“…a gorgeous, soothing work.”

Exclaim! has called Josh Richardson’s latest ambient work “a gorgeous, soothing work.”  Read the review of the double EP “Book Ends” in full here.  Stream, or download the album here.

Richardson will perform a new ambient work entitled “Ataraxia” at the Georgian Shores United Church in Owen Sound on Wednesday, August 23rd at noon, as part of the Noon Hour concert series.  The event is free.

Listen to “Spheres” from the double EP “Book Ends” below.

Lupercalia touts community philosophy

Mudtown Records’ fifth edition of the Lupercalia Winter Multi-Arts Festival shares a community philosophy fueled by the idea that cultural events should be open to members of the community regardless of economics. This means that in addition to the range of free events offered to the public by Lupercalia, the festival will also provide subsidized passes to those who without the financial means to attend. Interested persons can obtain the subsidized passes by contacting the festival through the website MudtownRecords.com, emailing info@mudtownrecords.com, or by phoning (519) 416-8696. Ticket numbers are limited, and distributed on a first come, first serve basis.
Lupercalia’s public events aim to provide educational, and informative opportunities and to engage people on a variety of issues affecting the community. This year the festival offers three such events. The first is the ‘Wall of Sound: Community Musical Map,’ which launches at the Ginger Press Bookstore on Wednesday, February 1st at 12 noon and goes until the end of the festival. The idea for the map comes from Windsor, Ontario, where music venue owner Tom Lucier brought community members together to create the ‘Windsor music tangle.’ Citizens contribute their knowledge of local music history to help form a floor to ceiling map displaying the varying connections between bands and band members (black marker draws lines between the various players circled in black to the bands boxed in and written in red). The result is a visually impressive map of the community’s musical history. This is an exciting prospect for a region with such a rich musical history as Owen Sound and the surrounding area.
The second public event will be held at the Library on Saturday, February 18th at 3pm. ‘Tech Talk with Tim’ features an open discussion with audio engineer Timothy Glasgow from London, Ontario, who has worked with such industry giants as Nile Rogers (Chic, Daft Punk, David Bowie), Metric, & Sonic Youth – just to name a few. Down to earth and eager to share his knowledge, Glasgow will also share his love of the modular synthesizer: an infinitely expanding music machine with endless components and combinations, creating music by linking modules through a growing tangle of multi-coloured patch cords. The instrument was popularized in the 1960’s and 70’s with such bands as Yes and Kraftwerk.
The third and final public event is a roundtable discussion on ‘Truth & Reconciliation & Art’ exploring the question: In light of the conclusion and the Truth & Reconciliation Commission and its 94 recommendations, what are artists – both indigenous and nonindigenous – to make of the trauma and legacy of colonization, residential schools, & missing and murdered aboriginal women? Included on the panel are Adam Sturgeon – leader of the band WHOOP-Szo, visual artist, and member of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm – poet, author, and activist from the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation at Neyaashiinigmiing, Jake Chegahno – singer-songwriter & Owen Sound resident originally from Cape Croker, John Fearnall – educator and photographer from Owen Sound, Pete Devlin – musician, Owen Sound resident, and member of the Dene First Nation, Virginia Eichorn – Director & Chief Curator of the Tom Thomson Art Gallery, and Maryann Thomas – publisher and owner the Ginger Press. It takes place at the Ginger Press Bookstore on Saturday, February 18th at 4:30pm.
Mudtown Records presents the 2017 Lupercalia Winter Multi-Arts Festival on February 17th & 18th in Owen Sound, featuring: the Woodshed Orchestra, the Surfrajettes, Taktus, WHOOP-Szo, L Con, Tim Glasgow, the Silent Film Ensemble, tWeen, & First Winter, plus the ‘Wall of Sound’ Community Musical Map, the Luper-Culinary Locavore Lounge, ‘Tech Talk’ with audio engineer Tim Glasgow, roundtable discussion on ‘Truth & Reconciliation & Art,’ and more. Tickets & information are available in person at Heartwood Home, or online via MudtownRecords.com.

Lupercalia 2017 Lineup & Trailer Released

Lupercalia will be looking to heat up the cold Ontario winter in Owen Sound come February, and organizers have just unveiled details about the festival’s 2017 instalment.

The event will be presented by Mudtown Records and is set to take place on February 16 and 17 at various venues across town.

So far, the list of confirmed performers boasts the Woodshed Orchestra, the Surfrajettes, WHOOP-Szo, L Con, Taktus, Tween, Tim Glasgow and the Silent Film Ensemble.

There will also be programming that includes a Truth & Reconciliation & the Arts roundtable discussion, as well as a an exploration of Owen Sound’s musical history and plenty of local food and beverages at the Luper-culinary Locavore Lounge.

Tickets are expected to go on sale on Saturday (December 17). Single night tickets are $25, while full weekend passes are $40. Foodies can also opt in for Tasters Tickets that will include gourmet food and drink that will cost $65 for a single night or $110 for the full weekend.

Find full Lupercalia details and updates over here, and check out a video trailer for the upcoming festival in the player below.

– Sarah Murphy, Exclaim!

Mudtown Series Spring 2016

The Mudtown Music & Arts Series is pleased to announce its spring 2016 lineup featuring three heavy hitters visiting the new Heartwood Concert Hall in Owen Sound for the first time. The series features the best in visiting and regional musicians and artists, seeking to connect both artist and audience with an expanding creative network.
Peterborough’s legendary saloon symphony, the Silver Hearts, will make their inaugural appearance at the hall onSaturday, April 23rd. The band recently completed their first recording in over 10 years with engineer James McKenty (Blue Rodeo, Cuff the Duke), featuring 13 golden favourites to be released by Mudtown Records later this year. The group’s sprawling ragtime ‘n’ blues sound has garnered widespread praise, taking them as far as Japan to perform. This will be the Silver Hearts first visit to the area since their 2014 near-capacity performance at the Roxy Theatre with the Sadies.
Saturday, May 28th will see Toronto bluegrass quintet the Foggy Hogtown Boys bring their ‘‘Carters & Cash’ tribute to the Heartwood Concert Hall. The concert will feature bluegrass renditions of songs made famous by the Carter Family – the first family of American Country music – and Johnny Cash (husband to June Carter). This will be an exciting show for both fans of country and bluegrass. The group is comprised of some of the nation’s best bluegrass players and display a dizzying ability as they share a single ‘cold stage’ microphone, like Grand Ol’ Opry stages of the past. It promises to be a fantastic evening of music respecting old time music and its roots.
And, on Saturday, June 18th, St. Catherine’s based 14 piece brass funk and hip-hop band My Son the Hurricane bring the tour for their new, yet-to-be-named album to Heartwood Concert Hall. The group was garnered praise throughout festivals and venues for their high energy, dynamic performances, which include original music, alongside original takes on retro classics. Local lovers of the bizarre, tWeen – a tribute act to weird wave rockers Ween – will open.
For showtimes, tickets, and information visit just look under the events tab, or call (519) 416-8696.

Lupercalia back this February

From Scott Dunn for the Owen Sound Sun-Times. Click here for original article.

 

OWEN SOUND ­- Lupercalia Winter Multi­Arts Festival is being revived, offering up entertainment just when people could use it most ­ ­ in the dead of a Grey­Bruce winter. Lupercalia, scheduled for Feb. 12­13, had a three­year run ending in 2013. The festival brought indie music in multiple city venues at a time of year when there were no significant events like it and there still aren’t, organizer Josh Richardson said. The winter festival is returning because he has more time since cancelling his summer Mudtown Music & Arts Festival in 2014 and because people asked him to, Richardson said. At Lupercalia, Richardson says people will be able to enjoy Mudtown’s flavour of entertainment. Greg and Joanna Bottrell of Heartwood Concert Hall will host the headliners acts at the Lupercalia Winter Multi­Arts Festival Feb. 12­13 in downtown Owen Sound. (James Masters/The Sun Times, Owen Sound) NEWS LOCAL LupercaliabackthisFebruary By Scott Dunn, Sun Times, Owen Sound Wednesday, December 23, 2015 5:51:56 EST PM “I think that people have come to realize that the kind of stuff that we’re doing is not middle of the road, top 40 pre­fab folk or pop ­­ if you can have pre­fab top 40 folk. I think we’re offering something different, but still with broad enough appeal that most anyone could hop in an enjoy themselves thoroughly.” There are two headliners, The Sadies, a Juno Award­winning roots­rock band, and Souljazz Orchestra, an eight piece, Afro­funk fusion band, Richardson said. “If you like to dance and if you like rhythmically based music with lots of horns, this is your thing, it will be electrifying.” Another band, Friendly Rich & the Lollipop People, will bring its “Frank Zappa meets Tom Waits” style played by band members who are among Toronto’s best session musicians, Richardson said. Skye Wallace, Hervana and Cupcake Ductape will also perform. The recently opened Heartwood Concert Hall will be the main venue, where both headliners will perform. Richardson said more locations and schedule details will be announced in the new year. Heartwood co­owner Greg Bottrell spent 25 years in the music business in Toronto, including as booking agent for the Rivoli night club in the 1990s and restaurant and club owner in the 2000s. He said he still owns a restaurant/concert venue/dance club in Kensington Market. “It’s nice to see Josh bring some of the more indie acts up to this region because either the kids aren’t creating that type of music and nor are they exposed to some of those bands,” he said. Lupercalia will also have workshops, panel discussions and author and music journalist Stuart Berman, a contributor to online music magazine Pitchfork, will speak at an event called “Rock ‘n Writing” at the Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library. It will be free to kids and everyone else will pay a small fee, Richardson said. Playwright and spoken word artist Cathy Petch will perform and there will be a “Luper­Culinary Lounge,” featuring the best in local food and refreshments, Richardson said. In 2010, Richardson started OTHERfolk Festival, his downtown response to the landmark Summerfolk music festival at Kelso Beach, which he criticized for having too narrow a definition of folk music. OTHERfolk continued until 2013 when it was renamed Mudtown Music & Arts Festival, which he cancelled in 2014 due to slow ticket sales. His Mudtown Records, a regional record label, continues to present The Mudtown Music & Arts Series year­round. Lupercalia weekend VIP and general admission passes are available at MudtownRecords.com. Early bird tickets are on sale until midnight tonight. Early bird weekend passes are $80 for general admission, $110 for VIP tickets, which guarantee access to all Lupercalia concerts and attractions. Single day passes will be for sale if capacity permits.

Mudtown Interview: Terra Lightfoot

Terra Lightfoot plays the Heartwood Concert Hall next Saturday, December 12th to what will (likely) be a sold-out audience.  Last time she was in Owen Sound it was with the Dinner Belles, who played an inspired set of originals and classic country covers to a small sold-out show at Rocky Raccoon Café in support of their latest album “The River & the Willow.”  Fast forward a year – Terra has a hit solo album, a cross Canada tour under her belt, and has just played Massey Hall.  But, she couldn’t be more grounded.  

Mudtown: Why is Hamilton the worst? (For an inside on this joke, follow Terra on Instagram here.)

Terra: So many reasons. The waterfalls, the hiking trails, the beautiful views of the harbour, the restaurants, art galleries, venues, the cheap housing, SUPERCRAWL, two beer festivals, our new Collective Arts Brewery and ManoRun Organic Farm.

You’ve played a number of dates opening for fellow Hamiltonian Daniel Lanois, who has worked with U2 & Bob Dylan, among others, and is a noted songwriter in his own right – how do you think (if at all) Hamilton has influenced his songwriting, and / or your own?

Well I think there’s a sort of grit and dirt involved when people think of Hamilton. For me that never comes out.  I write about the nature, the streets and places I gravitate toward, the views of the city from different vantage points. Dan has told all kinds of stories about growing up in Hamilton. I think it informed parts of who he is as a person, just like any city does. He’s very honest and true to himself. I don’t know if he’s written any Hamilton centric songs. Maybe the new instrumental music he’s writing is all about Hamilton?

The scene in Hamilton seems pretty strong right now (sensing a theme?) with lots of venues for live music, the  successful Supercrawl festival, the Green Belt picnic, plus producing acts like Arkells, Whitehorse, and yourself – what do you think other scenes (think Owen Sound) can learn from Hamilton?

I think that Hamilton has pockets of different scenes all over the city, just like any place…so we have different venues, different genres, young people, old people.  It’s important for any scene to be inclusive. I am just as supported by the punk community in Hamilton as I am supported by the blues community, or the rock community. I focus on supporting them too. Even if you are not into each band in your city, you still support them and talk about their shows. The last part I would say is supporting the out-of-towners when they come through – Owen Sound seems to have that part locked down! It’s Hamilton’s weak point for sure.

Your voice – justifiably – has garnered a lot of accolades, but you’re also a skilled guitarist.  What guitarists do you like, or have influenced you?  Are any of them from Hamilton?

Well I love Luke Doucet’s playing.  He’s an honorary Hamiltonian. I am really into Chet Atkins right now. I’ve always loved his playing, but I’m starting to follow it more. No surprise he called himself “CGP” – Certified Guitar Player.

Owen Sound, or Hamilton?

DON’T MAKE ME CHOOSE!

When you were in Owen Sound last year for the Mudtown Music & Arts Series you played in the well-respected Hamilton group the Dinner Belles at the former Rocky Raccoon cafe.  It was a tremendous show, which displayed great group cohesion and formidable musicianship.  How is playing with your solo band different?

I love playing with the Dinner Belles, because we just get up there and joke around. It’s fun music too.  And, it doesn’t matter if you hit a wrong note. It’s funny. My (own) band is understandably maybe more serious, about the songs, lyrics maybe. I’m much more vulnerable in presenting my work I guess. Brad Germain from Dinner Belles also has a solo project, Spruce Invaders, which is a space rock band. So cool.

Finally, do you have anything to say to the people of Owen Sound before the show next Saturday?

People of Owen Sound, your town is great.  I really loved playing there last time, and I can’t wait to see you all again!

Mudtown Interview: B.A. Johnston

B.A. Johnston performs for his first time in Owen Sound this Saturday, November 21st at the Coach Inn (click here for tickets). He granted Mudtown an interview in anticipation of his performance, which will include a donut eating contest, an all-Ween tribute band, and many, many snot-rockets.

Mudtown: Thanks for agreeing to the interview BA.  Your longlisting for the 2015 Polaris Prize sparked some controversy with people coming out vocally for and against your nomination, including an active campaign to get you on the shortlist, complete with its own hashtag #shorlistBA and a Downfall / Hitler Reacts video –   what would you have spent the $50K on if you had won?

BA:  Dunno. I guess I would have invested heavily into Dollarama and A&W stocks, and spent the rest on Savage Swords of Conan. I may have bought a van made in this century.

It’s not unusual for you to end up performing to an audience in a bathroom stall at the end of the night, cramming in as many crowd members as possible. Do you have a preferred kind of bathroom to perform in, or any particular venue’s bathroom that is ideal for the crapper concert?

I can’t really get away from the bathroom encore. The audience seems to want it and they give me trouble if i don’t do it. That being said I prefer a good sized girls bathroom. Sometimes there is poupourri in there.

You’re known as a son of Steel Town (Hamilton, Ont) and a devoted Ticats’ fan.  What do feel are the political-economic ramifications for Hamilton with respect to American Steel’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy application in the United States, and how will this – if at all – influence your songwriting?

Well it won’t really reflect much in my songwriting, but i think US steel are a bunch of crooks. And Hamilton will be left out to dry again, as we as a city tend to vote NDP, so no one gives a shit what happens there.

McDonald’s, or Harvey’s?

Harveys for burgs and shakes. McDonalds for everything else.

On a typical show you switch through playing guitar, playing a keyboard, and singing to backing tracks on a portable CD player – what determines your performance method, and have you considered doing all three at once?

Due to lack of skill and ability i am forced to do them all separate. May be for the best.

The minivan seems to be the preferred BA mode of transport and has been featured in your songs – what do you think of the demise of the minivan and rise of the crossover SUV? Would you ever consider driving a Tesla?

Man, the mini van ain’t going nowhere. You know how hard it is to find a used Dodge Grand Caravan? People can’t get enough of these things. People will always need a big slow dumb thing to drive their kids and crap around in. I would drive a Tesla if i can get a good used one for 2500 and it can haul all my crud.

You’ve been able to capture the Canadian spirit in song unlike any other singer-songwriter of our day, like a fusion of Stomping Tom and the Trailer Park Boys – to what do you credit your originality?  And, where does BA Johnston go from here?

Well,l you got to write about what you know. And, all I do is drive around canada and eat. I guess most people don’t write songs about eating or Regina. Nowhere to go but up from here.

Finally,do you have any words for the people of Owen Sound?

Come on down to the show. Good seats still available.

 

B.A. Johnston’s latest album “Shit Sucks” was longlisted for the 2015 Polaris Prize.  It is available via iTunes, and record stores across Canada.

 

Win Tickets To A Show You Suggest!

Stars, Elliott Brood, the Strumbellas, Zeus, the Sadies, Hannah Georgas, Doug Paisley, Jennifer Castle, the Weather Station, & the Burning Hell – just some of the artists who have played Mudtown events.

Now it’s your chance to have a say in who plays an upcoming Mudtown Records show AND win free VIP tickets to the event!  Just fill in our contact form with your name, email, the subject heading “Mudtown Guest Programmer,” and tell us who your choice you would like to see play a Mudtown event and why. Click here for contact form.

If we like your selection, we’ll contact you, and release the name of the artist through social media once we’ve confirmed their booking.

Good luck Mudtowners – we look forward to your suggestions!!!

NO HATE: A Concert for Community

Owen Sound and the surrounding area has a long history of tolerance and inclusion. From its role as terminus for fleeing slaves on the Underground Railroad to our proud heritage as home to one of Canada’s oldest small town Synagogues, we have shown a historical willingness to embrace diversity. Despite this, hatred and intolerance persist throughout our communities. Stories of racism, sexual assault, homophobia, & other forms of hatred stain local, national, & international news. We have decided to show – once again – that the people of our region stand in solidarity against hatred and discrimination in all forms.

Join us on Saturday, June 27th at the Roxy Theatre in Owen Sound, as visiting and local musicians raise their voices against hate. Featuring performances by Sonic Unyon Records recording artist Terra Lightfoot, eccentric entertainer and music educator Friendly Rich & the Lollipop People, Toronto art-country hipsters Beams, plus local performers The Sportswriters, Pete Devlin, & Deanne Hallman. Tickets are available online here, at the Roxy box-office, or by phoning (519) 371-2833.

All proceeds from this event will go to benefit the following not for profit groups: M’Wikwedong NCRC, The Women’s Centre Grey and Bruce Inc.,Grey Bruce Pride, United Way of Bruce Grey, & the Owen Sound Emancipation Festival.