Music & Arts news from Southern New Brunswick

Category: Fredericton

Real Ponchos take new album on cross Canada tour


Vancouver’s Real Ponchos have only been playing together for a few years but they have impressively released an EP, and their debut full length ‘Since I Let you go’ which will drop May 8th.

Real Ponchos are comprised of Ben Arsenault, Emlyn Scherk, Michael Wagler and Emile Scott all have a long history of music under their belts. Vancouver natives Scherk, Arsenault and Scott have a long musical history that shows when listening to the tight jams on their debut album. Arsenault and Scherk previously played together in Montreal based alt-country band, Martyr & Pistol, while Scott and Arsenault have been making music together since high school. They recruited fellow Vancouverite Wagler to round out the band and the rest is history.

Ambition is a driving force behind most musicians and Real Ponchos is no exception,
“We are all passionate about music and we just wanted to play music, as simple as that sounds. There is a fire in all of us to create and make music”, said Arsenault.

Real Ponchos enlisted Jesse Gander (producer behind Japanroids and the Pack AD) who has produced over 400 albums, to record and co-produce their debut album. “Emile was looking around for a place for us to record and he came upon The Hive. Jesse has worked with some very talented and well known Vancouver musicians. He is very experienced and professional and the album turned out great”, said Arsenault.

Real Ponchos had the opportunity to record at the now defunct Vancouver’s Hive Creative Lab studio, the recording list reads as a who’s who of Vancouver bands past and present.
“I think we were one of the last bands to record at The Hive, it was a great studio, laid back, good vibe. Everything except the vocals were recorded live off the floor.”

Real Ponchos band name is a nod to Frank Zappa, but their list of influences steers towards classic rock, roots and country. If you are a fan of Levon Helm and The Band, then these guys will be right up your alley.
“We are huge Levon and The Band fans. Definitely a huge influence on us. As well as Neil Young and Tom Petty. Some newer stuff like War on Drugs, Sonny and the Sunsets, Beachwood Sparks,” said Arsenault.

“We are definitely looking forward to getting out to the Maritimes. A few of us have been to Nova Scotia and PEI before, but it will be our first time to New Brunswick.”
Arsenault not only has the debut album to celebrate, but he also just finished his degree. “We have the album to celebrate but I also just finished my Law Degree at University of Victoria so it’s going to be a great tour, a cool way to end the school year.”

If you are looking for an awesome album to go along with your upcoming summer road trip, I highly recommend throwing the Real Ponchos on your playlists.

Real Ponchos Debut album, Since I Let You Go, will be available May 6th.

You can catch Real Ponchos as they make their way to the Maritimes: The Roxstone Café in Fredericton on May 22nd, at The Carleton in Halifax on May 23rd, at the Red Herring in St. Andrews on May 24th, at Baba’s in PEI on May 27th and at Plan B in Moncton on May 28th.

You can stream the entire Since I Let You Go album over on Exclaim

Ben Caplan on NB weekend tour

I’m slow on the draw acknowledging the storytelling force-to-be-reckoned-with Ben Caplan’s New Brunswick weekend tour. Ben appears tonight at the Charlotte Street Arts Center in Fredericton and at the Sanctuary Theatre in Saint John tomorrow, Saturday April 26th.
Ben’s rugged, powerful voice tells tales of man against the elements, love lost and found, age, and wisdom. His unique spirit comes though gypsy-inspired guitar and banjo, sultry saxophone, and a tinkling of the ivories. Your foot will be stomping in a collective heartbeat that fills the room.
JessicaRhayeThe tour features an opening performance by Saint John’s Jessica Rhaye. Jessica was destined to be a forever-treasured jewel in the East Coast music scene since the release of her third album “Good Things”. Her work has matured further with “Far Gone Lullabies”, a perfect blend of folk, pop, and country that lets you know every little thing gonna be alright.
Tickets are 20$ advance and 25$ at the door.


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

Local 107.3FM Top 30 For the Week Ending: Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Here are the latest Local 107.3fm charts for the week ending Tuesday, March 18, 2014. Following this link you can also find our top ten charts for Hip Hop, Loud, Jazz, and Electronic.

This Week/Last Week/Artist/Title

1 — Nap Eyes Whine of the Mystic
2 — Bad People Bad People
3 — Various Psych Pop 2
4 — Noise Level Dub Knowledge
5 — Reagan’s Rayguns Excellent Party @ Reagans Rayguns
6 — Cavern/Anthesis Cavern/Anthesis Split
7 — The Olympic Symphonium Chance To Fate
8 1 Wooden Wives Dead Peasants
9 re Cellarghost Troubles
10 — Walrus Glam Returns
11 — Pine Tarts Wolves Named The Moon
12 re Trevor Rogers Are You Happy Now?
13 — Kandle In Flames
14 — Thus Owls Turning Rocks
15 re The Balconies Fast Motions
16 re Hand-Drawn Party
17 — SIRR Robopocalypse
18 — Elephant Skeletons zazzerzaz vol II
19 25 Wet Denim Wet Denim
20 re Earthbound Trio Lettuce Turnip the Beet
21 2 Les Paiens Carte Blanche
22 3 Old Man Luedecke I Never Sang Before I Met You
23 — Ryan Hillier Midnight Revelation
24 22 Matt Andersen Weightless
25 — Zebra Pulse Heh, Vay Bae-Bays
26 — Sexy Mathematics Electronics
27 — Wildcat Wildcat
28 15 Sherman Downey And The Ambiguous Case The Sun In Your Eyes
29 28 Rebekah Higgs Sha La La
30 9 Mode Moderne Occult Delight

A chat with Adam Mowery

adam mow
I met Adam in the hallowed halls of Junior High when grunge music and boy bands were climbing the charts simultaneously. I have watched Adam make music over the years, as a solo act, and with a band. Two things I know, he is extremely talented and very passionate about what he creates.

Adam was kind enough to take time to chat with me from the rainy streets of Halifax about his upcoming Shivering Songs performances.

How did you feel about being voted #1 on the SJ Playlist?
“Oh man, it feels really good. Thank you to Chuck Teed for putting that together.
Since I started recording and playing music, I always wanted to have a body of work people could refer to. Things that make sense from one record to the other. There are so many talented musicians in Saint John and it feels awesome to have been voted for.”

You recently played the NB Emerge Festival which was held over a weekend in Fredericton, how did you get involved with that?
“There is an awesome dude from Fredericton named Michael Taggert who plays in the Lee Harvey Oswalds and he has been such a friend and supporter of my music. He basically held my hand to get me into the festival. There are so many talented kids doing weird things, and that is so awesome to see. Super sweet folks in Fredericton put this festival on, it’s great we are all getting recognized for what we do and create. One of the prizes given at the end of the festival was a slot at Shivering Songs and I was super pleased to have won a spot in the festival.”

This will be your second time playing at Shivering Songs?
“Yeah, it will be my second time playing at Shivering Songs, the first time was during a Songwriters circle and it’s a little harder to stand out at something like that so I am looking forward to having a more intimate spot at Cedar Tree Cafe opening for Steve Poltz.”

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at Shivering Songs?
“I am most looking forward to seeing Ron Sexsmith. I have been a big fan of his since like 1999. When I was living in Saint John and travelling to Halifax to play shows, I would listen to his album ‘Whereabouts’ and it’s just a great album. I have seen him a couple of times and everyone should go, it’s going to be a really intimate and special show.”

When did you become interested in making music?
“I started taking guitar lessons, but I’m not sure at that time I really knew what I wanted to do. I guess in High School when I started playing coffee houses and acoustic shows, recording and making tapes of my stuff. I never wanted to be a rock band guy, That never appealed to me.”

What is the difference between the Halifax and Saint John music scene?
“I have been living in Halifax for yeah, two years now. The difference in the music scene in Halifax, there is more, there is more of everything though. More people, more culture, more music. In Saint John it was small enough that I could record a song, have it on the radio the following week, and then play a show that next weekend and people would have already have heard my new stuff. I certainly don’t think one cities music scene is better. There are more people in Halifax, but there are more musicians making music, and an audience that can check out a bigger selection of live music on the weekends.”

Tell me some Halifax bands you are currently into right now.
“Some Halifax bands I am digging right now? Walrus, they are a 60’s/70’s pysch band, Bestfiends, saw them in Sackville awhile back and really dug em, and The Fat Stupids, straight up-Ramones-esque punk, so fun to see live.”

What can we expect from you in 2014?
“Currently finishing up a solo EP. As well, many more shows with Mike Trask and the Precious Memories, as well working on two EP’s with The Grubbies. So yeah, I have many plates in the air. No word on festivals yet for this summer, but I certainly hope so.”

You can catch Adam Mowery opening for Steve Poltz on Saturday January 26th at 7pm at Cedar Tree Cafe and you can also catch him later that same evening playing w Mike Trask and The Precious Memories at The Capital Bar at 10:45pm.
Tickets for the Cedar Tree Show are available online Here or at the ticket kiosk at the Cedar Tree Cafe.