NQ Arbuckle @ Horseshoe Tavern

. : : March 20th, 2013 : : .

A few of you know the reason why this blog has seen so few entries in 2013, but for those of you who may not, I welcomed a healthy, happy, beautiful baby boy into my family in mid-March.

A scant week after his birth was a special Canadian Music Week showcase put together in partnership with Americana Music Association and Six Shooter Records. I’ve had amazing luck with Six Shooter Records run showcases, discovering some of my favourite artists today through the collaborations and performances at these events, including Kathleen Edwards and Whitehorse.

So when I heard about this year’s showcase, I made the difficult decision to leave my newborn in the care of his mother and grandma for a few hours and head out to the Horseshoe Tavern to enjoy performances from some new and old favourites.

First on board was a band whose name should be familiar to all Toronto area roots music fans, but one that I hadn’t had a chance to become acquainted with, NQ Arbuckle. Two years previous, Katie aka Super Flash Photo recommended them, and based on her phenomenal taste in music, I knew I had to get there early and catch every note.

I knew I was in for an entertaining show before a single chord was struck: front man Neville Quinlan stood up to his mic and deadpanned that they wouldn’t start until the room was silent. Once something approaching quiet was reached, tongue planned firmly in check, he recited a prayer, as if leading a sermon.

A front man with great comedic timing can make a mediocre band enjoyable, but when it’s a great band? Well, that’s something special. And a special performance it was. I was captivated from top to bottom – – a highly unusual feat for a band with a full 45-minute set with whom I’m wholly unfamiliar with.

Well, maybe not wholly unfamiliar: a familiar face graced the stage that night. Unbeknownst to me, the aforementioned Kathleen Edwards has been borrowing NQ Arbuckle’s bassist, John Dinsmore, all these years. His performance was just as confidently casual as ever, in spite of being plagued with technical problems throughout the night.

Listening back to the recording, I’m excited to be reminded there wasn’t a dull track among them. This was a fantastic set that is mandatory listening for roots / Americana fans, and the highlight of the night. Give this one a listen.

01. [introduction]
02. Huntsville Affair
03. [banter]
04. Postcard From Princess
05. [banter]
06. Cheap Town
07. [banter]
08. Officer Down
09. [banter]
10. Don’t Remember Me
11. [banter]
12. I Liked You Right From The Start
13. Punk Rocker
14. [banter]
15. Sky Dive Home
16. [banter]
17. Goodnight Irene on New Year’s Eve

info.txt // flac fingerprint ]
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Cheap Town (Live In Toronto) [MP3 sample]

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