The first full week of March is pretty much in the bag, and here on the East Coast, we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of the East Coast Music Awards. As you may already know, the ECMA’s are a week long celebration of East Coast music. It highlights both those who have
had some success in the music industry, and those who are just kicking off. On a side note, it still blows me away when I see/hear how much musical talent we have on this side of the country. It seems only fitting that this weeks edition of the FNS is represented by some of my favourite artists and tracks, straight out of the East Coast.
As always there is no particular order for these songs other than the way in which they popped into my head. (I’ll stop announcing that some day)
1 – Grand Theft Bus – OMA
My first GTB experience was during a super messy weekend at St. FX university and they’ve been a personal favourite ever since. During the early 2000’s GTB broke onto the scene known as a jam band. Experimenting with dance beats, drum machines, and guitars you never knew what kind of a show you’d get. Eventually they would wander more into the 3 minute pop song direction, but even then these New Brunswick boys had super talent. OMA might be a little different from the rest of their library (in the sense that it might be a little harder/darker) but in my opinion, it’s one of their best tracks.
2 – The Jimmy Swift Band – When Worlds Collide
Much like GTB, Jimmy Swift burst onto the scene known for their ability to improvise on stage, while slamming out a 15 minute song. With influences ranging from ELO to Kiss to Rush, sprinkled with some Daft Punk, Jimmy Swift were arguably the most interesting and enjoyable act to see live in Nova Scotia. (over the span of 4/5 years) Personally my favourite band, without a doubt, to come out of the East Coast in the past 15 years, JSB (usually referred to as) played everywhere and anywhere. I’ve seen upwards of 50 shows and never left disappointed, but just like everything, the time had come and JSB would disband. I’m still holding hope that we get a reunion show which gives us 3+ hours of pure JSB jams.
3 – Slowcoaster – Breaks Don’t Work
The last of the three big jam bands, Slowcoaster have managed to evolve over the past 10 years, into a radio friendly pop/rock/reggae band. Another fantastic band which prides itself on an relentless work ethic on stage, and the ability to dig deep into their discography to provide fans with hits and disses from ages ago. I never had the pleasure of hearing “Breaks Don’t Work” live, but it’s a super fun track that shows a great side to this band.
4 – The Trews – Every Inambition
The best band to come out of the East Coast, maybe ever. (yup I stand by that) The Trews are pure and simple rock and roll in the flesh. Big guitar riffs, a super solid backing (drums/bass) and a vocalist that most bands would kill for. The first time I had the chance to catch The Trews was at the Savoy Theatre in Glace Bay and I was simply blown away. They did a Led Zepplin cover that still eats me alive. How these guys aren’t massive is beyond me. There is no hope for the music industry…..none I say!!
5 – Rich Aucoin – It
Last but not least, Halifax’s own, Rich Aucoin. My favourite album from 2011 was Rich Aucoin’s, We’re All Dying To Live, and if you haven’t had the chance to hear it go do it NOW. Start to finish this album is the perfect example of a book playing as a CD. I had the opportunity to check him out live last year, and was impressed by the interaction he had with the crowd. Constantly keeping the crowd in the loop with call and answers, walking through the crowd the entire show, giving out high fives and simply allowing everyone to express themselves is how Rich Aucoin played. Also, the video for IT, is frigging awesome. I dare you to argue with that one!