In the been-there-done-that world of music, it’s a difficult thing to be a vexing chanteuse AND Suzi Sixpack as these subdivisions seek to attempt to define what is a female recording artist in this, the most difficult litmus test we take. Piper Hayes might have some of the trappings, you can’t fault a girl for that. Showing off beauty with your brains, wit and banter, skills and direction all serve to win an audience, but she is a writer at heart with a mission statement as light as it is deadly serious, the de rigur state of the business sets her apart from those who can’t or won’t do the work. Sticking to your guns is what it’s all about, for if you believe it youre halfway there. The degree to which something unique in a sanctioned race for recognition and survival often mimics our own, it feels good to cheer for someone who is good to be seen as herself and live a life as close to altruism as possible.
On a chilly but lovely Wednesday in mid December, we had the pleasure of hosting Piper and you can get to join us as the songs and the stories tell another brand new story that you’ve heard the opening lines 1,000 times. How it goes and how it ends is going to have pretty much everything to do with the girl in the chair, for it’s her turn on Barber Shop Podcast
You just believe Brock Zeman – really, that’s the thing. Storytellers and songwriters, playwrights and actors all bet their supper on being able to deliver you to where they want to take you – you dig? Ok, let me put it this way – when you have over a dozen acclaimed records and an international resume at the age of 35, it behooves us to pay some genuine heed, for the songs he writes are testament to the world around him that also encompasses us somehow in our own spaces. Hailing from the ruff n’ steady Ottawa Valley enclave of Carlton Place, a starting point for some deeply touching and highly raucous music from Brock Zeman’s mind, the everyday turned pivotal, the long fights frozen in an image. For the past nine years, Blair Hogan has been the friend and sideman to Zeman’s songs, thankful for the canvass afforded a great sideman. Trust and execution seems to be the order of the day as the pair came to Hamilton in early December to play a great show with local legends Dave Pomfret and Scotty Bakalar at This Ain’t Hollywood, a club we all love so much. Every time they pass through on their relentless schedule, they attract a few more fans with great songs and great attitudes – nicer guys you’ll never meet.
They get the BSP stamp of approval and if perchance you see a Brock Zeman show advertised in your area, you just might want to check out this podcast to see why it will be worth it for sure.
Every year since 2012 there is a celebration of music and brethren that takes place at BOXO Studio on Hamilton Ontario as Barber Shop Podcast celebrates another year of showcasing the truth and beauty of original independent music and original independent media. In a world where 80% of podcasts fail to last past 10 episodes, Barber Shop Podcast has been delivering the goods every week for well over 200 episodes and there is no sign of slowing down.
The opposite in fact is true, in that we co-ordinated a Go Fund Me campaign to assist in the upgrade of the cameras and lights to allow for 1080HD video content. Making sure the show looks as good as it sounds goes a long way to showcase the treasures we have around here in proper fashion and we chose this episode as the debut of these new systems. It would have been nice if things went off without a hitch, but that wouldn’t be a true representation of what we are all about at all – for our fans love us not despite the fact we are messy – but BECAUSE we are gloriously messy – at times.
So here we are, the mighty 4 year open house anniversary spectacular wherein we have no real idea as to who is going to show up and who is going to be playing what with who. This year, gremlins and glitches had Ryan going a bit nuts and Gary running for cover while I did my very best to entertain and consume beverages for the roughly 2 hours past show time on top of the 2 hours of the predicted and advertised start time of 8. We had a whole bunch of great folks who had to leave before the show even started and the ones who stuck around enjoyed the snacks and copious amounts of delicious booze…..so…..it kinda started late and went even later………
So here it is – farts, warts and all. I ramble and espouse for a good 12 minutes to start the show as it’s almost prophetic in its profane pronouncements but skip ahead to the first act and the host of sudden sidemen if you wish to skip the preamble – Here she be for all to see, the glory that is, and ever shall be,………… Barber Shop Podcast
Brenda Brown has both the style and chops to sing for a five star supper any day of the week. Comfortable in any style, Brenda has a knack for the smooth jazz, torch and smokey room sound that plays so well with smart and sharp set as well as a integral place floating in the ethos, just out of reach. Melody and lyrical integrity delivered with a certain convincing panache assures that nothing but good stuff gets thru. It’s a great set piece, each tune like a post card from yet another exotic stopover, thrilling on its own but so much more as a series. The whole album is a pleasure to listen to and having her live in studio was a real pleasure. Brenda is a lifer in the music business and teaches kindergarten at WH Ballard in Hamilton. She was born in the Hammer, lives in the east end with her wild and crazy family who aptly serve as her band tonight. Daughter Olivia is a graduate of Mohawk College Applied Music. Prior to that she attended U of T’s Music Undergrad program on piano, before making the switch to bass. She is now freelancing in music as a performer and is teaching at the Milton Academy of Music and Long and McQuade in Hamilton. She has played with Bump City, Grease Monkey, and is now working at Zyla’s with the jazz trio Easy Lemon.
Son Ian is in his third and final year at Mohawk College, in Applied Music. He performs with area singer-songwriter and former Barber Shop Podcast guest Ron Baumber, has played with the McMaster Jazz Band under the direction of Mike Malone. Ian at the present studies with Adrean Farruggia and is gigging and jamming with a variety of local groups. His real passion is composition and orchestration.
Finally, husband Glen aka Velvet is the drummer and a great friend of the show. He was given this stage name on a very early episode of the Barber Shop Podcast when playing with some local blues men. Glen taught public school music for 27 years. Glen is a graduate of Mohawk College Music (1984) and McMaster Music (1987). He plays drums for the Hamilton Bucket List Band, an eight piece genre-busting horn band that taps into Hamilton’s colourful history for many of its song ideas.
Together, tonight, they’re a great reminder of just what’s so great about music, what’s so great about family and what’s so great about Barber Shop Podcast.
What Can I say about the power and reach of music that I haven’t said in 210 weeks? How can I attempt to convey the binding and bonding power music has to bring people of different persuasions and personalities to a common place of peace and understanding? Music is the meat and potatoes, the hot sauce, the powdered sugar in life make no mistake about it, and tonight’s guest is a very good example of that my friends. Her Name is Katey Brooks, and most of you yobs around here don’t have a clue as to she is….Hailing from Bristol, I somehow caught a missive – a message from her on an area Facebook page whilst on a tour of Germany, that she was coming to Southern Ontario for a week and was looking for gigs to fill some dates between her booked dates. Being no fool, I asked if she would be interested in doing a show and she – not knowing any better said sure. I couldn’t get her a gig because everyone noone has heard of had ever heard of her,…..funny thing that. Not that it matters because many, many people in Europe love her and quite a few Canadians have a soft spot for her now – and I’m sure one of them.
Sometimes you just have to trust your gut – she did, I did, we did – and here is the result in high definition and high fidelity – from us to you.
Everyone has a story to tell and musician’s stories just sound the best dammit…. Marc Pettigrew is someone who beat the odds and defied the numbers in music and life itself. Most of us have a “before” time and an “after” time centered around a life changing event – and Marc’s event just happens to be a double lung transplant. As fate would have it, he is thankful and reflective about life now in a way the “before” Marc could never fathom.
We all have a story, some are just better told than others so I’ll just let this guy tell you his. We don’t spin fairy tales or shill widgets on this show – we tell real stories thru real people and we do it really well… If you keep the faith and keep a candle burning you will never know what you can’t do.
Love, life and loss gets real – on Barber Shop Podcast