Over the next few weeks I’ll be introducing you to some bands, reminding you about others, and elaborating on what you already know about still more of the acts that will be gracing the Rancho Relaxo stage over the course of this year’s Canadian Music Festival. I know some of you have been looking at the lineup this year and wondering what’s going on. Trust me when I say this: the lineup presented to you by Two Way Monologues at the Rancho is deeply rooted in my ethos as a promoter.
I always have and always will bring you acts that are rising, acts that are about to be the next big thing. All you need to do to see this in action is look back at our history with the festival, where we’ve booked acts in their musical infancy like Dinosaur Bones, Amos the Transparent, Alcoholic Faith Mission (at least in Canada), Whale Tooth, Pick a Piper, the Darcys, the Love Machine, and hell even Hollerado — just to name a few. That’s not to mention the literally dozens of other awesome acts we’ve featured that are either still rising or for whatever reason didn’t make it.
This year will be no different — we will be bringing you no less than 36 handpicked acts over the course of five nights where the music we’ve put together makes sense together. If you don’t have a pass and want to just settle in, pay the cover, and watch the night, you would be thrilled to do so at Rancho on any evening of the festival. With that said, and before I go into my first preview of the fest at Rancho, I only ask you to do one thing: take a good look and listen to the acts that are playing this year. Try your hardest to avoid the noise telling where you should be. This is a music festival; it should not be about being where it’s cool to be, it should be about hearing awesome music — and hopefully some awesome new music as well. If you do that, and give our lineups a listen, I have no doubt we’ll be having many drinks together over the course of the fest. Now then…
Band Profile: The Unquiet Dead (Windsor):
Playing: Weds March 21st at 9:00 PM
The Unquiet Dead is a collective of 12 of the most talented musicians Windsor’s music scene has to offer. Some of these musicians have decades of experience, others a lot less than that. They’ve all been in countless bands that you may or may not have heard about. The collective pedigree of the band has been enough to already launch them to the top of the heap in Windsor, having just opened for Elliot Brood, and they are on the verge of having their debut album release with the Schomberg Fair and Pat Robitaille. I had their debut Toronto show for the Black Hat Brigade reunion show and all I can tell you is that they are an absolutely enthralling act to watch live.
You’d think fitting 12 people on the Rancho stage would be difficult, and you’d be right to have that concern. But it’s not a problem when you have 12 pros like these — lined up in three rows, this blues-twinged country-folk-gospel outfit hit the stage in perfect unison. They don’t have six guitars or anything crazy like that. Instead, many of the members bring percussive elements to the band, and plenty are singing vocals and backup vocals throughout. It really is a powerful performance sonically, emotionally, and visually as you watch these 12 passionate musicians pour their hearts out into these powerful, almost guttural songs.
These are 12 musicians who wouldn’t take no for an answer. 12 musicians who’ve been through everything there is to go through in the music industry, including band breakups, huge highs followed by terrible lows, and anything you can imagine in between. It would have been easy for any combination of this band’s members to have just walked away from music or started playing solo here or there just to scratch the itch, but they weren’t having that. Instead they kept playing and eventually found each other, and that’s how the Unquiet Dead came to be. Take a listen to “Hard Road” on the band’s Facebook page to get a feel for what I am talking about. If nothing can stop the Unquiet Dead, then does that not mean the sky is the limit for this band?
Come find out on Weds March 21st at 9 PM sharp at the Rancho Relaxo. You can see the full lineup for the night here. Just scroll down to Rancho Relaxo. Hot tip: if you don’t want to pay a service charge just show up nice and early (doors are at 7:30) and you’ll get in for just the flat $10.