Medicine Hat Brewing Company On-Stage Series
Luke McMaster - Thursday November 15
In his latest solo project, ICONS OF SOUL, Luke McMaster has taken the Motown and soul influence that has always imbued his music, to a new level. ICONS uniquely marries contemporary songwriting with legendary hit songwriters. You’ll be treated to brand new music, co-written with iconic Motown songwriters, Felix Cavaliere of the Rascals (Groovin’, Good Lovin’), Lamont Dozier (Stop! In the Name of Love, Baby, I Need Your Lovin’) and more. These tunes are so fun, you’ll feel like you've known them all your life. You’ll also hear fresh covers early soul hit songs along with favourites from Luke’s 20 plus year catalogue including his smash hit ‘Good Morning Beautiful’ (#3 US Billboard AC).
Don Amero - Thursday Dec 6
Don Amero is an engaging storyteller, songwriter and performer who has been touring and speaking all across Canada for over 10 years. With 5 albums to his name that have already garnered eleven national and international awards, including a JUNO nomination in 2013 and two more in 2016, Don is eagerly completing his 6th album. The album is set to be released mid 2018 and the second single ‘Live While I’m Alive’ can be heard exclusively on Spotify until it’s full radio release February 26/ 2018.
Raised in the notoriously tough north end of Winnipeg, Don faced his share of adversity growing up. Yet, despite the poverty, gangs, drugs and violence that surrounded him, his life was tempered by love and support that held him up enabling him to thrive beyond those struggles and find his passion in music
With powerful vocals, a lovable stage presence, and a soulful sound along with his tireless work ethic, ambition, and determination, Don has earned the respect of the Canadian Music industry and has proven himself a much sought after performer who genuinely connects with his audience with an easy and effortless charm. A true musical talent without the rock-star attitude, Don impresses wherever he goes with his messages of encouragement, positivity, and beauty — and his desire to get out and chat with fans, no matter the venue.
Hillsburn - Thursday January 24
Hillsburn doubled down on their independent ethos for their second record, The Wilder Beyond. Deciding to forego a formal studio setting, they produced the album collectively and recorded it in singer Paul Aarntzen’s Halifax apartment. Aarntzen, also the band’s songwriter, took on the roles of engineer and mixer. Perhaps partly as a result of the new approach, The Wilder Beyond departs sharply from the folk-rooted sound of Hillsburn’s award-winning In The Battle Years debut. The group’s soaring three-part harmonies are intact here, but densely-layered arrangements and more electronic instruments signal a move in the direction of indie rock.
Not that the album is easy to pin down stylistically. ‘Strange Clouds,’ the guitar-driven lead track, recalls Florence + The Machine. 'Sun Ought To Shine,’ which features the record’s standout vocal performance, draws on Motown. And 'Time of Life,’ the closing track, could be a Neil Young song. The Wilder Beyond manages to land somewhere in the vast terrain between Aretha Franklin and Suburbs-era Arcade Fire while simultaneously sounding fresh and coherent.
All of the band members contribute something unique here. Multi-instrumentalist Jackson Fairfax-Perry plays bass, keys, and saxophone, while scoring the strings and horns for the album’s guest players. Siblings Rosanna and Clayton Burrill complete the three-part vocal battery, and Rosanna puts her classical training to use throughout, layering violins on many of the tracks. Newest member Clare Macdonald brings understated power to the proceedings. Her drumming is complex at times, direct at others, but never demands undue attention. It is plain that, although Aarntzen sparks the process, Hillsburn is a deeply collaborative affair.
Earle and Coffin - Wednesday February 27
National award winning duo Nick Earle and Joe Coffin from St. John’s, NL are two young bluesmen you should definitely get to know! Earle and Coffin’s debut album “Live at The Citadel House” is a collection of the duo’s favorite blues standards recorded live in concert, ultimately earning them the 2016 Canadian Folk Music Award for Young Performers, as well as ECMA and MusicNL nominations.
Reviving old blues is just one of the projects these guys have been working on, in February 2017 Earle and Coffin released their sophomore album “Wood, Wire, Blood and Bone”. This “potluck” of electric blues, rock, and be-bop inspired originals and classic blues standards earned them the 2017 MusicNL Jazz/Blues Artist of the Year Award and multiple other MusicNL nominations. Most recently Earle and Coffin were nominated for the 2018 ECMA Blues Recording of the Year.
“A Day in July” is the newest project released under the Citadel House label. This acoustic EP was recorded live off the floor and features three acoustic versions of originals from “Wood Wire Blood & Bone”, as well as three brand new unreleased originals written during the summer of 2017. To add to the accolades, the duo won the 2017 Maritimes to Memphis International Blues Challenge in the solo/duo category and in January 2018 Earle and Coffin proudly represented Atlantic Canada at the coveted International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN, advancing to the Semi-Finalist Round. In addition to making great music and winning awards these 18-year-old blues men have been getting around touring festivals and showcases throughout Canada and the US, most recently showcasing at the Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City, MO.
In April 2018 the duo started recording their next album and is set to release in mid-2018.
Earle and Coffin are soulful vocalists, brilliant guitar players and blessed with engaging personalities experienced beyond their years.