Radio Free Universe

The guys in RFU have been on this show a couple of times before, their story and legitimate claim to groove rock supremacy well established in the years covering that time span. This time, the magical third appearance, has the honor of showcasing the band in a rare stripped down acoustic version for only the second time ever, but also heralds the release of their latest CD Casa del Diablo as a full length, full bore record of monumental riffs and big league vocals riding on a powder keg beat.
When you have the right formula, it’s only a matter of time before the world beats a path to your door and Radio Free Universe has made that secret blend of rock and roll a standard that they are willing to fight for.
This fine summer night we welcomed George, Marcus and Ashton (sans Ryan) to the studio to do what we do best. Never short on insight and opinion, George is as honest and passionate about discourse and discussion as he is about his songs. Marcus is as spot on as ever providing the ideal foil and Ashton makes with the egg shaker when he’s not showing off his guitar skills. Together they show why they are so loved and respected around here. Keeping it real and really tight with a light step of confidence provides a great soundtrack to the life and times of a little ol rock band outa Hamilton Ontario. Sure, T-dot likes em too, and we don’t mind if our neighbors get an earful of the good stuff as long as we can sup it up at home in grand style with friends and family.


Cory Mercer

Like it or not, music is art. Some is fine art, some street, but in the end it is absolutely the product of the fertile mind and busy hands of an artist. Cory Mercer is the kind of guest we dig at the Barber Shop, possessing both the steady eye, deep thoughts and properly good songs. Throw in a solid, soulful voice and a bonafide degree in chops, Mercer stands comfortably in the genre, just hip enough to not be hip but cool, comfortable in his own shoes – if he’s even wearing them. 

This show in particular came about because our scheduled guest had to back out and Cory was totally into it. – and he got the slot. Undeterred that he had no current recorded material, the short-notice impetus had him book studio time and record three beauties just for our viewers and listeners.  Making it happen on a Wednesday night Gary takes control of the show for the first time while Ryan oversees the great hour of music and talk on this edition of Barber Shop Podcast.


The Kat Kings

When it comes to music, the Golden Horseshoe is more than adequate to describe the vast riches that fill the land along Lake Ontario from Oshawa to Niagara. Sure, we here in Hamilton can clearly see that geographically speaking, we are the gem in the middle, it is our big, shiny sister city of Toronto that has always been the rich pretty one. Many Canadian artists move to the Big Smoke, and many homegrown sons and daughters cut their teeth and thrive in that hottest of markets.

The Kat Kings are one of these wonderful groups, a veteran crew of positive energy who play a form of dance friendly roots called jump blues. The infectious riffology and period pageantry hark to an era of early freedoms and lyrical entendre that somehow never really goes out of style.

Kevin McQuade lays down the sound of Memphis ghosts and belts out some great snappy numbers that swell and ride to a big finish like sweaty teenagers going to town at the drive in. The rhythm section of Rob Clark on bass and Adam David on bass keep things incredibly tight and the addition of Wayne Dagenais on keys make the live performances tonight hi-test testimony to something truly awesome.

The Kat Kings are for real, and their new CD Swingin’ in the Swamp is a full-bore party front to back, the brash bravado and the subtle nods all working in sync – an album in the truest of senses.

The boys have the chops, the ease and the stories to warrant the coveted “ghetto pass” to our studio, transcending any and all barriers of time and distance to hang with us at Barber Shop Podcast and the results are here for your entertainment pleasure.

We push fun here at BOXO and business is good….very good indeed.



We are all the sum of our parts, a product of genetics and environment. Nobody gets here alone, and the brief time we shine on this earth is finite, the marks we leave are testament to our worldly influences. Brian Andreas is such a wonderful amalgamation such heady influences born of his era, his fathers era and the random happen-chances that dot our collective landscapes. The music seemed at once familiar, giving voice to the words that would follow. Exploring possibilities and opportunities saw a few good mates and a few more lessons about the life in music he was now seeing appear. Being blessed with a voice that can carry a note to the mountaintop and soar above the electric cacophony was his ticket – the rare bird whose words become instrumental music in its own right. Sewing these seeds lead to the band ANDREAS, a five piece that were as big and bold as the space would allow, the pageantry served accordingly. 

Today ANDREAS consists of Brian and the sweet keys of fellow alum Jenny Lockwood, providing the masterful orchestration of the piano with his guitar, their voices playing just as well together in a unit that can play any room. Brian Andreas has the writing partner and the songs to make their new record a resounding message – delivered wonderfully and authentically, never straying near the hazardous ground of mimicry.

This is the kind of show we love around here, a lot of great music, great stories and brand new memories. 

Come and get it at Barber Shop Podcast.





Paul Sage

Paul “Sammy” Sage can’t quit music even if he tried. Something deep inside the man knew that music was more powerful than almost anything – and most of the anythings were often the demons that haunt us all. It’s important to step back and remember that this show, although on the surface about music, is really about souls. Your soul, my soul, our souls are both the grist and the mill for every memory and emotion that become forged weapons of enlightenment in song. To carry such a weight of bring, to feel and emote so readily is both a gift that rewards and a burden that overwhelms the beautiful ones. Being vulnerable   and brave in the face of afflictions and addictions means not only facing your fears, but settling in for a long protracted engagement with the darkness.

Music and words provide the personal universal truths and Paul Sage is no liar. Once the realization that music was the bridge that would carry both he and his message to those in need, the process of music became that of an agent of change. Many school auditoriums and church basements bore testament to the tenets of truth, perseverance, integrity and above all love. Intent on making a difference in this world, Pail shouldered the wheel and took the message far and wide, months and years bearing fruit with effect and change. 

It’s said a guitar player never stops playing, he/she just puts it down for awhile. It can be said the burdens grow heavy for the bearer of even the good news. After putting it down for awhile, the desire has returned and the faith in music is once again speaking up if not shouting from the rooftops quite yet. He is our guest on this night because the scheduled artist became ill and this friend of a friend who had every reason to say no – instead said yes. Bringing along his songs from his own lesson books, Paul Sage brought something else in studio with him tonight, a renewed faith in his place in music. 

This one is real as shit, as sweet as pie and a look into the great universal truth. 

Not bad for short notice.