Judi Rideout and the X Husbands

A sweet voice will only get you so far without great stories to sing, and Judi Rideout has some epic tales to share. Hailing from that fertile ground along the North Shore of Lake Erie, the country/roots tinged tales of love and loss are testament to years spent living life with open eyes and a tender heart. Each song is a freeze-frame from both a time and a place in her life, and a few were penned with either ex-husband #1 or ex-husband #2, both skilled songwriters in their own right. What this means is that mere words are transformed into palpable emotion, every turn of phrase another turn of the page in her life scrap-book. Years of dedication and devotion to the craft made for a weighty document and when it was decided to make a full-length album at Hamilton’s Porcelain Records, she was ready and willing to go for it.
Listening to each track is a wonderfully refreshing experience, bereft of cloying inference, choosing instead the Devine path of openness and sage vulnerability.
Visiting Barber Shop Podcast on a gloriously warm October evening, the beer was as cold as the band was hot. Accompanying her on guitar we have Mark Foley on guitar and backing vocals, Justine Fischer on bass, Tom Wells keeping time and silky Sam DeRosa bending notes on the harp to round out the sound sublimely. Between the tequila and the laughs, a wonderful little thing happened and you’re about to have a front-row seat for the whole thing. Playing four brand new songs live and four tracks from the new CD “Ex-Husband”, Judi Rideout demonstrates precisely why she’s connecting so well with fans everywhere – she’s honest – lovely, sweet – and I believe her….
You will too.


Foster Pottery Company

Steve Foster has had a pretty good seat to see Hamilton music past and present more clearly than most. His early days from blues gigs with veteran Johnny Crawford to his place with Crawlin’ Kingsnakes and Stoked are documented on his two previous appearances on the show, as is his present place as sound engineer with Chorus Entertainment means that he’s been there and seen that in the past thirty years. Making a life in music isn’t easy, the demands often far outweighing the financial benefits for the most part. As the brick and mortar of the business becomes one’s barometer, the ethereal joy it once carried fades. Being very aware that there isn’t much milk and honey awaiting local aging rock stars, the reasons to not do music often seem more compelling than the need to pick up the guitar and make another dream, another band and another plan a reality. The only thing that tilts the field is a little thing called passion. When passion is in the mix, everything else suddenly doesn’t matter so much. When the songs in your head start to take shape, the feeling is intoxicating – when it’s now being shared and played by kindred souls it’s downright addictive.

Foster Pottery Company was the company started by his grandfather many years ago and is the name of the three-piece Rock n roll outfit that is debuting here tonight.

Teaming up with long time friends Mike Northcott on bass and Mike Keena on drums, the band has a pace and ferocity that belies the sageness contained within. Big swelling guitar riffs riding atop a tight and rollicking rhythm section, great harmonies and a sweat fuelled set is what you can expect from these seasoned purveyors and you won’t be disappointed.

Great guys, great stories and a sneak peek at some new tunes brings you up to date of what’s in store musically and is sure to leave you wanting more. More is good.


Ron Baumber

Sometimes in life, our true loves come and go more than once – the fire smouldering but never truly extinguished. Such was – and is the case with Ron Baumber, a singer-songwriter who was right there, a key player in the heyday of the craft in the Canadian epicentre of Toronto. The burgeoning scene in Yorkville and the other bohemian boroughs were rife with the words and music that defined a generation. Ron Baumber certainly lived that life, and when time and life undercut the stability of that rock he built his life upon, the guitar and the pen were put down – for a while at least.

Years may pass but the need to create never does, so when the desire to pick up where he left off grew too strong to ignore, the creative flow started anew and a new journey was underway.

The various pieces started fitting together bit by bit and the songs began to pile up – good songs full of the lessons and perspective that only life can offer. Teaming up with like minded musicians who shared the desire to perform paid dividends and that passion and commitment has yielded a remarkable testament to the dreams that never die.

Ron Baumber & Friends have captured that feel and feature up to eight musicians whose individual voices combine brilliantly with the spacial awareness that comes with time and experience, the notes swirling and turning without stepping on toes.

On this fine night we feature Ron with but one of these band mates, another chap who had stepped away from the stage for years before teaming up and rediscovering the passion that started this raging affair in the first place. Gerry Mayor sits in, playing the very same saxophone he’s had since high school. The focus is on the songs, the context is in the story, and it’s all right here on this episode of Barber Shop Podcast.


Episode #200 – Tim Potocic/Supercrawl 2016

Something really cool is going down in The Hammer this weekend – something that is like steroids for the music scene in this town, something remarkable called Supercrawl. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past eight years, Supercrawl is an amazing overdose of art, music and fashion crammed into a few closed-off blocks of James Street, transforming the concrete canyons into a real-life stage like no other. 

The dude at the helm of this mighty ship is Tim Potocic, the home town visionary who has parlayed his experiences of 90’s powerhouse Tristin Psionic into a key partnership with a band-mate and longtime friend, cohorts who took everything they knew and all they believed in – and formed Sonic Unyon, a small label with big dreams and the killer work ethic that makes ideas transform into a sublime reality.  Residing in the heart of downtown, the little record company that could began to develop and promote concerts and festivals, real life stages onto which the creative visions of the artist can be delivered to a receptive audience – from the lips to the ears of the next generation of folks to whom real, original music is the crucial ingredient. The hard scrabble of James Street North began to transform and evolve due to the monthly happening on the second Friday of every month – a little thing called Art Crawl that made that mean street suddenly inviting and comforting in a bohemian fashion, cool, trendy but somehow untainted by the monetization and fiduciary concerns that exist when art and commerce collides. In 2008 the idea of a street festival took flight with the first Super Crawl and  every year since the spectacle had grown in size and impact. Hamilton has always been known as a music town. We have always had a remarkable core of steadfast artists who could invest in their world on a street, in a neighborhood, uniquely their own. Now it seems everyone wants in, a sure signal that the little idea is now the blueprint on how to take a bit of skill, a deep passion, and a whole lot of community to create the most exciting three days in all of Ontario. Yup, it’s not rocket science but it’s close – let’s call it rock science and Tim Potocic is the mad genius we get to know tonight, on Barber Shop Podcast. 



Checkerboard Floors

Just west of Steeltown lies the fertile ground of Haldimand County and the city of Brantford – a place that punches far above its weight musically speaking. In that zone of influence between there and the town of Paris (not France 😉 live the lads who comprise the makings of tonight’s guests, Checkerboard Floors. Comprised of Derek Palagano, Tyler Wilson, Matt Outerson and Rob Shorney perform in every wing shack and mall bar they can book with their cover band, gaining the precious experience and chops along the way to invest in their vehicle of original music, making compelling and legitimate art in an environment that is often barren of the nourishment that steady gigs and regular praise brings. Steady progress, absolute conviction and a faith in the results bore fruit and when it became time to retreat to the boutique studio of guitarist Wilson’s creation led to the further creation of their debut album ART PROJECT in 2014, a 10 song, full length CD that showcases the slick arrangements and crafty vocal interplay within the band, the vexing voice of Palango strong yet plaintive atop the mix with Wilson’s fretboard flourishes and Outerson’s hinge evident in his harmonies and low passes, each instrument and voice both pushing and pulling the others effortlessly, creating just the right tension to make the heartstrings sing. Yup, these lads are both nothing special and the next best thing all at once. You’d be forgiven if you overlooked Checkerboard Floors whole going about your daily tasks – but you should definitely go back for a closer look – it’s well worth the time and effort.  This fine night, the last night of August, we welcome our western neighbors with open arms, lending a hand and an ear as yet another great band you’ll likely never get to hear or see without this little glimpse – who knows, you might just fall in love all over again. 



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.