Newport Electric Vinyl Releasewww.newportelectricmusic.com/
Your second favourite band is back!
London Ontario’s Newport Electric formed in 2014 and released their debut album “So it Goes” to excellent reviews the following year.
They took more time crafting their follow up this time around. Lead singer/guitarist John Couture explains: “Our first album was great, we’re really proud of it. But the follow up is really much more of a “band” sound. These are all songs we’ve been playing live for a couple of years now. When it came time to record, there was no debating about arrangements – it was just a matter of getting a great recording down”.
They recorded the new album “Thin Wild Mercury” at The Sugar Shack in London, Ontario with engineer Simon Larochette. Sonically, the album is great. It features 10 original songs, 9 of which were written by Couture and the other by Lead guitarist Steve Sinclair, who also tackles lead vocals on the song “Tail Lights Fade”. The song somehow straddles a Neil Young/Crazy Horse vibe coupled with a Pink Floyd extended guitar solo and is a standout track on the album.
Their sound is clearly influenced by the 60’s and 70’s artists that they grew up listening to (even the band name is reference to Dylan’s legendary “electric” performance at the Newport Folk Festival in ’65).
The album kicks off with a great straight ahead guitar-riff driven tune that features the strong rhythm section of Dusty MacMillan (Bass, vocals) and Roger Osmond (Drums, vocals, accordion) as well as a 60’s-era organ sound courtesy of keyboardist Adam Plante.
Next, we have a trip throughout the the U.S. as we travel with two delinquents as they cross the country evading capture in “Two Outlaws Ride”. What they did and who they are running from we don’t know, but it’s safe to say we’re on their side. “Shake Yer Blues” comes next…imagine, if you can, a cross between The Who, The Byrds and The Young Rascals and you’ve got an idea of how this catchy sing-along song sounds.
““Brakeman” is a real crowd favourite”, Couture says. “We always get a great response from that one”. It’s understandable why…the huge crescendo with a galloping groove is infectious.
“Safe & Warm” shows the bands somewhat country influences. Traces of The Band and Blue Rodeo are on full display here. Guest musicians on violin and pedal steel move the country sound even further and show how the band has pushed the boundaries of their sound since their first album.
The songs continue on in the same vein, with a clear emphasis on interesting lyrics and melodies that sound familiar yet refreshing at the same time. “The Mighty River” is a call to brotherly love, something Couture says the world needs more of. Universal lyrics and a timeless melody makes it a clear standout.
The band is excited to announce that the new album will be available on download, CD and vinyl. The CD version includes a lyric booklet while the vinyl includes a lyric insert. Copies can be ordered through their website www.newportelectricmusic.com.
Broomsticks & Hammersbroomsticksandhammers.com/
Winners of the 2016 Folk/Roots Jack Richardson London Music Award, Broomsticks & Hammers continues and builds on the folk/roots tradition of taking songs grounded in stories of the human condition and treating these stories with great musicianship and exciting band dynamics. On record, the songs shine through alongside the band’s keen ear for thoughtful and sometimes quirky musical treatments. Live, the force of a seven-piece unit comes to the fore as the band traverses folk, rock, country, and even a little jazz and blues with ease. Fans of the roots music of Blue Rodeo, Dan Mangan, Ryan Adams, The Skydiggers, The Band, and others will find that Broomsticks & Hammers fits right in.
Since it’s founding in 2013 the band has built a strong local fan base, playing local clubs, community-centred events, and supporting a variety of charitable causes.
Among the band’s most notable performances are: The main stage at the venerable Canterbury Folk Festival (2016); the main stage at the prestigious Home County Music and Art Festival (2016); Grand Bend Summer Sunset Sounds concert series (2016); the main stage at the River Rock Festival (2017); and the sold out “It’s Not, Not Country” showcase in downtown London (with London favourite’s Kevin’s Bacon Train) as part of Canadian Country Music Awards Week.
The band’s debut album Postcard (2016) charted steadily on CHRW Radio Western and was well-received at college stations nation-wide, even reaching at #2 on the roots charts at CFBX in Kamloops, BC.
The band’s sophomore release, Mirror Box (2017), was recorded at the Sugar Shack in London with Juno-nominated producer/engineer Simon Larochette. Mirror Box debuted at #1 on CHRW Radio Western and has since received attention across Canadian college radio and online music publications.
Mirror Box earned the band yet another nomination for the 2018 Jack Richardson London Music Award in the Folk/Roots category.
2018 will see the band once again appear at the Canterbury Folk Festival, the Home County Music and Arts Festival, and Grand Bend Summer Sunset Sounds.
Broomsticks & Hammers is…
Bill Needham (vocals, guitar, primary songwriter)
David Jury (bass)
Paul Aitken (guitar)
Jeff Floyd (drums)
James Lefave (guitar)
Jeff Gee (mandolin, vocals)
Michael Bonnell/Kiley Joe Masson (keyboards, accordion)