to date, that episode has been referenced time and time again to the boys by Canadians from coast to coast and heralded by the band as their favourite media experience to date.
The boys were in Hamilton on this fine early December Wednesday with purpose and their new CD – North End Sky, and we were chucked to have them. Better than ever and full of the spirits that fuel this truth machine, both Kevin and the lads tear into a few memories, thoughts and beliefs as the beer flows and the music rolls.
It doesn’t matter what kind of poop you step in, you can always scrape that shit off and carry on. It matters not if those in ivory towers can’t see you and the rats are eating the stores. What matters is you have faith in yourself and your people – and just keep going. Never give up. Ever.