9th Annual Close To The Coast Set For Babas Starting August 24th 30 Bands! 6 Nights of Music!
Written by Lloyd
Monday, 03 August 2009 19:45
The ninth annual Close To The Coast music showcase will take place at Babas in Charlottetown starting August 24th and running through August 29th. A record number of local bands have been scheduled for the event this year
Bands showcasing this year include Smothered In Hugs, The Danks, Boxer The Horse, Shotgun Jimmie, Grass Mountain Hobos, The Baketones from Halifax, In Flight Safety, The Sidewalks, North Lakes, Fugato, Laura Merrimen, Death Avenger, Pat Deighan & The Orb Weavers, Sister Jack, Battery Point, Dan Currie Band, Bloodsport, Racoon Bandit, Haunted Hearts, John Connolly, Milk & Rectangles, York Redoubt a fine young band from Halifax NS and Got To Get Got. There are 3 more band TBA.
If you’re looking to catch some new artists you haven’t heard before or just want to catch up on bands you haven’t heard in a while, Close To The Coast is the event for fans of live original music to attend. Music will start at 10 pm each night. Admission is still eight bucks at the door. Close to 7,000 music fans have attended Close To The Coast showcases since the very first one was held in 2001. The event has hosted many well known East Coast performers over the years like Matt Mays, Joel Plaskett, Slowcoaster, The Guthries, Rock Ranger, Grand Theft Bus and Julie Doiron to name just a few.
New faces of interest this year include retro garage rockers The Baketones and Americana/Alt Country singer/songwriter Laura Merrimen whose recently released album “Love Letters For Lonely Hunters ” is winning over fans of those genres to her smokey vocal stylings. ”An Americana induced sound with country-blues undertones, her honest lyrics will reel you in and keep the listener wanting more.” She has shared the stage with Cuff The Duke and The Divorcees. Both acts are from Halifax NS. Shotgun Jimmie who are no strangers to indie music fans make his first appearance at Close To The Coast this year.
Some newer Island acts of interest this year are North Lakes, Leroy James, Racoon Bandit, Sister Jack and Sweetheart Jim & The Brothers Grimm, a new act that James Phillips has put together that also features Nathan Wiley.
In Flight Safety provide a welcome return to the Close to The Coast stage at Babas this year following on the heels of their latest album “We are An Empire My Dear”. Their 2006 release “The Coast Is Clear” earned them 3 ECMA’s and was nominated for a Juno and a Much Music video award. Pat Deighan has recently joined the band as a second guitarist for select dates.
Congrats are in order for The Sidewalks who have just completed their first album EP titled “Better Late Than Never” at Jon Matthews Big Grey Studio. You can hear two tracks from the album on the Sidewalks my space page. www.myspace.com/sidewalkrock. The CD Release Party will happen Friday September 11th at Babas. Battery Point will open.
Another release that is starting to get some notice is the Chas Guay “Little City” CD which is now available at Back Alley and CD Plus and soon to be available at Sandbar Music as well as digitally around the world. No word yet on an official CD release party but rumor has it happening sometime in the early fall.
“Thank You Goodnight”, is the new effort from the Haunted Hearts which will soon be available from Sandbar and at fine digital music stores around the world. Locally you can pick up a copy from Back Alley or CD Plus. I can’t seem to get enough of Johnny Ross’s keyboards on this album. Check them out at www.myspace.com/weallhavehauntedhearts
“The songs they write come from the heart, not the Hansel-inspired mentality (“roots is so hot right now”) plaguing bands these days. Bottom line, when they get it right – like they do on the powerful Don’t Cross Your Heart, it’s hard not to sing-along and when it comes to good ole boys playing good ole tunes, that’s the only thing that matters. I think the band works best when they give the songs the freedom to run, keeping the tempo and energy high. There Is No Understanding Between Tree and Man glistens, perfectly crafted for BBQs and drives on the dirt roads of country towns. The closer, I’ll See You builds off a simple acoustic line, but the piano infuses the track rollicks along happily and even as it pushes towards the 6-minute mark, never loses momentum and finishes the record on a high. - Herohill Review
On another note Meaghan Blanchard will be part of the Atlantic Film Festival Songwriter Circle on Thursday September 24th at the Carleton in Halfax NS. Other participants include Ron Hynes, Lennie Gallant, Christina Martin and Jessica Rhaye. She will also be playing a songwriter circle in Lunenburg on Saturday September 19th at the Pearl Theater with Jenn Grant, Christina Martin and Norma MacDonald. Meaghan also plays the Indian River Festival on August 21st with Grass Mountain Hobos and Saddle River String Band.
Catherine MacLellan heads to Seattle WA for August 4th to play for the staff of Amazon.com in their weekly “Fish Bowl” concert series where the staff get to hear and see the artist, get free CDs and talk with the artist after the performance. Hopefully this will lead to more sales of “Water In The Ground” through their on line music store. She will also be in Boulder CO on August 7th to showcase at a major radio programmers convention being held in that city. In addition she will visit major radio stations in both Seattle and Boulder before heading home. Once back on the red dirt, she heads to Bear River NS for a show with Bob Snider and David Baxter on Sunday August 9th. Then it’s back to the Island for a show with the Provincial All Stars at Victoria Playhouse on Monday night August 10th with David Baxter as a special guest opener. She winds up a busy week on Wednesday August 12th with a show at the Carleton in Halifax NS also featuring Bob Snider and David Baxter. She’ll spend the weekend in St Andrew’s NB performing Friday and Saturday as part of Hot Toddy days that will take place that weekend. In the meantime, here’s a new Catherine video that has only been up on You Tube for a short time.
Mark this on your calendar. It’s a Canada Games sponsored show coming up on Thursday August 27th at Our Lady of Assumption Church in Stratford PE featuring Meaghan Blanchard, Nathan Wiley and Catherine MacLellan. Acoustics in this church I have been told are fantastic!