When Pop Montreal finished on Sunday we officially closed up the music festival calendar for Montreal in 2016 and now we get to settle into the fall/winter music scene. Just because it’s no longer sunny and 30 degrees every day doesn’t mean you get to stay home, there’s some great shows coming up and this week is no exception.

Lisa Leblanc

On Thursday the Théâtre Corona will be hosting an evening with New Brunswick native Lisa Leblanc who will be debuting her most recent album Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen? which is set for release on September 30th. The Acadian singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist has hits in both official languages and this new release, her second full length album, promises to be an extension of her unique brand of music.

I don’t know if “garage folk” is a term but it’s probably the best way to describe Lisa’s music. Witty, sarcastic, satirical, somewhat self deprecating lyrics are mixed with banjos and drums to form fun catchy songs that still manage to be serious when they need to be.

Lisa Leblanc plays Théâtre Corona, 2490 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest , Thursday, September 29th, 9:00pm (Doors at 8:00pm), $17 in advance or 19 at the door, ticket through box office.


The Temperance Movement + The Sheepdogs

If you’re looking for the coolest rock show of the week that would have to be over at Petit Campus on Thursday for the double bill of UK blues-rockers The Temperance Movement and Saskatoon’s own The Sheepdogs. Either one of these bands is worth the price of admission on their own, whoever thought to team them up gets a gold star on their report card for the course “Show Promoting 101.”

We’re just going to assume a Canadian bias here and say that you already know about the Sheepdogs so let’s introduce you to The Temperance Movement. Formed in 2011 this collection of musicians who’ve all been part of other musical projects too numerous to list decided to team up and build something new.

They recently released their second album White Bear and have been on tour in support. As usual it’s best to let the music do the talking so here’s the title track from that release.


The Temperance Movement and The Sheepdogs play Le Petit Campus, 57 Prince-Arthur East, Thursday, September 29th, 8:00pm, $23.75 through box office.


Marlon Williams & The Yarra Benders + Julia Jacklin

Also on Thursday night, Divan Orange will be hosting New Zealand born singer/songwriter Marlon Williams who is currently on tour giving fans the full indie rock experience with his backing band The Yarra Benders.  Marlon has gone on record stating that when he sings a song he always gets into character, an interest twist that makes his music that much more universal.

Opening the evening will be  Julia Jacklin, an artist to watch for in the future as she is set to release her new album Don’t Let the Kids Win on October 7th while simultaneously on a world tour. I suppose Julia is much more passionate about music then about getting a good night’s sleep!

Marlon Williams & The Yarra Benders and Julia Jacklin play Le Divan Orange, 4234 boulevard Saint-Laurent, Thursday, September 29th, 9:30pm, $16.50 in advance through Divan Orange or $18 at the door.

Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards + Dietrich Strause

For those interested in Folk music, Sunday night at Casa Del Popolo will feature Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards and Dietrich Strause. The best way to describe the style of music for this show would be to use the oxymoron “modern folk.”

Both these artists draw heavily on traditional folk roots but are hardly rehashing their grandparents’ music. Something new that’s a combination of a few different genres that still feel rooted in the past.

Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards and Dietrich Strause play Casa Del Popolo, 4873 boulevard Saint-Laurent, Sunday October 2nd, 7:30pm, $20 in advance ($10 for students) through lfttckt or $23 at the door ($13 for students).

* Featured image of Lisa Leblanc: thebluegrasssituation.com

Know a band or an artist that should be featured in Shows This Week? Maybe a show FTB should cover, too? Let us know at music@forgetthebox.net. We can’t be everywhere and can’t write about everything, but we do our best!

Last Friday evening at the Corona Theatre looked like a scene straight out of Cameron Crowe’s acclaimed rock n’ roll drama Almost Famous. The venue was packed to the brim with rowdy, power-chord-hungry teenagers sporting long, greasy hair and leather Iron Maiden jackets. And if I had a nickel for every time that I saw someone toss up the rock sign (otherwise known as the sign of the horns) during one of The Sheepdogs’ ultra-classic sounding guitar solos, I’d probably have enough nickels to fund the construction of a time machine to send all of those kids back to the generation that they clearly missed out on (or at least think they missed out on).

Now while I don’t want to sound overly skeptical of the crowd’s enthusiasm and excitement– the energy was palpable at the Corona– I do wish to express that my first official Sheepdogs experience was pretty surreal. A total blast from the past, you might say.

Sheepdogs Corona Theatre Montreal 2While the teens (and pre-teens) were busy shredding gnarly air-guitar and starting short-lived mosh-pits, the other demographic of the crowd, composed of 40-year old Dads and their spouses, were quietly bobbing their balding heads, and shuffling about in Asics running shoes, probably reminiscing on a time when rock music was more culturally cutting edge, and less obscured with piles of layered-on nostalgia.

That’s not to say that The Sheepdogs’ sound can simply be reduced to mere genre re-hash— serving merely to fill the cultural void which emerged in the mid-90s, after hippie revivalism and guitar-based rock moved deeper and deeper underground. Indeed, while some of the younger fans at the Corona were blatantly appropriating a style and a culture that they knew relatively little about, the band onstage that night is an important Canadian cultural emblem, carrying the sonic torch of seminal rock bands like The Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive into the 21st-Century. The Sheepdogs’ tendency to evoke nostalgia doesn’t feel like a cheap gimmick; instead, their performances remind us that we need more bands like these guys to keep the ethos of rock music alive.

The show on Friday night harkened back to the glory days of classic rock; the 2-part guitar harmonies (a technique the band likes to call “guitarmonies”) on the fan-favourite Southern Dreaming recalls both the deep-south rock stylings of the Allman Brothers, and also the blistering double-guitar lead on The Guess Who’s Share The Land.

As the night progressed, The Sheepdogs worked through a setlist composed of new material from their aptly titled 2015 release Future Nostalgia, as well as a host of hit songs from their critically praised debut and sophomore records.

The Sheepdogs closed their initial set with arguably their most well-known and recognizable track, I Don’t Know before returning for an encore that featured a 12-minute rendition of Neil Young’s classic Down By The River. Not only was it an epic way of closing out a nostalgia-laden evening, the choice of song seemed to be a deliberate gesture to the band’s roots– the days when drinking beers and jamming along with Neil Young records in someone’s basement took precedence over rehearsing polished live performances.

Sheepdogs Corona Theatre Montreal 3

It’s hard to imagine that The Sheepdogs were teetering on the brink of musical oblivion just six years ago. After years of relentless touring across Canada, and countless nightmare “touring adventures,” the band was severely in debt and on the verge of giving up. That was, until a Canadian record producer silently submitted the band’s name to be considered for the 2011 Rolling Stone Cover Contest. The rest, of course, is classic-rock-revival history. The Sheepdogs went on to win the contest, and in doing so, became the first unsigned band in history to appear on the front cover of Rolling Stone.

The Sheepdogs’ performance last Friday at the Corona was the band’s first show in Canada after an extensive European tour. Although the Saskatoon natives were still thousands of kilometres from their true stomping grounds, they were nevertheless “thrilled to be back home,” according to lead vocalist and band frontman Ewan Currie. Their 2016 Canadian tour, which will bring them westward all the way to Vancouver before returning back east, will naturally be remarkably different than those brutal treks across Canada a less than a decade ago.

The band has rightly earned a special place in the hearts and minds of a Canadian classic rock fan base that still craves those sweet, southern-influenced guitar hooks and delicate three-part vocal harmonies. Friday night’s performance reminded me that The Sheepdogs were able to pull through in the end, turning their Cameron Crow-esque pipe dream into reality. Finally, it seems, The Sheepdogs have made it.

* photos by Georgia Vatcher

Quite busy musical times, indeed. Here’s just some of the musical performances you can catch in Montreal over the next few days…

Friday, January 29th
The Sheepdogs @ Corona Theatre

This Canadian quartet is the musical descendant of legendary Canadian act The Guess Who- their classic rock sound encompasses rich guitar leads and smooth harmonies. In 2011, the group won a competition to be featured on the front cover of Rolling Stone. Even more impressive, The Sheepdogs were the first unsigned band in history to make it to the cover of the legendary magazine. Since then, the accolades have continued to roll in, and their fan-base has continued to grow. Personally, I can’t wait to see them Friday night.

Doors @ 7pm. Tickets are $27

Saturday, January 30th
The Sadies + Lil Andy @ Le Ritz

These Toronto locals have been pumping out blues and country-infused rock for almost two decades, and their intense live performances show no sign of losing steam anytime soon. Known in particular for their New Year’s Eve performance every year at the legendary Toronto bar The Horseshoe Tavern, The Sadies are sure to put on a good show.

Doors @ 9pm. Tickets are $20

Sunday, January 31st
Vance Joy @ Metropolis

Known best for his breakout hit Riptide, singer-songwriter Vance Joy is sure to have his audience swooning on Sunday evening. Most of you have probably already heard of him, and if you haven’t, give his part-chill, part-anthemic folk rock songs a quick listen.

Doors @ 6:30. Tickets are $42

Tuesday, February 2nd
Wet + Kelsey Lu @ Le Ritz

Wet, a Brooklyn-based electronic/pop trio crafts silky smooth, and at times haunting, melodies that are reminiscent of acts like Grimes and Chvrches.

Doors @ 8:30. Tickets are $15

Also, don’t forget, Igloofest continues and we’ve already mentioned The Folds EP release.

* Featured image of The Sheepdogs playing Osheaga by Chris Zacchia