Listen Hear

"The Kramdens are playing in Guelph on the 9th. It's a Saturday. We should go."

It was worth the three-hour drive just to hear "What the... " when Kramden's frontman Craig Norris saw us, and well worth the price of a hotel room and dinner to hear three 45-minute sets that included much of their forthcoming album. Their roots rock is like comfort food: just what you wanted, seasoned with plenty of talent; guitarist Steve Knox deserves to be mentioned with the best.
The Kramdens at The Shakespeare Arms.

You can hear Norris weekdays starting at 6 a.m. on CBC Radio One Kitchener-Waterloo's The Morning Edition, its top morning show. The former CBC Radio 3 host will be celebrating 7 years on the air there and loves it. "I get to curate my own playlist," said Norris. "It's the closest thing there is to Radio 3."

That's one of the things we miss the most about Radio 3: the luxury of playlists curated by people with diplomas in great music, not algorithms. A while back we wrote about alternatives we've been relying on to fill the Radio 3 void. We've been remiss in not adding to that list. Earlier this year, we discovered we're not geoblocked from CBC's ICI Musique. We've been taking full advantage of the many radio streams, especially the Franco Indie stream under Folk/Rock. It's already introduced us to Corridor and The Peptides.

Soul Possession: You may know him as the author of Rivethead: Tales from the Assembly Line; we know Ben Hamper as host of, to quote S2W, "the best fucking two hours of Friday night radio." Although Hamper raises his weekly roll 'n' roll ruckus from Northern Michigan College's "DAW-bull-yew NMC," his wide-ranging show includes plenty of Canadian artists; King Khan is a favourite. If you like vintage country music with your Sunday morning pancakes, check out Hamper's other show, Head for the Hills.

Rock-n-Roll Crazee: We got to see Radio Red, the station where vinyl DJ for life Boogaloo Pete/Bayamon City Roller (aka as Chopz87, Chopa and Pedro A. Acosta Perez) broadcast for most of the year, when we visited Puerto Rico in March. His shows Bang Bang Shang-A-Lang and Reggae Recipe were great listening during the work day; now he's spinning an hour of vinyl Monday nights at 6 p.m. ET on AZ Rock Radio.

The Basement: Darbar (Special!) is another Radio 3 pal we tune in, on Sundays from 8 to 9 p.m. CT. A frequent contributor to, her all-Canadian show features indie, alt, rock, pop, hip hop, electronic, instrumental, folk and "you name it!"

Go North Music Festival Band Spotlight: Elliott BROOD

Last, but certainly not least: your Juno-winning Go North festival headliners Elliott BROOD.

For us in 2009, Elliott BROOD is where it all began. We first met in person at an Elliott BROOD show at the Majestic Cafe in Detroit, two Radio 3 bloggers doing what the community still does: meet up to share our love of the music and support the artists who make it. In those days, the band was still handing out wooden spoons and garage sale pots and pans for a raucous "Write It All Down For You." We still think their second full-length album, Mountain Meadows, is one of the most perfect Canadian indie albums ever made.

Their latest album, Ghost Gardens, is as nostalgic and poignant as those cherished memories, with of course some signature dark and cavalier foot stompers. In between, there was Days Into Years and a Juno for Roots & Traditional Album in 2015 for Work and Love. In between, we've been to The Ark in Ann Arbor to Bell's in Kalamazoo to Lee's Palace in Toronto to Windsor and Detroit again to see them. And this weekend, on Sat. Jul. 14, we'll be seeing them on St. Joseph Island.We hope to see you there.

Go North Music Festival Band Spotlight: Shred Kelly

If you haven't made plans for next weekend, now's the time! Tickets for the Go North Music Festival on St. Joseph Island, Ontario are only $40 ($15 for attendees ages 13-18) until the day of the festival. Wait for the gate on Sat., Jul. 14 and they're $50. Still a bargain for a great line-up of artists that includes Shred Kelly.

Over the years, some bands have become really special to us, and Shred Kelly is one of them. We discovered them in late 2011 at Windsor's Phog Lounge, and fell in love forever with their folk on steroids, fueled by Tim Newton's blistering banjo. They've delivered some of our most memorable shows, like NXNE 2014 at the Dakota Tavern, regularly appeared on our top show lists, and played at our wedding in Trinity Bellwoods in 2013.

Perhaps best known for their anthem "I Hate Work," we're also in love with their newest album, Archipelago. It's their most mature work to date, and really shows, and showcases, how far these shredders from the slopes of Fernie, B.C. have come.