Mike Maas w/Andy Griffiths • Feb 11

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MIKE MAAS with guest ANDY GRIFFITHS

Saturday February 11, 2016 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 8:30pm, Show 9:00pm  • 19+

Tickets $9.99 (+SC) advance, $15 door

>> Buy Tickets Here <<

Mike Maas is a Hamilton-based singer-songwriter who has been writing and playing music for more than a dozen years now. A wide range of influences are evident in his music, from The Beatles to U2, Oasis to Coldplay, as well as the likes of Explosions in the Sky, Death Cab for Cutie and Radiohead — pop titans and underdogs who have all nourished the young songwriter and shaped his creative evolution. In 2006, Maas recorded his debut album, On The Otherside of The Trees, in 2006, at Hamilton’s Studio 410 Sound Productions. Since 2009 Mike has taken some time off to refocus but is now looking to start making music again. The future is looking bright as he continues to play live dates to warm receptions, performing with his band The Late Nite LineUp. 
Andy Griffiths is a passionate “rootsy folkin’ rock” singer/songwriter who writes from gut feelings and personal experiences.s a energetic and passionate rootsy folkin’ rock singer/songwriter who writes from gut feelings and personal experiences. He sings lead and plays a driving rhythmic/percussive style on acoustic guitar. For the last 30 some odd years he’s been pursuing his love of music. He recorded and released his debut album Looking at Life in 2011, earning critical comparisons to Bob Dylan, The Lowest of the Low, John Mellencamp, John Hiatt, and The Grapes of Wrath amongst others. His sophomore album, Mind on Other Things, followed in 2013. Drawing on influences from the Beatles, Crowded House, Lee Harvey Osmond (Tom Wilson), the Verve, and Tom Petty, the album was nominated for a 2013 Hamilton Music Award for Roots Recording of the Year. Griffiths’ third release, Stella Started It! is true to form and filled with rootsy folkin’ rock originals, not to mention an incredible selection of talented musicians. He’ll be joined onstage at Mills by Adam Ostrosser and Andrew Marshall

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 – SOLD OUT!
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.

Julie & The Wrong Guys w/WHOOP-Szo • Feb 19

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JULIE & THE WRONG GUYS with guests WHOOP-SZO
Sunday March 19, 2017 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 8:00pm, show 9:00pm  
Tickets: $14.99 (+SC) advance, $20 at the door

 

Julie & The Wrong Guys represents the perfect mix of the musical world’s most polar opposites. Genres as diverse as folk, indie rock, punk rock, grunge, and metal are simultaneously filtered through a distinctly Canadian lens, channeling the vast geography, diverse climate and barren emptiness of the country into a cohesive, exciting musical sound. Back in 2011,  Julie Doiron enlisted Mike Peters and Jaye Schwarzer—known best for their long-time tenure in Cancer Bats, reigning kings of Canadian metal and hardcore—to fill in some shows on drums and bass, inviting country-meets-punk troubadour Eamon McGrath to round out the sound on fuzzed-out guitar. High-profile tours of Ontario, Quebec and the East Coast soon followed and the rest is Canadian indie rock history. Live, the band is nothing short of a spectacle: Schwarzer’s earthquake-inducing bass tones, Peters’ tribal bashing of his kit, and McGrath’s energetic, ferocious and sweaty guitar solos serve as the perfect vehicle for Doiron’s heartfelt and emotional melodies which weave in and out of the sonic barrage that surrounds them, although somehow neither volume nor silence ever outweigh each other. The jaw-dropping fury of Julie & The Wrong Guys, tamed by an equal passion for both the spirit of punk rock and the delicate beauties of songwriting, truly has to be seen and heard to be believed. The band is touring in support of a new two-track seven-inch (featuring “Homeless” and “Farther from You”) and in anticipation of a full-length release due later this year.

“The contrast of Doiron’s vulnerable and sincere voice with the Wrong Guys’ heavy delivery is a perfect pairing — when the band hits, they really hit. McGrath and Schwarzer are a force, guitars slung low, distorted and rumbling, kicking and taking over the stage but never overbearing. Peters kept it all together as McGrath really made the most of his space echo pedal.” – Exclaim!

Arty, spasmodic, dynamic and entirely unique, you won’t find another band like WHOOP-Szo. With a cast of members roaming in and out of Guelph, this band of creative counterparts combines sound collage, disjointed parts, complex arrangements, and supreme momentum to weave sonic stories, all at once disorienting and enjoyable.  True psych pilgrims using music as an extension of their search for enlightenment, WHOOP-Szo create delicately rambling soundscapes. With an experimental and dramatic air, they combine a wide spectrum of sound samples. From water dripping, to cats purring, to assorted erotic noisemaking, nothing is out of reach in the name of expression. The band’s 2014 double-album Qallunaat/Odemin was recorded during a purposeful visit to the northern Inuit village of Salluit, Quebec. Its follow-up, Niizhwaaswo, was released short months later. The group’s latest release,  Citizen’s Ban(ne)d Radio, arrived in November 2016 (via Out of Sound Records).

“Somewhere in between doom, psychedelia and indie rock, WHOOP-Szo are crafting a sort of social and emotional protest music. Tip-toeing into the sublime, the group creates songs that are enveloping and immersive. WHOOP-Szo are unabashedly outspoken, and unwaveringly kind.” – AUX

Begonia • Feb 10

BEGONIA with guest NABI
Friday February 10, 2017 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 7:00pm, show 9:30pm  • 19+
Tickets: $10.00 (+SC) advance, $15 at the door

On one end of the spectrum there are varieties of the Begonia which can be a dark, grievous, rough around the edges. And on the other end, a petite and elegant flower. In between, the plant attempts to harmonize its two poles, forming an array of varieties that each borrow from the delicate and the unseemly. It is in this same vein that Begonia (Alexa Dirks) finds herself, trying to find a balance. Known for her voice in the JUNO Award winning harmony driven group Chic Gamine, Dirks has a timbre that recalls the golden age of soul, proud and courageous. And yet it still returns to the ground, finding a quietness, a hesitant intimacy. Joined in studio by producers Matt Schellenberg (Royal Canoe) and Matt Peters (Royal Canoe, Close Talker), the collection of songs that forms Begonia’s upcoming debut release, Lady In Mind, lets the extremes of Dirks’ past and present coalesce into a sound that is both battle hymn and breakbeat body mover, incorporating themes which are confident in and of themselves, and yet sometimes caught in the middle. Compounded by Dirks’ musical upbringing of ’90s R&B, ’70s folk, and Fiona Apple each taking up equal space in her Discman, this leaves her trying to bridge the gap between old and new, between fire and ice. Entangled in the middle of it all, we find Begonia, the place and sound where Dirks is most comfortable, and yet still questioning how it is she ended up there.

Steel Town Opry • Jan 28

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STEEL TOWN OPRY
Feat. Tim Gibbons, Big Rude Jake, Ginger St. James & DJ Aerlie Wild
Saturday January 28, 2017 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 7:00pm, show 8:00pm (event ends at 11:00pm) • 19+
Tickets: $12.00 (+SC) advance, $15 at the door

 

Steel Town Opry is an new and exciting LIVE showcase featuring fabulous Country, Bluegrass, Roots, and Blues music. Steel Town Opry #1 is presented in association with Mills Hardware and features the award-winning talents of Tim Gibbons, Big Rude Jake, Ginger St. James and DJ Aerlie Wild.

Ginger St. James
“A sassy and dynamic rockabilly singer, songwriter and guitarist, creating a national buzz with some slightly cheeky music and a captivating charisma fueled by her roaring voice and model beauty.” – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

Tim Gibbons
” …Gibbons is on the grey side of 55, and he’s committed his fair share of hellraising rock. In the late ’70s and early ’80s, he was part of the pioneering Hamilton rock band, The Shakers, with Dave Rave and Rick Andrews. Then came The Trouble Boys, an outfit that Gibbons made sure lived up to its name.Gibbons had a brush with fame in the ’90s through his work on the soundtrack of Billy Bob Thornton’s Oscar-winning film Sling Blade and his successful followup album, Shylingo. But for the past 10 years, it’s mostly been banjo blues.” – The Hamilton Spectator

Big Rude Jake
Big Rude Jake Hiebert is a lyricist, songwriter, singer, musician, bandleader and history buff with a diverse array of influences. Noted for his skill as a blues shouter and raconteur, Big Rude Jake Hiebert is especially drawn to the roots of American music. You’ll hear blues, jazz, rockabilly, jump, gospel, folk and fingerpicking ragtime guitar. Add a sharp wit and a touch of cabaret and you’ve got Big Rude Jake.

The Cerebral Cafe: Space • Feb 9

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THE CEREBRAL CAFE: SPACE
Thursday February 9, 2017 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 6:30pm, talk 7:00pm (event ends at 11pm) All-Ages

>> Free! Preregister Here <<

Want to hear about fascinating research on mind-expanding topics? Interested in coffee and enlightening discussions in friendly environments? Come to Mills Hardware for community coffeehouse series The Cerebral Cafe. The latest instalment of the series — organized by The Cerebral Coffeehouse, a graduate organization from McMaster University funded by the School of Graduate Studies’ S.P.I.C.E.S initiative — focuses on Space. The purpose of the organization is to provide themed coffeehouse events featuring academics and professionals from the Hamilton community, creating a positive space for community members to engage with researchers and share knowledge. Guest speakers at this event include Joe Muto (MCIP, RPP),  Manager of Current Planning at the City of Brantford and former Senior Planner with the City of Hamilton’s Planning and Economic Development Division – Urban Renewal Section; Andy RoddickAssistant Professor in the Anthropology Department at McMaster; and Laura Parker, Associate Professor in the Physics & Astronomy Department at McMaster. Admission is free but don’t forget to register via Ticketfly so that organizers can make sure there is enough room for your coffee, snacks and ideas!

Altameda w/Evan Redsky • Feb 7

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ALTAMEDA with guest EVAN REDSKY
Tuesday February 7, 2017 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 8:00pm, Show 9:00pm
Tickets: $10.00 (+SC) adv., $12.00 door
>> Buy Tickets Here <<

With songs that surprise as much as they satisfy a thirst, Edmonton’s Altameda combines the country drawl of Gram Parsons with the raw alt aesthetic of The Replacements. What started as a vehicle for singer-songwriter Troy Snaterse’s solo material quickly turned into group effort to create something genuine. Despite the fact that every member of Altameda has roots in various genres, it became obvious to the group to make the music that shaped them early on. During the first recording sessions of the group’s debut LP Dirty Rain, it became clear that there was an undeniable chemistry. Altameda quickly set out to shape their sound that blended the sincerity of the old with the unabashed grit of the new.

“Bolstered by harmonica, pedal steel and toe-tapping percussion, [Dirty Rain] is a twangy, heartfelt alt-country cut.” – Exclaim!

“I was immediately swept away by the classic Americana feel of Altameda’s “Dirty Rain”. It’s alt-country poetry in the highest form.” – MilkCrater.com

Opening for Altameda is London-based musician/actor/photographer Evan Redsky, best-known as bassist for Single Mothers but also a singer-songwriter in his own right.

 

Whitney Rose • Feb 15

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WHITNEY ROSE
Wednesday February 15, 2017 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 7:00pm, Show 9:00pm • 19+
Tickets: $10.00 (+SC) adv., $12.00 door
>> Buy Tickets Here <<

The past two years have been massive for Whitney Rose, who is rapidly becoming an international sensation. The vintage country pop specialist’s sophomore offering, Heartbreaker of the Year, converted critics’ double takes into palpable buzz with its beguiling blend of then and now. Her 2015 release Heartbreaker of the Year was produced by The Mavericks’ Raul Malo, who also performs on multiple tracks. Rose’s vocals convey both vulnerability and sharpness – a contrast that permeates her music as a whole – to enthralling results. The album’s success has impelled those in the know to include Rose’s name in any conversation about the future faces of Americana and Country music.

Before moving to Austin, Whitney Rose had never danced the two-step. Now, the country-pop singer’s infatuation with Texas’ rich musical culture, from stage to studio to dance floor, informs an enthralling new project, a love letter to the Lone Star State. Her new EP, South Texas Suite, is a touch nostalgic, deeply romantic and defiantly personal — it’s Texas, through Whitney Rose’s eyes and ears.

South Texas Suite is a meticulous study of sound and place, but also a product of unexpected circumstance. Last October, shortly after the release of her album Heartbreaker of the Year, Rose packed up her boot collection and headed south to play a two-month residency at Austin’s famed Americana bastion, the Continental Club. But that November-December engagement went so well, she wound up staying. Since then, she’s toured extensively throughout North America, made her European debut and signed with ThirtyTigers-distributed Six Shooter Records. South Texas Suite (released January 27, 2017) will be supported by a month long North American tour, and following that, over two months of performances in Europe, Scandinavia and the UK.

Media Attention:

“A sultry country classicist with a tremble in her voice, Whitney Rose is partial to the magisterial gestures of the 1950s and 1960s.” – New York Times

“Playfully croons through tales of love and mischief with girlish breath and devilish twang.” –Rolling Stone

“Rose nailed this concoction of joining the purer sides of pop and country. The most exciting part is seeing where she goes next.” – American Songwriter

“Whitney Rose’s voice sounds like it’s comin’ on out of a time machine in RCA’s Studio B in Nashville circa 1960. Her songwriting blends vintage R&B and retro country.” — Magnet

“Sultry, dynamic, spicy in the way it slides between styles yet continues forward cohesively, Heartbreaker of the Year is quite the exhibition of Whitney’s talents.” – Saving Country Music

“Stark and sultry, here Rose hits heartache right between the eyes. With a croon that wraps dances perfectly between plaintive guitar riffs, Rose skillfully delivers classic country magic.” — Guitar World

“Whitney Rose has been lighting up the touring venues ever since her breakout album, Heartbreaker of the Year, and standout performance at last year’s AMA. She’s been praised everywhere from ND to The New York Times. And like any serious heartbreaker, she’s got a killer band” – No Depression

AHI w/Kojo “Easy” Damptey • Jan 21

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AHI with KOJO “EASY” DAMPTEY
Tuesday January 21, 2017 • Doors 8:00pm, show 9:00pm
Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Tickets: $10 (+SC) advance, $15 at the door / All-Ages
>> Buy Tickets Here <<

Few artists leave such an impression that you’ll never forget the exact moment you first heard them. With a voice like “gravel on silk”, Canadian songwriter and independent recording artist AHI (pronounced “eye”) is one of those rare finds. From humble beginnings in Brampton, Ontario, AHI has taken his passion and his guitar over 50,000 miles through the vast woodlands of Canada and across the Atlantic to the brick lanes of London and the highlands of Ethiopia, and his passionate live performances have captivated audiences at every turn. Along the way, AHI has recorded with leading acoustic sessions Ont’ Sofa (London), Hauskonzerte (Münich), Cardinal Sessions (Köln), Southern Souls (Toronto), SOFAR Sounds (Nashville), Rockstone Sessions (Netherlands) and more. AHI returned to find his Indie Soul EP (2014) on CBC Radio One’s top 10 Toronto records of the year, and his stunning rendition of Bob Marley’s ‘No Woman No Cry’ featured on the official BobMarley.com website with a personalized note from Mrs. Rita Marley herself – an unparalleled experience for an artist who cites Bob Marley as his greatest musical inspiration. AHI has since been recognized and awarded by the Toronto Arts Council, Folk Music Ontario, Nashville Songwriters Association International, the Songwriters Association of Canada, and the Canada Council for the Arts, and he is a Top 10 Finalist of the 2017 Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class, establishing him as one of Canada’s top emerging songwriters. With the release of his debut album, We Made It Through The Wreckage, AHI blends folk, soul and rock to deliver a performance worthy of a seasoned vocal powerhouse. AHI’s voice will stop you in your tracks, but it’s his timeless songs that will hold you there and leave you wanting more.

Kojo “Easy” Damptey is a Afro Soul music producer, song writer, keyboardist, composer and poet, born and raised in Accra, Ghana. He currently resides in Canada writing, composing and producing songs with various artists in Canada and around the world. His debut record Daylight Robbery earned a 2015 Hamilton Music Award for Pop Record of the Year.

Johnson Crook w/Chris Altmann • Dec 17

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JOHNSON CROOK with CHRIS ALTMANN
Saturday December 17, 2016 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 8:00pm, show 8:30pm  • All-Ages
Tickets: $10.00 (+SC) advance, $15 at the door

Noel Johnson, Jared Craig and brothers Nathan and Trevor Crook are Johnson Crook, a four-piece roots rock/country band based in Toronto. With rich, four-part vocal harmonies, fiery guitar-driven performances, and a collection of songs spanning love, heartache, and self-discovery it is clear that Johnson Crook has grown out of the musical heritage established by artists such as The Eagles and The Band. On a mission to create memorable, well-crafted music with a genuine, timeless appeal, and to connect with the audience through the sound and energy of their live shows, Johnson Crook has been busy playing across Canada gaining fans along the way. Having released their first single, “Minnedosa” in June 2016, their full length self-titled debut album produced by Bill Bell (Jason Mraz, Tom Cochrane, Justin Nozuka, Danko Jones), will be released in 2017.

Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Chris Altmann released his third solo album, Renaissance Man, in February of this year through Ridin’ High Records.  Written between trips to Nashville and recorded in his century-old home in Canada, this low-fi colleciton of pedal steel driven rock n’ roll reflects on change, personal loss, and moving on. Originally from the Adelaide Hills, Australia, Altmann now resides in Canada.  Along his journey he has embraced many musical styles; from his country-rock tinged group The Drowners, to the more modern pop/rock sound of The Vandas, and on to a solo career steeped in early 1970s Americana. He’s also in demand as a session player, appearing on dozens of roots recordings, and performing with many artists including Henry Wagons, Tim Hicks, and Suzannah Espie.