On Friday night we headed down to what is likely the best country music establishment in Toronto, Boots & Bourbon for the James Barker Band EP release party. This event was part of the amazing Canadian Music Week lineup and had the fans jammed in. We arrived a little later than anticipated so we missed out on some great music by Dani Strong and The Reklaws. And only managed to catch the last couple songs of Dan Davidsons set. But as usual, he was on fire.
Shortly after 9pm Sudbury’s own Andrew Hyatt stormed the stage for one hell of a set. Andrew has a new album Iron And Ashes hitting the streets on May 19th and we can’t wait to hear it. Having watched Andrew play the circuit over the last couple years and originally sold on the fact that he was really an acoustic, stripped down kinda guy. I remember seeing him perform during the Sound of Music Festival in Burlington a couple of years back with a band and I just didn’t feel it was the right fit. BUT… That has DRASTICALLY changed. Not sure if it was new band members or just the comfort level on stage but I can tell you this guy is playing for keeps! And after this performance I would have to rank him very hight on the MUST SEE list this summer.
After Andrew’s spirited set it was #GameOn for the James Barker Band. Here are 4 guys absolutely thrilled to be playing music to a sold out crowd in downtown Toronto. And to have had the level of success this early on with hits like Lawn Chair Lazy and the current song rocketing the Canadian country charts with Chills. Hard to believe it was only 2 years ago that JBB took home the Emerging Artist crown at Boots & Hearts and had one the biggest hits of the summer of 2016. Well on this night the fellas from Barrie, dropped #GameOn the bands first EP with Universal Music Canada. And thought it might be a good idea to throw a party, and party they did.
Playing for about an hour the guys ran through the set with the aforementioned hits spread in along with some of the new stuff. Along with a medley that had the crowd rockin’ with Taylor channeling his inner Eminem for his version of Lose Yourself. These boys have their shit together. They are tight and you can tell they love being on stage.
It was a great night of music at Boots And Bourbon. Huge thanks to Boots & Bourbon for having us along. We love hangin’ at your place.
Corey Kelly / @CoreyKelly76