A Wayward Word's Worth

October 21, 2010

The Acorn Doesn’t Fall Far From The Mountain

Filed under: Uncategorized — kylelawrence @ 12:37 pm

The indie folk troupe’s spirited ballads inspire all types of hope. By Kyle Mullin for Edmonton’s SEE Magazine, Oct. 21 2010

Rolf Klausener slumped down next to a fire that snapped like his stiff joints. As the Acorn front man’s band mates swilled a few brews and strummed some scattered notes, he found himself fixated on the flames licking the kindling’s every splinter, before casting a warm glance of his own at each and every one of his fellow troubadour’s faces, as if he could already tell that the moment’s random rhythms were building a hearth to birth one of their best songs.

“The title Kindling to Cremation was inspired by the time we spent around that fire,” he said of the soothing closer to The Acorn’s latest album No Ghost, which will be a likely highlight when the indie folksters play on Oct. 23.




October 11, 2010

A Retro Filled Electronica Rodeo

Filed under: Uncategorized — kylelawrence @ 3:16 am

Holy sh*t, Holy F**k’s name offends some — those people aren’t using the right synth anyways. By Kyle Mullin for Edmonton’s SEE Magazine, Oct. 8 2010

Beads of sweat clung to Brian Borcherdt’s back until his drenched shirt felt like another soppy layer of skin. That same kind of clammy tightness felt like a longing embrace throughout the tiny room, gripping the audience that was bobbing within the slender inches between the walls and the stage that was emitting chronically aching electronica.

“This is a basement club, just a little concrete block, and I love it,” says the panting front man of electro dynamos Holy F**k, during a break before an encore of the same synth anthems the band will bring to the Pawn Shop on Oct. 8. “Not to say we don’t like playing big festivals, that’s mostly what we do these days. But this is the first really good show we’ve had in a long time, playing sweat boxes like this reminds me of why I started playing in the first place.”



Dying Is All About The Fans

Filed under: Uncategorized — kylelawrence @ 3:13 am

Touring can be hell- but for As I Lay Dying, the fans make it all all worthwhile. By Kyle Mullin for Edmonton’s SEE Magazine, Sept. 30 2010

He was trapped in what looked like a mosh pit swaying to a sullen lullaby. As I Lay Dying guitarist Nick Hipa was used to stirring up such crowds with his riffs, but in that moment he was powerless — caught in the claustrophobic, blood clot line-ups of a tiny two terminal army airport that suddenly had to service a whole country in upheaval.

“We were marooned in Thailand after a gig there,” he says of the most gruelling stop on the metal core troupe’s 2008 tour, which hit a deadly snag when activists protested at the capital’s airports, clashing with the army and stalling all runway traffic in the process.

“It was like a refugee camp … it was just shoulder to shoulder, people were sleeping on the floor all bunched up. There was only one convenience store that kind of served food and that was it, so locals were setting up their little trucks outside and cooking for people on their tailgates. It was crazy.”

As he shuffled from one line up to another, fumbling for everything from his passport to a sizzling chewy hunk that passed for a meal, he began to wonder what price we was paying to play a few songs.



The Citizen’s Station

Filed under: Uncategorized — kylelawrence @ 3:09 am

In K’Naan’s Somali hometown hearing the radio isn’t merely entertaining- it’s literally lifesaving. By Kyle Mullin for Edmonton’s SEE Magazine, Sept 23 2010

Static can snap like gunfire across the Somali airwaves. Even the slightest broadcast disruption can be deadly in K’Naan’s homeland, because the people aren’t merely trying to soak up musical inspiration from their speakers — they need to hear every word of the news bulletins detailing which parts of town are now hazardous war zones. So when rifle toting al-Shabab and Hizbul Islam extremists seized control of broadcasters like Horn Afrik and GBC last weekend in the nation’s capital of Mogadishu, where K’Naan grew up, the militants in essence severed the people’s last lifeline.

“It’s the only way people know if the world is at all thinking of them, or if they are left to the tragedy that they live,” the rapper, refugee, and rhythmic World Cup ambassador says of the crucial role radio plays in the city he was raised in. “It’s a very sad thing when those radio stations are attacked. Horn Afrik is a brave institution that has been destroyed and rebuilt for many years now over and over again.”

Those societal wounds were only further aggravated by the extremists’ decision to muzzle the area’s artists by banning music entirely from the radio. As a songwriter, that is blasphemy for K’Naan. Yet, coming from Somalia he understands the move completely because just like the stations that carry those melodies, his people’s songs are much more than they seem.


The Citizen’s Station

Blues Beheamoth

Filed under: Uncategorized — kylelawrence @ 2:50 am

Kenny Wayne Shepherd brings signature southern style to Fredericton’s Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival. By Kyle Mullin for New Brunswick’s Telegraph Journal, Sept. 16 2010

With stacks of Muddy Waters albums nearly taller than him and fingers hardly long enough to stretch between frets, a teenaged Kenny Wayne Shepherd practised to become a great guitar architect, mapping out a new blues blueprint.

“I grew up playing along with my dad’s old records,” said Shepherd, who brings his southern blues-rock to a sold-out show at Fredericton’s Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival on Saturday. “He had tapes and albums all over the place. He was always meeting and interviewing musicians at the (radio) station, and he took me to my first concert to see Muddy Waters. It was an incredible way to connect with him.”

Shepherd’s father helped to further forge that bond by taking his then-13-year-old son to the ultimate blues incubator – Bourbon Street, New Orleans – to see legendary blind guitarist Bryan Lee perform. Shepherd’s first blues breakthrough was on that matchbox stage when Lee, as a favour to the senior Shepherd, invited the youngster up to play a few solos for the crowd.



Harvest Festival Unleashes Beast

Filed under: Uncategorized — kylelawrence @ 2:47 am

Grammy-nominated Montreal duo performs Friday. By Kyle Mullin for New Brunswick’s Telegraph Journal, Sept. 15 2010

Betty Bonifassi is determined to help you unleash your deepest demons through her energetic electro anthems.

The singer-songwriter is half of the Grammy-nominated trip-rock troupe Beast, which aims to blow the roof off the Galaxie Barracks Tent at Fredericton’s Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival on Friday.

Bonifassi and platinum-selling producer Jean-Phi Goncalves, the other half of the duo, dug deep the first time they recorded together.

“It felt good to release the beast,” she said of the experience. “I was surprised and I scared myself sometimes … But, for sure, it was worth it. Our need of comfort kills our organic animal side, so sometimes we have to let it go.”


Harvest Unleashes Beast Pg. 1

Harvest Unleashes Beast Pg. 2



Brooding Tradition

Filed under: Uncategorized — kylelawrence @ 2:42 am

Elliott Brood brings its energetic brand of ‘death country’ and impromptu kitchen parties to Harvest this week. By Kyle Mullin for New Brunswick’s Telegraph Journal, Sept. 13 2010

When he sits down to a meal, Mark Sasso savours not the flavour but the clattering cutlery noise. So much so, that when his band Elliott Brood plays a gig, the members hand out pots and pans to fans, turning the audience into a rattling kitchen party orchestra.

“It’s like having your drunken cousins over to smash along while you play,” guitarist and front man Sasso said of his band’s tradition, which Fredericton Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival audiences will be able to partake in Thursday.

“I love it because it’s kind of part of the sing-along tradition passed down through every culture where you try to involve everyone.”


Brooding Tradition



Heart of the Blues

Filed under: Uncategorized — kylelawrence @ 2:39 am

Husband-and-wife Harvest headliners Trucks and Tedeschi find balance between life on the road and family. By Kyle Mullin for New Brunswick’s Telegraph Journal, Sept. 11 2010

The first time Susan Tedeschi saw her would-be husband, he spoke to her without words. The sounds of his slide guitar told her Derek Trucks was a kindred spirit.

“I didn’t know a guitar could be played so lyrically, that it could emulate a woman’s voice so much,” said the singer-songwriter who will harmonize with her husband’s soaring solos at Fredericton’s Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival on Wednesday and Thursday.


Heart of the Blues



Beating the Blues

Filed under: Uncategorized — kylelawrence @ 2:34 am

Close musical community and a few lucky breaks help Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival weather setbacks. By Kyle Mullin for New Brunswick’s Telegraph Journal, Sept. 6 2010

Nothing but the blues can make your bruises ooze beauty, nothing else can whistle sweet harmonies to your wounds. That was the sentiment Fredericton’s Harvest Jazz and Blues co-ordinators clung to during the tumultuous process of arranging this year’s festival, which kicks off next week.

“We could’ve almost written our own blues song,” said programming director Brent Staeben with a chuckle that comes much easier now that the festival has secured eleventh hour replacements for many of this year’s key acts.


Beating the Blues Pg. 1

Beating the Blues Pg. 2



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