I had the good fortune to attend the Canadian Blast BBQ outdoor show on Wednesday March 18th at SXSW 2015 recently and what a show it was!

I arrived during sound-check and while scoping out areas for my equipment I couldn’t help but be astounded by the quality of both the vocals and guitar wizardry of The Bros. Landreth. I knew precisely nil about this group, and next to that about Canadian music in general.

It’s rare, even in music-sodden Austin, for a band to put on such a show during sound-check that makes me want to buy the album, but this Manitoba-based quartet certainly accomplished just that. Maybe it’s the sublime blend of bluesy gospel melodies with their dulcet voices that got me.

the bros. landreth sxsw 2015 canadian blast bbq
The Bros. Landreth

The next group to make their way on stage was The Wet Secrets and I immediately felt underdressed as they were all sporting marching band outfits like something Captain Kangaroo might have preferred. I had a running bet with one of the bartenders about which of the band members would succumb to the heat inside the festival tent while wearing those things. But, to their credit, none did, and they put on a hell of a performance.

the wet secrets sxsw 2015 canadian blast bbq and showcase
The Wet Secrets

To continue the theme of having no apparent theme was the punk band Single Mothers. These guys were angry. I figured it was attributable to the heat, or the fact that they weren’t actually scheduled to play that day and thus only had ten minutes to prepare. Whatever the cause, they stormed the venue and violently bashed us all out of our brisket and beer-soaked reverie. Dodging the lead singer Drew’s saliva and Molsen torrents was no easy task. I also made the rookie mistake of standing directly in front of a speaker stack during one particularly blistering song that left my ears ringing for several hours afterwards.

single mothers at canadian blast bbq and showcase sxsw 2015
Single Mothers

It was a fantastic show, and I now have several new favorite bands, to include the Franklin Electric, a Montreal group that had mouths (mine included) hanging open in stunned awe during hits like “Strongest Man Alive”.

(photos by Josh McBride)

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