The MusicNL conference was a great time in Corner Brook over the last few days. It felt pretty good getting back from a successful tour to see all of our Newfoundland and Labrador music buddies gathered in one place to celebrate the awesome year that the province has had.
We had five nominations this year for “The Sun in Your Eyes”;
FACTOR Album of the Year,
Group of the Year,
SOCAN Songwriter of the Year,
The Nickel Film Festival Music Video of the Year, and
Molson/Coors Pop/Rock Recording of the Year.
Not too bad, right? We’re stoked about the nods from the province and from everyone involved, invested and excited about what we’ve been up to this year. We’ve been working hard at getting our music out there and nominations like these really help fuel our desire to become successful in what we love to do, so thank you, thank you, thank you.
The awards ceremony was great and included performances by The Benoits, Brianna Gosse, Danielle Smith, Don Brownrigg, Green and Gold, Ian Foster, Matthew Byrne, RocketRocketShip, Steve Maloney and us as well. When all was said and done, we walked away with two shiny new awards!
Molson/Coors Pop/Rock Recording, and
And that my friends, is friggin’ wicked.
Wow! Just got some great news. MusicNL just announced their 2014 nominations, and we have been nominated for the following awards:
FACTOR Album of the Year
Group of the Year
SOCAN Songwriter of the Year
The Nickel Film Festival Music Video of the Year
Molson/Coors Pop/Rock Recording of the Year
What to even say? Honoured and humbled. We are in the company of so many great artists. The best part? The awards are being held in Corner Brook. See you at the Arts and Culture on October 26.
Hey friends! We’re heading back out on the road for a little tour and we can’t wait to see you! We miss you so much. Here’s some dates and info. And don’t worry, there will be more tour dates announced later in the summer!
June 30 / July 1- St. John NB – Canada Day Countdown Concert – Market Square Boardwalk – Free!
July 4-6 – Canso NS – Stan Rogers Folk Festival
July 8 – Moncton NB – Plan B
July 11 – Toronto ON –Yonge and Dundas Square – Free!
July 12 – Carleton Place ON – Lake Park Lodge
It’s starting to warm up here in our neck of the woods. With the warm weather comes some news for ya, and some new shows posted on the page as well. Lots of fun stuff happening this summer. We have been nominated to play the open spot at the Osheaga festival in Montreal! Pretty great festival by the looks of things. You can show support for us by “cheering” for us online and posting about us on your favourite social media outlets with the hashtag #openlive. More details found here: http://www.molsoncanadian.ca/en/live/index.aspx
Hey, did we happen to mention that The Right Idea from our new album has been climbing the CBC Radio 2 charts over the past couple of weeks? It’s currently sitting at #5! Check it out!
We also found ourselves a van and are hitting the road again in just a few short days! Check out this puppy and keep your eyes peeled for it’s appearance in a town near you. Or you could just head over to the “shows” section of this website if you get tired of sitting in the window waiting for it to roll by. See you soon!
We lost our van on the last tour. I feel a lot of our blogs are about van troubles. Anyway, another ambulance has gone to the Great Gig in the Sky. It was a sad day for all of us. At least no one was hurt- we were driving along the Dartmouth highway when the van shut down for good. We managed to weave it through the two lanes of speeding traffic onto the shoulder by the time it rolled to a stop. Andrew did all of the roadside diagnostics that could be done, and then we sadly called a tow truck. The towing company brought it to the garage and gave us the grim news- the parts and labour for the van would cost about $5000. We nodded somberly and said “You wanna buy a van?” They bought the van for $200 plus the free tow. Now we were stranded in Dartmouth with two gigs left on the tour. We called all over Halifax, then surrounding areas, but couldn’t find a reasonable rental that we could drive to Newfoundland. In fact, the only vehicle we could find was a 22 foot U-Haul. The trouble is, this thing only had two seats. Two seats in the front and a big cargo area for all our gear. I won’t tell you what happened, but we all made it back to Newfoundland, safe and sound. Safe and sound and chilly.
We had to cancel our Moncton gig that night, but we ended up wandering into the local saloon across the street from the garage. We stuck out like sore thumbs at this country/western themed bar which resembled one of the Legion clubs back home. We figured we’d stay for a drink, then figure out what the heck we were gonna do for the night. There was a band playing, and someone in the crowd approached us and asked if A)We were a band, B) Did we want to play. We figured this was an interesting turn of fate that could turn into an adventure, so we agreed. We used some of the band’s gear and did a few tunes by Hank, a few originals, and any other bluesy/western tunes we could muster up. Once the crowd heard our broken van story, they passed a hat to give us a few bucks and then a few of them even offered us a place to stay!
Lately we have been so busy doing awesome stuff that I haven’t been writing. Touring, autographs, backflips, parties on the moon; all of these things can get in the way of a healthy blog life. So here’s what’s up.
The new album is out, and it’s doing great! If you have heard it, we’d love to know what you think. If you haven’t, you can get the album right off the website here. It’s been selling great online and around the province. We are bringing plenty of copies with us when we leave the province again in a few weeks.
Speaking of which…
Big ol’ Eastern Canadian tour in the works! I think it’s our biggest one yet. Lots of dates, if you live between Newfoundland and Ontario you should be able to find a show that will suit you. Check the “Shows” section for dates. Speaking of which…
We are once again van-less. Why, you got a nice van lying around?
It’s been too long, and I apologize. We’ve been busy. Hope everyone had a wonderful summer. I figured it was about time to let you all know what’s been happening with us over the lately, and what’s coming up in the future.
CBC Festival was a blast! We were put up in a swanky hotel where we had posh rooms and free meals. It was more than we’ve ever experienced before, and we felt like we had finally made it. Usually our hotel experiences involve finding the cheapest place in the city on Hotwire. I won’t get into any gory details, but let’s just say we’ve seen our share of bedbugs. And crackheads. So to have our own rooms in these luxurious suites was a welcome change. The festival itself was pretty awesome as well, probably the most professional production we’ve ever been a part of. You can see some videos here.
We spent most of June touring through Ontario, and had some fantastic shows. The CBC Searchlight contest gave us so much publicity that some people actually knew who we were! We even had sold out shows in places we’ve never played before. I couldn’t help thinking “Who are you people and what the heck are you doing here?” But again, a welcome change.
We had more van troubles. Andrew Ross deserves a medal just for keeping us on the road. We left the island in June, and soon we were noticing a funny smell, and what seemed to be a little more smoke than usual coming out of the exhaust. Andrew checked it out when we arrived in Quebec, and realized that there was probably a turbo blown on the engine. I don’t know what that is. Fortunately for us, Andrew knew how to keep the ol girl on the road long enough to get back to Newfoundland. Unfortunately for us, when driving at slow speeds or going up hills, we were now spewing smoke. It goes without saying that we didn’t want to be spewing blue smoke everywhere. So we realized as long as we kept the van at highway speeds, the smoke seemed to subside. Which made for some pretty wild stops at highway gas stations, with us trying to keep the thing up to speed until we got close to the gas pumps. Sorry mom. We did it for the environment. We got pulled over twice when driving through Ontario, and soon realized that we were better driving under the cover of darkness. So we did mostly night driving until the thing was fixed.
We spent Canada Day driving from Ontario into Nova Scotia to get the Sydney ferry crossing that night. Pretty much steady driving across Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. When I say we spent all day driving I mean this- we left in the night after a Hamilton gig, and drove about 20 hours straight to get back to Sydney. We were a little disappointed we didn’t have a gig for Canada, but we did get to spend the day seeing a lot of this great big beautiful country of ours. We were hoping to see some Canada Day celebrations, but the schedule just didn’t allow it. Though as the ferry floated out into the ocean, we went out onto the deck and saw fireworks in the distant Sydney skyline. That was alright too.
We have been spending our time lately finalizing all the things necessary for a fall album release. That’s right, you heard it here first. No more delays. We’ve got mixes, we’ve got artwork, this thing is going full steam ahead now and it’ll be in your hands long before Christmas. I don’t know if anyone remembers when we played at the Arts and Culture in Corner Brook a year or two ago. That night, we pointed microphones at the audience and got the crowd to sing along on certain songs. We finally have those mixes back now, and I’ll be the first to say it: You all sound fantastic. It’s a really special part of the album, and it filled me with a lot of Corner Brook pride to have so many voices in there singing along. We can’t wait for you all to hear it.
We were recently invited to Toronto to take part in the first annual CBC Music Festival at the lovely Echo Beach. You can head over to our VIDEOS page to view clips of our performance.
After another intense week of public voting, Corner Brook’s home grown rock stars, Sherman Downey and the Ambiguous Case, have finally made it to the top, winning CBC Radio’s Searchlight Contest with their new song “Thick as Thieves”.
Thick as Thieves:
“It’s so amazing to have entered the Searchlight contest with only the hope of finding a new audience,” said Downey, “only to discover that suddenly a lot of people are listening.”
‘Thick as Thieves’ is a new song recorded for the group’s upcoming sophomore album, due out later this year. This will be their first release since the award-winning 2010 CD, ‘Honey For Bees’.
Sherman Downey and the Ambiguous Case formed from the creative community that has sprung up around the Grenfell Campus’ Fine Arts programs on Newfoundland’s scenic west coast. Since then, the band has toured relentlessly, developing a solid following for their rootsy folk-rock.
“We are blown away by the attention that the CBC Searchlight Contest has brought to the band,” says front man, Sherman Downey. “The boys and I want to say thanks to everyone for all the support. This contest has really brought to our attention the amazing support that’s out there for this band and our music.”
Looks like an already busy year for Sherman and the band is getting even busier. The group can be seen at major festivals throughout the province and the Maritimes this summer.
Tune in to Q with Jian Ghomeshi on Friday, Apr. 12 for an interview with Sherman.
More information on the announcement at http://music.cbc.ca/#/Searchlight.
For more info contact:
Teresa Ennis at Limehouse Media: 1 709 739-0917
So we have moved on into the top 8 for CBC’s nationwide Searchlight contest! You can vote for us once a day until Sunday, and the top 4 acts will be revealed on Tuesday. How exciting! Click here to vote at cbc.ca/searchlight
To thank you for your support, we shot a little live video for Thick As Thieves with the help of our friends Daniel Payne, Mandy Keeping and Justin Mahoney. This song is our contest entry and will be featured on our upcoming album, which will be in your hands before long! Click here to check out the video on youtube.
thanks for reading,