Rundown By: Jenna Melanson
Photos By: James Melanson
What: Nova Scotia Music Week
Where: Yarmouth NS
When: Friday, November 6 & Saturday, November 7
Yarmouth, NS is no stranger to Nova Scotia Music Week, and every time the community is given the chance to host this extremely important event, the people welcome it with open arms. This past weekend was no exception.
Musicians from all over Nova Scotia made their way to Yarmouth as the festivities began on Thursday, November 5 and ran until Sunday, November 8. The weekend was full of great music, great friends and long nights.
This was my first NSMW and we were able to attend 10 sets over Friday and Saturday, and we were extremely happy over the sets we chose, although there were a few others we were excited to attend, but seems others were too, as the venues were at capacity.
Friday night, we started our fun at Rudders Brewpub where Jason Price was just finishing up his set as we arrived, from what I heard he was well liked among the crowd, and although I only heard his final song, I could tell why!
Next up was fourteen year old country artist, Makayla Lynn, who performed eight songs including her newest single, “Like Lightning” which was recently released to 125 radio stations. The highlights of her set for me were “Fallen Hero” and “Too Young To Drink”. “Fallen Hero” was written in memory of the three mounties were lost their lives in Moncton last year, and has a very heartfelt, emotional delivery. On the other hand, “Too Young To Drink” has a humour about it and a high energy that kept the crowd amped up.
Next, we headed to the Rodd Grand for a stellar lineup of bands which was made possible by CJLS. The set would have ended with Wintersleep and The Brood, but unfortunately we weren’t able to stick around for those two although I have heard nothing but good things said about these two bands from folks that were there for the show.
When I heard the name of this next band, Owen Meany’s Batting Stance, I didn’t know what to think, but as soon as they got on stage and vocalist, Daniel Walker started talking; I knew this was going to be great. The set consisted of five songs, and I thoroughly enjoyed each of them, and got a kick out of the third song entitled “Pop Odyssey: The First Person Narrative of the Bottle of Cola at a House Party”. I quickly knew that I wanted to hear more from this band, and am happy to announce that Canadian Beats will be doing a review of the upcoming album in the near future!
Next to the stage was a band I have been waiting to see for a while now, Dance Movie. The band consists of four members; Tara Thorne, Trevor Murphy, Josh Pothier and Rebecca Zolkower. The crowd went insane for Dance Movie, and unfortunately we were unable to get any decent photos of them as the fans were ambushing the stage. Tara’s vocals are spot on, and I highly recommend if you have the chance to check them out, you do not hesitate. Their set consisted of seven tracks including “Nosebleed”, “Give Up The Grace” and “Friday Night Mights”.
The final band we saw on Friday night was one I had heard about on numerous occasions but had never had the chance to hear them; Floodland. The Halifax based rock band burst on the stage and everyone seemed to enjoy their set as much as we did. The band did six original tracks, as well as a cover of “Why Don’t You Find Out For Yourself” by Morrissey. I knew I was going to be a fan of Floodland from the minute they started their set with “Decades”. That being said, the highlight of their set for me was “Mountain” and “Old School” which are off of their newest release entitled “It’s The Fire”.
That brought our Friday night festivities to an end, but the party continued through the night for most!
Saturday, our plan was to see four-piece French folk group, Cy but it seems many others had the same plan as the venue was at capacity when we arrived. I’m sure it was a killer set, as I hear they are an insanely talented group of guys!
Now the choices got harder tonight, but I believe I made a good choice staying at the showcase made possible by City Drugs Pharmachoice which took place at Th’ YARC which featured six incredible talents. The show started at 8pm and went until 12:15am. The best part of this for me was the seating, as for those of you who know me; I’m just that kind of gal! I would have loved to see Quiet Parade at the Rodd but couldn’t bear to leave this show with the possibility of the Rodd being at capacity, so I stayed put and am happy with the outcome.
First on the agenda was Dan MacCormack, who I had never had the pleasure of hearing but am I ever glad I got the chance during this weekend. He told us about how he took five years to write his newly released album, “Symphony Of Ghosts” which pays homage to the writing novelist David Adams Richards. Dan threw in various stories between songs which always adds a little something extra to the show. The stand out track to me was a song called “Face Your Hunters” which he wrote surrounding one quote, “We all know the end will come, you either face your hunters or run from them”. The final song, “Novel of the Summer” was an upbeat track that had the crowd all pumped up for the rest of the artists of the night.
Kim Harris took the stage next joined by fellow Nova Scotian musician, Jessie Brown. I was no stranger to Kim’s music when she hit the stage and was excited to hear her live, and she did not disappoint. She played two brand new tracks, and threw in stories through her set. The highlight of her set for me was when she performed “In The Woods” and “Dust” which are both off of her 2014 release, “Only The Mighty”.
Ryan Cook has been one of my favourite artists for some time now, so honestly he was the original reason why I chose this showcase and of course I stand by my decision. The moment he hit the stage, this Yarmouth born and raised artist was applauded immensely and although he mentioned his voice being a bit rough due to all the fun of NSMW, he put on an amazing show. He performed five songs and although the crowd obviously wanted more considering the standing ovation he received, we were all happy with the songs he performed including “Lulu Lemon”, “Dead Like Me” and “Gaspereau Valley”. On top of these well-known Ryan Cook songs, we got a special treat. For anyone who knows anything about Ryan’s past, you would know that he used to play metal, and although now he is all about the Country he let loose with some unbelievable heavy metal guitar, which led into his very own rendition of “Mr. Sandman”, and I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that the crowd went crazy for this, including Ryan’s head banging!
As the next band was taking the stage, I was in shock at the number of members piling onto the stage, which in fact was 8 members, with lead vocalist Erin Costelo taking the center position on the stage. As I was not aware of what sound was going to come from this band, I was pleasantly surprised when I heard a strong soul vibe coming from them. The talent was apparent from the whole band as they performed a series of tracks including “Move”, “Oh Me Oh My” and my personal favourite “High” in which Erin got up and showed off her moves!
With only two more acts to go in our night we were anxious to see what the final two performers would bring to the stage. Gabrielle Papillon was the next to grace the stage, along with some familiar faces for myself, Carmel Mikol, Jordi Comstock and Nicholas Maclean. They were also joined by Sean Macgillivray. Gabrielle wasn’t quite as chatty as the other artists before her, but she did have her moments talking about her love for the TV show, “The West Wing”. She played songs from her new album, “The Tempest of Old” such as “Preach Love” and “Brother Throw Down”, but I must say that the track that stuck with me was “Go into the Night” from her older album, “Little Bug”. This track came with a story about a lighthouse keeper who went off to find help on the night his wife went into labour, but never returned, because he had drown. We then find out this was about Gabrielle’s great great grandfather, and the baby born that night was in fact her great grandmother!
Christina Martin was the final artist to take the stage at Th’ Yarc and she sure closed the showcase with a bang! She put on an insanely high energy show, and was surely a crowd favourite. Christina performed “Reaching Out” and “Puppet Museum” from her newest album entitled “It’ll Be Alright”, as well as “I’ve Got a Gun” which she says was written about living in rural NS, which of course got a laugh from the crowd. She also threw in an older track, “Falling For You” which comes from her album “Sleeping With A Stranger”.
I hope to see all of these artists perform again someday, because let’s face it a half hour set is just a tease, and as I’ve said before if you have a chance to see any of these artists, get on that! You won’t regret it!
Connect with Owen Meany’s Batting Stance:
Connect with Dance Movie:
Connect with Dan MacCormack:
I’m Jenna, and I am the founder and editor of Canadian Beats. I have had a strong love for Canadian music, which started many years ago. I have a passion for promoting these talented Canadian bands and artists, and that’s how Canadian Beats came to be. I am so proud of what it has become over the last few years, with many talented music lovers and writers coming together to spread the word of Canada’s music.