Date of show: September 4, 2010
Shot of choice: whiskey (they’re not picky and will take whatever is cheapest, but Jack Daniels is really their preference)
Ordinarily I would be a little concerned about the turnout at a show on the Saturday of a long weekend, but when it’s also the birthday party of the lead singer, it’s not as much of a concern. Ottawa’s Old Crowns turned up the heat at the wonderful sweatbox that is Rancho Relaxo. Celebrating his birthday weekend was Steve St. Pierre (vocals, guitar), along with Joel Soucy (bass, vocals), and brothers, Alex Seguin (drums, vocals) and Sam Seguin (guitar, vocals). Old Crowns calls their brand of alternative folk rock “stoner country” and I can’t think of a more fitting description. It’s slower and heavier, but you can still hear a mix of a country twang, a folk story-telling element and even a little blues. It’s probably as Americana as Canada gets.
It was really quite special seeing Old Crowns live. They sound great recorded, but their live show is really where it’s at. Steve is such a charismatic frontman with his raspy brooding vocals. There is rawness and a sense of earnest in Steve’s voice that really makes Old Crowns stand out. The arrangements mix edginess with pop sensibility, but I must add that Sam’s guitar playing is really quite exceptional. I actually wrote a note to myself that said, “guitar!” and I could explain it, but I think it speaks for itself. There was also magic in the air as the crowd sang along to a handful of tunes, including their closer, “Sailor.” After “Shaky Hands” Steve said, “It’s fun to sing it, but it’s a shit-ton more fun when you sing it.” It was a great night and we’re looking forward to seeing these fellas again.
Old Crowns have their album available for digital download and the cost is pay what you can. We highly recommend you check it out… and be a little generous if you can. We also definitely recommend you check out a live show and that you buy them shots. Nice dudes, great music. Give them some love.
To be honest, we did not know very much about Ryan Warner when we were asked by Old Crowns to attend the show, but we’re certainly glad we had a chance to see him. Ryan Warner had a pretty impressive turnout, especially considering he was the first act on stage AND it was the Saturday of the long weekend. Warner, who was joined on stage by a couple friends, has a great voice. He has a unique sound that is a sort of bluesy folk, sometimes reminiscent of The Black Keys at its most rocking moments. He played a solid set and we were quite impressed.
Warner released his album in July and you can check out his MySpace for a selection of his tunes. He’s got a couple shows coming up and we really recommend you check out his album and see him live.
Secrettes closed out the night and they played a short set full of energy. The band is made up of Adymm Ender (vocals), Cali Hoffman (vocals), Rob Ender (guitar) and Dan Miller a.k.a. Wolf (synths). If you check out their MySpace, you will not find much on this Toronto-based band. To give you an idea of what kind of set Secrettes played, I will quote Adymm who said, “Let’s go Rancho electro!” This electro dance party was certainly an interesting way to end the night. Cheers to that!