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March is when bands start hitting the road again in force. Canadian Music Week bring a ton of bands through. Schools programs fire up for the spring time. The highways are a little safer... Check out the details this month because we have a bunch of great headline bands like God Made Me Funky and FreeDubStar, but we also have a lot of emerging artists from across the country coming through. This is a good time to see an unknown band on a Wednesday night and seven years later be able to say... I saw them with 25 people at the Townehouse way back in the day... I liked them before all these other people did... Not that I'm espousing hipster culture as such... but the truth is... This is a part of our community where culture is still a diamond in the rough. Some things will be huge... India Pale Ales and Nickelback... some things will remain a cherished secret of the 'ear to the ground' culture obsessed generation, like Daniel Romano and Sour Beers.

Feed on the music scene here today because it continues to expand.  From jazz players like Jacob Starling and Zach Martel, singers like Mimi O’bonsawin and Barry Miles… to the new albums expected this year from Murder Murder, PGW, Kate Maki, Fred Squire and Matt Beech, 2015 is shaping up to be a classic.

Music at Sundown
By the time Thursday rolls around... most folk are ready to roll off the week... Music at Sundown is a great chance for you to kick the weekend into gear and finish your week on a positive note. Great dinner, Great music.

Thursday, March 5th - Kate Maki, Fred Squire with Ryan Bishops Levecque take the stage. Kate and Fred have been working on a new record each. Ryan has been working on a new record for a few years. It's the finest songwriting to come out of the north this generation.

Thursday, March 12th - JoPo and Danny Shamass - popular as a duo around town and singers in their own right... plus performing in a bandThe Rize, Jo and Danny have a great presence together all the while retaining their own identity.

Thursday, March 19th - Marc Savard and Dan Bedard - back for another round of Marc and Dan and their great night of funky rhythm and blues, old time rock and roll, a couple jazz pop tunes and whatever else strikes them. Veterans of many musical generations, Marc and Dan cross many borders and bring a seasoned ease to the stage.

Thursday, March 26th - Jon, Sam and Barry - we finally get a dinner with the front end of Murder Murder. Jon was saying that they have a bunch of songs they know that just don't fit the raucaus nights that Murder Murder play on... Could it be that we'll hear the romantic side of Barry, Jon and Sam? I'd think more along the lines of solemn, contemplative music, performed with great instrumentation and harmony.

Thursday, April 2nd - Jessy Brunette - Young Jessy takes a dinner show. Our doe eyed country gal is out to break some hearts tonight and also gets to show the younger side of her family all her musical chops that we only get to hear late at night.

Friday, February 27th – The Elwins - $7.00 at the door

Ontario-based indie pop outfit The Elwins have garnered an impressive pile of attention and praise considering their relative youth. They are one of my favourite new rock bands of the last five years.  From performing alongside acts like Tokyo Police Club, Arkells, Born Ruffians, Brendan Canning, and Walk Off The Earth or at festivals including SXSW, CMW, POP Montreal, and the Halifax Pop Explosion to being heralded an “act to watch” by tastemakers like Exclaim!, CBC Radio 3, and Torontoist.com, The Elwins have rapidly risen the rungs of the Canadian independent music scene – and all before a full-length offering to their name; however, that changed with the release of their highly-anticipated long-player And I Thank You. 

Now, with the release of the next full length record, this month, The Elwins look to continue their stride toward the the toppermost of the poppermost.  The band was born in 2008 when vocalist/guitarist Matthew Sweeney and drummer Travis Stokl bonded in a high-school hallway over their mutual love of The Flaming Lips. The two began writing songs together under the new banner and thereafter welcomed longtime friend Feurd Moore to handle keyboard and guitar duties. Most recently the band has welcomed Frankie Figliomeni to the fold, playing the bass guitar. Since then they’ve seen their audience and, subsequently, the excitement surrounding their LP expand exponentially. 

Their quirky creativity also manifests itself outside of their musical output, be it onstage or in-studio, with the band designing and making many of their own merch items (which can range from mugs and sunglasses to pillows and tote bags) and producing their own series of videos. 
The Elwins may not take themselves too seriously, but the same can’t be said for their career. It’s all part of an effort to continually engage their audience while also adding to it, and needless to say, it’s a formula that’s been working wonders thus far. With the release of Play For Keeps, their profile can only be propelled upward, and there are plenty of people wondering just how high.?

Saturday, February 28th – B.A. Johnston, The Almighty Rhombus, Yacht Patrol - $7.00 at the door

It’s hard to say what our present society would be like if not for B.A Johnston.  I feel that he is one of those points on the timeline, according to Dr. Who, that is fixed.  If you mess with B.A. then things like the 2008 credit bubble happened… We’re only now just piecing our society back together after the Kraken tried to remove B.A. from his van in 1298 AD.  B.A. is and always has been.  He is older than Apocalypse and as pretty as Deadpool.  He’s the mayor of Skidsville, his music provides joy to the world as he provides the emotional stoplight that we all so very much need in our lives.  Always a pleasure to have him back.

This time around, B.A. plays chaparone to The Almighty Rhombus and Yacht Patrol.  It is destined to be a night of legend… as it usually is.  I remember one time… B.A. played a show at the University and this guy stole a pile of CD’s from B.A.  A crime of this nature is usually pretty painful on an independent artist who spends his life in a van or creeping in Mother’s basement… however, the next time he was in town, the same guy came to the show, and brought along everyone he gave the stolen CD’s to.  Weird huh?  That’s life with B.A.

Tuesday, March 3rd - Dear Rouge - $7.00 at the door - 8:00pm show!

Stephan Travis Kuehne will do the opening set... Steph Fyfe will play acoustic and will play AFTER the band as well... Doors Open 8pm with Stephan at 8:30, Steph at 9:15, Dear Rouge at 10:00pm... after all is said and done, Stephanie will take the stage back and play after the show for our regular Tuesday night hangout.

While bands often spend their early days discovering their musical directions and vying for visibility, the story of Vancouver’s Dear Rouge is something unique and almost unheard of in Canada. The band is led by husband and wife duo Drew and Danielle McTaggart. Between the two of them, they carry years of touring and recording with multiple bands and different musical ventures. Drew and Danielle met in these days of initial musical exploration. Both driven by a passion to create energetic music with a creative backbone, they formed Dear Rouge and their debut EP Heads Up Watch Out.

Their 2012 follow up EP Kids Wanna Know helped hone their alternative dance-rock sound and also led to the duo winning the Peak Performance Project that year, the largest artist development project in Canada. Bolstered by their success and now financially equipped to delve further into their music, Dear Rouge got straight to work on their first full-length record. The record’s lead single, “I Heard I Had”, is a driving synth-rock jam, which shocked the entire Canadian music industry by steadily climbing the alternative and rock charts to the Top 10 – with no label or album backing it; a rare feat, especially for a band that had no previous charting history.

Dear Rouge’s debut album is complete and is scheduled for an early 2014 release. First listens of the album showcase punchy guitar hooks, uplifting synth layers, and the sincerely powerful vocal delivery of Danielle. Producer/Engineer Ryan Worsley and Drew produced the majority of the album, providing a steadfast vision for their sound whilst working alongside the input of some of Canada’s top producers; Howard Redekopp (Tegan and Sara, Mother Mother) and Gavin Brown (Metric, Billy Talent). The team helped develop what has become Dear Rouge’s instantly recognizable mature sound.

It feels as if Dear Rouge has been in existence for quite some time; a thought that was stirring in the mind of this duo since before they met or first started playing music. Now that this idea has been realized, it will soon be in your head too.

Thursday, March 5th - Dany Laj and the Looks, Ramblin' Rose - $7.00 at the door

Sometimes it still seems like yesterday that you would run into Dany Laj on the street. His years in Sudbury made that kind of impact. Now in Montreal, Dany just signed to Squirtgun records and keeps pumping out music and touring like a fiend. As always, we welcome Dany back to Sudbury for pints and a great night of music. Laj’s heartfelt songs seamlessly meld together elements of rock, folk, and country, without straying too far from the power-pop roots that give the tunes a certain joie de vivre, with nods to tunesmiths like Nick Lowe and Paul Westerberg. The narrative weaved together by Laj’s powerful yet unpretentious lyrics tells the tale of the Northern Ontario kid trying to find his way south, ultimately to Montreal, by way of Sudbury, North Bay, Toronto, and everywhere in between, with stories of finding love, cross-country tours, and broken-down vehicles, but ultimately retaining a strong sense of humour and hope which lies within memorably catchy hooks and intertwining harmonies between Laj and bassist Jeanette Dowling. Dowling and drummer Lewis Handford as The Looks, Laj’s crack rhythm section, provide a rock-solid foundation and perfect complement to Laj’s quirky pop sensibilities, rendering Dany Laj and the Looks an unstoppable force just waiting to win your heart.

Friday, March 6th – Amanda Davids & the Funk Riders - $7.00 at the door

Enter the musical realm of Amanda Davids, where sonic boundaries are overthrown and myriad genres assimilated into one sound, Funk Rock. With a new “hold nothing back” sound, Amanda Davids presents her gritty fusion to the world. Taking inspiration from revolutionary innovators before her, such as Muse, Massive Attack, Parliament, Prince, The Roots, Herbie Hancock, and Pink Floyd, Davids has created her own unique musical vision. Armed with her Piano, Hammond Organ and a raging Soulful voice, Amanda Davids ignites a stage with evocative songwriting and untamed Funk, rooted in Prog Rock, improvisation and Urban beats.

Her whirlwind 2014 tour schedule included performances in the 2014 Northern Lights Oktoberfest in Sudbury and over 25 stops in different cities across North America. Since releasing her debut EP in 2012 “Distinguishable inDifference”, Amanda Davids has been amassing fans worldwide. Touring the UK after the launch, and then returning home to perform in the, 2012 NXNE Festival, 2012 Oakville Jazz Festival, 2012 Sudbury Jazz Festival, followed by the 2013 Canadian Music Week, Sault Ste Marie’s 2013 Downtown Queen Street Festival and initial North American tours, Amanda Davids’ distinctive vision has emerged as a musical force to be reckoned with.

With emphasis on improvisation and unusual arrangements Amanda Davids’ Funk Rock has evolved into a musical form like no other. Davids’ diverse performance background ranging from small acoustic stages to large outdoor festivals enables her to deliver a performance for any stage. Davids’ high energy Funk Rock audiences should expect to see her full rig as she performs on two keyboards (Hammond XK3-C and Korg SV-1) with her band FunkRiders;  8-string guitarist, MPC Player and drummer. Her spine tingling vocals and charismatic stage presence carry over  tight arrangements, dynamic instrument lines and digging urban beats. In more intimate and laid back settings you can find her solo with just keyboard and vocals or with any combination of her accompanying instrumentalists. Equally as enticing, her easy going sets have an Acid Jazz flavor.

Saturday, March 7th - Bandit - $7.00 at the door

Fresh off the great night with the music of the Kinks, Ryan takes a Saturday night to mess around with his favourite music. A rock and roll night for you to dance , sing along... Ryan Levecque has been easily handling the Townehouse stage for 20 years... through several albums with Junction Creek, then Ox, North American and European tours with Ox and Kate Maki. The last couple years has seen Ryan working in Sudbury, coming out once in awhile to lead us through a Beatles night, a Led Zeppelin Night... the celebration of Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground, The Kinks Night... and then sometimes just to have fun. There will be rock, some dirty blues, some dance music, some R&B soul.

Wednesday, March 11th - Samantha Savage Smith - $7.00 at the door ... 9pm show

Samantha Savage Smith is a singer, guitarist, and songwriter based in Calgary, Alberta. Upon the release of her debut album Tough Cookie in 2011, the bulk of the critical acclaim it received was rightly placed upon her startling, unique voice, which seems at once familiar and totally new. The album was deemed "Best of 2011" by the Calgary Herald, FFWD Weekly, Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, and the Vancouver Sun, and led to a string of CBC and CKUA performances and two acclaimed music videos for her songs "You Always Come To Mind" and "The Score".

The key to Smith's songs is that she has an ability to infuse her songs with a certain timelessness, invoking a familiarity within each listener, while still bringing formidable sense of self to the proceedings. This potent combination of traits belies the eclecticness of her own musical touchstones, which run the gamut from Anita O'Day and Kurt Vile to Land of Talk and Eric's Trip.

The bulk of the last two years have been spent writing, recording, and mixing the follow-up album, titled Fine Lines. Smith's new batch of songs keep intact the vocal-heavy allure of the debut while exhibiting a gigantic leap forward in the development of a truly personal songwriting style. The album was recorded by Lorrie Matheson (Rae Spoon, Ghostkeeper) and features contributions from members of Lab Coast, Viet Cong, and Chad VanGaalen's band. Fine Lines is slated for a late 2014 release.

Friday, March 13th - Milo McMahon + More - $7.00 at the door

We're building a night of local and traveling bands for your Friday. Stay tuned for full line-up...

'Gone Too Long EP', the followup to Milo McMahon's debut full-length album 'Big City Hustle', marks the biggest step forward for the 27-year-old singer and guitarist since he started recording music in 2007. Produced in conjunction with Dave Newfeld (Broken Social Scene), McMahon has truly established his own voice and sound, bringing this record to life with help from members of Montréal's SUUNS and Blood & Glass. A native of Winnipeg, Canada, McMahon spent his formative years in Ireland, where his family's blood lines run deep in the river of traditional Irish music. Now settled in Montréal, McMahon's regular touring schedule has resulted in an inspiring, high-energy live show.?

Saturday, March 14th – The Elephant Band - $7.00 at the door

*** this is not a typo… The Elephant Band… Pat, Vince and Eric… it’s real***

I promise you this is true… I wanted to get this in the calendar and on the website early because The Elephant Band haven’t played in a long time and I know it’s going to take a while for everyone to find a sitter on the same night.  I suppose what we could do is get the boys to play a 6:00pm set as well that you can just bring the kids to.  You can show the young ones that when you went to the Townehouse between 1997 and 2004, that this was your favourite band. 

Time marches on for everyone… Pat Rheal, the guitarist and most often main singer for The Elephant Band is turning 40 this week and one of the ways that he is celebrating is to play one more gig with Eric and Vince as The Elephant Band and celebrate with all of those who made his life happen.  So welcome back to all of those who we only get to see on holidays… welcome to all the current Townehouse peeps who get to share in what was one of the highlights of the Townehouse Calendar at the turn of the century.  Do come out and celebrate.

Tuesday, March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day with Billy John and the Irish Wake - $7.00 at the door

Speaking of celebrations, we do this one every year… and we do it right.  We put together a fine group of fine musicians and we play a bunch of old Irish songs, Canadian fiddle tunes, some Stan Rogers, some Johnny Cash, some Great Big Sea and a whole bunch more.  We play a long night and keep people dancing.  We are in the market for one more musician who can take up penny whistle or accordian, or both.  After a long day of rowdiness and bruised fingers, sore throats and sweaty jackets… we pop on the Moondance album and chill out.  It might not be traditional Irish music, but it might be the prettiest album ever by an Irishman.  It’s just the way we have to roll… we send everyone out into the night tired and happy… safely.

Thursday, March 19th - Rock -n- Rescue - $10 suggested donation

A night of very cool music and hilarious comedy at the Townhouse. Proceeds split between S.A.I.N.T.S animal rescue and the Cambrian Foundation.

Justin James

Live From the Bur

Echoes the Lion

hosted by Shawn McLaren

Friday, March 20th - Low Animal - with guests - $7.00 at the door

Always a blast for the night that Damien and Matt return to Sudbury. Low Animal has released several EP's over the last couple years since the name change from Mule Skinner. Mule Skinner was a continuation of Matt and Damien's Sudbury based band Elephanta, back when they lived in Sudbury several years ago.

Low Animal is a Guitar and Drum wall of sound. They don't come across like the other duos like The White Stripes or Black Keys because there is more fury... It's a bit more like squeezing Fugazi into 2 bodies (no it's not like The Evens). Low Animal is a unique force of nature. Solid riffing, a wall of backbeat and Matt's signature voice.

Watch for update on the rest of the line-up for tonight.

Saturday, March 21st - Northern Lights Festival Boreal Meltdown - $5.00 - all day.

We'll most likely get going in the mid afternoon - say 2pm... it's the day to audition local emerging artists for our major summer festival, Northern Lights. The festival will be held July 3, 4, 5 this summer. They have hired many artists from around the world already, and now seek the emerging artists from the north... so if you haven't released a full length album yet and begun full time touring, this is your chance to apply for the festival and just let your live performance speak for itself.

There are two categories: Solo and Band/Ensemble. Solo artists are permitted a maximum of 1 accompanist. There will be at least one winner selected by a panel of expert judges for each category. Winners get to play two or more festival performances and be compensated fairly for their performance.

In 2014, NLFB also introduced a mentorship program for solo performers. Meltdown competitors are also eligible to be selected for this program, in which they would be paired with musician mentor for the festival weekend.

Online registration forms will be up very soon, however registrations can also be made by contacting the NLFB office: nlfbmarketing@gmail.com or 705-674-5512. We are open minded to all genres, but check out the lineups from previous years to see if you're act fits the atmosphere.

Saturday, March 21st - Free Dub Star - $7.00 at the door

Coming from one of the the largest multi-cultural cities in Canada, Toronto-based reggae-rockers, freedubstar describe themselves as "a psychedelic dub band - with an edge...!!!!"  freedubstar is a 3-piece funk-reggae band, led by guitarist, Michael Cooke, holding it down on rhythm and lead, creating spacey textures and solid rhythms that define their sound, backed by the sensational, powerhouse drumming of singer/songwriter Derek Musgrave (aka: Deelion,) anchored by the heavy and tastefully fluid basslines of the talented, Dane Wedderburn.

Combining elements of Psychedelic Indie-Rock with Funk and Reggae, they have created a new sound of high-energy and positive vibes that drummer DeeLion has coined the phrase 'Pop-Ska' to describe some of their more danceable numbers!!!

With the authentic charm of some 2 and 3 part vocal harmonies and contemporary driving grooves, freedubstar can take you back in time by playing some their favorite danceable reggae classics, or all the way onto the dance floor with some of their heavy original songs with conscious lyrics that make this 3 piece rocking reggae power-trio stand out from the crowd, capable of delivering an act to remember.

Thursday, March 26th - Sun K with Guests - $7.00 at the door

Some things are just part of your DNA when you’re a young Toronto rock ‘n roll band. Mainly, it’s the echoes of smoky nights in Yorkville coffee houses when Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Gordon Lightfoot found their voices, while a few blocks away on Yonge Street, The Band was forging the sound Bob Dylan would soon make his own.

It’s all ancient history to the young members of Sun K, but no one ever had to explain the significance to them. It came out the moment they began playing together in 2013 and has been the foundation of a sound that has quickly evolved to embrace the edginess of the early New York underground scene and the glowing, complex harmonies of west coast folk rock.

Sun K’s unshakable desire to add their link to the chain of all this great music is at the heart of the group’s full-length debut album, Northern Lies, out March 10 on MapleMusic Recordings. Produced by Cone McCaslin of Sum 41, whose production credits also include The Strumbellas and Operation MD, the eight-song collection is the first statement from a band eager to make its mark straight out of the gate, but also wise beyond its years in the knowledge that this is a seed from which a body of work will eventually grow.

Friday, March 27th - The Almighty Rhombus, Ivory Hours, Carden Cove - $7.00 at the door

Saturday, March 28th - God Made Me Funky - $10.00 at the door

With the release of their 2015 album, Funky, Fly n’ Free (New Empire Records), God Made Me Funky expand substantially on their signature blend of funk, soul and Hip hop while taking a direction, musically and lyrically, driven by a question the band has been mulling over collectively for years.

“What is Funk? Ask 40 different people and you’ll get 40 different answers,” says GMMF MC, PHATT al. “But, for us, Funk is freedom.”

That definition was reinforced when GMMF opened for George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at the Montreal Jazz Festival. “Watching them play, their mastery, the freedom of expression they were sharing… It was like being transported to a different dimension.”

On Funky, Fly n’ Free, GMMF express themselves just as freely and encourage listeners to do the same: “To go into their own dimension, into the Funk zone,” PHATT al says. “To be who you are. Free yourself of hate. Free yourself of the haters. Have an opinion. Think. Make your own decisions.”

“We just want to inspire people to use their right to choice in a positive way,” adds vocalist Dana Jean Phoenix.

Having said that, GMMF prefer people come together, tear up the dance floor and express their freedom joyfully rather than ponder it somberly. And on Funky, Fly n’ Free – just like every GMMF record from their self-titled debut to 2012’s set of ‘futuristic throwback roller skating jams,’ Vive le NuFunk – there’s no shortage of party songs; tracks like ‘Everybody Get Up’ and ‘Beating Machine’ that prove the band’s focus is getting NuFunktonions of all ages up and moving,

While the party continues on Funky, Fly n’ Free, GMMF don’t mince words when it comes to celebrating both the things we all have in common and the diversity of opinions and beliefs that set us apart. “As a band we represent a beautiful mosaic of people from different genders, races and backgrounds,” PHATT al says. “You can be an activist and be serious about getting things done, but all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

Friday, April 3rd - Snowtown Revival - $7.00 at the door

Saturday, April 4th – Muddy Waters 100th Birthday with The Whiskey River Blues Band - $7.00 at the door

McKinley Morganfield came into this world on April 4th, 1915, according to him.  As Muddy Waters, he built a house at Chess Records that was the foundation of Chicago Blues and Rock and Roll.  He gave us his own songs and gave voice to the best songs that Willie Dixon wrote.  He is the foundation that gave us Chuck Berry, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and so much more.  Join with the Whiskey River Blues Band tonight as Tommy, Pete, Andy and Steve pay tribute to all that has come of the music of the great Muddy Waters.

Monday, April 13th - Shannon Lyon

Friday, April 17th - Too Nice Reggae Band

Saturday, April 18th - Annual David Suzuki Foundation Fundraiser

Friday, April 24th - My Son the Hurricane

Friday, May 8th - The Pink Floyd Night

 

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