We did the math , and there’s approximately 114 acts lined up to play showcase gigs at 17 venues in Regina and Moose Jaw on April 19-20 as part of JunoFest. Many will be coming here from the other nine Canadian provinces, and perhaps even the three territories — but a substantial portion of the musical talent on display will be homegrown. Here’s eleven acts we recommend checking out if you get the chance. Why eleven? Because that’s the way it worked out. /Gregory Beatty
NICK FAYE & THE DEPUTIES
HOME TOWN Regina. BAND MEMBERS Nick Faye (guitar, vocals), Jon Neher (keys, accordion, trumpet), Byron Chambers (bass), Adam Ennis (drums). GENRE Rock/Alternative/Folk. SHOWCASE Friday: Java Express, Moose Jaw (12:30 a.m.) Saturday: Slow Pub (11 p.m.).
THOUGHTS ON PLAYING JUNOFEST I’ve never had the good fortune of being part of a BreakOut West or JunoFest shindig before, so we’re really excited to be part of the fun in our home town! I think the event meshes nicely with the growth and maturity of the music scene in Moose Jaw and Regina as more bands from the area start to gain some recognition and buzz across Canada. Also, we’re really spoiled to have so many awesome and unique venues to host events in!
JUNOFEST RECOMMENDATION Jeans Boots rules, as does Two Hours Traffic!
HOME TOWN We lived in Moose Jaw half of our lives, and Saskatoon the other half. At this point we lean towards Moose Jaw, but our home base is Saskatoon. BAND MEMBERS Paul Ross (guitar, vocals), Barrett Ross (bass), Tyler Ross (drums), Kalen Ross (guitar, synth). GENRE Rock ‘n’ roll with a little electro and dollop of punk/post punk/new wave. Ya, I said dollop. SHOWCASE Friday: City Square Plaza (9 p.m.) Saturday: Mae Wilson Theatre, Moose Jaw (8 p.m.)
THOUGHTS ON PLAYING JUNOFEST We’ve played a few festivals like this before. We played BreakOut West in Regina last September (we were nominated for an award), and the year before in Whitehorse. What stands out most for me are the bizarro parties, bar/stage fights, and the great bands and friends (new and old) we get to see. Kidding aside, I love playing the shows. With JunoFest we’ll be able to paint our hometown of Moose Jaw red, as well as stay at Mom and Dad’s place. Regina will be a highlight, and the venues we’re playing are top notch.
JUNOFEST RECOMMENDATION Just one? That’s difficult because we have so many friends playing the festival. Nevertheless, the one band you should check out is Shooting Guns. The other bands we would suggest seeing are bands we’re playing with, so just come see our shows!
HOME TOWN I go back and forth between Regina and Vancouver, but Regina will always be home base for me. BAND MEMBERS I’ll be performing with my DJ and producer Factor, as well as my father Ramon Fernandez. I’m still working out the final lineup for the rest of the band. GENRE Hip Hop, although I’m doing more Latin music lately. I dabble in all types of music though, whether it’s collaborations or stuff I sample from rock, folk, jazz, even some newer electronica. Basically, whatever catches my ear. SHOWCASE Friday: U of R Multi-Purpose Room (Midnight)
THOUGHTS ON PLAYING JUNOFEST I played JunoFest in Saskatoon in 2007, and I’ve played BreakOut West several times whenever I get nominated. I always enjoy playing these types of festivals because I get to see a lot of old friends as well as make a lot of new ones. I’m excited to have the hometown advantage during this festival for once.
JUNOFEST RECOMMENDATION I’d recommend checking out my favourite local band Rah Rah.
HOME TOWN Saskatoon. BAND MEMBERS Jeanette Stewart (guitar, vocals), Levi Soulodre (from Volcanoless In Canada), possibly some members of Slow Down, Molasses and her friend Cpt. Duncan. GENRE A rock band that’s gradually turning into an electro/hip-hop/dance pop project. SHOWCASE Friday: Rocks Bar & Grill (10 p.m.) and City Square Plaza w/Slow Down, Molasses (8 p.m.).
THOUGHTS ON PLAYING JUNOFEST We played BreakOut West last fall in Regina and it was a great time. We’d just come off a Slow Down, Molasses tour of Europe and it was a wild time, so BOW was an amazing way to end a really exciting month. I’m excited to play JunoFest. Regina has been super supportive of Jeans Boots and I have some awesome friends in the city so it’s going to be a really fun weekend. I went to JunoFest in Saskatoon in 2007 and it was magical. I’m hoping for the same sort of vibes!
JUNOFEST RECOMMENDATION We played with the Barr Brothers at a festival in England last year. They will blow your mind. Satisfaction guaranteed.
HOME TOWN Moose Jaw BAND MEMBERS Megan Nash (guitar, vocals), Brodie Mohninger (guitar, backup vocals). GENRE Country folk. SHOWCASE Friday: Mae Wilson Theatre, Moose Jaw (8 p.m.)
THOUGHTS ON PLAYING JUNOFEST This is the first time I’ve played an event like this. I’m excited and honored to be involved. I’m playing in the beautiful Mae Wilson Theater which I adore. It’s been a couple years since I last played it. It’s a gem, and I’m also looking forward to opening for Serena Ryder. I know I can learn a lot from her.
JUNOFEST RECOMMENDATION I do have to mention my other project, PandaCorn. We’re an indie rock trio and will be playing at Bobby’s Place in Moose Jaw Saturday at 10:30 p.m. Ink Road is playing right before us and they are pretty great. I’m a big fan of Indigo Joseph too.
HOME TOWN Regina is my home base. I gave up my place in Nashville in August 2011 and went on a solo tour across the U.S. and Canada, then moved home to Regina in November of 2011. BAND MEMBERS I’ll be performing with the amazing and positively handsome Tristan Helgason on drums! We are planning to do a two-piece set — just guitar and drums, and singing of course. I’m going to start recording a new album the week after the Junos, so this will be a test for Tristan and I to see what works and what doesn’t! GENRE I’ve been accused by some people of being too rock for country, and too country for rock. I say accused because they seem to say it like it’s a bad thing — which I think is insane. “Gruntry” is a term some people have used for my music… grunge rock meets country. One fan said “Courtney Love meets the Allman Brothers”. I thought that was pretty cool. SHOWCASE Saturday: Lancaster Taphouse (9 p.m.)
THOUGHTS ON PLAYING JUNOFEST I’ve never played JunoFest before, but I did play BreakOut West last September. I’ve also played Canadian Music Week and the Florida Music Festival. It’s always a blast to be thrown together with a bunch of other bands that, a lot of the time, you’ve never met or heard play before. It’s a great chance to hear some new music, and make new friends from other cities, and just have your music exposed to new fans. Ripping around a city to catch different bands at different venues is exciting too. It’s like trying to make it to four different New Years Eve countdowns in one night!
JUNOFEST RECOMMENDATION Hands down people need to see Five Alarm Funk from Vancouver! They’re nominated for a Juno this year, and probably have the ABSOLUTE BEST live show in Canada right now. A 10-piece funk band where everyone is a master of their instrument is something you don’t want to miss.
HOME TOWN Regina BAND MEMBERS Belle Plaine (vocals, guitar), Jeremy Sauer (keys), Elizabeth Curry (bass), Anna Rose (harmony vocals), Cheney Lambert (trumpet), Animal (drums).
GENRE Folk foremost, but we certainly cover the jazz and country genres fairly well. SHOWCASE Friday: Artesian on 13th (11 p.m.)
THOUGHTS ON PLAYING JUNOFEST We played BreakOut West and Folk Alliance (in Toronto) this year. I feel I’ve been artistically isolated as a result of all the touring I’ve been doing for the last three months. So I love being able to see concerts and hang out with my musician pals for the weekend. That’s my favourite.
JUNOFEST RECOMMENDATION Is Rose Cousins confirmed? I heard a rumour… she makes me all mushy with her voice. Her dry humour also kills me.
HOME TOWN Saskatoon BAND MEMBERS Neusha Mofazzali (guitar, vocals), Veronique Poulin (violin, keys, vocals), Kuba Szmigielski (drums, percussion), Brynn Krysa (bass). GENRE Folk Rock SHOWCASE Friday: Java Express, Moose Jaw (10:30 p.m.) Saturday: The Owl (10 p.m.)
THOUGHTS ON PLAYING JUNOFEST We haven’t played BreakOut West or JunoFest but we’ve heard really good things about those festivals/conferences so we are super excited to be part of JunoFest this year! We love playing Moose Jaw and Regina. We get a good reception every time we play so it feels like our second and third homes.
JUNOFEST RECOMMENDATION Check out our buds Indigo Joseph!
HOME TOWN Regina — Cathedral Village to be specific! BAND MEMBERS Jeffery Straker (piano, vocals), Carmelle Pretzlaw (violin), Catherine Folstad (cello) and sister Jill Straker (backing vocals). GENRE Piano/Folk/Pop. SHOWCASE Friday: The Club (8 p.m.)
THOUGHTS ON PLAYING JUNOFEST I performed at JunoFest in Saskatoon in 2007, and I’ve performed at the last four BreakOut West festivals. I’ve performed at Canadian Music Week three times and performed at NXNE once. They’re all interesting events and offer the chance to play to some new ears. For JunoFest in Regina there will be some familiar faces in the room which is nice. But for me the best part about these festivals is meeting other musicians from other parts of the country and hearing what they’re doing. Sometimes that leads to touring partnerships and the like. One of my CMW showcases in Toronto led to a deal with an agent in Asia who helped with some song licensing there which was really cool.
JUNO RECOMMENDATION Dominique Fricot. You’ve likely not heard of him! But you should check him out.
THE LAZY MKS
HOME TOWN Regina.
BAND MEMBERS Etienne Soulodre (pedal steel guitar), Tyler Hammer (drums), Chris Prpich (bass) with guest horn section Ila Wenaus (trumpet) and Karl Valiaho (sax).
GENRE We play steel guitar instrumental music. We fall generally into the category of alt-country but the songs are very post-rock. We call it “post-country”. SHOWCASE Friday: Lancaster Taphouse (10 p.m.)
THOUGHTS ON PLAYING JUNOFEST Chris and Tyler played BreakOut West with Lil’ Miss Higgins a few years ago. They still talk about how great a time they had, especially at the after party jams. I think what we’re looking forward to most this year is meeting musicians from all over the place.
JUNO RECOMMENDATION Rose Cousins! Friday night at Slow Pub. She sings backup on Joel Plaskett records, but is amazing in her own right.
HOME TOWN Regina. BAND MEMBERS Josh Daignault, Colin Nealis, and Avery Kissick. Cool dudes. For sure. Talented. Sunglasses usually. GENRE Sound-art. Very high-brow stuff. SHOWCASE Saturday: Artesian on 13th (10 p.m.)
THOUGHTS ON PLAYING JUNOFEST I have applied before but they don’t usually let me play. I love playing in both Regina and Moose Jaw, so I’m pretty excited about the whole thing.
JUNOFEST RECOMMENDATION Julia McDougall is playing two showcases. Her shows are always fun. She’s playing one at Slow Food Pub on Friday night in Regina. It’s one of my favourite spots, so that’ll be awesome.