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JULY

SAT JULY 14–TUE JULY 31 Hamilton Fringe Festival

AUG

FRI AUG 3 Ridley Bent $15 (+SC) adv, $18 door | 8pm doors, 9pm show | 19+

WED AUG 15 Ryan McNally w/Ginger St. James $12 (+SC) adv, $15 door | 7pm doors, 8pm show | 19+

TUE AUG 21 An Evening with Will Ross $15 (+SC) adv, $20 door | 7:30pm doors, 8pm show | All-Ages

WED AUG 22 Jon Cohen Ex w/Hannah Bech $15 (+SC) adv, $20 door | 7:30pm doors, 8pm show | All-Ages

SEPT

WED SEPT 26 John Jacob Magistery $12 (+SC) adv., $15 doors | 7pm doors, 8pm show | 19+

THU SEPT 27 Blitzen Trapper $22 (+SC) adv | 8pm doors, 9pm show | 19+

SAT SEPT 29 Megative w/Kojo “Easy” Damptey $15 (+SC) adv, $20 door | 8pm doors, 9pm show | All-Ages

OCT

SUN OCT 14 An Evening with Steve Poltz $30 (+SC) adv, $35 door | 7pm doors, 8pm show | All-Ages

FRI OCT 19 Daniel Champagne $20 (+SC) adv, $25 door | 7pm doors, 8pm show | 19+

WED OCT 24 Kalle Mattson $15 (+SC) adv | 7pm doors, 8pm show | All-Ages

THU OCT 25 Yamantaka//Sonic Titan $15 (+SC) adv., $18 door | 7pm doors, 8pm show | 19+

NOV

FRI NOV 10 Shad $20 (+SC) adv, $25 door | 7pm doors, 8pm show | 19+

SAT NOV 21 The Once $25 (+SC) adv, $30 door | 7pm doors, 8pm show | 19+

= Also available at Dr. Disc          ∆ = Also available at Into the Abyss

DIRECTIONS | CONTACT | BOOKING

Michael Barclay: The Never-Ending Present • Apr 24

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THE NEVER-ENDING PRESENT: THE STORY OF GORD DOWNIE & THE TRAGICALLY HIP
Michael Barclay in Conversation with Stuart Berman
Tuesday April 24, 2018
Doors 7:00PM, Talk 8:00PM
Tickets: Free with Pre-Registration • All-Ages
>> REGISTER HERE <<

In the years between the release of their self-titled debut EP and 1989’s Up to Here, The Tragically Hip played their earliest Hamilton gigs in the building that now houses Mills Hardware. Some 30 years later, the band returns to the space thanks to Michael Barclay’s new book The Never-Ending Present: The Story of Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip (ECW Press), the first print biography of the iconic rockers.

Featuring an on-stage conversation between author Michael Barclay (co-author of Have Not Been the Same: The Can-Rock Renaissance 1985–1995) and Pitchfork writer Stuart Berman (biographer of Broken Social Scene, Danko Jones). The Never-Ending Present: The Story of Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip will be available to buy on-site, with a portion of proceeds from book sales going to benefit EcoJustice and Frontier College.

In the summer of 2016, more than a third of Canadians tuned in to watch what was likely the Tragically Hip’s final performance, broadcast from their hometown of Kingston, Ontario. Why? Because these five men were always more than just a band. They sold millions of records and defined a generation of Canadian rock music. But they were also a tabula rasa onto which fans could project their own ideas: of performance, of poetry, of history, of Canada itself.

In the first print biography of the Tragically Hip, Michael Barclay talks to dozens of the band’s peers and friends about not just the Hip’s music but about the opening bands, the American albatross, the band’s role in Canadian culture, and Gord Downie’s role in reconciliation with Indigenous people. When Downie announced he had terminal cancer and decided to take the Hip on the road one more time, the tour became another Terry Fox moment; this time, Canadians got to witness an embattled hero reach the finish line. This is a book not just for fans of the band: it’s for anyone interested in how culture can spark national conversations.

 

Ted Basciano • Mar 10-May 5

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TED BASCIANO
Carve Me a Picture, Darling: Mosaics & Prints
Mar 10-May 5 2018
Opening Reception Sat Mar 10, 6-10pm

 

Ted Basciano had his first solo art exhibit at the age of 16. Now at almost 30 solo exhibits, he brings his art to Mills Hardware.

Since 1984, Basciano has worked in 4 mediums: Small soapstone and serpentine sculptures, print, watercolour pencil drawings, and mosaic wall sculptures. With a degree in fine arts from McMaster University, the artist went on to earn a teaching degree in Windsor, Ontario, and from there onward to Korea to teach English and work in guest houses.

Having worked with cultural institutions such as the Carnagie Gallery, Dundas valley School of Art, Hamilton Military Museum, Hamilton Museum of Steam & Technology, Hamilton Artists Inc., & Staircase Cafe Theatre, Basciano now brings his next show to Mills Hardware.

Wild Rivers • Mar 30, 2018

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WILD RIVERS
Friday March 30, 2018
Doors 7:00PM, Show 8:00PM
Tickets: $12 (+SC) advance, $15 door • All-Ages
>> BUY TICKETS HERE <<

Wild Rivers immerse their folk-pop originals into the warm musical styles of the artists that influenced them. With over 16 million streams on Spotify, the four-piece band effortlessly blends exquisite harmonies, beautiful songwriting, and a captivating stage presence, while their vibe fits equally well in listening rooms and symphony halls.

Jeremy Fisher Jr • Mar 4, 2018

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JEREMY FISHER JUNIOR
Sunday March 4, 2018
Doors 12:30PM, Show 1:00PM
Advance Tickets: $5 (+SC) children, $15 adults • All-Ages
>> BUY TICKETS HERE <<

JUNO-nominated and multi-award winning folk singer Jeremy Fisher brings his catchy songwriting to circle time with his very first collection of music aimed at young listeners, Jeremy Fisher Junior – Highway To Spell.

Songs such as Turtle & Guy, I Lost My Shoe and Bizzy Bee come alive with vivid imagery, instantly singable melodies and grooves that inspire kids to dance like nobody’s watching. His trademark wit and penchant for storytelling add dimension to the simple tunes and make sure there’s a little something in there for the whole family.

The folky acoustic instrumentation, punctuated by whimsical horn arrangements and DIY percussion recalls the work of classic children’s entertainers such as Raffi, Fred Penner and Sharon, Lois and Bram.

Fisher became a first-time father in early 2016, and the child-sized guitar that hangs in his kitchen became a go-to for soothing a fussy baby or entertaining a bunch of kids on a play date. Soon this grew into turning everyday events into musical adventures.

“There is a constant soundtrack going on in my head, it’s been that way since I was a kid,” says Fisher, “and when I found myself spending long days with my young daughter before she could speak I started to vocalize these sounds to narrate what we were doing.”

“The days would start with a traditional song, Good Morning, my partner’s mother sang to her as a baby. Then as we’d go trundling off to the library and I’d ask her in song what she thought we’d find Down At The Library. By lunchtime I’d be pulling bread out of the toaster singing Peanut Butter Sandwiches, a song I learned at summer camp as a kid. Then of course when we were winding down at the End Of The Day, I’d starting singing about Bath Time on the way up the stairs to hit the suds.”

The album came together naturally in Fisher’s studio, The Sugar Shack, located steps from the back door of his home in Ottawa. He recorded many of the instruments himself, bringing in guests such as Catriona Sturton on vocals and harmonica, Petr Cancura on sax, clarinet and flute and recorded a chorus of 16 young singers to back him up on the sing-along choruses.

Jeremy Fisher Junior – Highway To Spell, out on Hidden Pony Records March 9th, 2018.

Joey Landreth • Mar 8, 2018

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JOEY LANDRETH
With JOHNSON CROOK
Thursday March 8, 2018

Doors 7:00PM, Show 8:00PM
Tickets: $15 (+SC) advance, $20 door • 19+
>> 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.

From the moment Toronto roots rock band Johnson Crook played together, they knew they not only had harmony in their voices, but a deep personal connection that made the idea of forming a group a foregone conclusion. What the quartet— Noel Johnson (rhythm guitars/vocals), brothers Nathan (lead guitar/mandolin/vocals) and Trevor Crook (drums/vocals) and Jared Craig (bass/vocals)—share is a love of pure, honest music stemming from their small-town backgrounds. Drawing inspiration from groups like the Eagles and the Avett Brothers, each member of Johnson Crook contributes equally, injecting their unique personalities into the overall sound built on four voices.

Lindi Ortega • May 11, 2018

Lindi Ortega on location in Byron Bay

LINDI ORTEGA
With JEREMIE ALBINO 
Friday May 11, 2018
Doors 7:00PM, Show 8:00PM
Tickets: $25 (+SC) advance, $30 door • All-Ages
>> BUY TICKETS HERE <<

Lindi Ortega gives fair warning: “Don’t come any closer to my heart / If you’re afraid of the dark.”

However, that shroud is slowly lifted in Liberty . As the narrative unfolds in this concept album, a central character emerges – one who finally sheds the darkness of her past and emerges into the light. As melodies and tempos change throughout Liberty, her journey carries her steadily forward. Listen closely and you’ll find Ortega’s experiences in the lyrics too.

“I think the most important thing for me was that I ended on a very positive note because I’ve had so many people tell me that my songs helped them through really hard times in their life,” Ortega says. “That struck a chord for me, because just like everybody else, I have had hard times in my life, and continue to have pockets of difficult moments here and there. If I can provide some sort of solace with my music, then that gives me every reason to make music. I wanted this record to be all about helping people through the darkness.”

The melodies and arrangements of Liberty draw on the epic work of Oscar-winning composer Ennio Morricone, who became one of Ortega’s musical obsessions during the writing and recording of Liberty. Moreover she enlisted Nashville producer Skylar Wilson (Justin Townes Earle, Rayland Baxter) when she discovered their shared passion for Quentin Tarantino movies. It is fitting that NPR’s All Things Considered has described Ortega as “genre-defying in both her music and her personal style.”

During the sessions at Battle Tapes studio in East Nashville, Ortega and Wilson scaled back the boot-stomping, throwback country approach that she’s known for, instead polishing a set of music that reflects her lineage. Her father is Mexican; her mother is Irish. The sonic landscape of Liberty is enhanced by Nashville band Steelism, known for their dramatic blend of pedal steel guitar and electric guitar, as well as Country Music Hall of Fame member Charlie McCoy on harmonica.

In 2017, Ortega opened select dates for Chris Stapleton and Dwight Yoakam. In addition, she married Canadian musician Daniel Huscroft and relocated from Nashville to Calgary. Liberty concludes with “Gracia a la Vida” from the pen of Chilean composer Violetta Parra. The title translates as “Thank you to Life.”

“Even though I always tried to have a silver lining, whether it’s by making my songs tongue-in-cheek, or writing some dark lyrics to happy music, there’s always been an element of balancing light and dark on my previous albums,” Ortega explains. “But this is a full story, and I wanted everybody to be able to take something away from it at the end of the day.”

Rose Cousins • Mar 11, 2018

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ROSE COUSINS
With KEN YATES
Sunday March 11, 2018
Doors 6:00PM, Show 7:00PM
Tickets: $25 (+SC) advance, $30 door • All-Ages
>> BUY TICKETS HERE <<

A native of Prince Edward Island, Rose Cousins lives in Halifax Nova Scotia. She deeply values being part of multiple music communities, and is constantly fueled by collaboration. Cousins’ 2012 album We Have Made A Spark celebrated her Boston community and featured a cast of musicians Cousins had known and played music with for a decade. It won a JUNO Award, three East Coast Music Awards, a Canadian Folk Music Award, was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize, and made picks/best of lists in USA Today, NPR Music and Oprah Magazine.  Her music has found its way into several TV shows including Grey’s Anatomy.

2017’s Natural Conclusion is an album Cousins calls “the most honest and vulnerable thing” she has made to date. “Ultimately, a life consists of many relationships, some chosen and some assigned, each playing different roles on a subjective, expansive spectrum of success and failure. We choose, we are chosen, we are left, we leave, we stay anyway, we grieve, judge and empathize, relinquish, atone alone, keep and let go.  Each relationship will come to its Natural Conclusion.”

Since first planting roots within the Canadian music scene in 2011, Ken Yates has steadily grown a reputation as one of the country’s brightest singer/songwriters. His sound offers the complete package—unforgettable melodies, emotionally charged storytelling, and top-notch guitar chops—all gloriously displayed on Yates’ new album, Huntsville. Produced by Jim Bryson (Weakerthans, Kathleen Edwards, Oh Susanna), Yates’ second full-length effort is a major stylistic step forward, with its 11 tracks capturing his artistic evolution amid extensive touring over the past three years. Along with handling production duties, Bryson’s abilities as a multi-instrumentalist were fully deployed during sessions at North of Princess Studio in Kingston, Ontario, leading a band that included Brian Dunne on guitars/vocals, James Preston on bass, Marshall Bureau on drums, and guest vocalist Amanda Rheaume. Ken Yates is a rare example of someone who, from the beginning, had clear intentions when he embraced the troubadour life, and the combined drive and talent to make it a reality. With Huntsville, he has now closed the chapter on those early days, and is ready to open a new and exciting one, without any limits holding back his artistic ambition.

Born Ruffians • Mar 9, 2018

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BORN RUFFIANS
With BRAVE SHORES
Friday March 9, 2018
Doors 7:30PM, Show 8:30PM
Tickets: $20 (+SC) advance, $25 door • 19+

>> SOLD OUT!
 <<

Ten years ago, on the very first song on their very first album, Born Ruffians revealed their ambitions to start their own country. They didn’t really offer details about how they would go about legally annexing land, drafting a constitution or establishing a native currency, but we did know this much: it had a population of three-singer/guitarist Luke Lalonde, bassist Mitch DeRosier and drummer Steve Hamelin. It would have a simple flag made up of the colours waved in the album’s title, Red, Yellow & Blue. And as that album vividly illustrated, their country was a primitive place marked by jagged terrain, rickety footbridges and sudden tremors. Its roughly sketched borders were defended by makeshift fences made of tangled guitar strings, broken drumsticks and-when all else failed-ravenous hoots ‘n’ hollers.

Over time, this lawless territory fortified itself into a stable nation-state. While some citizens left (Hamelin, back to school), its population ultimately increased by 33 per cent (thanks to replacement drummer Adam Hindle and second guitarist Andy Lloyd). The sparse scenery filled in with lush greenery. The rocky turf was gradually paved over with smooth surfaces. That untamed, in-the-wild vibe gave way to the steely efficiency of a big cosmopolitan city. State-of-the-union addresses-in the form of 2010’s Say It, 2013’s Birthmarks and 2015’s RUFF – were broadcast to an ever-growing mass of enthusiasts around the world. Born Ruffians’ makeshift country had become a pretty, prosperous place-thanks to regular alt-rock radio airplay, millions of Spotify listens and non-stop international touring-but it was one that Lalonde no longer recognized. Without his fellow founding father Hamelin by his side, it just didn’t feel like home anymore.

“The band was in a funny place,” says Lalonde of the period following the release of Ruff. “Everything was just different without Steve. And after a few years of him not being in the band, it was starting to feel kind of weird. Ruff was a fun record to make but it didn’t feel like our band. I was starting to feel like, ‘What is this? What are we doing this for? Is it just because we can get a certain amount of shows per year, and it’s a safe bet?'”

On those early Born Ruffians recordings, Hamelin was more than just a drummer; he was the band’s arhythmically beating heart whose frisky snare-rim taps and spastic thwacks embodied the Ruffians’ feral, unsettled essence. Without him, Lalonde admits, “We kind of pushed ourselves out to that radio-rock realm as close as we felt comfortable with-of trying to go like, ‘Look at what Phoenix are doing; let’s try something like that,’ where we spend a year making the kick-drum sound right. But then, just as my existential crisis about the band was reaching a peak, we started jamming with Steve again. He mentioned he was done school and would be interested in coming back-and Mitch and I were just really surprised.”

With their old drummer back, the Ruffians swiftly reverted to their old battle-plan: recording as a trio, live off the floor, bashing out the tunes in quick succession. “We all have the same weird, shorthand language of knowing how to put a song together,” Lalonde says. “It’s really super-fast and efficient.” At a time when many of their indie-rock peers are keeping tabs on Top 40 trends and incorporating R&B beats and EDM textures, Born Ruffians’ new album, Uncle, Duke & The Chief, feels brashly defiant in its embrace of old-school rock ‘n’ roll aesthetics. In lieu of mouse-clicked studio trickery, it invites you to bask in the natural reverb of the handclaps, tambourine rattles and booming drum beats bouncing off the studio walls. And even though Lalonde primarily plays acoustic guitar here, he does so with a fervent intensity wherein the listener practically feel his finger tips getting sliced on the strings.

Produced by Richard Swift-who knows a thing or two about balancing classicism and anarchy after working with the likes of The Shins and Foxygen-Uncle, Duke & The Chief is a record less concerned with what sounds hip than what feels good. In the Ruffians’ case that meant shedding some of their more arty influences and reconnecting with the sounds they first heard on their parents’ turntables as kids: Buddy Holly, The Everly Brothers and pre-psychedelic Beatles. “It’s about going back to the deepest, most satisfying itch to scratch,” says Lalonde. And in doing so, the album takes you back to a time when the Ruffians sounded less like a band and more like a gang, raising a wild ruckus and speaking in telepathic tongues. “Take ‘Ring That Bell,'” Lalonde says, pointing to a personal favorite from the record. “I just wrote that on acoustic guitar, but then Mitch and Steve did what they do-the weird bassline, the weird drum beat, the weird shifts-and I was like, ‘That sounds like our band, 100 per cent. That’s a Born Ruffians song at its best.'”

Fresh off the release of their debut self-titled EP, Toronto electro-pop duo Brave Shores, comprised of siblings Jay and Stefanie McCarrol, emerged on the music scene with their 2013 synth pop hit single “Never Come Down,” which was chosen by Bell Canada to promote their Sony Xperia underwater phone. Each track from their self-titled debut EP, released via Universal Music Canada, displays a variety of inspirations: there are surf guitar trills, chunks of gritty distortion, and layers of stylized harmonies. It is no surprise that their video for “Never Come Down” has become a MUCH favourite and has garnered over 45,000 views on YouTube. The band was also long-listed for the CBC Music Awards for the “Rising Star” category. Fans can vote for them here. The band recently premiered their brand new single “Dancing Under Water” exclusively via Indie88.com, who called the tune “indie-pop perfection”. You can watch the track’s video here. Brave Shores have shared the stage with some of Canada’s most talented acts including Feist, Hayden, Zeus, Rich Aucoin and pop punk favourites The Golden Dogs. Their live show is not to be missed.

 

Jully Black • Feb 25, 2018

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JULLY BLACK
With JENNIFER BUDD
Sunday February 25, 2018
Doors 6:00PM, Show 7:00PM
Tickets: $20 (+SC) advance, $25 door • All-Ages
>> BUY TICKETS HERE <<

Jully Black is a true Canadian Icon. Named as one of The 25 Greatest Canadian Singers Ever (CBC Music) she has been dubbed ‘Canada’s Queen of R&B Soul’ by her fans and peers. As a platinum selling recording artist, her music career has yielded multiple singles reaching the Top 10 pop, R&B and dance music charts. She has taken home multiple Juno Awards, earned many industry accolades and was hand-selected to sing for the Queen of England. With her powerhouse vocals, hilarious personality and love of people, Jully Black is truly every woman. Her passion for philanthropy has taken her to the shantytowns of Bangladesh to the villages of South Africa, and all across Canada. As a woman of faith, she champions important causes and believes in using her career as a platform to inspire others to celebrate the greatness that lies within each of us.

As a songwriter, Jully has written music that has touched the hearts of her fans and collaborated with industry heavyweights such as Sean Paul, Destiny’s Child, among many others. She has shared the stage with superstars such as The Black Eyed Peas, Kanye West, Celine Dion, Elton John and Etta James to name a few. She has been nominated for multiple Gemini Awards and is a major presence in the Canadian media and entertainment industry. As former host and media correspondent for CTV’s etalk, Jully was chosen to interview global megastars such as Jay-Z, Oprah Winfrey, and former president Bill Clinton. She has also appeared in films, television, and in theatre .

Jully recently launched her own record label Jully Black Entertainment Inc., and continues to expand her reach by becoming the inaugural artist signed to the US label, “The Officials Music Group”. Through this joint venture, Jully is first lady of this up-and-coming label. Fresh off the success of her single “Fever”, “BOM BOM” (featuring iconic reggae dancehall artist Tanya Stephens) is guaranteed to heat up and top the charts around the world.