Saturday night’s Evening of Sonic Delights brings together three up and coming acts from the Sydney area in the city’s newest soft-seat venue, the Highland Arts Theatre. Organized by local CBC Searchlight Top 10 finalists RedShed, and featuring fellow Searchlight finalist Jordan Musycsyn and popular local act John Paul & the Grassfire, the concert promises a taste of something for everyone.
“The idea came after a successful gig at the East Bay Firehall featuring Crowdis Bridge, Jordan Musycsyn, and ourselves,” explains RedShed bass player Ben Young. “The thought of playing in a non-traditional bar atmosphere was appealing and with the recent addition of the Highland Arts Theatre to the local live music scene, it was a no brainer… we wanted to have it there.” Young thinks a soft seat venue in the downtown area could draw a more diverse audience than their usual bar gigs. “We basically wanted a venue for all our friends and family to gather, meet each other and enjoy a drink with an evening of music played by us and our friends.”
With tunes by artists including Gerry Rafferty and Warren Zevon, and original material mirroring that laid-back ’70s groove, RedShed isn’t your average cookie cutter bar band. Their crafty hooks and old style tones exude a feeling of déjà vu and the gets the audiences’ toes a tapping and smiles a smiling through their set of originals and obscure classics. James Eddy’s dominant vocal presence is complemented by Chuck Smith’s straight up electric guitar or swirling mandolin lines. While James strums out the chords on his Gibson, Ben Young on bass and Ian MacIntyre on drums and percussion fill the space with rhythm and purpose.
Covering the blues, folk, and classic rock, John-Paul and the Grassfire is fronted by John-Paul Bergeron on guitar and vocals. A singer-songwriter from the Sydney area, Bergeron is well-known from his previous band Misty Thicket. Lynne Morris plays piano and provides backing vocals. Kevin Wade handles lead guitar duties in the group, and the rhythm section is rounded out with Chad Boudreau on bass and Dale Landry on drums.
Rounding out the sound is Jordan Musycsyn whose highly anticipated debut album, The Pitch, continues to draw a lot of attention to the young singer-songwriter. A masterful storyteller, Musycsyn delivers with songs about life and love laced with pathos and humour.
As far as band selection went, Young says they were conscious of offering a diverse sound for the evening. “We had such a fun time with Jordan in East Bay and are huge fans to boot, he was an automatic shoe in. We had seen the Grassfire a few times in the last year and liked their sound and what they were offering. We thought given what Jordan brings in his singer songwriter country-esque act, and our ’70s laid-back, rock/roots groove that we would diversify the overall evening with the Grassfire’s slightly more modern sound.”
Young is optimistic that the varied styles and each band’s fan-base will work in the show’s favour. “We wanted a little something for everyone’s tastes.” They hope the show goers will be as varied as the styles of music that evening; the whole “my friends meet your friends” idea. “That’s what we try and make RedShed shows all about. It’s fun to see people enjoy what you’re doing and to try keep a smile on their face the whole time you have the stage.”
The show is totally self-promoted and managed by RedShed, which is a little un-nerving for the band. But they’re confident that they have built enough of an audience in the past year and a half, combined with the other supporting acts and their followings, that they can put on a great evening of music. “Perhaps we make some new friends ourselves and share some great music with our old friends who might not be familiar with the other acts. That’s our underlying goal.”
“We’re anticipating a full house for show on 25th at Highland Arts Theatre. Sharing the stage with a few other up and coming local acts at such a superb and unique new venue is pretty exciting. We’re going to be filming the event in hopes to make a video to grow our brand and get our ideas out to the masses. We’d love to have all our friends and family in attendance for what’s sure to be ‘An Evening of Sonic Delights’.”
An Evening of Sonic Delights runs from 9pm until 1am with doors opening at 8pm. This is a licensed event, restricted to 19 years and over. Tickets–$15 advance / $20 at the door–are available at highlandartstheatre.com and at the door.