This Saturday, The Blind Dog (761 Ouellette Ave.), in co-operation with Jam Space, is presenting Southern Exposure, a showcase of some new bands on the local original circuit who have been slowly making waves with some great shows as of late.
Headlining the show is Windsor’s latest installment of the Detroit blues sound, although it has more in common with the most recent ’70’s soul inspired blues from The Black Keys or Black Crowes than the greasy guttural garage of the recently departed White Stripes. But they do have a colour-led name, so they’re at least adjoined to all in that respect. Windsor’s The Blue Stones have quietly amassing a devoted groundswell of fans with their inspired (if somewhat overdone) guitar-drum duo, wailing their own brand of the Devil lovin’ blues. Their shows haven’t been consistent sell outs by any means (yet), but they’re growing and the word of mouth is flittering the streets and bar rooms like lies in Parliament – people are talking and people are curious. With a sound that reeks of Windsor soul, The Blue Stones groove is part of a great new vibe coming out of Windsor that’s shared by other young bands like Alex Carruthers & The Rhythm Brothers and perhaps even first re-hinted at a few years back with the emergence of James O-L & The Villains (although James O-L went more a Neil Young meets Wilco route, while The Blue Stones are more a Lindsay Buckingham fronting “Miss You” era Rolling Stones). So far they’ve captivated and enthralled in the smaller rooms of Phog Lounge and FM Lounge – it’ll be interesting to see how they maintain their warmth in a bigger room. But challenges like that are what pushes good bands to be great.
Luna Borealis is a band that originally began in Peace River, Alberta as a husband and wife folk duo. Multi-instrumentalist Jason Testawich and vocalst/guitarist Natalie Westfall relocated to Windsor, where Jason soon joined Surdaster as the band’s keyboardist/mandolin player (amongst other things). And while he’s perhaps best known for his Surdaster work, he’s by no means given up on his other band. Adding Surdaster bandmate Louis Cooney on drums and Jam Space workmate Richard Rodgers on bass, the duo is now working as a four piece, expanding the sound to encompass more layers, turning the folk into some gorgeous psychedelic folk pop. While they may not be as well known as Testawich and Cooney’s other band, it shouldn’t take many more Luna Borealis shows before they – alongside bandmates Westfall and Rodgers – will be known as its own unique entity.
The Mud Lions are one of those rock and roll bands that seems to flirt with genres but never fully decide which one it wants to call home. And that’s not a bad thing. They dance between indie rock to straight up classic rock, combining an edginess somewhat reminiscent of bands like The Hives or Vines, with the pop sensibilities of early 54-40 or Northern Pikes, with even a hint of Dinosaur Jr. They’re another loud voice in a wave of local bands like The Hypnotics (whose name is somewhat uncomfortably too close to the minor hit BritPop band of the ’90s, Thee Hypnotics to me) or the Nefidovs who are simply throwing rock and roll caution to the wind and putting on sweaty and inspired rock and roll shows with a taste of everything.
Special guest Matt Dee is opening the show. I must admit, I’ve never heard of Matt Dee, so I don’t have much else to give you on him. Perhaps if one of our readers knows more they can write something in the comment section?
Southern Exposure Showcase featuring The Blue Stones, Luna Borealis and The Mud Lions, with special guest Matt Dee, The Blind Dog (761 Ouellette Ave.), Saturday February 12th, Doors at 8pm, Show starts at 9:30pm, $5 Cover, 19+