James Favron is what us old guys call a millennial. Born in a technological saturated environment, the nuances of the poet songwriter is often buried in the bits and bytes we feast so lazily upon. Fortunately for us, these are a shitload of them out there, and many of these exquisite 20 – something’s possess a steely eye and a finely tuned ear to the power of the beautiful word and the magic of music.
Born and raised in Rexdale where the city greys, the home life afforded him gave the tools and inspiration of many styles of music and the nimble mind and fingers of James Favron began to explore brave new worlds. Stockpiling ideas into lines and lines into songs was – and is – a process that must be worked thru with diligence and purpose, the eager faithfulness of youth surely rewarded in due time. Life, mairrage, children, all followed and a move to the sleepy enclave of Dunville in Southern Ontario has provided the nest for his creative hatchlings to grow.
This night was a good one – the guests were spot on and the music, as you will now hear, is as legit as the summer nights are long. There’s a lot in store and you’ve got a front row seat right here on Barber Shop Podcast.
There exists in the musical universe a solid group of musicians who have been around long enough to keep doing something, and do it well, without necessarily touring the country or even the region for that matter. The ability to write, record, play and grace the stage periodically places these gems in a semi-obscure state where only a relative few souls get the pleasure to experience it. Tonight is a perfect example of this scenario as the guys from EYEROLLERS make their long awaited return to BOXO Studio, the first time so long ago that almost none of the original equipment (or saggy furniture) remains. Brothers Grant and Stu Marshall have had a front row seat, or a stage left view for enough gigs that their easy syncopation is signature in the lush guitar play and that sly fox John Connoly has maintained the joyus lust of live performance and the cynic’s eye on the big picture pile on with the playful but directed drumming of Dave Christie to provide a counter punch to the front end making a mixture that is at once familiar and new.
Sure the music is always awesome on Barber Shop Podcast, but the earnest and honest discourse is what brings people back to discover new people and new music – and this one is a goody. When guests are smart, funny and themselves we all get to somewhere we didn’t know we were even going.
Gotta give credit where credit is due, and these three guys have a lot of Hamilton music history to their credit. Cashing in on a lot of hard won experience, The trio of Pete Moss, Adam Cannon and Cory Brouwer have genealogy in Porcelain Youth, The Virginia Wolves, Magnetic Lever, and Lee Baby Sims – each outfit a solid offering to not only to what was being said musically but what was likewise being received with gusto. Being taken seriously for a long time helps when it comes time to put together something that’s going to run. It’s clear to see that with the formation of Slo Motions there is an attitude that delivers an altitude, a measure of confidence that allows the next incarnation of the band to get somewhere fast with everybody on board sporting a huge grin. These guys are favourites around here for the same reasons they do ok in general – smart lads with a sense of humor, great songs and work ethic to make it stick.
If you like it when all the pieces slot in together nicely then you’ll like this one. If you’re a big fan of top-shelf musicianship and sweet melodies, this episode will do nicely. If you want to hear great voices in harmony and the manifestation of thoughts into a nicely crafted and interesting art piece then sit down and let this episode of Barber Shop Podcast serve as the gateway drug for real independent music.
How we all got here is always a great story, even if “here” is a different place for each one of us. In all the years, and all the shows, there is a common theme that runs throughout each and every episode – and that is the journey to find one’s own voice. Common themes abound, but eventually the lessons meld, the influences are metabolized and the myna bird school of vocal approximations gives way to something best described as style.
Hanna Bech has got all kinds of style, noteworthy because it is clearly her – she who speaks for many with quiet voices, so many who may have felt less than welcome around some of the more esoteric of tables life presents us in this trip. What she did find was music, band class, like-minded quirky nutty, funny and smart kids who grew into adults who inhabit the halls of influence at all levels. When once it was easy to pick on the nerd, the nerd has become the captains of industry and the trend setters of this millennium so far.
In this, the very last day of January, we get to know Hanna a little, find out about how she found the time, team and temperament to take her calling and make it her reason for living. How the quiet introspect found the courage to write, sing, perform and record a body of work that is at once comforting and challenging. Real, original music, produced locally by good, good people on a daily basis. Not to be confused with the factory-produced big business model of corprate music, but the kind of music that hits you like the scentof a pie cooling on a windowsill – something that still does to you what music is supposed to make you do, think and feel – all on it’s own
Hanna can be proud of what she’s done – true to honesty and integrity, berift of the shallow, self serving ego so many smug pretenders dish out on a daily basis – she’s the cure for what ails a cynical and sarcastic generation.
Dave Pomfret has been hip to the music scene for a long time – with a few long breaks in between. Forming up with the Munday Nuns in the early 90’s with a few seminal Steeltown players, the ferocity and velocity of the early days left a mark literally and figuratively, the makings of great songs and great shows imparted in a very permanent fashion. When time came to release his first album of personal work, the long-awaited No Rush record was a testament to everything he had remembered, a few of those lingering feelings perfectly summed up within it’s storyline.
Life being what it is gives and takes – the triumphs and tragedies of the ensuing years saw Dave Pomfret make decisions about his life and his work that changed so much about the same guy. The clarity of sobriety allowed him to form and maintain the friendships and musical relationships with some of the very best players and the very best souls in town – and the result is absolutely worth the wait. A Devil’s Urge shows the care and effort (not to mention expense) required to make a collection of songs stand out – telling vivid tales with both serious and sarcastic, deep and delicious for the ear and mind.
On this, the first show of 2017 we sit down with Dave and Brennagh Burns to perform a few choice numbers live and bring us up to date on what has brought Dave Pomfret here, the wherefore and why, the bits of history that can get lost so easily were it not for the poets and troubadours, the drawers and dreamers, the seekers and the preachers – this is what they do – and because of this, it’s why we do what we do – every week, on Barber Shop Podcast
Mike Williams has been around as long as dirt – and I mean that in the best way possible. As the years pass by and the new boss becomes the old boss, some things have a legitimate place in the foundation of the music scene in Hamilton since the late 70’s. Playin bass for some of the biggest, brightest and brashest of guitar slingers, drummers and front men, Mike witnessed and participated first hand in the story as it unfolded, never more than a few feet from the best of the best, never one to tell tales – until tonight that is. Finding himself waining and wanting of a charge of energy and a new direction, a meeting with Junkhouse alum Russ Wilson led to the compilation of some of the tunes that had been compiled, and with the addition of some true blue friends and compatriots – a self titled album of songs was produced that showcases Mike Williams as a front man after all these years. Soft, sweet and melodic notes lilt throughout as the gritty realism of yesterday’s dirt gave bloom to the side of the man that only time can coax out.
It was – and is – a night I won’t forget for a very personal reason. For over 200 weeks the dog known as Deeogee greeted and approved of every single musician that came through these doors, a sage spirit that so many knew and grew to love. This was his last show, and as the show began I knew that the next day was going to be our very last car ride together, a farewell to a best friend – and for that I dedicate this show to friends that have your back until the end.
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.