Wailers return to Comox Valley

A smash hit at last year’s MusicFest, the 24th Street Wailers return for a full evening of good times at the Cumberland Hotel.

A smash hit at last year’s MusicFest, the 24th Street Wailers return for a full evening of good times at the Cumberland Hotel.

If ever a group of musicians were meant to meet, become colleagues and ultimately collaborate to perform the music they love, it is the four musicians who make up Toronto’s 24th Street Wailers.

You might call it fate, destiny or just plain good luck – either way, fans of the folk, roots and blues community are all the better for it.

One of the most original and exciting bands on the scene today, the quartet quickly developed their tight grooves, unadulterated live show, and original repertoire in the three years they have been together.

With their 2010 debut album Dirty Little Young’uns reaching No. 3 (Canada) and No. 8 (U.S.) on the Roots Music Report and a smashing sophomore CD in 2012 titled Unshakeable, the band is gaining widespread national and international radio play.

“Unshakeable is raw and authentically funky. These players have the natural rhythm and looseness of studied musicians, which is a breath of fresh air.” — (House of Blues Radio Hour).

In just a few short years, the 24th Street Wailers have quickly made a name for themselves in the Canadian music scene and beyond.

In August 2011, they were the only non-Quebec band to win both the Releve en Blues and the Bourse Air Transat/Blues Sur Seine competitions at Festiblues International De Montreal, which sent them to France to perform at The Blues Sur Seine Festival.

In early 2012 they were nominated for New Artist of the Year at the Maple Blues Awards, and Blues Group/Duo of the Year at the Sirius XM Indie Awards.

In February 2012, they were semi-finalists in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, where they performed for industry professionals and blues enthusiasts from around the world, further cementing their place among their musical cohorts. In true grassroots fashion, the 24th Street Wailers booked their first coast-to-coast tour that saw them perform in 29 cities in Canada and the U.S throughout the summer of 2012.

Tour highlights included an opening spot for legendary blues pioneer Jimmie Vaughan, and performances on prestigious festival stages at the Vancouver Island Music Festival, Harrison Festival of the Arts, Folk on the Rocks festival in Yellowknife, Festiblues International de Montreal and Limestone City Blues Festival.

The release of Unshakeable has brought The 24th Street Wailers much deserved recognition from festival bookers, reviewers and DJs from around the world, including spots on the Roots Music Report and No. 1 charting on the !Earshot National Campus charts. Music media and tastemakers have embraced them enthusiastically, and the kudos continues to be plentiful for Unshakeable.

“There are bands out there with 20 years experience on them that could not, and have not, produced an album this real and technically proficient. And the music sounds killer, too!” — Barry Kerzner (American Blues Scene).

“A worthy representative for the new face of the blues.” — Richard Knechtel (GBFS/Summerfolk AD).

Led by Halifax-born lead singer and drummer Lindsay Beaver, who draws her inspiration from the great Levon Helm, the quartet features Beaver’s husband Mike Archer on bass, housemate Jon Wong on saxophone and electric guitarist Emily Burgess.

It is apparent when either listening to their recordings or attending one of their raucous live shows that the 24th Street Wailers are a band in every sense of the word. Together they eat, sleep and breathe for their love of music.

For more about MusicFest’s concert series, visit www.islandmusicfest.com/concerts.

— Vancouver Island MusicFest

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