Kingston Live Rundown: Episode 11

By Tianna Edwards

Kingston Liveis a monthly podcast that offers up behind-the-scenes insight into the Kingston music scene. If you’re looking to learn more about the city’s emerging artists and where to see them play live, you’ll find it here! If you’re a resident music lover or visitor looking for the inside scoop on Kingston’s local music scene, it’s a perfect fit for you, too.

Johnny and Riley start the episode with 18-year-old Abby Stewart who was recently featured in the YGK Emerging Artists as one of the six finalists (you can learn more about that competition in the ninth podcast). Then they sit down with the members of the Albert Street Crew – Lucas, Ryan, Dan and Phil. They are considered trailblazers in the category of Kingston House Concerts – if you’re not familiar – you’ll find out why in their interview. The podcast closes with a chat with Dan Mangan, a two-time JUNO award-winning and two-time Polaris Music Prize listed musician and songwriter. Dan has a show coming up at the Grand Theatre with Ocean Potion on November 25, 2019.

Abby Stewart shares her experience as a country music singer, how Taylor Swift influenced her to pick that genre, and what she loves about country music. The three discuss the evolution of country music and how it’s more pop-friendly but also keeps its roots in a traditional band format. Abby also discusses her experience of writing in Nashville and what makes it such an amazing city for music lovers. As a young musician, she also addresses how she gets around performing in bars – note, churches! “As much as I would love to have a Shania Twain story, my parents would never let me sing in bars when I was 10, so… (laughs).” If you’re underage, Abby gives tips for young music lovers to appreciate local artists in Kingston. They cover so much more from what’s next for Abby to her favourite country music festivals, plus listeners are treated to a beautiful performance. 

Lucas, Ryan, Dan and Phil filled a live music void in Kingston by offering up their student house on Albert Street to performers. They hosted bands like Craig Cardiff, Ill Scarlett, HIGHS, Zeus, Half Moon Run, Teenage Kicks, Busty & The Bass, Hollerado, and PUP. They share how they got started, how the shows escalated over time, the hurdles that they overcame (ie, avoiding police intervention), and how the intimacy of a house show elevates the concert-going experience. 

Mid-show, Johnny and Riley follow the tradition of listing every show worth attending in the Kingston area from now through December.

Lastly, Johnny and Riley Skype with Dan Mangan. In addition to five studio albums, he’s written music for multiple films and TV series and contributed articles to several international publications. He recently started Side Door, an online platform to facilitate booking small shows in alternative venues and connect hosts with musicians looking to play. Dan discusses why he started the project which launched in February, which he refers to as “An Airbnb for gigs.” Dan explains, “The metrics of touring is hard and this platform allows for any sort of artists to connect in intimate spaces with people in various communities. Not just in major cities.” Dan shares his unique perspective as the co-creator of the site as well as a performer using the technology. To tie in perfectly with their interview with the Albert Street podcast earlier in the podcast, Dan compares his experience of performing in venues like The Grand to performing in more intimate spaces like house parties.

Look out for new podcasts every month to stay up to date on the Kingston music scene! The Kingston Live podcast is syndicated to all major podcast platforms. Find them wherever you get your podcasts and make sure to subscribe: Soundcloud, Spotify, iTunes, TuneIn and Stitcher. They also air on Wolfe Island Radio on Tuesday and Thursdays! You can also follow them on InstagramMissed episode 10? Catch the recap here