photos & words by Andrew Mazurak

Sunday afternoon’s Songwriters’ Circle was perhaps the best thing to catch this past weekend, with Randy Bachman leading some of Canada’s best “young” talent in a Folk Fest style merry-go-round.

The first round saw Bachman get the old timer’s wigglin’ in their seats. Winnipeg’s own Matt Epp had the crowd laughing with a unique proposal story and theme of his first song and kept the charm flowing while joking with Bachman and Shad the whole time. Renowned wordsworth Shad was up next with an even longer story and beat-backed first attempt that didn’t really go over well in this acoustic setting. In a wise decision, he laid down a few verses acapella for his second song and reclaimed hip-hop’s rightful place as an appropriate canvas for gifted songwriting. The kid blew suburban minds; Bachman was speechless. July Talk felt like their feet were nailed to the floor as the two isolated leads went without their rowdy backing band for a couple songs that they just then realized were much more depressing in this striped down state. Needless to say they were fantastic though no one that afternoon truly witnessed July Talk live in concert.

The second round was a little less varied. Bachman again took the cue and pleased the crowed with ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’, which had all the white hairs grinding those hundred year old seats until the threads started poppin’. LeE HARVeY OsMOND was obviously a gem. He growled and bellowed. He talked up Hamilton like his sweet lady love while (probably) taking a crack at Little Miss Higgins. He gloated about his son’s band like one proud fucking father should. What a stud. Winnipeg’s Little Miss Higgins belted away without her Winnipeg Five. Charmed the crowd. Plucked her strings with them crisp nimble fingers. Sounded absolutely fantastic. And The Sadies capped off the second group with a couple loud tracks from their newest album and proved why their band has been going strong for two decades.