Duane Rutter and JB Reed

Any true work of art begins with the artisan, every painting, sculpture or song a reflection of the hand and mind behind the vision. Crazy Things is not only the name of Duane Rutter’s new record, it is the gem carved and polished from the stone that he himself unearthed.
These collection of songs began to form and mature in step with Rutter’s renewed determination and activity a couple of years ago and as the onion peeled and eyes teared, the songs began to grow into something altogether wonderful with a cast of Hamilton heavyweights alongside. Andrew Aldridge brings his guitar, arrangement and engineering genius to the mix and the addition of Nick Burson, Carrie Ashworth and Steve Woods make a gorgeous palate for JB Reed’s hauntingly evocative vocals as the perfect sound to embrace Duane Rutter’s signature sound. Deep, lush production at Hamilton’s Grant Avenue Studio are thanks to Amy Grant and Aldrew’s touch – allowing them to take some magical keyboard tracks from none other than Garth Hudson – he of The Band fame. Recorded under a starry night in upstate New York, these stems were woven into the albums final cut with a haunting efficiency.
Always bringing you the best live music right to your good place, Barber Shop Podcast does it again thanks to Duane and JB Reed sharing their gift on this early October in Wednesday. Bring it on in spades, there is no going back on this – or any other night.




Chris Strei

Chris Strei is a perfect example of the guy who make up the overwhelming majority of working musicians, the blue collar grinder. Born and raised in Brantford, the city just west of Hamilton, Strei was one of a throng of pubescent wanna-be’s in his high school, the cool factor of the instrument providing the perfect foil for the journey ahead. Nothing spectacular, no magic moment – just a steady progression of music and words to the point of original art. Cover songs on the chicken wing circuit keep the chops and balance up as he and his band Minus Everything turn thought to music, releasing the 9 song disc Faces to the public, the full band a fresh take on a power trio. Great hooks, straight up and decent all around, Chris Strei gives a good account of himself, everyone’s little guy who carries a decent stick.
Just two guys talking and playing music on another great Wednesday night at Barber Shop Podcast.



Nate of Earth

Nate Waldes carries with him the quiet desperate rage of the poet and seeker, perhaps a bit too smart for his own good. When you can see and interpret, channel and reflect with such precision, life can be a bitter pill if you let it. Vision and delivery in one tight package, the wood toned roots Waldes displays are earnest and hard won. Writing early and often, his use of the familiar and paradox reflects well on the new generation of Hamilton singer-songwriters. Steeped in the vinyl tea and inspired by a kindred spirit, his love of music became a natural extension of his soul, deep and reflective. 

Stoping by on a brilliant autumn evening, Nate Waldes brings with him his soon-to-be released 5 song CD NATE OF EARTH and a few new ones he shares live. Full of great hooks and reason, his music transcends the bedroom folk rock genre it serves so well with every bitter-sweet note. Without these reminders in every generation of songwriter, the road to enlightenment would not be so clearly lit. Praise be the writer and poet in us all as we roll another fat episode of Barber Shop Podcast.



Ian Andrews and the Smokin’ Scoundrels

Blues, and Hamilton blues in particular has had its roots in this fertile ground since there were iron horses and steel driving men.
The tree that bears so much fruit in the way of all modern music, is based in the call and response of the cotton fields and the deep meaning that those refrains evoke in everyone who listens and identifies with.
Ian Andrews is still a pretty young cat, but make no mistake about it, he knows his way around a fretboard and the struggle at hand. Slick, handsome and full of life, Ian Andrews manages to do what so few aspiring Bluesman can do – carve a very personal niche in what is a homogeneous form of music.
Never one to shy away from the spotlight, Ian paid his dues like every great one – and it’s evident the investment is paying off. Writing original music and embodying it with the howls and yelps every bit as real as WC himself, believing the story and storyteller as sage as any before. Original young blues – verve and passion, and what a band on hand this night. Greg Briscoe is very funky on keys and gets to jam out with Justine “The Bass Machine” Fischer and Matt Burns on the drums in what gas to be one of the most rip roaringestness nights ever at Barber Shop Podcast.
We show off a few pre-release tracks from Ian’s upcoming album and capture four very solid live numbers where the pedal is definitely meeting metal.
Another great night- at Barber Shop Podcast




Busker Al

Well, it was bound to happen. Hamilton’s most well heeled (he walks a lot) musician made his way to BOXO Studio after so many years away from these sacred walls.
Known as ‘Busker Al”, Albert Barubek has been playing music forever, playing for change and the occasional fiver, and been front and centre in some of the coolest bands in this town in the past 25 years.
Never afraid to speak his mind, piss off a few people and drop a few jaws, his musical acumen is only matched by his steely resolve. Always the optimist, Al brings a grace to an often graceless city with a daily dose of music. His repertoire is substantial and his voice carries this night across the years as we spin some Captain Easy from 2003’s The 4:20 Conspiracy and remember stuff we had all forgotten for awhile.
Good times.



Wayne Petti

The “Shwa” has given us many gifts musical and otherwise, our gritty little sister on the eastern jowls of Hogtown. Where once only the Bob Brydens and Lou Molinaros of the world were fit to call The Hammer home, usually after a spell in The Big Smoke to draw the best of them from a deep creative well.
Wayne Petti was just such a dude, steeped in the 90’s guitar slouch of Pavement, Dinosaur Jr. and Metallica. It was only after listening to the true greats of depression era to ’52 country music where the pre-alt-country-phase-shifted sound that merged became Cuff The Duke. Cuff was to many the harbinger for a whole new take on some very solid roots. Starting strong and staying busy, Petti and company made quite a name for themselves quickly and in the process, forged the experience and contacts into something solid indeed.
Post Cuff The Duke, Petti kept current and found vehicles for his music that performed to spec, allowing each incarnation a u owe space to breathe. The Astro Men followed and served him well until it became time to pick up and make the move to the Western Jowl of Toronto, our fine city of Hamilton Ontario.
It’s great when a win-win sounds so good and the now Hamilton based Petti has put together another epic record, this one with Hamilton roots and players. Making music and history with the new record “Right Arm” by the group known as Grey Lands.
We love it when there’s good music and great insight on the show, and this Wayne Petti guy has got it in spades.
He’ll do quite well I’m sure.



James Ferris Band

Life has its ups and downs, and the singer-songwriter rides those hills and valleys on a regular basis for they provide the chewy grist for milling. Careful to leave just enough texture while making the journey both evocative and palatable is what James Ferris does with great skill and passion. His style is instantly familiar, with the impassioned growl and fierce delivery – a home spun rocker with a light touch.
In the early days, the Nova Scotia kid was prone to rampant, unchecked musicality and his need to create meshed beautifully with his ability to write and play with conviction. Playing covers and classics gave him the template to create his own music, sure to knock on the very same doors as the iconic masters he had begun by emulating. Something special happened along the way, and by the time he moved to Hamilton, he was clearly prepared to bring his music to the table, a bountiful plenty for all to enjoy.
So positive is his performance, so committed are his lyrics, one is easily carried along to their own interpretations of the deeply personal journey of James Ferris. Producing art and music, James Ferris had carved himself out a spot in this town as a harbinger of positivity and pleasure, smiles for miles and a very sociable experience.
Showing up on the last Wednesday in August, James brings with him the smokin’ duo of Ron Cole on keys and Colin Lapsley on bass to flesh out his arrangements and serve up a spread of home cooking in the form of beautiful, original music.
Stop by for awhile at Barber Shop Podcast and enjoy the benefits of real, good, original music.




Winds of the North

We pick our guests very carefully here at Barber Shop Podcast, the common thread is always a belief in music as a life force. No part timers, pseudo troubadours or poseurs make their way to the hallowed space that is BOXO Studio on Wednesday nights. So imagine our surprise when a group of seemingly balanced and rehearsed boys from the Toronto bedroom community of Milton got a hold of us and asked if they too might be featured on our wundershow…… well, I guess the sweet scent of The Hammer has spread far and wide, and if an outsider is ready to embrace is in all our gritty glory, well then; we too must stretch out our arms and embrace their fresh-scrubbed faces with their very own show.
In the very beginning, guitarists Ty MacKenzie and Kenny Drummond were the nexus of the group, their infectious synergy almost immediately drawing neighbour and bassist Steve McFarlane to the window, scratching and clawing at the door until they relented, and in doing so, added the slick, textured bass lines and sweet harmonies the these original tunes cried out for. After a switch of drummers last winter, the addition of Matt Frazer on the kit forged a very approachable yet unique sound that Winds Of The North can absolutely call their own.
The band really doesn’t sound like anybody while sounding just like every alt rock band that was charting in the 90’s. They take a song born from personal loss or triumph and build layers and texture in arrangement that show that every great song is much more than the sum of its tight, well-executed parts.

So here you have it… Yet another band, a great band, that you will probably never hear or hear of again. It’s tough enough to get gigs in a music town like Hamilton where you can play original music, it’s doubly hard in suburbia where they only want what they already know – pre packaged and individually portioned for your convenience. No, this is a band that will be seen and heard – and thanks to Barber Shop Podcast, they can be.

In high definition and hi fidelity Barber Shop Podcast goes to outer space and back, bouncing off satellites and towers to the safety and convenience of your home. Playing songs from their début self-titled EP, Winds Of The North blew in here and blew us away.

Not an easy thing to do.





Will Gillespie

This show, on the surface, is about music. But scratch the surface and you will soon find that it’s really about life. For artists bleed for us on a regular basis, reaching into their heart and souls to purge the sadness and tragedy that we all encounter. The writer paints a landscape and then places the characters who we identify with on a stage for us to see ourselves when it might seem far too dark to do so.
This week, your eminent host Kevin was reeling from a life event on the heels of another crushing setback. Spirits were low and the usual boisterous, bombastic bravado had left the building. In its place sat a man who questioned why, and if anyone even cared..
Well – from the mists a troubadour by the name of Will Gillespie – he from the North, via Timmins, Sudbury and Toronto made his way with his trusty guitar to BOXO Studio for a time to commiserate. Giving homage to the songs that make us both think and feel, he tells his story and sings the songs of love and loss this broken being needed on a warm August night. Every tune a deeply personal tale of angst that reverberates deeply in any of us who have felt gold dust slip between our fingers.
It’s a cold world out there – but Will Gillespie and Barber Shop Podcast knitted a nice warm sweater that’s big enough for us all to share.


Mark McNeil

When Mark McNeil travel to Hamilton all those years ago for what was to be a summer job, you never expected that the rest of his life would be about Hamilton stories, Hamilton people and the lifeblood that is this place. And it early affinity for all things musical, including the Beatles, brought him into playing the guitar. His love of writing and meshing out a story was also started early, and when the musical kid got a night crime reporter job at The Hamilton Spectator in the 80’s, the die was cast in steel.

Mark McNeil uses his reporters chops to great effect on the critically acclaimed CD “Flashbacks” a veritable who’s who of Hamilton iconic figures, each tale fleshed out with wit and insight as to the true flavour of the town. Written as the soundtrack for the play James Street, the troubadour and storyteller manages to be both factual and fanciful in this musical marker.
On this fine night Mark drops by with Lester Smith filling the spaces with his signature sweet chops and harmonies and none other than Paul
Panchezak on the sparse kit to give even more Hamilton accent to these tunes, songs that can be found on his CD and right here, right now at Barber Shop Podcast.