Music & Arts news from Southern New Brunswick

Saint John Music Poll Update – April 15, 2014


We have confirmed act for the bill – Reagan’s Rayguns. They have an amazing disc they are about to unleash on the world, but until then you can check their discography here:

Two weeks left, and still a lot of tight races for this year’s voting. If you haven’t voted, click here:
Don’t worry about lobbying for votes – we’re pretty shameless here.

One more thing – I actually noticed a couple people complain about not knowing any Saint John artists. Well, now’s your chance to check some out. I made a list on my blog of acts that released discs in 2013 – go listen to them, and see if any are vote worthy.

Ok, that’s it – keep voting, and spreading the word!

Saint John Music Poll/Awards Update


Best of Saint John Music Poll Update – April 8, 2014

We’re two weeks in, and we’ve had one change to our event – it will now take place May 16th at 8:00PM in the Sanctuary Theatre. This will be the only time the date will change, I promise!

I’m happy to announce that we’ve confirmed our first performer at the event. CBC Searchlight Semi-Finalists Tomato Tomato are confirmed for the show, and will likely preview a song from their upcoming CD. You can hear/read more about the duo here:

There’s still three weeks left to vote, and it’s still anyone’s game. Please vote in the poll, share the event, and spread the word about your favorite artists!


Baytown touring new album ‘Island’ in the Maritimes


When you think of St. John’s, NL and their music scene, a pop-rock/reggae/funk sound, may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Baytown is contributing to the diverse music scene in Newfoundland by releasing their sophomore album, Island. Baytown has only been a band for a handful of years but have already been garnering attention from their Music NL nominations and having their video, ‘Waited On’ receiving airplay on CMT.

The members of Baytown; Matt Cooke, James Lee Wright, Jason Howard, and Greg Bruce have strong musical backgrounds. Coming from musical families, it was a no brainer that they started playing music together.
“Myself, James and our original drummer Mike had grown up together, skateboarding together, and realized we liked the same music. We all come from musical families as well, so it wasn’t a stretch for any of us to get together and play music. In high school we all had similar tastes in music as well; talented upbeat music, like Sublime, Bob Marley, etc. It was a no brainer on what kind of music we wanted to play. Just music we could relate to and that we all enjoyed playing. Jason joined us on drums and we also asked our friend Greg Bruce to play saxophone with us at a couple of our live shows and eventually Greg joined the band full-time,” said Cooke.

Baytowns sophomore release, ‘Island’, is a mix of upbeat, reggae/funk songs that keep your feet taping, but you can also find hints of Cooke’s personal acoustic/rock/blues tracks on the album in tracks like, ‘Give yourself the Gun.’
“I am the sole songwriter for the band, and I usually hash it out by myself and bring the core of the song to the guys, and we work on it from there. It may get completely re-worked, or we may decide it’s not a good fit for the band. Jimmy is great to bring that set reggae sound and him and Mike put the groove of the song together. If it doesn’t fit for Baytown, it may be a song I will play on my own,” said Cooke.

As many Canadian bands are managing, organizing tours, and even producing their own albums, it is no different for Baytown.
“We are self-produced and self-managed, which is like a lot of bands out there. For ‘Island’ we took a few songs we had been playing for a few years and a few newer songs which we wrote over the recording process. It’s hard to be your own critic and deciding if a part of a song should get cut, or re-worked. There isn’t a whole lot of options in Newfoundland for producers and often times they aren’t available. Producing is a touchy thing and can make our break an album,” said Cooke.

As to what they have learned while recording and releasing two albums, touring, and releasing several videos, Cooke says, “When recording, the time you think you will need, double it. The budget you think you will need, double that. If you aren’t quite happy with an album, or even a song you have recorded, keep working on it, take the time to craft it, you will regret it later if you don’t.”

You can check out Baytown on their first visit to NB and PEI when they play Plan B in Moncton on April 3rd, The Capital in Fredericton on April 4th, and in PEI on April 5th at the ECMA Music NL Showcase.
Baytowns new album ‘Island’ is available now on iTunes and

Saint John Music Poll – Albums/EPs of 2013

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Since today is a snow day, I decided to share links to (almost) every Saint John artist that released an EP or album in 2013. If you want to discover some new music, or revisit music you’ve heard before, click the links below. And remember, while voting for your favorite artist in the poll might help them win a trophy, you can always vote with your wallet and download a track or two (or pick up a copy of their CD/cassette/LP at Backstreet Records or Second Spin).

Click here for the complete list of albums/EPs.

Best of Saint John Music Poll Now Open!

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It’s time for the seventh annual Best of Saint John Music Poll!

From now until April 30 you will be able to vote in up to 14 categories (you must fill out at least eight for the ballot to count). Once the poll closes, we will tabulate the votes and announce the nominees in each category. The winners will be announced this spring at our annual awards show, taking place at the Sanctuary Theatre May 10.

A couple of things to keep in mind when filling out your ballot:

1) Your votes should reflect what happened locally in 2013 (see poll for details). Bottom line – if your favorite artist didn’t do too much in 2013, please consider voting for someone else.

2) You must vote in eight categories for your vote to count. Your vote will not count if:

- You vote in one category and fill the rest of the categories with nonsense.

- You vote for the same band or artist in every category. For example, if I see a band name the in best record store, best fan, or best radio station category, you didn’t properly fill out the ballot. If you don’t have an answer, do a little research. You might discover some new music. And, it never hurts to share the love a little.

- You vote in less than eight categories.

- You do not click on the confirmation link that will be emailed to you when you click the submit button

3) NO BALLOT STUFFING – one vote per person, not email address!

4) Remember, this poll and event is about having a little fun, and celebrating our wonderful music community.

You can find the poll at Please spread the word, and share the love!

(Special thanks to the folks at Picaroons Traditional Ales, Pulp and Paper Design, Giraffecycle, Local 107.3FM, and BBQ Records for their continued support.)

Click here for a look at the first five years of the awards.