CMW2016 Review: July, Willie Stratton, The Royal Foundry & Lost Cousins

When: Monday, May 2nd & Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016
Venues: Sneaky Dees, The Dakota Tavern & The Silver Dollar Room
Where: Canadian Music Week, Toronto

The CMW ball got rolling at the start of the week at Sneaky Dees with Brampton, ON band July. The five-piece pop punk band had the challenge of playing on the first night of the week-long music-infused festival, but were able to get the crowd excited with their considerable energy. It was definitely a nostalgia-filled performance, reminiscent of past pop punk bands such as Cartel, Cute Is What We Aim For and Forever the Sickest Kids.

July

Next on Tuesday at the Toronto-staple venue The Dakota Tavern was Willie Stratton. The Western Swing group hails from Halifax, NS and stopped in to CMW on their eastern tour. Although normally a five-piece including another guitar and fiddle, the CMW performance comprised of Jill Chambers on bass, Zack Crawford on steel guitar and Willie Stratton on guitar and vocals. The trio took the stage clad in matching denim vests on denim, cowboy hats and boots. They took the Dakota back a few decades to the Deep South. Their energy was infectious, and it didn’t take long for couples to overtake the dance-floor, showing off their swinging country moves.

WillieStratton

Afterwards The Royal Foundry – an alt-pop quartet from Edmonton, AB, took the stage. The group had an impressive stage presence and chemistry, no doubt aided by the marriage between the two lead vocalists Bethany Schumacher and Jared Salte. The Royal Foundry got the audience involved, singing along and Salte even took his keyboard with him as he ran into the crowd mid-performance. The undeniable chemistry is hard to describe but easy to spot –visit The Royal Foundry’s YouTube page to check out the videos “Running Away” and “All We Have” to see for yourself.

TheRoyalFoundry

On to The Silver Dollar Room to see Kingston, ON indie rockers: Lost Cousins. Lost Cousins are a very cool band, emanating a jazzy, psychedelic sound. It felt almost like Tame Impala meeting Steely Dan. These four pals have a blast playing together on stage. It seemed like they were still just jamming out in the Kingston student house basement where they were formed. Lost Cousins play frequently across Ontario – make a point to see these dudes live.

LostCousins

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