Tia McGraff

The fact that a Southern Ontario country girl and a Muncie Indiana former rock guitar slinger would meet up in Nashville and make beautiful progressive roots music makes perfect sense. Both Tia McGraff and Tommy Parham have long histories of writing and playing with some of the best. Anywhere. Sold to a life of depth and description, these two formed a partnership and a union eight years ago and make the most beautiful of music.

Stopping by on a cool spring night, Tia and Tommy play live, spin a few tales, and a few tunes from her 6th album, 2013′s Break These Chains, recorded in Ottawa at Cardavae Studio and mastered by the incomparable Nick Balgona.

Get to know Tia McGraff and get in touch with what real songwriting, real emotion, and a higher calling sounds like on this episode of Barber Shop Podcast





Chelsea Crites

Hamilton is music country – and country music is a big part of Hamilton.  Chelsea Crites looks like the kind of country singer you see atop the heap in America, picture perfect and dressed for the part. You’d be forgiven for thinking it all smoke and mirrors but this firebrand walks the walk with confidence and style. Rising through the ranks at a very young age, singing competitions and talent contests introduced her to the hard realities of disappointment punctuated by ever increasing moments of success and reaffirmation. Professional at 13, Chelsea Crites demonstrated the work ethic and wise choices fostered by her supportive parents. Playing many shows in many different venues, the teenage sensation began to build the kind of buzz that makes both newcomers and jaded critics take notice.
Working with some top flight writers Such as Beau Fuller and Mike Nash as well as contributing her own songs, the process of recording her first professional full length album began in Nashville at John Willis’s Willis Soundz in 2011. Surely the music contained inside will set the stage for what is sure to be a remarkable career.
Stopping by Barber Shop Podcast on a spring evening. Chelsea and keyboardist Josh Kuehnel relax and tell us in words and music about their world. Something special every week on Barber Shop Podcast







Rae Billing and the Unpayables

Kindred spirit Rae Billing began her music career late after the loss of a treasured sole. Writing the arrangements and turns of phrase that danced in her head , learning to play and leaning hard into a new, some would say, dangerous, direction.
Rae continued to pour her heart into it, bringing the naked truth foreword through progressive years and three albums. Catching the ear of bass ace Michael Hickey at a West Town open stage, the two played many shows as a duet before snagging choice time keeper Nick Burson and  session guru/guitar player Michael Birthelmer to form the band that puts all the pieces together.
Settling in at Birthelmer’s Pine Street Studio in Hamilton, Billing and company set about crafting a superlative effort, textured and rich with ballads and stories of love, loss, truth and justice. When completed, Walls and Fences bore witness to a testament worthy of this city, as good as anything out there.
Live, in-studio, Alt-Country goodness is the special of the day at Barber Shop Podcast with Rae Billing and the Unpayables.




Weekend Riot Club

It never stops here at Barber Shop Podcast as yet another powerhouse act kicks the door down.  Weekend Riot Club is a mighty sum comprised of four awesome parts, each a massive energy force sufficient to break shit. When Melissa Marchese met Mike Chetcuti in 2008, it was electric – music forming the serpentine path of their union. Getting serious with a vision and a name, 2010 was the start of Weekend Riot Club, the addition of drummer Paulo Fontes cementing the trio as a heavy hitting unit bent on shaking up a crowed Hamilton music scene. Progressing with the help of some wise and talented session players, the eventual addition of Adam Neumann on bass was the final ingredient in a wickedly good Rock n Roll brew. Releasing their first full length studio effort PSYCHOTROPIA in June 2013, the members of Weekend Riot Club are ready to blow away the winter blahs in a big way with their own brand of rock n roll.

Hamilton to the bone, and proud of it. 100 proof, full tilt, no bullshit is what you get from Weekend Riot Club and we here at Barber Shop Podcast couldn’t be happier







Two days past Daddy’s birthday and after a slate of tasteful chanteuse chorales we at Barber Shop Podcast are blessed with the mindful mindlessness of Hamilton’s Lo-Fi.
Born of excessive musicianship and time, the seemingly simple collection of Lips, Ken, Vinnie, and Todd stopped by without the benefit of their drummer but left a smoking crater of an impression. Tight and oh-so- loose, Lo-Fi is at once an adolescent giggle fest and a deep thinking moment. Not at all concerned what you think, Lo- Fi is much more worried about how you feel.  Naughty, bawdy, and a whole lot tawdry, we have some great shit in the house tonight. Lo and behold, please give it for sons man sized men from LO-FI at Barbet Shop Podcast



Rita Chiarelli

A blistering Nor’easter in the Ides of March cannot stop the mighty power of Hamilton legend Rita Chiarelli and Barber Shop Podcast.

Salvatore’s little girl was the only native born child of a rough hewn hard working family in the heart of a busy industrial steel town. Always fascinated and captivated by the swirling notes of her youth, the young lioness was turning heads and being recruited by established outfits at the tender age of 14.

Years of touring, here, there, everywhere hardened the steel that a woman in the music business needs to break through. Living the creed that to to make your life in music one must love music more than anything or anyone, Rita Chiarelli won the hearts of so many by being honest to music, her fans and herself.  Long considered Canada’s Queen if the blues, Rita has only a few blocks to go to to visit Kevin and Ryan at the Barber Shop Podcast now that she has returned to her home town.

Live, up close and in person – the one and only, Rita Chiarelli  - on Barber Shop Podcast





Mississippi Bends

Mary Simon has found quite a bit of success over the years as a solo artist in Canada and the US, yet she has been looking for a band for years. Not “her” band, but a band that existed as something greater than the sum of it’s parts.

Mississippi Bends is the meeting of minds and more than a little soul. Harvesting the trademark guitar work of Andrew Aldridge, the sublime Carey Ashworth on bass and long time drummer Robin Pieirson, Mary Simon has that group – and that sound she’s been looking for.

Fresh from recording their debut record at Porcelain Studios, Mississippi Bends has begun the process of making us all aware of their their take on a new tradition in roots music.

Smart, funny and wickedly talented, the folks in Mississippi Bends blessed us at Barber Shop Podcast with their very first radio interview, and it’s a good one.  Get a little sneak peak at yet another Hamilton heavyweight, Mississippi Bends





The Monarch Project

The birth of spring is a glorious thing to behold, and this winter has taken a mighty toll on all involved at Barber Shop Podcast. There is a warm breeze afoot around here and salvation has arrived just in time.

The Monarch Project is a collection of twenty-somethings that possess that rarest of qualities, the perspective and embodiment of an entire generation that preceded them while maintaining absolute integrity and originality.  Think of Oasis, Roger Waters and the Beatles spun thru a Billy Joe filter and you might start approaching the plain these guys are travelling on.

Having formed around the nucleus of Jose Batista, Jo Boudreau, Wally London, James Rea Girt and brothers Rob and Tom Nagy, The Monarch Project is something special to behold.  Hamilton has a deep well of musical talent and this episode of Barber Shop Podcast brings you another piece of heaven for your ears and your soul.

No filler, all killer  at Barber Shop Podcast with The Monarch Project.



Sue Leonard and the Perfect Strangers

Sue Leonard has had a true blue life in Canadian music.  Singing around the family piano with the whole clan, she was always perfect pitch even when marching to her own beat.  Hamilton mountain to the inner passages and rugged northern BC, Sue Leonard was making music in a very progressive and individual way.  Hooking up with some of the Western creme, soon she was singing with K.D. Lang and making a name for herself as a legitimate singer songwriter. Sweeping melodies, lush arrangements and a texture of pure silk made her most recent record – Bend – another stellar release in a still thriving career.

Dropping by Barber Shop Podcast with The Perfect Strangers, the core of Michael Hickey, Cindy Dell and Michael J. Birthelmer take Sue Leonard on a sweet ride back to her home – back to the cradle of music in Hamilton Ontario. Never one to let a good time pass, Sue and company had a great time and played a little live music and shared a few life lessons LIVE on Barber Shop Podcast.




The Acoustics

Music is math. Music is science. Music is also an ancient intangible that transcends the first two things with pure emotion. A band with a name like The Acoustics is kinda asking for it. Serious about the business and place of music because North Hamilton parents are paying for, and investing in some lessons from the Ontario Conservatory of Music.
Master accordionist Al Spoto along with nephew Enzo form a familial backbone with Bonnie Bell on violin, Andrew Eckhart on bass and drummer Richard Hone to give birth to a Steel City take on the folk roots ache of Canadiana such as Spirit of the West and The Paperboys.
Still steeped in the traditions that brought them to attention of the masses, the sweet voice and very believable lyrics of Enzo Spoto turn the screws on some of the best music, from the heart, that you might hazard upon in this musical city.
Bringing just the core tonight, Al, Enzo and Bonnie drop by Barber Shop Podcast to bring a little of the real to your cookie cutter day. In the midst of everything so damn phony, treat yourself to something believable.