Review by: Linda Heldman
Photos by: Nicole Wolfe
Artists: Meghan Patrick, James Barker Band and Eric Ethridge
Venue: The Ranch, Barrie, ON
When: May 13, 2016
The Ranch in Barrie, Ontario, was THE place to be this past Friday night, May 13th. Boots and Hearts hosted the BH5 Pre-Game Party featuring special performances by Meghan Patrick, James Barker Band and Eric Ethridge.
Eric Ethridge started off the night with a killer set that definitely got the crowd, and especially the ladies, moving. This young, buff gentleman, from Sarnia, Ontario, has a sweet smile and tempting blue eyes that would make any lady melt. What comes out of him, musically, completes the package. His performance is electric! He works the stage with ease and interacts with each member of the audience to make them feel like he is singing just to them. He has an exceptional band that glides through each song and combined, they have amazing stage choreography.
Ethridge, is one of six finalists in the 2016 CCMA Discovery Program. He was also runner up in the 2015 Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist Showcase. I hope we see plenty more of him in the years ahead.
James Barker Band was up next. A little more mellow than Ethridge but, still packed a punch with a mixed set of covers and original tunes to please the audience. The four-piece band, consisting of James Barker, Taylor Abram, Connor Stephen and Bobby Martin, was the 2015 Boots and Hearts Emerging Artist Grand Prize Winners and have had an incredible year holding this honour. They will be returning to Boots and Hearts 2016 to pass the torch to the new winners. If you are lucky enough to be attending, please, check them out!
The headliner for the evening was the lovely little spitfire, that calls Bowmanville, Ontario home, Meghan Patrick. I swear this girl does not stand still. She can rock out as well as any of the boys and looks a whole lot prettier. With the recent release of her debut CD, Grace & Grit, she performed six tracks, in her 9-song set including the album’s title track, “I Believe In Beer”, “Forever Ain’t” and “I Won’t Drink”. The evening wouldn’t have been complete without her current single, that is climbing up the charts in leaps and bounds, “Bow Chicka Wow Wow”. Her energy was infectious and The Ranch was buzzing!
Patrick will also be performing at Boots and Hearts 2016 on the main stage. I hope they are ready for her because she is going to tear it up!
We had the opportunity to see all three of these artists last week during Canadian Music Week in Toronto. The musical momentum for BH5 is building. If you are attending, hold on to your cowboy hats and crazy glue your boots on. If you don’t, they’ll be blown away!
To see more photos from this event, please head over to our Facebook page.
James Barker Band
Hello everyone! My name is Linda and I have been a fan of Canadian Music for as long as I can remember. That counts for way too many decades than I want to admit to! I have three primary passions in my life, music, photography and writing. When I can combine them all, I feel I am right where I should be. Though I can appreciate all genres of music, my particular favourite is Country. Canadian Country is moving in leaps and bounds. I love how it is progressing and I’m thankful that I can be a small part of it.