Archive for Hugh’s Room Live

Jack de Keyzer

Saturday, December 14, 2019 | 8:30pm

Jack de Keyzer
$25 Advance / $30 Door

“The finest blues guitarist in Canada.” – Jeff Healey

Guitarist, Singer, Songwriter Jack de Keyzer plays the blues world wide, from Alert, Arctic Circle to Puerto Escondido, Mexico; from Athens, Greece to Hornby Island, BC and many points between. One of Canada’s most awarded and  in demand live performers and session guitarists, Jack has released 10 CD’s and 1 DVD. He has also played on hundreds of recordings and live sessions with artists ranging from Etta James to Ronnie Hawkins and Bo Diddley to Blue Rodeo.  He is an exciting live performer, soulful vocalist and world class song writer and performs an average of 120 shows per year. De Keyzer has brought audiences to their feet at many major Jazz and Blues Festivals including the Montreal Jazz Fest, Blues Sur Seine (France) The Ottawa Blues Festival and Puerto Blues, (Mexico).  A much celebrated musician, de Keyzer has been nominated for the Juno (Blues Album of the Year) 5 times and won the Juno twice in 2003 and 2010. He has won 7 Maple Blues Awards (Canada’s national blues awards) , first place in the International Songwriting Competition and won CBC’s Great Canadian Blues Award from a poll of radio listeners. Always touring with an incredible band, Jack will have you rocking in your seat and swaying to his hot  blues, soulful r&b and cool soul jazz. World class.

 “If Jack de Keyzer was from Chicago, New York or LA, he’d be famous.” Bob Dylan

“Electric Love…a rock blues album with nods to guitar influences Clapton, Hendrix and Page… a disc of excellent new songs by a bluesman who should be considered their equal.” (Maple Blues) 

Two-Time Juno Award Winner 
Seven-Time Maple Blues Award Winner

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Quartette

Sunday, December 8, 2019 | 8:30pm

Quartette
$50 Advance / $55 Door

Since their debut in 1993, the four members of Quartette have been both publicly and critically acclaimed for their lush harmonies and delightfully diverse repertoire. Cindy Church, Caitlin Hanford, Gwen Swick, and Sylvia Tyson are seasoned singer/songwriters whose influences range from blues and gospel to folk and country to jazz and pop.

The group’s first appearance, a showcase of Canadian women songwriters, took place at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre. What began as a “songwriter in the round” concert of musical friends grew into an inspired collaboration. This initial performance generated an appearance on CBC Radio’s Morningside with host Peter Gzowski. The phones began to ring with requests for a recording, and seven months later in April of 1994, the self-titled album, “Quartette,” was released to rave reviews. This was followed by coast-to-coast tours of theatres, folk festivals, performances with symphony orchestras, and live appearances on radio, including two appearances on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion.

In 1995 a second album, “Work of the Heart ,” was released and, following this, CBC’s Adrienne Clarkson Presents profiled the group in an hour-long special.

With the untimely death of original member, Colleen Peterson, in 1996, Quartette elected to continue performing, and welcomed another musical friend, Gwen Swick, to the group. Gwen’s skills as a songwriter and vocal arranger carried the group to a new level as they prepared to record once again, and the result was “In The Beauty Of The Day,” released in 1998.

Quartette has received several Juno nominations, won a Canadian Country Music Award for best vocal collaboration, performed with major symphony orchestras across Canada, and recorded the CMT-TV special, “A Quartette Christmas.” They have also released two Christmas CDs, “It’s Christmas!” in 1996, and “I See A Star” in 2002, both of which are collections of traditional and original Christmas songs, and their Christmas shows have become a tradition with audiences across the country.

Quartette continues to tour and record. In October of 2007, they released their sixth recording, “Down At The Fair,” produced by legendary guitarist, arranger and producer Colin Linden.

An evening with Quartette is always a magical musical journey.

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Patricia O’Callaghan  

Saturday, December 4th, 2019 | 8:00pm

Patricia O’Callaghan  
$35 Advance / $40 Door *

Patricia O’Callaghan is something of a wandering minstrel. Her fifteen-year career has taken her across genres, continents, and a range of disciplines and passions.

Her recording career spans six solo CDs and many interesting guest collaborations. A speaker of French, Spanish, and German, her early recordings focused on European cabaret, and she is considered a specialist in the music of Kurt Weill. Patricia has performed his Threepenny Opera, Seven Deadly Sins, and Kleine Mahagonny with Soulpepper Theatre Company, Edmonton Opera, and Vancouver Opera, to name a few.

This Toronto soprano can sing a 100-year-old German tune so lustily that you almost don’t need a translation to know that someone’s about to get his throat cut or get laid or both. The National Post

One of Patricia’s most unique talents is the ability to blend a variety of languages and musical genres seamlessly together in her concerts, and completely embody whatever style she is singing at any given moment.

O’Callaghan sings her diverse material as if it was always meant to go side-by-side and by the end of the evening, it’s easy to believe her. Chart Attack Magazine

She has sung with some of the world’s great ensembles and artists (Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Don Byron Quartet, Bryn Terfel), and has performed in venues that range from London’s Royal Opera House to New York’s Noho cabaret Le Poisson Rouge.

Patricia also writes and co-writes songs and has had the honor of premiering many new compositions, from both the classical and pop worlds. It has been her great privilege to work with such creators as R. Murray Schafer, David Braid, Dennis Lee, Christos Hatzis, George Aperghis, Steve Reich, and Steven Page, to name a few.

Patricia’s film, theatre and television credits include her own Bravo! special, The CBC produced Ken Finkleman series Foolish Heart, and the semi autobiographical Rhombus / Westwind film Youkali Hotel, which has won several prizes, including a Golden Sheaf Award to Patricia for best female performance. Ms. O’Callaghan has also received other awards, such as a Chalmer’s Grant from the Ontario Arts Council and a Fleck Fellowship from The Banff Centre for the Arts.

She recently completed a six year stint as a Resident Artist at Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre Company. Her responsibilities there included conducting, teaching, mentoring young artists, producing, curating and performing in festivals, and developing new work.

Recent projects are Broken Hearts and Madmen; a collaboration with The Gryphon Trio, which blends classical music with traditional songs from Latin America and pop songs from around the world…

“Broken Hearts and Madmen is an exquisite piece of work. The result is absolutely breathtaking in its attention to detail, with every note carved from their love of the songs…” – Vivascene and Matador: The Songs of Leonard Cohen

A truly exceptional blend of natural expressiveness and masterful coloration, her tender versions of Cohen’s “Take this Waltz” and “Hallelujah” are revelatory. – Billboard Magazine

She’s one of the best singers ever to come out of Canada. – Vivascene

website: http://www.patricia-ocallaghan.com/
youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7QLtMHOiqw


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Leahy

Saturday, November 30, 2019 | 8:30pm

Leahy
$30 Advance / $35 Door

Over the course of their notable career, Canadian group Leahy has secured a place as one of the country’s most highly regarded progressive folk-roots bands.  Their emergence on the Canadian music scene in the late 1990’s with their chart-topping instrumental single “Call to Dance”, introduced audiences to a new way of accessing a uniquely Canadian music genre.  The “Leahy sound” – a combination of strong stride piano, unique bass guitar and drumming styles along with driving rhythm guitar – was the foundation from which wildly talented fiddle led instrumentals and vocals were launched to mainstream music listeners.  Leahy would go on to win three Juno awards and receive countless accolades for their dynamic and powerful performances.

To date Leahy has sold more than half a million albums worldwide. They have been featured in three PBS television specials – Leahy Live in Concert, Gael Force (with the Chieftains), and Leahy Live from Gatineau, Quebec – and are the subject of an Academy Award winning documentary, The Leahys: Music Most of All.  As well as touring extensively throughout Canada, the USA and Europe in support of three acclaimed records – Leahy, Lakefield, and In All Things – the band had the enviable opportunity of opening for fellow Canadian, Shania Twain, throughout the USA, Canada and the UK on her record-breaking Come On Over tour.

Since early 2017 Leahy has been back in the studio recording new music.  The focus is on songs and the band’s original songwriting and instrumental compositions.  The result is a wide-ranging collection that reflects the individual personalities that make up Leahy.  Built on their roots and the distinctive “Leahy sound”, their new material reveals the band’s drive to continue pushing beyond its traditional footings.  It’s a powerful record that delivers a sumptuous feast of solid music, pulse-raising rhythms, compelling storytelling and infectious melodies.

On the edge of a new chapter in their career, some things don’t change – the experience.  An encounter with Leahy is inimitable. Performances are full of energy, big rich sound, poignant songs, fiery instrumentals and percussive step-dancing – all delivered with unapologetic passion! In one word – unforgettable.

 

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees

Leahy

Friday, November 29, 2019 | 8:30pm

Leahy
$30 Advance / $35 Door

Over the course of their notable career, Canadian group Leahy has secured a place as one of the country’s most highly regarded progressive folk-roots bands.  Their emergence on the Canadian music scene in the late 1990’s with their chart-topping instrumental single “Call to Dance”, introduced audiences to a new way of accessing a uniquely Canadian music genre.  The “Leahy sound” – a combination of strong stride piano, unique bass guitar and drumming styles along with driving rhythm guitar – was the foundation from which wildly talented fiddle led instrumentals and vocals were launched to mainstream music listeners.  Leahy would go on to win three Juno awards and receive countless accolades for their dynamic and powerful performances.

To date Leahy has sold more than half a million albums worldwide. They have been featured in three PBS television specials – Leahy Live in Concert, Gael Force (with the Chieftains), and Leahy Live from Gatineau, Quebec – and are the subject of an Academy Award winning documentary, The Leahys: Music Most of All.  As well as touring extensively throughout Canada, the USA and Europe in support of three acclaimed records – Leahy, Lakefield, and In All Things – the band had the enviable opportunity of opening for fellow Canadian, Shania Twain, throughout the USA, Canada and the UK on her record-breaking Come On Over tour.

Since early 2017 Leahy has been back in the studio recording new music.  The focus is on songs and the band’s original songwriting and instrumental compositions.  The result is a wide-ranging collection that reflects the individual personalities that make up Leahy.  Built on their roots and the distinctive “Leahy sound”, their new material reveals the band’s drive to continue pushing beyond its traditional footings.  It’s a powerful record that delivers a sumptuous feast of solid music, pulse-raising rhythms, compelling storytelling and infectious melodies.

On the edge of a new chapter in their career, some things don’t change – the experience.  An encounter with Leahy is inimitable. Performances are full of energy, big rich sound, poignant songs, fiery instrumentals and percussive step-dancing – all delivered with unapologetic passion! In one word – unforgettable.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees

The Last Waltz: A Musical Celebration of The Band

Sunday, November 24, 2019 | 8:30pm

Lance Anderson presents The Last Waltz: A Musical Celebration of The Band
Advance $50.00 / Door: $55.00

Players TBA

It has been more than forty years since this legendary concert by The Band. If you missed it in 1976 then this is as close as you’ll get to experiencing not only the music, but the vibe, man.

An all-star Canadian cast of award-winning blues and roots musicians will perform The Last Waltz: A Musical Celebration of The Band at Hugh’s Room Live.

Under the direction of Juno award winning producer and musical director, Lance Anderson, the November appearances will be the eighth year for this crowd pleasing show which has sold out shows in Ottawa, Peterborough, Orillia, Collingwood, Port Hope, Stratford and at Hugh’s Room in Toronto. And headlined the CNE Bandshell, Southside Shuffle, Wasaga Beach Blues Festival and Kitchener Blues Festivals.

The performance will recreate the atmosphere of The Band’s final concert, which was captured in Martin Scorsese’s award-winning concert film, The Last Waltz.

On the American Thanksgiving of 1976 at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom, The Band performed what they called their “Last Waltz,” and invited many of their friends to join in the celebration. These friends included Bob Dylan, Ronnie Hawkins, Van Morrison, Neil Young and others who performed with The Band on this special night.

In this homage to The Last Waltz, Anderson’s special guests will perform the songs played and sung by these artists at the memorable 1976 concert. These shows have become an annual November tradition in Ontario.

Anderson’s production of The Last Waltz has experienced rave reviews at the many festivals where it has appeared over the past few years and has consistently been referred to as the “best of the festival.”

“It wasn’t just the musicianship, which was second to none; it was the energy – these musicians have brought forth a live music gem that is worthy of any stage I know of and probably more that I don’t,” said P. Rellinger of the Kawartha News after seeing Anderson’s show in Peterborough.

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.

The Last Waltz: A Musical Celebration of The Band

Saturday, November 23, 2019 | 8:30pm

Lance Anderson presents The Last Waltz: A Musical Celebration of The Band
Advance $50.00 / Door: $55.00

Players TBA

It has been more than forty years since this legendary concert by The Band. If you missed it in 1976 then this is as close as you’ll get to experiencing not only the music, but the vibe, man.

An all-star Canadian cast of award-winning blues and roots musicians will perform The Last Waltz: A Musical Celebration of The Band at Hugh’s Room Live.

Under the direction of Juno award winning producer and musical director, Lance Anderson, the November appearances will be the eighth year for this crowd pleasing show which has sold out shows in Ottawa, Peterborough, Orillia, Collingwood, Port Hope, Stratford and at Hugh’s Room in Toronto. And headlined the CNE Bandshell, Southside Shuffle, Wasaga Beach Blues Festival and Kitchener Blues Festivals.

The performance will recreate the atmosphere of The Band’s final concert, which was captured in Martin Scorsese’s award-winning concert film, The Last Waltz.

On the American Thanksgiving of 1976 at San Francisco’s Winterland Ballroom, The Band performed what they called their “Last Waltz,” and invited many of their friends to join in the celebration. These friends included Bob Dylan, Ronnie Hawkins, Van Morrison, Neil Young and others who performed with The Band on this special night.

In this homage to The Last Waltz, Anderson’s special guests will perform the songs played and sung by these artists at the memorable 1976 concert. These shows have become an annual November tradition in Ontario.

Anderson’s production of The Last Waltz has experienced rave reviews at the many festivals where it has appeared over the past few years and has consistently been referred to as the “best of the festival.”

“It wasn’t just the musicianship, which was second to none; it was the energy – these musicians have brought forth a live music gem that is worthy of any stage I know of and probably more that I don’t,” said P. Rellinger of the Kawartha News after seeing Anderson’s show in Peterborough.

 


For tickets to the November 24 presentation of The Last Waltz, please CLICK HERE.


 

* Advertised pricing excludes taxes and fees.

Truth and Dare with Christina Martin, Crissi Cochrane, Mary Stewart

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 | 8:30pm

Truth and Dare with Christina Martin, Crissi Cochrane, Mary Stewart
$20 Advance / $25 Door *

Christina Martin
Christina Martin is a multi-award winning Canadian singer-songwriter whose style has been described as an effortless union between Americana and Rock.

Raised on Canada’s East Coast, Martin moved to Austin, Texas in the summer of 1999. In the fall of ’99 she moved to Salzgitter, Germany where she collaborated on a commercial pop project, marking her first experience singing in a professional studio. In May 2000 she returned to Austin to explore performing and song writing. Following her role as supporting vocalist and dancer for the Austin high-energy rock band Young Heart Attack in 2001, Martin launched her solo career in 2002 with an opening slot for Wilco and her debut album Pretty Things. Shortly after the album’s release, she moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia and had her first commercial success when two of her songs were placed in the award-winning British-Canadian two-part drama Sex Traffic (2004) and in the TV drama series Snakes and Ladders (2004).

Following two years of touring across Germany, Poland, The Netherlands, The UK, Switzerland, Austria, France and Canada, Martin returned home briefly in 2016 to write her newest album. A fervent anthem for those who are lost and longing, Lungs Are Burning was the first single from her album Impossible To Hold (Released March 23, 2018). The first single was triggered by the rising Fentanyl drug crisis killing thousands of Canadians, with Christina’s lyrics set to music by her and Dale Murray. With lyrics like “while I’m watching the babies” and “got to go out and get some, baby”, Martin captures the desperation of “chasing the dream” and the horror of living it. Murray’s stately production brings that stark reality home with a bite. Martin: “The song is an modest attempt to bring light to the heavy topic of addiction, and reflects my own personal sense of loss, longing and a deep void, and the ache I feel from losing my brother and friends to addiction and mental illness.” For her Canadian tour dates, Christina has partnered with Center for Addiction and Mental Health to increase engagement and awareness.

“Impossible To Hold” is Martin’s sixth and strongest studio album, achieving a perfect balance between organic ambience and impeccable production. “I’m writing about faith and love more than ever with songs like ‘Keep Me Calm’ and ‘Always Reminding’, but I haven’t shaken the need to write about the darker things that are part of our human journey”. Combining good taste, passionate singing and thoughtful lyrics, “Impossible To Hold” is where music and poetry meet. The album won the 2018 Music Nova Scotia Award for Pop Recording of the Year.

Crissi Cochrane
Native to the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, Crissi fashions a sultry and soulful brand of popular music, jazz, and R&B. Silky vocals reminiscent of Billie Holiday and Norah Jones glow atop the purr of her Fender Jaguar electric guitar.

On stage, refined songs reveal more than a decade’s worth of experience first gained as a young girl growing up in small town Canada, diligently writing, recording, and performing. For a few years, Crissi settled in the nearby city of Halifax, studying Music Business and becoming known for her melodic folk/pop style. Her debut studio album Darling, Darling emerged in the summer of 2010, recorded in Chicago with musician Mike Kinsella (of Owen, American Football, Joan of Arc), but not before a trip to Canada’s southernmost city set the wheels of change into motion. Crissi fell in love with Windsor, Ontario and neighboring Detroit in early 2010 and moved there by summer’s end.

With the influence of Motown only a riverbank away, a musical maturation began. Detroit’s radio, record stores, and clubs offered a cup from which she drank deeply, inspiring new songs with echoes of jazz, blues, bossa nova, and soul. Her latest album Little Sway (2014) reveals a soulful sophistication, hailed by CBC personality Grant Lawrence as “a confident bridge towards sultry soul and classic, smoky jazz.” Listeners voted Crissi among the Top 10 Best New Artists nationwide in CBC’s 2014 Searchlight contest, and her song “Pretty Words” has gone viral on Spotify with more than 12 million listens. Her music has been heard across Canada on CBC Radio 1, 2, and 3, and has charted on campus/community radio, reaching #1 at SCOP in Toronto and remaining in the charts for 12 consecutive weeks, and her song “A Damn Shame” was heard in the ABC TV show Nashville. Today she is the wife of songwriter/bassist Michael Paul (The Walkervilles), and has been seen sharing stages with Walk Off The Earth, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Sarah Harmer, and Jesse Cook. While working on plans for a new album, she writes love songs by request, completing more than 50 of these special songs since 2016.

Mary Stewart
Mary Stewart isn’t a singer songwriter. Well, she does sing and she likely writes more songs than anyone you’ve ever met, but if you’re picturing a sullen woman perched atop a wooden stool, playing depressing songs on her oversized acoustic, you’ve pegged her all wrong.

In fact, Mary has never sported an acoustic guitar during a live show and prefers to strum along on her Gretsch, singing clever pop songs, and sharing anecdotes about her love of baking, cats, and hopes of becoming Sidney Crosby’s wife.

Hailing from New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Mary grew up consuming an incredible range of genres from folk and pop to opera and hair metal – true story. Before her pop days, Mary was classically trained in opera. Her mother sang in hair metal bands and her dad was a sound engineer.

“My parents would bring me along to gigs because it was easier than finding a babysitter,” says Mary.

She really didn’t stand a chance to fall in love with any career other than music.

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Ken Whiteley’s Gospel Brunch

Sunday, November 17, 2019 | 2:00pm

Ken Whiteley Gospel Brunch
$25 Advance / $30 Door *

Doors: 12:30pm
Brunch: 1:00pm
Performance: 2:00pm

Once you have experienced a Gospel Brunch with Ken Whiteley, you will want to savour more. Whiteley, one of Canada’s most respected roots musicians and recording producers, always presents an open-ended range of musical styles and forms of spiritual expression at these Sunday afternoon Gospel sessions.

Artists TBA

* All-you-can-eat brunch ($20) not included in ticket price
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Wolfe Island Records Show

Saturday, November 16, 2019 | 8:30pm

Wolfe Island Records Show
Featuring Hugh Christopher Brown, Stephen Stanley, Chris Bennett, Suzanne Jarvie, Hadley McCall Thackston
$25 Advance / $30 Door *

Hugh Christopher Brown
Chris has been receiving information from an unknown source ever since his “kidney operation” at age six months. He considers himself more or less cellular antennae, and feels the clavinet was removed from him during the original surgery.

Music has been his least disruptive form of stellar communion – predating his days as a St. Michael’s choirboy in Toronto, he would transcribe the Irish Rovers, Sly Stone, songs by The Clash and Booker T and the MGs. Later, he was transformed by Floyd Cramer’s version of fire and rain.

Beyond the daily tasks of preparation, Chris has recorded his own music, and played (usually organ, piano and clavinet – but sometimes trombone, tuba or other things) for many others. He continues to explore the great nervous system with his doctor, Kate Fenner.

Often distressed by the non-harmonic functions of greed, fear and obedience, Chris finds charity hockey games great places to discuss class wars and the more subtle enforcement methods over beers.

His one allergy is to sincerity contests.

Stephen Stanley
Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist Stephen Stanley is best known from his many years as a lead guitarist/vocalist with the vibrant alternative rock band The Lowest of the Low. After many song hits, years of touring and sharing the stage with the likes of Billy Bragg, Bob Mould, The Violent Femmes, The Jayhawks and Lloyd Cole, a gold record for their “genuinely timeless album” (Exclaim!) Shakespeare My Butt, Stanley is back on the Canadian music scene with a new band, The Stephen Stanley Band, and a new record Jimmy & The Moon, produced by Hugh Christopher Brown.

Chris Bennett

Chris Bennett is a Toronto born and bred guitarist who has contributed his talents to many local bands and recordings. He has piled his trade all over Canada as well as playing in Germany, England, Ireland the US & Botswana.

He is also known for his appreciation and use of vintage instruments and amplifiers which travel with him. Heis currently touring with the Stephen Stanley Band whose latest recording Jimmie & the Moon was just released in Europe.

 

Suzanne Jarvie
Spiral Road documents the painful journey after her oldest son tripped and fell down a spiral staircase, lapsing into a coma in 2011. “It was a bomb,” Suzanne recalls. “I couldn’t breathe. The doctors said he wouldn’t live, but he did.” The miracle of her son’s survival changed Jarvie’s life. While her son was still at the hospital, she began an intense period of songwriting, never having written anything much prior. “It was powerful and strange.”

Spiral Road garnered rave reviews from the US, Canada, and Europe, comparisons to Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams, and a 2015 nomination from the Independent Music Awards for “Best Concept Album”. No Depression described Jarvie’s voice as “seraphim-pure, reaching out and lifting your spirit often without permission.”

Jarvie’s sophomore record In the Clear, released on January 22, 2019, picks up where Spiral Road left off – delving deeper into the aftermath of her son’s brain injury – and going beyond it. The tunes tunnel into feelings and impressions that are the essence of Suzanne’s artistry, luminous rabbit holes that merge mysticism with reflections on life’s ups and downs that fans of Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan or Lucinda Williams would appreciate. Producer Hugh Christopher Brown keeps the music steeped in mostly acoustic sound, and the mix of dobro, mandolin, guitar, violin and bass.

In the Clear and Spiral Road are poetic journeys that anyone who has dealt with a family tragedy can relate to. “In The Clear is a reverie – where the songs reflect on motherhood, the feminine, addiction, death, dreams of freedom and peace. There is even a song about rape (The Core). The title track has a melancholy irony; In The Clear is where I always want to be. Instead, it is this ephemeral state that never lasts. So, I try to enjoy the peaceful moments completely, knowing that more challenges are on the horizon.”

Some songs are deeply inspired by science fiction. “I find the weird visionary parables to be so idiosyncratic. They give me permission to be highly individualized in my songs. Obscure is okay… trance-like imaginings are okay. ‘Carpenter Bay’ is a journey through neurons and psychopharmacology. But it’s also about realizing you’ve been holding on to an illusion, that at some point a terrible loss will be undone. You want that so badly. It’s very sad. Then you realize the false hope and you give in, or give up maybe. I know my lyrics can be inscrutable, but they mean something real. I don’t think you have to understand everything. It could just be that a melodic line or poetic phrase resonates and moves someone and that’s amazing. The ideas aren’t concrete, and sometimes I have to rush and grab them before they decay. But it’s why I thank John Wyndham, Tolkien and Roddenberry, etc. in my liner notes. Gotta keep weird alive man!”

Hadley McCall Thackston
Born in North Augusta and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, the 25-year old Hadley McCall Thackston’s affinity for vintage style clothes and contemporary tattoos mirrors her timeless brand of Southern folk — kindred with modern sounds and singers come and gone decades before she was born.

“This is definitely my last life for sure… I was born tired,” she jokes with a serious edge to her voice. “My mama said I came out a couple months early… kickin’ and screamin’ and hollerin’… and she thought to herself: ‘ooooooh… she mad at something!’”

A self-described “porch sitter”, Hadley’s upbringing in a house where her parents were in the arts and “total music heads” had her immersed in music all her life. She began teaching herself basic guitar chords when she was 10 years of age and started playing stand-up bass in orchestra at 12. When she was younger, she sang all the time (her mom swears Hadley sang before she even spoke) but in her teenage years struggled with anxiety & depression and lost that part of herself.

Fascinated by all things Irish, Hadley decided to move to Ireland in 2011 to become an au pair and then studied theatre at the University of Cork for a year, with the idea that focusing on theatre might be a way for her to escape and be someone else. The theatre immersion didn’t take, however, but her desire and passion for songwriting and singing returned and morphed into another dimension.

It was a complete act of ironic social media fate — as Hadley was not exactly a social media maven — but her best childhood friend, Wyeth Wood, pretty much insisted Hadley finally post a short clip of her singing and within minutes, the formidable, critically-acclaimed Indiana singer-songwriter David Corley — a friend of Hadley’s mother — saw and heard it and sent the clip to his producer Hugh Christopher Brown. Before she knew it, Hadley landed on Wolfe Island, Ontario, where Brown’s Post Office studio was and started recording her tunes.

A little icing on the island turned out to be that Toronto singer-songwriter Stephen Stanley was recording with his new band at Brown’s studio around that same time. Stephen was blown away by Hadley’s voice and asked if she would sing the duet, “Next To Me” with him, one of the tracks on his album Jimmy & the Moon. “Next to Me” was also chosen for Stanley’s first official video, premiered by Exclaim! and has many music writers exclaiming about Hadley McCall Thackston’s exquisite voice.

Hadley’s debut eponymous record (with all songs written by the porch sitter on various porches from Atlanta, Georgia to Cedar Mountain, North Carolina to Wolfe Island), fuses lots of sounds that might be called alt-country, southern folk, or contemporary. As for the latter, well in this chanteuse-songwriter’s mind, timeless is always contemporary.

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