met Johnny Eden at the Backwater Lounge a few weeks back when
I went to see his solo show. My first impressions were of a serious
songwriter capable of writing in a variety of styles and tempos
a blend of jazzy funk, rock, country and blues-folk.
His repertoire was eclectic to be sure but not as eclectic as
was his guitar, the soundboard plastered with stickers that at
a distance looked like leopard spots.
He has been in the north since early this year playing shows around
town and was hoping to play a few more gigs before he left the
A group from YTG making merry highlighted the evening, dancing
and enjoying the music well into the night…
This past Friday was perfect for the Groupes Emergent(s) Bands
to perform. The night was warm and everyone involved was ready
to shake off the last remaining vestiges of winter to participate
in a what I hope will be a regular venue for these and other new
Yukon performers to showcase their talent.
Heather Loewen was first up on the stage. I talked about Loewen
last issue when I saw her perform solo at The Backwater Lounge.
This night at The Boiler Room she was backed up by a band that
turned her music around and gave it an early 80’s new wave
feel, fresh and groovy, yes I said groovy.
The mirror ball was in full spin tonight.
Chris George’s trio played a short set to an expanding crowd
of what at first view looked to be longhaired men and shorthaired
women. George’s bluesy guitar filled the room as friends
greeted each other with laughter and much kissing of cheeks.
As Kate Weekes and friends got up to play the Boiler Room was
reaching capacity. Seating became a premium and the conversations
Her arrangements with this band really filled out the songs that
I had previously heard her play solo. She really is a joy to listen
to and I think she deserves support. She has a real knack as a
songwriter and if she continues to write music of this calibre
the rest of Canada will notice her.
When Soir de Semaine took the stage the room erupted with dance.
These local musicians take a traditional French-Canadian sound
of acoustic guitar and accordion and give it a hard twist. The
unique appeal of their sound is a bottom end that is driven by
a funk-rock bass and very heavy drumming. This combination of
tone combined with great tunes and an exuberant stage presence
makes me want to see these guys in a larger venue with better
sound and higher volume.
The term “tough act to follow “ would be appropriate
as Johnny Eden had the unenviable task of following Soir de Semaine.
He proved himself in spades as he stepped up to the mike and launched
into some extreme riffing that kept his and the crowd’s
mutual mojo working till late into the evening.