Saturday, February 28, 2009

Day 2: Urban Vibes to Music NB

The Roots Room at the Pepsi Centre was pleasantly filled as a crowd of a dozen or so younger folk danced to the reggae/ska sounds of The Idlers. The 10-member band won't be held back by their sheer size, instead they've excelled with plans to follow up their 2008 Canadian tour with another in 2009.



Afterward, I made a brief stop over at Greenwood Hotel, where I had some great conversations with Joe Buck, Adam Gould of Broken Coast, James Boyle of Forward Music Group, Lynn D & Chris of Chris Colepaugh and a young up & coming artist located in Corner Brook named Natalie Tella.

Hunger soon prevailed, as I caught a cab back to the pad where Nayles was still putting together flyers for his printing & pressing business. I cooked us up a hearty supper of fries, hot dogs and tomatoes. The moose meat steaks are in the fridge defrosting for tomorrow. Nayles and Clutch still hadn't slept yet and were into the beers, so there were some funny conversations.

Since it was day 2 of the ECMAs and a Friday evening, I decided it was time to let loose and party a bit. I was late heading out and missed out on my plans to see Carmen Townsend and Christina Martin, so I headed straight to the African Nova Scotia Music Association (ANSMA) Black Vibes stage. As has always been the case, I was greeted with open arms and friendly smiles.

Nadira softened up the crowd with the R&B sound that won her the 2008 ANSMA Rising Star Award. She seemed excited to be performing, which proved infectious, and her last track enticed people onto the dance floor.


The man, the myth, the legend, R$ $mooth made the trek to Corner Brook to DJ the event. He's always full of surprises when he "gets jiggy with it".

Finally, the first official rap act of the ECMAs took to the stage. Hellafactz was born in Massachusetts, is a self-proclaimed hip-hop activist with the goal of promoting positivity and has recorded with KRS-One and Edo G. Fresh off winning the 2008 ANSMA Upcoming Youth Award, he started off slow, but progressively increased the vibe. 'No Qwestion' was a touching dedication to his daughter. R$ $mooth surprised the crowd by taking to the mic on the reggae-laden 'All We Can Do'. In between, he showcased a nice upbeat track reminiscent of Left Eyes 'The Block Party'.


The east coast king of soul, Dutch Robinson, used his smooth ballads to win over all the hearts of all the ladies in Corner Brook, and impress the fellas too. This ECMA award winner is a legend, drawing increased fame from his brief stint with the Ohio Players back in the day.


The half hour wait to get into Whelan's Gate yielded performances from some of New Brunswick's finest. As The Divorcees took to the stage, the crowd was piling up just outside the dance floor. After three songs of their boot kickin country, the flood gates burst to fill the floor with teams of Corner Brook fans. New Brunswick's finest fiddler, Samantha Robichaud joined the Divorcees to up the level, and had guys in life jackets rocking out.




If I could take one item back with me from the ECMAs, it would be one of the big ECMA cut out moose used to promote the weekend. While mentioning this to a fan in the crowd, she quickly made it clear that her grade one class at C.C. Loughlin had painted them. I'll try my best to get some pictures (or maybe take one back)!

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