Steel City Stories: IWD • Mar 10 & 11

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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
Saturday March 11

Doors 12:30pm, Stories 1:00pm • All-Ages
Tickets: $8 (+SC) advance, $10 door

>> Buy Friday Tickets Here <<
>> Buy Saturday 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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Supercrawl Presents
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
>> Buy Tickets Here <<

“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.

CANADALAND’s The Imposter • Feb 3

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CANADALAND’s The Imposter presents Hamilton, The Musical
Friday Feb 3, 2017 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 8:30pm, show 9:30pm (event ends at 11:30pm)
Tickets: $15.00 (+SC) advance, $20 at the door

Direct from CANADALAND comes The Imposter — a show about love for music, comic books, movies, video games, novels, comedy and everything else. Named one of The Onion AV Club’s best podcasts of 2016, The Imposter is celebrating Steeltown with a live taping: Hamilton, The Musical. It’s a night of music, stories and interviews, with writer, actor and self-professed “drag queen extraordinaire” Sky Gilbert, performance artist Kiera Boult, and Sally McKay, who was making GIFs before GIFs were cool.

Music throughout the night is provided by sax punk band Zena.

Lizabett Russo w/Matt Paxton • Mar 8

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LIZABETT RUSSO with MATT PAXTON
Wednesday March 8, 2017 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 7:00pm, show 9:00pm • All-Ages
Tickets: $10.00 (+SC) advance, $12 at the door
>> Buy Tickets Here <<

Lizabett Russo is a singer-songwriter based in Edinburgh, Scotland. The artist stands out in the most cluttered of genres, marked out by her Romanian heritage and her wealth of travelling experience. She brings a diverse and eclectic range of influences to her tracks, which move from traditional acoustic ballads to up-tempo jazz — and just about everything else in between. Currently touring throughout Canada as a trio with the jazz guitarist Graeme Stephen (Instrumentalist of the Year at the Scottish Jazz Awards in 2011 and Innovation Awards 2013) and Toronto-based percussionist Chris Wallace (Alison Young Quartet). Lizabett’s first EP, The Traveller’s Song, was released in 2013, and received great reviews from across Europe, the US and Canada. In 2015 she released her first album Running with the Wolves which toured in Europe, Japan and South Korea. Throughout the years, Lizabett has played with acclaimed musicians such as Rachel Sermani, Rozi Plain, Tim Edey and Trembling Bells. 2016 saw Lizabett back in Asia touring her latest album The Burning Mountain.

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

Echo Artist Talks: Gord Bond • Feb 23

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ECHO ARTIST TALKS: GORD BOND
Thursday, February 23 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 7pm, Talk 7:30pm • Free

The Echo Artist Talks series continues on Thursday February 23, when the Hamilton Arts Council’s Visual Arts Committee welcomes Hamilton-based painter Gord Bond to Mills Hardware. Bond recently presented his solo exhibition of new paintings, Almost Human Nature, his recent exhibition at Dundas’ Carnegie Gallery. 

Gord Bond was born in Hamilton, Ontario, where he still lives and exhibits his paintings today. While doing an undergraduate in Science at McMaster University, Bond’s love of drawing and painting compelled him to switch majors to the Fine Arts. Bond received an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree at McMaster University in 2012. Upon completion of his Undergraduate Degree, Gord immediately applied and gained acceptance to York University to work towards his Masters in Fine Art. Since completing his Masters in 2014, Bond has continued to create paintings focusing on his interest in the human figure coupled with an urge to experiment with form, colour and mark-making.

Echo Artist Talks is a project of the Hamilton Arts Council Visual Arts Committee that provides a forum for both local and visiting artists exhibiting in Hamilton galleries to share their experiences with the local community. Hosted monthly at Mills Hardware in downtown Hamilton, each talk includes a Q&A session and opportunity for informal networking before and after the talk with a cash bar available on site. Doors open at 7:00 in advance of the start of the artist’s talk at 7:30.

 

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.

Wonder & Awe: The Magic of Brandon Love • Feb 17

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WONDER & AWE: THE MAGIC OF BRANDON LOVE
Friday February 17, 2017 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 8:00pm, show 8:30pm (event ends at 11pm) • All-Ages
>> PAY WHAT YOU CAN <<

More than just a magic show, Wonder & Awe: The Magic of Brandon Love is an experience you’ll want to be a part of. Brandon’s unique brand of magic has been performed around the world leaving audiences delighted and awestruck. This is a Pay What You Can event — there is no ticket price, but your contributions are welcome at the door. **NOTE: THIS WILL BE THE FINAL PERFORMANCE OF WONDER & AWE – DON’T MISS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO EXPERIENCE IT!**

Laughing Under the Influence • Mar 11

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Hub of the Hammer Presents
LAUGHING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Saturday March 11, 2017 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 7:00pm, show 9:00pm (event ends at 11pm) All-Ages
Tickets: $25.00 (+SC) advance, $30 at the door

>> Buy Tickets Here <<

Hosted by Matthew Surina, Laughing Under The Influence: Comedy From Both Sides Of The Law is what happens when right means wrong. Featuring a unique blend of storytelling and stand-up comedy, it brings together four comedians and four lawmen, each with their own unique take. Proceeds from the night will be donated to a local chapter of the MS Society with hopes of it making a difference in the fight against MS. The night’s lineup includes comedians Patrick Coppolino (MTV, Yuk Yuks), Isi Commisso, Mat Ferguson, Gerry Hall, John Ellis and Clifford Myers. Each of them has their own stories. Whether it’s one side of the law (Patrick, Isi and Mat) or the other (Clifford, Gerry and John), you’re sure to learn and laugh by the end of it. Featuring comedy, magic (Graeme “Graemazing” Reed), live music (Sean Heeley) and a raffle, the night promises something for everyone.

The Small Glories w/Mississippi Bends • Mar 25

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THE SMALL GLORIES with MISSISSIPPI BENDS
Saturday March 25, 2017 • Mills Hardware (95 King St. E., Hamilton)
Doors 7:00pm, show 9:00pm (event ends at 11pm) All-Ages
Tickets: $15.00 (+SC) advance, $18 at the door

Folk powerhouse pair The Small Glories are Cara Luft & JD Edwards, a dynamic duo planted on the Canadian Prairies. They are a study in contrasts; Cara, all earth mother on her 21-speed bike, environmentally friendly and wholesome, ebullient and engaging; and burly JD, in scruffy beard, ball cap, t-shirt and jean jacket, slightly intimidating (until you meet him). At first glance few would peg them for a highly creative musical partnership. Yet these two veteran singer/songwriters have teamed up and are building a buzz around their tight harmonies, authenticity and visceral performances. Luft is a Juno Award winner and co-founder of the folk trio The Wailin’ Jennys.  She has earned her rep as a gutsy live performer and insightfully honest songwriter, with serious skills on the guitar and clawhammer banjo.   No Depression calls her songwriting “redemptive, earthy and rooted in realism” and the Globe and Mail says she “sings like an angel named Joni or Alanis…”  Edwards is a riveting live performer and prolific songwriter, a soulful singer blessed with one of the most versatile and powerful voices in Canada.  Both are musical road warriors who have racked up many miles on both sides of the Atlantic. Thrown together purely by accident for an anniversary show at Winnipeg’s West End Cultural Centre, The Small Glories is a partnership that could almost make you believe in fate.  The Winnipeg Free Press asks, “can two singer-songwriters be better than one? Yes, emphatically, yes, if the two in question are Cara Luft and JD Edwards… It’s our loss they didn’t [join forces] sooner… It’s magic.”  Together as The Small Glories, Luft and Edwards are a tour de force, a case of 1 + 1 = 3.

“[Luft’s] amiable vocals and simplistic, lush instrumentation follow that of the long honored folk tradition with a modern twist. Lyrically [she] is like fresh linen on a Brooklyn clothesline. Her writing [is] redemptive, earthy and rooted in realism…. Darlingford conjures visions of blooming flowers in an apocalyptic wasteland, gold flaked tumbleweeds on the Trans-Canadian highway at dawn and a glimpse into the fractured and glowing soul of a talented writer and performer.” – No Depression

“Co-founder of the vocal trio The Wailin’ Jennys, The Light Fantastic has a more rock-and-roll bent. But even with a more hard-edged veneer the basic sweetness of Luft’s songs shines through. Original compositions are spiced with Celtic and Anglo/Canadian inflections that harken to her folk roots. If you liked the Jennys’ first two releases, you’ll love this.” – Vintage Guitar Magazine

“It can’t be done, so don’t even try to turn away from the affecting insistence of Canada’s Luft who sings like an angel named Joni or Alanis…” – The Globe and Mail

“Luft is the perfect blend of lightness and gutsy rock chick.” – PopMatters