by Kaela Simpson
HomeGrown Live Music Festival 2013 was an amazing day with venues and establishments surrounding the downtown core coming together to open their doors in the name of charity to raise funds for Joe’s M.I.L.L. and the Food Bank.
With the assistance of a friend I was able to hit over half of the venues and take in over 15 different acts from various genres of music. The Kingston Brew Company where waves of Celtic music were washing over happy patrons of all ages engaged in the traditional Irish and Scottish jigs and reels with what could only be described as a “taste of the island” performed by Tam Lin.
It was then off to Revolutions where rock group Tiger Upper Cut brought a loud beginning to my day. Tiger Upper Cut formed just last summer by Josh Peck (lead vocals, bass) and Jason Andrews (guitar, BG vocals). Ian Burke (drums) hones their sound described as 90’s alternative and is said to be evolving daily as they play a mix of originals and covers. The Ale House brought the blues home for the evening and each act brought class and a smooth feel with a few acts mixing rock vibes into their expert blues sound. At the RCHA Club was where folk music was abundant, Broken Arrows took us on a journey with a multitude of instruments playing off of each other. Their songs had a real world feel, with one in particular sticking with me about this generation relying on the internet, technology and the pursuit of material wealth to mean something. It was an observation of an aging generation and dealing with feelings of worthlessness.
Showcasing Kingston local talent with an acoustic flair, The Artel was the acoustic venue of the evening, where Midnight Magic Rodeo performed. The Torres Project who can be described as a “harmony of Jazz, raw soul, and the rhythmic excitement of Latin/Funk are expressed with 20 fingers and 12 acoustic strings played by two underdogs” They were phenomenal to watch and played the best cover of “Layla” by Eric Clapton I have ever heard!
The last stop of the night was a return to Revolutions night club where dusk had settled but the crowd was far from letting the night end! Kingston’s own Vorasek had just started when I arrived. With a harder rock sound they boast seamless transitions it’s no wonder they were champions of K-Rock 105.7’s Band Slam 2012. The stage presence and professionalism stuck with me. Check out their debut EP, “Noise Complaint” streaming on their website Vorasek.ca. Kasey Ferguson & his four letter words is a metamorphosis of former project Joker’s Child.
Richard Cranium, a high energy cover band, transports you to a time where classic rock hits reigned and songs like “Panama” by Van Halen and Billy Idol’s “In The Midnight Hour” reminds you of memories of rock long lost and the energy invites you to relive them throughout their non-stop musical journey. Far From Venus mixes rock, alternative and pop influences to create a catchy sound that is often very unforgettable. Members Jamie Vinkle, Kyle Cochrane, and Rob Vinkle started the trio round 2009 and recently released a self-titled EP. Described as “Dynamic, ethereal and melodic” Far From Venus translates this very well live.
Belifonx is a local stable keeping patrons happy weekly as the Monday night entertainment at local establishment, The Mansion. Comprised of vocalist Heather Bell, guitarist Matt Kirby, bassist Winson Vinh, and drummer Daniel Chalmers, their talent speaks for itself as they have an accumulated range of songs to add to their already impressive repertoire. Switching easily from crowd pleasing classics to popular in demand covers. Definitely worth a stroll down to see them!
There were many styles and flavours of music offered by Homegrown 2013. Over the last four years Homegrown Festival has raised over $37,000 for Joe’s M.I.L.L and the Food Bank. This years’ event truly had something for everybody, having brought out over 88 bands at 12 different stages located in 10 downtown venues. Thank you to all the musicians and volunteers who made this event an amazing success!