This past Sunday night the Bus was in Toronto at the historic Horseshoe Tavern — a venue that has played host to Canada’s own Stompin’ Tom Conners and The Tragically Hip, as well as British Rock Gods The Rolling Stones. On this chilly evening in March, however, it was Tyler Childers and Kelsey Waldon that packed the house for some true Americana.
The night kicked off with a young lady by the name of Kelsey Waldon and to be 100 percent honest, I had no clue who she was. That said, it only took the chorus of the first song to catch my attention, and leave me hungry for more. The Kentucky native has a unique sound, and her strong lyrics and sense of humour onstage really played well to the crowd. I wish I had picked up a copy of her vinyl, I’ve Got a Way, before having to dash out, but there will definitely be an online purchase in my future.
After a short break, leaving just enough time to grab a cold beverage and for the band to switch out gear, it was time for Tyler Childers to hit the stage. Now, Childers may not be a household name just yet, but he still managed to sell out the Horseshoe. I first looked up some of Mr. Childers work after he had played some dates with one of Canada’s best emerging artists, Colter Wall, and curiosity got the best of me. Childers really has that true blue, traditional feel-it-in-your-bones type of country sound, and from the minute he hit the stage the crowd was into it. Kicking it off with a rather appropriate tune for us titled Bus Route, his 60/70s guitar sound and lyrics had everyone singing along. The man knows how to keep a crowd entertained.
It’s no surprise Childers is selling out performances across North America. Debuting a new song written on the road just a couple days earlier had a great feel to it, and was reminiscent of something we may have heard from Willie Nelson in the 70s. One thing that surprised me was the musician’s sense of humour — it was that, along with his sharp wit, that made the show that much more entertaining.
One of my favourites from the night had to be I Got Stoned and Missed It. The other crowd favourite was the song that closed out the night, Universal Sound, with its anthem feel, it kind of made the hair on the back of my neck stand up, especially when the crowd chimed in. All I can say is if Tyler or Kelsey ever make it back up to the area, I strongly suggest you take in the performance.
Corey Kelly / @CoreyKelly76
Edited by Whitney South