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Start with a Seedling

Start with a Seedling is a unique intergenerational program that brings together community volunteer [ ... ]

Island A Cappella chorus

Island A Cappella, PEI’s only female chorus singing four part-harmony in the barbershop style, is  [ ... ]

Cashmere Disciples


Talking Bands
by Charissa Reeves

Joel, Phil, Drew and Miles are Cashmere DisciplesCharlottetown’s Cashmere Disciples hope to release their first five-song EP in February with a possible limited edition DVD of the movie the band got its name from.

Lead singer, guitar and harmonica player Drew Heggie, originally from Lower Sackville said the band’s name came from a film made by a friend of his back home. “One of my good friends from back home is an arts student and he made a film called John Williker and his father’s cashmere disciples.” Other members of the band are Miles Kinnee playing bass, Joel Walker on the drums, and Phil White playing guitar. White hails from Dartmouth while Kinnee and Walker are Islanders.

The band hasn’t decided on a name for the EP yet, but members say it will probably be self-titled. “The only five-songs you’ll ever need EP,” jokes Kinnee.

The band formed in April with Kinnee joining a couple of months ago, said Walker. “And it’s been magic ever since,” he laughed. The group’s former bass player left the band and Kinnee was the creepy guy living upstairs they suckered into playing for them, group members said teasing Kinnee. Before joining the group Kinnee played both guitar and drums in the recently disbanded group Midnight Auto Supply. Heggie is the major songwriter for the group, said the band. “I get depressed and I write songs,” said Heggie. “And then we complain that they’re not upbeat enough,” laughs Kinnee. “You speed them up,” Heggie laughs back.

The group plays very danceable country roots music with the occasional almost psychedelic guitar solo by White.

Band members differed slightly on future plans. “We want to start touring and maybe make a name for ourselves in the Maritimes and quit our day jobs,” said Kinnee. “I want to go to my 10-year high school reunion and tell them all that I played in a band and made a little bit of money from it,” said Heggie. “I just want to keep things like this,” said White.

Introducing Cascade

PEI finalists in the Aliant Garage Band contest

by Charissa Reeves

Rob Switzer, Nick VanKampen, Nick Kennedy and Jeff MacDougald are Cascade Members of Charlottetown’s Cascade said they were both surprised and excited when they learned the band are the PEI finalists in the Aliant Garage Band contest.

Cascade is made up of 17-year-old Rob Switzer playing guitar, 15-year-old Nick VanKampen playing bass, 16-year-old Nick Kennedy on the drums and 17-year-old Jeff MacDougald singing and playing guitar. The band has been together for a couple of months.

Members saw an ad about the contest in The Buzz, made a recording the week of the deadline and sent it in. “They called us and said we were in,” said Switzer. “It was pretty exciting,” VanKampen said. “When you called me,” MacDougald said to Switzer, “I was like, freaking out!” “It was the biggest news we’ve ever gotten,” Switzer agreed. “When we put in the recording it was kind of just an excuse to record,” added Kennedy.

“The recording was judged by a panel of judges on four categories,” said Switzer. “Radio appeal, break-out potential and just things like that,” VanKampen added.

Winning the contest gave the band the opportunity to open for the band Mobile at The Wave on December 4. The band is now entered in a competition to attend the POP Montreal music festival in the fall of 2007.

Each Atlantic province held a garage band contest to open for Mobile when the band played in each province. Winners are being voted on online at www.aliantcontests.com/garagebands/index.aspx-7k to decide which band will perform in Montreal next fall.

The members said despite opening for a big mainstream band and playing to a university audience, they weren’t really nervous. “When I first heard about the show I was a little nervous,” said Switzer.

Then the band practised a lot and played three shows in the weekend prior to its gig at the Wave, he said. “It was definitely the best venue we’ve ever played,” noted Kennedy. “When we got [there] the sound quality was just amazing,” said Switzer. “I’d be more concerned playing for my friends and family because they know me,” said MacDougald.

The Danks

Talking Bands
by Charissa Reeves

Chris, Alec and BrohanCharlottetown's The Danks has lost one of its members temporarily. Alec O'Hanley, guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist is also a member of Two Hours Traffic. Two Hours Traffic moved to Toronto on September 30 until around Christmas to tour. Replacing O'Hanley while he is away will be Aaron Crane, the drummer from Smothered in Hugs.

Chris Doiron, bassist for The Danks, joked about how O'Hanley is hurting the band. “He's sort of like driving a stake in the heart of the band.” The band also includes Brohan Moore, guitarist and vocalist and Phil MacIsaac on drums.

The band has an indie rock sound with O'Hanley switching between keys and guitar depending on the song and Moore's husky voice singing lead.

When asked about the name of the band the members say it's entirely made up. “It doesn't mean a thing and that's the whole point,” Doiron said. Moore said some people get the wrong impression and think it's a dark name. “We're not dank. Dank is a word, Danks isn't,” he said.

The Danks have one EP released already titled In Alright and will be putting together a full-length album when O'Hanley returns from Toronto. The EP was recorded with Adam Gallant, who has since moved to Montreal. The new album will be recorded with Charles Austin.

Before forming The Danks, Moore Doiron and MacIsaac were all members of The Robots. “I got booted for sounding too much like I do,” Moore laughed. Moore was also a member of the band The Handles and he and MacIsaac were in a group called Uprising. Uprising wrote the career skills jingle which used to play on the radio.

The band is playing some off-Island shows in the next few months, mainly in Sackville and Halifax. “We're just gonna play as much as we can until Alec gets back,” said Moore.

To see more check them out at www.myspace.com/meetthedanks.

Stride

Talking Bands
by Charissa Reeves

Stride are Ashley Gorman, Blaine Jenkins and Nick CampbellCharlottetown’s Stride will release its first CD on Halloween at Baba’s Lounge. The 12-track album is entitled Where the Truth Lies and it was produced by guitarist Nick Campbell.

Ashley Gorman, who plays guitar and sings lead vocals, says Campbell is a man of many talents. “He went to the school of hard knocks, Kelvin Groove, Prince Edward Island,” laughs Gorman. The band also includes bassist Blaine Jenkins. The group has been playing original tracks since August 2005 when they played at the Close To The Coast festival. The band recently lost its drummer due to artistic differences but is acquiring a new member. Jon Holmes, plays the drum tracks for the band on the album.

The band had 24 tracks to pick from when producing the album and Jenkins explained how the band writes songs. The songs start with Gorman coming in and telling the other members he has a new song idea. Gorman then plays a handful of chords and sings. “Then I say, ‘This sounds like this to me, lets try this’ and it’s not that I don’t care about chords, it’s that chords don’t matter to a bass player,” said Jenkins.

“Neither do manners,” kids Gorman. Jenkins goes on to explain how it’s style which matters. “That’s how we end up with a melange, a tasty melange of musical styles,” he said. “It’s a tasty groove tossed salad,” adds Gorman. “Ashley’s words tend to be so tasty that you could throw poop on them and they would swim,” says Jenkins.

Gorman says he’s never been interested in telling the other members how to play. “I kind of like the whole rolling of the band and just seeing what they come up with.” “If Ashley is the cake, I am the flavour of the cake. But Nick Campbell is the tasty mounds of whipped on the top,” says Jenkins.

Before forming Stride, Gorman and Campbell hosted the open mic nights at Baba’s Lounge. Campbell was a member of Slow Joey and Dr. Booker Table while Gorman was a part-time member of the same group. Jenkins played with Mystery Snail, Groove Gurus, Sugar Crook and is a member of Party Of Five/Bootleg.

When it comes to future plans for the group, Jenkins says taking over the world is part of its manifesto. Gorman says the band hopes to start playing off-Island after the CD is released and he sees more albums for the future. “I see playing our asses off and playing outdoor festivals and just creating really good things.”

The Love Junkies

Talking Bands
by I Lien Love (Charissa Reeves)

While sitting at Just Us Girls Fashion Café on August 13 Charlottetown’s most unique cover band, The Love Junkies offered some lovely insights.

The band features Dougie Love on drums, Dickie Love on bass, Midnight Love and CC Love on guitar and Buzzy Love, vocals. With a garage rock sound the band features numerous vocalists and two dancers, the Junkettes.

Dougie says vocally the band has a party atmosphere, as it brings people out of the crowd to sing. “Charlottetown’s only karaoke band,” said CC. Each new vocalist picks a love name and is introduced as such before singing. “The love names started off as peoples middle names, but have become whatever people bring to the table”, said Dougie.

“We kind of junk it up,” said Midnight. The band practices each new song with the vocalist a couple of times before performing live, said Midnight. “Usually the third time is on stage.”

Dougie and Dickie came up with the idea for the band, said Dougie. “We woke up in an alley one afternoon and decided we wanted to play garage rock. So we picked the instruments we didn’t know how to play.”

Both Dougie and Dickie are members of the Orb Weavers and formerly of The Tuesdays. Buzzy was a member of The Tuesdays as well, while CC said he played in a Mars Hill cover band, and is currently a member of Damselfly. Midnight played in a band called The Hot Pants. “Midnight used to be Kim Mitchell, then changed his name and moved to Charlottetown for obscurity,” said CC.

When finding a new vocalist and picking their song it’s all up to Dickie while Midnight learns the music and teaches the rest of the members, says the band. “Midnight points to the notes, Dickie looks dumbfounded and turns up the distortion,” Dougie said. “Since none of the songs have more than one and a half chords,” said CC. “Buzzy spends all his time searching for exotic wear,” jokes Buzzy. “Going through women’s closets in Charlottetown,” adds Dougie. When the shows starts Buzzy makes a grand entrance from the back of the crowd trailed by the lovely Junkettes.

The bands plan for the future are pretty straight forward. “Just to not stop loving,” Dougie said. “No goals,” said Buzzy. “But if you’re throwing a party we’re there,” said Dougie.

Ares Reign

Talking Bands
by Charissa Reeves

Ares Reign will re-enter the all-ages scene this summer with a new bass player at St. Pius X church on July 20. The metal band will be playing the show along with the bands Memories of Phoenix, Drowning Shakespeare, Chara and Cheers.

The band members are 17-year-old Kenny Lingley doing the vocals, 17-year-old Isaac Fin Neily, on guitar, 18-year-old Nathan Toombs playing bass, 19-year-old Evan Pineau playing guitar and 15-year-old Mathew MacEachern playing the drums. For a band made up of such young members the sound is tight.

The songs feature classic metal structure with fast heavy segments moving into slower almost melancholy parts, smooth drum rolls and screaming vocals that probably only the band members understand.

Though only Pineau and MacEachern seem to be able to grow facial hair, Toombs insists he has a “sweet moustache.” “It looks like a little caterpillar crawled up and died under your nose,” Fin Neily laughs.

Newest member Toombs joined the band about a month ago. The band has been together for about a year and a half, the only two original members being Pineau and MacEachern. The band name was the brain child of Pineau and the former vocalist and has no real significance, Pineau said. “It just sounds tough,” said Fin Neily. Before forming Ares Reign, Toombs was in a band called Hours End and Fin Neily was part of a Ska band called Bev Reiger and the Sally Sues.

The band has played off-Island in the past and is hoping to play some more off-Island dates this summer, said Lingley. “Because we have a new bass player,” said Lingley. “I’m right here,” Toombs said. “We just have to get tight with the new bass player,” Lingley said. “I’m right here,” Toombs said again as the rest of the members laugh. As they joke around and make fun of each other Toombs points at a red mark on his neck and asks Fin Neily, “Do you wanna touch it?” When asked what happened Toombs explains it’s a strap burn from his bass, he was trying to do “bass flips.” “A horse gave him a hickey,” Fin Neily adds.

The band hopes to put out two demos in the near future and release a new line of T-shirts. To find out more check out www.myspace/ares reign.

Smothered in Hugs

Talking Bands
by Charissa Reeves

Smothered in Hugs rummages for collectibles at Hunter’s Ale House

In April Smothered in Hugs played a fundraiser for the photography class of Holland College at Hunter’s Ale House. Ryan Crane, vocals, guitar and hair—as the other members say—said the band was pleased to play a fundraiser supporting another creative venture.

Smothered in Hugs are Josh Byrne on bass, Aaron Crane on drums, Todd MacLean on keyboard and guitar and Ryan Crane. The two Cranes are brothers, MacLean is their cousin and Byrne a long time friend is a distant cousin. The group started playing about two years ago with MacLean joining about a year ago.

“So we’ve only been a real band for a year,” said Ryan. Before joining the group Todd was a member of other bands. “I was in this terrible band called The Rude Mechanicals, before that I was in an awesome band called Monolith.” “Shut up man, you’re so self-deprecating,” laughs Ryan. The band laughs and pokes fun at each other; the three love to make fun of Ryan’s hair. “He’s just cute that’s why we keep him around. He’s the hair,” Aaron said.

The group plays fast-paced, tight, melodic rock, with what I would call a definite Brit rock influence. The bass lines Byrne plays are faster than the ones you hear in many other local groups, helping to make the over-all sound add to the variety in our local music scene.

“The main aspect of a good show to the group is when all four band members are happy with it,” said Aaron. “We’ve played shows before where we hated it and everybody else liked it.” “The band likes good sound; a good night is when we feel like it sounds good,” said Ryan.

The band’s main goal is keeping their number one fan happy. Mother Crane. “We just hope to keep pleasing our Mom basically. All our moms,” Ryan said. Ryan and Aaron’s mother attends all the shows and often she wears a black t-shirt created for her by one of her sons friends reading Mother of Hugs in gold glitter.

Smothered in Hugs will release a six song EP entitled Fancy Demo at Hunter’s on May 6. The album will be available at Back Alley Discs. The band is writing songs for an album and will be playing around town this summer with plans to go back to Halifax and a few other places as well. For show dates and other information visit www.smotheredinhugs.com.

Pat Deighan & the Orb Weavers

Talking Bands
by Charissa Reeves

 John, Pat, Joe and ShanePat Deighan and the Orb Weavers played to a different crowd than usual on Friday February 3 at Hunter’s Ale House. As the second pub crawl of the night hit the bar, girls from Mount Allison University in bright blue t-shirts reading Thornton Hunton Edwards vs Sobriety on the front stormed the dance floor. They waved their hands in the air and giggled as they stumbled to the psychedelic garage rock music.

The band played on as they would for any other crowd with Deighan on guitar and vocals, Shane Coady drumming, Joe McKenna on bass and John Mullins playing guitar.

The band has played together since September 2004, recording before they ever played a show together making its first official performance the CD release. Deighan and Mullins both played for The Tuesdays. Deighan was also a member of Eyes for Telescopes.

Coady has played as an official member of about 14 bands over the years and a fill in for another 10. He is also the drummer for Out From Under. Sitting across the table in the bar with his long brown hair loose he jokes, “I’m a musical lady of the night.”

The Orb Weavers is McKenna’s first band although he also plays for Out From Under. “I’ve been a closet bass player for years.”

The name Orb Weavers came from a book Deighan read about spiders. “They’re spiders that weave their webs at night so I thought that it worked because bands are all out at night, playing their music, weaving their webs. Plus The Stooges was taken.”

There’s little if any tension between members, and all are simply big-time music fans, Deighan said. “We all just love playing music and listening to music.”

The band has been sticking close to home since they started and will probably start looking for more venues in the future, said Deighan. “I think touring is the next step and some festivals.” McKenna’s goals seem even simpler: “Doing my best never to play in a cover band.”

The band is constantly writing songs and there are new ones coming out, Coady said. “It’s all Pat, Pat pretty much writes all the songs, the essence anyway.”

The band’s CD is entitled Night Life and is available at Back Alley Discs or online at www.sandbarmusic.com.

Events Calendar

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Some Upcoming Events

Jimmy Rankin shows

November 22 at Trailside Café
November 23 at Harbourfront Theatre Jimmy Rankin's new Moving East (o [ ... ]

Dancing with the Stars

Hospice PEI’s event celebrates 7th year October 20
Murphy Community Centre October 20, 2018  [ ... ]

Projections on the Plaza

Until September 29
Confederation Centre Plaza The public is invited to enjoy two outdoor film screen [ ... ]

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Drawing the line

Profile: Sandy Carruthers by Jane Ledwell Retired for a year now after twenty-five years teaching  [ ... ]

Filmworks Summerside

Film series is back for 7th season Filmworks Summerside opens for their 7th season on September 12  [ ... ]

An Island wish

On August 23, 4 year old Cooper Coughlin will arrive on Prince Edward Island soil for a once in a li [ ... ]