Category Archives: Podcasts

Trout Lily

Brent Barber has the name and Joan Krygsman has the beauty and together they give voice to Trout Lily. Evoking the whimsical and channeling the purest of streams, this twosome make music the old fashioned way, Never one to shy away from a challenge, the two are nonetheless, shy folks at heart. The almost cryptic manner in which an empath draws energy and imagery provides both the texture and perspective of the arrangement but also many times the voices and energies in the echosphere that make progression a bit perilous or tedious. Sharing the emotional and musical workload provides the work bench on which Trout Lily have begun to craft their own history and in time, their own legacy. Some things come easier than others in this life, and when you get the pleasure of hanging out with a couple of grounded and interesting folks who can spin a tune or two – well, that’s the making of another great night at BOXO Studio on Barber Shop Podcast.

Purple Helmet

Music – especially in this town – is as eclectic as the cats and kittens that have plied their music up and down the sometimes seedy streets, a mix as thick as the thieves that they walk among. Some are giants that still cast shadows, and some are like these guys, zoned in and hot in the scene they themselves were helping refine, followed by the inevitable breakup and scattering after the strain and thin gruel becomes too much to continue. Some of the stuff that has survived in WAV files and scratched CD’s has aged well, and some, like these guys, are a stark reminder of the cultural icons that would be hauled down and smashed in the streets of today’s Orwellian Fuckland of rules. Loud, fast and fun, these rude, crude arch-types of the Dice Clay era posses what can only be described as pure legitimacy of illegitimacy – dig? Either way, the writing was on the wall, and seeing as producer Ryan had a longstanding friendship and working relationship with the band – we asked them in on the condition that they surrender their electric instruments and full stage drum kits and stacks of amps at the door to perform in a softer, gentler fashion to better suit the soft and mushy times we live in. Here they are – the real deal off the bottom of the deck , dirty and disrespectfully disgusting – PURPLE HELMET on Barber Shop Podcast.

The Handsome Devils

Country music – the real kind that stirs of echoes close to home, is a bit of a rarity these days, certainly on the local scene. While it is true that country music has grown in popularity, the addition of pedal steel or the fusion of pop and rap into the hayseed represents a segment that is not represented in the music of The Handsome Devils – they possessing the legit Nashville and Bakersfield sound that hold true to the great heroes of Country Music. Great songwriting is always the first order, and having a husband-and-wife team reading each-others lines holds weight as the word play and musicality swirl together at the county social. I could tell you all about them but it seems that in this day and age it might be best to just push play and hear for yourself just how good this group out of Hamilton is, they’re real as the day is long and they brought their A game to Boxo Studio in the summer of 2017 and told us their story in words and music. Here it is, on Barber Shop Podcast.

Carolyna Lovely

Travellers travel – thats what they do. Be it the actual journey across the world or the metaphysical trip one takes mentally, Carolyna Lovely has both in spades. Long a Hamilton standard for both her writing and playing – she also was more than adept at the nuts-and-bolts part of the game – and she made things happen. When it became clear to her that Steel Town didn’t have her for good, she set out to travel, winding up in Australia working the land as well as her fertile mind. She can be tough but who the hell wants soft in this world? Her knack for picking not only a song but a style to suit the mood is legendary, and the proof is very much in the pudding on this one as she once again becomes the thing she dreamed. A new record and a return to her beloved Canada to tour it’s expansive beauty. It’s a damn good thing we have the time and place to welcome her – Barber Shop Podcast style.


Shawn Brush

Everywhere you look in this business there are stories, it’s part and parcel of what you sign up for in a way and Shawn Brush has a pretty good one for all of us to know. It’s said music will either tell your story if you let it, and combining all the disciplines is hard enough without having additional hurdles along your journey. The fact that Shawn has continually brushed off limitations with wit and humor and a shitload of talent for over twenty years, speaks for the man’s universally respected character. From the early years of learning his craft his keen ear and eye played into his mature songwriting. Soon Shawn was not only churning out one or two records every year, he was and is featured on many seminal Hamilton/GTA recording sessions as his name became well known in certain circles. Because there was such a deep variety of artists and styles, his prowess as a multi instrumentalist for almost any style proceeded him more and more, Sometimes when you push yourself that hard it’s a bit tough on the equipment and Shawn pushes himself very hard to do many things that many of us take for granted. He enjoys tremendous support in the art and music communities and as he embarks on yet another phase in an incredible career, he is getting set to tour again after getting a new conversion van to bring The Krooked Cowboy to your neck of the woods.

This was a very special night for us, splitting the studio up and jamming a few originals with Harry and George while spinning a few oldies and just talking about the life and times of a pretty remarkable guy who has always stood behind his mark.

Shawn Brush, on Barber Shop Podcast.


Poppsy Cole

What happens when a gorgeous, obscenely talented American chick falls for a ruff-n-tumble former punk from Canada, forms a splash-n-brass 7 piece band, fall in love, get married and have a kid while still in their formative twenties? Well, you keep writing your life story and stitch together a sweet little tapestry of the continuation of that very life – you record an EP and you book yourself a spot on the best live music podcast going and send your song files to a drummer and pedal steel player and perform together live for the first time EVER.

Its an honor to be witness to the birth and evolution of something – more so something beautiful. Music is the magic that makes us all part of the same journey and its great to have the best seat in the house.


Kyle Pacey

Music travels. It transcends space and time, the crystallized essence of what one feels, knows and wishes fleshed out in the here and now for time eternal. A life in music contains many such moments, the inevitable ups and downs, highs and lows, all part of a much bigger picture. Kyle Pacey is one such individual who both personally and stylistically is wed to a time and place that is at the same time frozen in a bygone era and also incredibly relevant to where we are today. Stylistically he lays down a cool jazzy vibe and vocals that speak of the universal wants and needs, scattering effluent verbology over a nuanced groove. Personally, he has lived through those times, and the passion and conviction he carries ensures that those who get to hear him are treated to something real and good.

Real Good – Barber Shop Podcast Style.


Tomi Swick

Being brutally honest in a soulfully poignant way has become the hallmark of Hamilton’s Tomi Swick since he broke nationally by winning a Juno all those years ago. A whole lifetime – or two – have provided a wealth of material in those years, an old soul catching up with himself. Writers seldom give themselves credit, and singers – well singers you see have a contentious relationship with their own abilities, always hearing a little more of the mistakes and a little less of the greatness than others might, a constant battle to flesh out the bones of a song with absolute legitimacy. Tomi Swick suffered a catastrophic injury to his voices – an ending far too soon into a promising career that had already seen more ups and downs than many full careers witness and could provide ample resource material for years of songwriting to come. If Tomi Swick was going to make it back was only in question for a short time, but how remained a mystery until all the pieces were gradually put in place along with the accrued wisdom and steely determination that only redemption can provide.

It is a true blessing to have an hour with Tomi Swick here at BOXO Studio, this being a very significant night for a number of reasons. Not only was this the first time we got Tomi one-on-one (the first appearance was with Andy Griffiths) but this is the very first show that our esteemed audio guy Gary Greenland covered for Ryan and ran the entire show by himself – and did a great job as you will see and hear. Tomi Swick plays 4 new – never before recorded songs live in-studio and we get a few cuts from the gorgeous The Yukon Hotel, his latest and greatest CD from Sleight Music along with stories and memories of his life in – and out – of music.

All the best – from Barber Shop Podcast.


Steve Murphy/Westminster Park

Bands out of London Ontario have a pedigree of sorts, quite often comprised of a great cross section of the province’s brightest minds and a musically steeped geography that lends itself to smart, quality musicianship. When there is a symbiotic relationship between the members, the underpinnings aren’t often easily conveyed by just one of the members. On this fine Wednesday, a gent by the name of Steve Murphy made the trek to Hamilton to represent the group as a solo act, stripping down the lush arrangements and laying bare his soul for our voyeuristic pleasure. The members of WESTMINSTER PARK might not have made the trip with Steve, but the message sure got thru loud and clear. Possessing a melancholy wistful nature, Steve Murphy writes the kind of songs that lament and linger, often touching on the nerve that is still swollen or pinched, turning the key in a lock of our own making. The record he brought along is entitled Fig. 4: Molt, Rebirth and serves to carefully examine the cause and effect of our humanity with deeply personal tomes that share a common element with the listener. Steve’s wife Colleen along with Melissa Parrott and Steve Presant created a brilliant work that is at once playful and cautionary while remaining musical and true. The fact that Steve has the pluck to carry the load solo allowed something very special to happen as the intimacy of the moment was exploited to full advantage with the deft finger picking and powerfully subdued vocals in his performances.

As far as shows go – this is a bittersweet showcase of just how far Barber Shop Podcast has come in the past 5 years. The High Fidelity audio and High Definition video look as professional as our guest sounds, bringing original, independent music to the four corners of the world each and every week.


Spencer Mackenzie

Spencer turned 18 this week and it’s nice to see time catch up with him because he’s been pulling the weight of a man for quite a few years now. The blues is a trap you see – seemingly simple to play and write – but there you see is the rub. The blues can spot a fraud a mile away, and the form insists there are no substitutes for authenticity when bending notes and holding audience in the holes and havens that provide safe haven for the (usually senior) players and audiences on the blues circuit in Southern Ontario.

Hailing from the mighty Niagara region of Southern Ontario, Spence Mackenzie is literally at the crossroads of the greatest blues migration in the world. As the freedom train rolled over the years, the true blues-men of the delta region, or Kansas City, Chicago or Memphis had to ride the rails thru these parts if they were to get to ANY other part of Canada over the past three quarters of a century. The seeds of that tree were scattered far and wide with out golden horseshoe getting more than it’s fair share. Born into a musical family, the kid showed an affection and affinity for the blues box and soon the riffs were becoming more natural and more a part of his soul. The secrets of the masters became clear as he mastered the classics, and his father was willing and able to pen the experienced and nuanced lines that must bear scrutiny and repeating in a song that transpires mere homage and becomes a true original.

It was a fine late spring evening when the then 17 year old Mackenzie journeyed up the highway to Steeltown to sit down with Kevin to talk about his new CD “Infected With The Blues” and with that all the usual stuff – and a few things no one saw coming. Everyone had a good time and we were treated to Spence playing stripped down with just an acoustic and his ever increasing voice. It was a fine night indeed – and you get to relive it now, on Barber Shop Podcast