Strongman • Mar 3 & 4

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STRONGMAN
No Time Like Now Album Release
Friday March 3, 2017 – SOLD OUT
Saturday March 4, 2017 – JUST ADDED!
Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 7:00pm, show 9:00pm  • 19+
Tickets: $20.00 (+SC) advance, $30 at the door

Award-winning Canadian bluesman Strongman returns with an intoxicating shot of raw electrified blues with his latest album No Time Like Now (available March 10, 2017 via Sonic Unyon Records). The 10-track collection is a shout-out to a lifelong love of blues in all its shapes and shadings, from rough-hewn electric blues, blue-collar hollers and swampy stompers to soulful groovers and hushed, heartfelt ballads.

Backed by an impressive group of players including drummers Dave King and Adam Warner, bassists Rob Szabo and Alex Fraser, and keyboardist Jesse O’Brien the band is pure fire — both athletically limber and wickedly tight. The session also features a stellar guitar cameo from Randy Bachman on Strongman’s muscular cover of Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet”. No Time Like Now buzzes with fresh energy. It’s a loose, playful and reinvigorated set.

“I think every artist owes it to themselves to continue to grow and explore new ground, while still holding onto the thing that made them want to play in the first place,” says Steve Strongman. “This record does that for me – it’s exciting and honest.”

“This record was a challenge to make because we definitely wanted to push the boundaries of what Steve had done before,” says producer/co-writer Rob Szabo. “We experimented, we tinkered, we argued, we agreed, and in the end I think we got something that’s very different from anything he’s ever done but still 100% Strongman. I have to hand it to Steve for having the courage to push his limits as much as he did.”

The album’s title track and lead single is an anthem to making the most of the moment, a sentiment that flows throughout the album. But that urgency never displaces musical mastery, and No Time Like Now doesn’t disappoint on that count. From the skittering swamp rock of “Money in the Bank”, to the rollicking, gospel-tinged “Love Love Love”, to the nakedly reflective ballad “The Day They Carry Me Away”, the album finds Strongman and longtime collaborator Szabo delivering the goods in every way.

The artist’s breakthrough 2012 release A Natural Fact was hailed as a standout, earning Maple Blues Awards for Recording, Song-writer and Guitarist Of The Year, in addition to a 2013 JUNO Award for Blues Recording of the Year. In 2014 he was thrice-nominated for Maple Blues Awards (Guitar Player, Electric Act and Entertainer of the Year), and in 2015 received a second JUNO nomination for Blues Album of the Year (for Let Me Prove It To You). Strongman has shared the stage with international blues royalty including BB King, Buddy Guy, Jimmie Vaughan, Joe Cocker, Robert Cray, Ronnie Earl, Roy Clark, Otis Clay, and Jeff Healey, and will be touring extensively in support of No Time Like Now.

Owen Pallett • Apr 7

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OWEN PALLETT
Friday, April 7, 2017 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 7:00PM, Show 8:00PM 
Tickets: $20 (+SC) advance, $30 door • 19+
On sale Thursday, March 2 @ 10:00am EST
>> Buy Tickets Here <<


“To see Pallett live is to be equally dazzled and mowed over — looping violin lines in real time, singing and playing and stomping pedals and band leading and dryly joking, all at once.” – Pitchfork

“Pallett’s live shows have always been his showpiece” – The Line of Best Fit


Owen Pallett is a composer, violinist, keyboardist, and vocalist. His violin-looping live project spawned several records under the moniker Final Fantasy, including 2006’s He Poos Clouds, which won the Polaris Prize. He currently makes universally acclaimed records under his own name, including 2010’s Heartland, and most recently, 2014’s In Conflict (released by Secret City Records and Domino Recording Co.)

Pallett has written string, brass and orchestral arrangements for numerous bands, including Caribou, The National, Taylor Swift, R.E.M., Pet Shop Boys, Franz Ferdinand, Duran Duran, Robbie Williams, The Last Shadow Puppets, The Mountain Goats, Beirut, Grizzly Bear, Linkin Park, Snow Patrol, Titus Andronicus, and Arcade Fire. He has scored several films, including Richard Kelly’s The Box, with Win Butler and Regine Chassagne, and The New York Times Magazine‘s Emmy Award-winning Fourteen Actors Acting. Owen recently completed the film scores for Anton Corbjin’s Life and M Blash’s The Wait, and was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on the original score of Spike Jonze’s latest film, Her.

Pallett’s violin concerto written for Pekka Kuusisto, co-commissioned by the Barbican and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, was performed as part of the 2013 New Creations Festival. He has also composed works for the CBC Radio, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Luminato Festival, and the Kaufman Center as part of the Ecstatic Music Festival. Owen recently collaborated with choreographer Robert Binet, on the ballet Unearth, which premiered as part of Innovation presented by The National Ballet of Canada at the Four Seasons Centre, Toronto. As a soloist, he has performed with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Noord Nederlands Orkest, yMusic and the Britten Sinfonia. He was a member of the original ensemble enlisted to perform David Lang’s death speaks at Carnegie Hall.

Owen is, at most times, joined on stage by drummer Robbie Gordon and bassist Matt Smith.

Hollerado • May 27

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HOLLERADO
Saturday May 27, 2017 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 7:00pm, Show 8:30pm
Tickets $20 (+SC) advance, $25 door • 19+


“Crazy-catchy melodies, raging hooks and riffs seal the deal” — SPIN

Originally hailing from Ottawa, Hollerado burst onto the world stage in 2010 with their debut Record In A Bag. The LP introduced music fans to Hollerado’s irresistible guitar-pop and earned them a 2011 JUNO nomination for Best New Artist. Their savvy DIY approach, along with their incredible talent and tenacity, saw the band gain international attention in short order. Hollerado’s penchant for making super creative and share-worthy music videos like uber-viral “Americanarama“, which with over a million YouTube views, helped solidify the bands’ popularity. Tours in China and Brazil, and shows with Flaming Lips, Weezer and Jack White’s The Dead Weather soon followed.

In February 2013, Hollerado released their highly anticipated sophomore album White Paint. The 11 tracks stand out as a reflection of the sheer volume of life experience and the hundreds of shows members Menno Versteeg, Dean Baxter and brothers Nixon and Jake Boyd have played since forming in 2007. The lead single “Pick Me Up” hit #3 at Modern Rock and was the #1 most added track at Alternative after only three weeks at radio. “So It Goes” followed, quickly storming into Top 20 on the Alternative radio chart and Top 20 on the BDS Modern Rock chart.

In keeping with their boundless creativity and DIY approach the band invited friends to a warehouse party in a suburb of Toronto where they hand painted every single physical copy of the record with a signature stroke of white paint. The LP earned the band further critical acclaim and a chance to cross Canada in support of Canadian rock legends Billy Talent.

On July 31, 2013, Hollerado released a video for the single “So It Goes” from their most recent LP White Paint on the band’s own label, Royal Mountain Records. Directed by award-winning video director Marc Ricciardelli (Alexisonfire, City and Colour, Hedley) the documentary-esque video captures an incredible “reunion” and story of forgiveness. The song is written about lead singer Menno Versteeg’s Dutch grandfather and the incredible story of how his life was spared by a Nazi officer during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands in WWII. After the war, Menno’s “Opa” who was part of the Dutch Resistance, testified on behalf of the former SS soldier during a tribunal and recounted how the man had compassionately spared his life. In doing so, Menno’s grandfather help spare the German’s life in return. With the help of the Dutch government, the band was actually able to track down the German’s grandson, and Menno and the grandson – who are alive today because of both of their grandfathers’ compassion and courage – have an emotional meeting in Munich while Hollerado was in Rotterdam shooting the music video. The best part is the incredible meet-up, documented in a special long version of the video. The video premiered on Huffington Post (USA/CAN), instantly became front-page news and the story has spread to national TV news, talk shows and appearances.

Following the release of 2015’s imposing 111 Songs project (an epic five-hour set of custom tracks written for the first 111 fans to pre-order White Paint as a bundle), the beloved pop-rock imps return with a new single and video for “Born Yesterday“, described as a “breath-of-fresh-air rock tune that forces you to roll down the winter windows and sing along.”

“The four of us have never had as much fun playing music together than we’ve been having since we made this record,” the band notes. “Lately we’ve felt as if we are a bunch of 17-year-olds jamming together in a garage for the first time.”

CANADALAND Book Tour • May 23

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CANADALAND BOOK TOUR
Tuesday May 23, 2017 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 7:00pm, Show 7:30pm
Tickets $15 (+SC) advance, $20 door

CANADALAND has disrupted the way the Canadian media works. Its crowdfunded model means fierce independence and in a few short years CANADALAND has broken major news stories, exposed scandals, and held the media to account. Host Jesse Brown has won the National Magazine Award for Humour and the Hillman Prize for Investigative Reporting. He is also a co-founder of Bitstrips, makers of Bitmoji, a cartooning app used by millions.

To celebrate the release of CANADALAND’s book of dick jokes about prime ministers, Jesse Brown will be performing live across this country. Join him for a slideshow journey through the past, present and future of Canada. Through stories, cartoons, music, video, and possibly interpretive dance, Jesse will shed light on the things that are actually interesting about Canada, most of which are awful. A book-signing will follow each performance.

Choir! Choir! Choir! • Mar 24

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CHOIR! CHOIR! CHOIR!
Friday, March 24, 2017 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 7:00PM, Show 7:30 PM (event ends at 9:30PM)
Tickets: $20 (+SC) advance, $25 door
>> Buy Tickets Here <<

“Choir! Choir! Choir! has fashioned a profound way for people to connect and interact” – The New Yorker, June 2016

Choir! Choir! Choir! is a Toronto-based singing group led by creative directors Nobu Adilman and Daveed Goldman. The duo takes a non-traditional approach; there are no auditions, and the audience is the choir. Just show up and they’ll teach you an original arrangement to a song you love. Founded in 2011, Choir! Choir! Choir! has amassed a dedicated and passionate community of singers and a thriving international fan base on YouTube. The group has performed with renowned artists such as Patti Smith, Tegan and Sara, and Rufus Wainwright, and onstage at New York’s Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall with the likes of Debbie Harry and The Flaming Lips. Choir! Choir! Choir! exists to celebrate music and push the boundaries between practice and performance, artist and audience, offering therapeutic benefits with the ultimate side effect: a powerful community.

Joey Landreth • Mar 17

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JOEY LANDRETH
Friday March 17, 2017 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 8:00PM, Show: 9:30PM (event ends at 1:00AM)
Tickets: $15 (+SC) advance, $20 door
>> Buy Tickets Here <<

Joey Landreth is the lead singer, guitarist, and chief songwriter of JUNO Award winners The Bros. Landreth. Anchored by the bluesy wail of electric guitars and vocal prowess, Joey has recently found himself being featured in top music publications around the globe. In a rare appearance as a solo performer, Joey explores his deeper catalogue of songs and puts new interpretations into some of his favourites.

Lori Yates w/Danny Marks • Mar 30

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LORI YATES & THE LAST PICTURE SHOW
with guest DANNY MARKS
Thursday March 30, 2017
Tickets: $18 (+SC) advance, $20 door
Doors 7pm, show 8pm

>> Buy Tickets Here <<

“A dark alt-country masterpiece… .Lori Yates reclaims her title as Queen of Canada’s country singer-songwriters.” – Graham Rockingham, Hamilton Spectator

“A cross between a twanged-out Cowboy Junkies and a bluesy Emmylou Harris.” – A. Murray, comedian

“Her finest work yet.” – Kerry Doole, New Canadian Music

Lori Yates is a renaissance artist. Her life provides ample source material for her art. Her evolution as a singer/songwriter echoes her journey as a human being. At the top of her game lyrically and vocally, it’s no surprise her recent recording, “Sweetheart of the Valley” is being called her best work. Her lyrical observations are gritty, tender, and poignant, sung through a voice that few can equal. Some call her Canada’s answer to Emmylou Harris.

Born in Oshawa, Ontario, Yates grew up in a working class suburb of Toronto called Downsview. She’s the kid who quit school at 15 to work in a gas station while secretly taking singing lessons. The kid who listened to Tanya Tucker, Patti Smith and Dolly Parton while dreaming of a career in music, who’d never been on a plane until Sony Music bigshots sent her a ticket. Maturing into an artist whose scrappy spirit carried her through the peaks and valleys of the music business, she kept singing, writing and performing no matter what life threw at her. Lori’s a lifer.

Lori has the same determination as when she burst onto the Toronto Queen West roots/cow punk scene of the late ’80s as the “cowgirl singing her heart out in the punk clubs.” This enigmatic, rebellious and hard-to-pin-down veteran singer/songwriter adeptly blends country, roots and rockabilly to create her own sound, eventually getting her signed to Sony Nashville. Long recognized by her peers and respected as one of Canada’s top talents, Lori was called “alt-country” long before the phrase existed – the pioneer of a genre in the making. This is as artist who met Johnny Cash, hung out with Tammy Wynette, wrote with Guy Clark and Colin Linden, jammed with Jerry Jeff Walker, drank with Harlan Howard, sang with Greg Allman and Rick Danko, and ate jelly beans with Roy Acuff. As the saying goes, she’s “been to the show.”

Danny Marks‘ roots go back to the ’60s as a founding member of Capitol Records’ group Edward Bear. After a span as a journeyman session musician throughout the ’70s, the iconic rocker settled in to the club scene, establishing a cult following as a genre bender in music and humour. A house band gig at Toronto’s famed Albert’s Hall led him to host his own nationwide TV show, Stormy Monday. Through the ’80s, Danny starred in CBC radio’s hit series the Hum Line. Most recently, Danny Marks recorded two original music albums, Guitarchaeology and True, before paying tribute to Toronto’s R&B roots with Big Town Boy in 2005. Danny is in his thirteenth year as the radio host of JAZZ.FM91’s Saturday night blues show, bluz.fm. In 2006, Danny was given the “Blues with a Feeling Award” for lifetime achievement in music and broadcast.

Michelle Willis w/Maz • Mar 1

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MICHELLE WILLIS with guest MAZ
Wednesday March 1 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM (event ends at 11:00 PM) • 19+
Tickets: $15 (+SC) advance, $20 door
>> Buy Tickets Here <<

Toronto-based songwriter Michelle Willis fuses the nuance of early 70s soul, singer-songwriter, and modern folk / jazz. Her lyrics are set to almost hymnal harmony, warm, rich and lush tones, and a sea of background vocals. She spent the last five years touring and recording with artists such as Zac Brown Band, Iggy & The Stooges, Laura Mvula, Three Metre Day and Nikki Yanofsky to name a few. After touring with Snarky Puppy across Europe, Michelle’s debut solo record “See Us Through” comes out on May 13 on Snarky Puppy’s GroundUP label, distributed by Universal.

Mike ‘Maz’ Maher has made a name for himself as a founding member of the multi-Grammy award winning group Snarky Puppy. Although he functions as a trumpeter with the pups, it would be remiss to categorize Maz as a ‘closet singer-songwriter.’ His songs incorporate folk, rock, soul and jazz traditions with a seamless mastery that is perhaps only overshadowed by his ability to captivate audiences with the soulful intimacy of his voice.

My Will w/F.I.X. • Feb 25

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DEM Studios Presents

MY WILL + F.I.X. (EP Release Party)

with guest performers B.O.S., Illin, Morris, DJ Zeek the One, Vettor, PlsntRees & Fresh King

Saturday February 25, 2017 

Doors 9:00 PM (event ends at 1:00 AM)

Tickets: $14.99 (+SC) advance, $20 door

>> Buy Tickets Here <<

DEM Studios presents two of Hamilton’s freshest and most raw hip-hop artists — My Will and F.I.X — hosting their first live EP release party . Miss the old school vibes but want the new school attitude? DEM studios featured artists intend on bringing back that genuine hip hop environment — F.I.X. with three awards from 93.3FM CFMU’s Live n Direct, and My Will with only a year under her belt has already conquered an Ontario-wide university tour. These two up-and-coming artists are ready to be heard.

Steel City Stories: IWD • Mar 10

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In Partnership with Supercrawl Productions
STEEL CITY STORIES
International Women’s Day
Friday March 10

Doors 7pm, Stories 7:30pm • All-Ages
Tickets: $8 (+SC) advance, $10 door

>> Buy Tickets Here <<

In honour of International Women’s Day, Steel City Stories presents Hamilton-based speakers telling stories live, without notes.

International Women’s Day (marked worldwide on March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. International Women’s Day (IWD) has been observed since in the early 1900’s — a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. International Women’s Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity. No one government, NGO, charity, corporation, academic institution, women’s network or media hub is solely responsible for International Women’s Day.

Please note: Seating is limited. Content can be mature; listener discretion is advised.

The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer • Apr 15

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THE HARPOONIST & THE AXE MURDERER with guest RYAN McNALLY
Saturday April 15, 2017 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 8:00pm, show 10:00pm • 19+
Tickets: $12.00 (+SC) advance, $15 at the door
“With a name like the Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer, you might be forgiven for thinking that the Vancouver-­‐based duo is some sort of concept group, based on a hypothetical love story between Captain Ahab and Lizzie Borden.“ — Chris Oke, Yukon News

In reality, The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer stir up a lot more than just violent nautical imagery. Armed with a sack of harmonicas, a mess of foot percussion and a road-­‐worn Telecaster, Shawn “The Harpoonist” Hall and Matthew “The Axe Murderer” Rogers kick out raw and primal blues; continuing in the tradition of a ‘decades-­‐deep blues style’ (Scott Brown, What’s up Yukon), while electrifying the genre a with a lightning bolt of new life. Their sound pays homage to influences ranging from Robert Johnson to Jack White, but its smothered in greasy, gritty soul, and punched with funk. Early on in their career, Hall and Rogers made the choice to limit their sound to whatever they could play between them, using only their mouths, hands and feet, and eventually the sound became larger than the band itself. Shawn Hall provides soul-­‐tinged vocals and blues harmonica, while Matthew Rogers rips on the guitar and foot percussion simultaneously. Their music is not polite; it slaps you on the face and refuses to apologize. It somehow manages to cut through all the layers of clutter, all the anxieties, tensions and phobias and hit people directly at their core. It is how the blues are meant to be played.

The two met and bonded over music while in a recording session for a radio jingle, and named their new project after the blues harp reference lyric ‘I took my harpoon out of my dirty red bandana’ from Kris Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobby Mcgee”, as well as the common reference to a guitar as an ‘axe’. And while their name may lose HAM some gigs at senior’s homes and community halls, the band has made their peace with that. The Harpoonist and The Axe Murderer released their inaugural album The Blues Can Kill in 2007, and have enjoyed a steady climb up to the widely acclaimed 2011 release, Checkered Past. They were top 20 finalists out of hundreds of bands in the 2012 Peak Performance Project in British Columbia, and rocked on to garner a Blues Recording of the Year nomination at the 2012 Western Canadian Music Awards, the 2013 SiriusXM Indie Awards and the Maple Blues Awards, where they were also nominated for New Artist of the Year. They have recently created a big buzz by jetting around to showcases such as Breakout West, The Toronto Blues Summit, Folk Alliance and South by Southwest. Shawn and Matthew have also seen their fair share of festival stages including Live At Squamish (2012), North Country Fair (2012), The Beaumont Blues Fest (2011), and Kaslo Jazz Festival (2012). Along the way, they’ve been honoured to share the stage with some of the world’s finest blues acts, including Taj Mahal, Colin Linden and Carlos del Junco.

The Harpoonist and The Axe Murderer show no signs of wear and tear despite the fact that in every show, before the end of the first song, the pair is already drenched in sweat. In fact, they are preparing to record the next down and dirty collection of tunes for release next year, and have a chock-­‐a-­‐block full summer 2013 festival season. So whether you’re listening to The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer at a festival, in a bar or on record there is an unquestionable connection, passion, and groove. As one fan put it: ‘this is blues that gets you in the crotch’.

“The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer add a fresh take to the roots music genre via contemporary lyrics and arrangements, but maintain traditional structures and emotion. A welcome addition to the Canadian blues and roots music scene.” – Holger Peterson, CBC Saturday Night Blues

Whether he’s playing with his own solo band or other various outfits, Ryan McNally can’t be kept off Canadian stages. Ryan puts most of his energy in his passion for studying acoustic traditional blues, jazz and old time music. This led him to spending a winter in New Orleans where he wrote the majority of the material featured on Steppin’ Down South. This album is saturated with the sounds and rhythm of New Orleans streets.

Steppin’ Down South captures the sound of hillbilly blues and jug band jazz. Recorded live off the floor by Bob Hamilton at Old Crow Studios in Whitehorse, Yukon. With Patrick Hamilton on banjo, kick drum and vocals. Kieran Poile on fiddle, Justin Rubenstein doubling on trombone and trumpet and Christian Leclerc on tuba. Ryan McNally’s genuine style and performance is a breath of fresh air.

McNally was raised in rural Quebec, south of Montreal along the U.S. boarder. He began pursuing music at the age of ten when he first picked up the guitar. In his late teens and early twenties he would seek out musicians he would hear at cafes and bars for lessons in finger style blues. He continues to work in studying with teachers into his schedule while he is performing on the road.

 Currently McNally is experimenting with scoring music to films as well as musical direction for theatre — all while keeping up a busy solo career and a steady touring schedule.