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.