Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Seriously West Coast with John and Roy
Victoria duo John and Roy have captured the essence of new wave coffee house folk rock. They play each show with energy and friendliness that make you feel like you are out seeing some old friends perform at a local open mic night. With that energy, they add a large amount of energy and a proclivity for excellent song writing. John and Roy are the sort of band that we are beginning to see more of in this day and age. The music scene in the post millennium world saw the over commercialization of music with corporate based acts like the Backstreet Boys and the Spice girls etc. Bands that were more into themselves and their image then the quality of their music became so over produced and over played that many have turned to the growing number of new folk bands.
With bands like the Fleet Foxes and Mumford and Sons, the new wave of post folk rock brings an honesty and humbleness back into music. Artists that are low key and quiet and more interested in playing music then in shameless self promotion. John and Roy formed in 2005 when buddies John Middleton and Roy Vizer started progressing beyond just two buddies playing in a coffee house. They began writing their own songs and eventually got the cash together to release their own independent record, 2005's 'Sittin back'. They followed this up with 2008's 'Another Noon' which was their first album to go nationally as well as internationally. They began getting a bit more press coverage and were touring North America constantly. The music has continued to grow and shape itself while still remaining true to their initial vibe and style. They recently added members Ryan Tonelli (bass) and Dougal McLean (mandolin/violin) as full time members of the band, as well as some electric guitars and keyboards thrown into the mix.
Together, they released their newest album in April of this year, 'Homes'. This album adds a bit more funk and reggae to their normal groovy folk sounds. The down home islander feel is shining through strongly on this record and overall it is their best one yet. The album starts off with the relaxed, reggae beats of “Any Day Now” (which is a great tune) and the country-folk feel of “Get Myself a Gun” and “Boon Elm.” With so many musical influences, this is an album that sees Jon and Roy branching out and testing out many different sounds. “Cuban B” takes you down to South America, and then the lumbering beats of “Giddy Up” bring you back to their cozy island style.
Feel free to give some of their stuff a listen I think they are a pretty decent local act that deserves a little more attention. Here are a couple of videos and if you want to hear more of them feel free to head over to CBC to check out the play list they have there. http://radio3.cbc.ca/#/bands/Jon-and-Roy