Staying connected: The Glorious Sons

By Andrea Gunn

Nominees for Group of the Year at the 2021 JUNO Awards

It’s really fitting that Kingston band The Glorious Sons are nominated for Group of the Year at the 2021 JUNO Awards. Because while their North American tour to promote their last album, “A War on Everything,” was cut short in March 2020, the band has been actively connecting with their fans over the past year, getting them through a year without live concerts by releasing recordings of their last live shows. There’s a double CD featuring recordings from the shortened 2020 tour and a four-disc set from their sold-out Kingston show in September 2019.

When a band comes to Kingston to play, says singer Brett Emmons, “there’s a buzz on the streets before the show. Whether it’s Elton John or The Hip about to play, there’s a certain bustle to the city. For both of our big hometown shows [at the Leon’s Centre in 2018 and Richardson Stadium in 2019] I could feel that buzz, and I’d only ever experienced that from the outside.”

The buzz of that last hometown show, playing in front of 14,000 fans, was captured in the album “Our Little Piece of Work: Live at Richardson Stadium.” Released in November 2020, the live album gives listeners the auditory experience of a live Glorious Sons show, to tide fans over until the band tours again.

The band has stayed connected with fans in other ways over the last year, releasing limited edition posters as well as hockey jerseys. They also created their own app, TGS Union. Through the app, you can buy merch, stream music, and even get the chance to join an XBOX livestream with members of the band (they’re big fans of the game NHL 21).

While COVID shut down their 2020 tour, The Glorious Sons haven’t been idle this past year.

“We’ve got about thirty unreleased songs,” says Brett. “I’m really excited about the new stuff that we’ve written. It’s a bit of a callback to “The Union” [their 2014 debut album] but there’s a little more sophistication and thought to it.”

“We’d also been working with a producer for the last two albums,” Brett continues. “So we decided to just shoot from the hip and plug in and play. I think we’ve got a really energetic, special batch of songs out of that.” In late May, they released two of those new tracks, “Young King” and “Daylight.” Stay tuned for more.

And at the end of this year, The Glorious Sons have some unfinished business to attend to. Their tour to promote “A War on Everything”, cut short in March 2020, picks up again in December. It’s now called “The Unfinished Business” tour.

“The Union” also gave its name to a Kingston restaurant. Brett’s brother Jay Emmons, who plays guitar for The Glorious Sons, is a co-owner of The Union Kitchen + Cocktails on Princess Street.

When asked to name their favourite Kingston hang-out, both Emmons brothers agree on The Iron Duke: they miss watching football with friends there over beer and wings.

The Glorious Sons are one of five bands nominated for Group of the Year at the 2021 JUNOS. The band was nominated for its album “The Union” for Rock Album of the Year in 2015; they won Rock Album of the Year in 2018 for “Young Beauties and Fools” and in 2020, for “A War on Everything.”

The JUNO Awards will be broadcast on Sunday, June 6 at 8pm on all CBC platforms:

JUNO’s poster in support of Joe’s M.I.L.L. 

Joe’s M.I.L.L. is a registered charity in Kingston, Ontario founded by musician, Wally High, in memory of his friend and band member, the late Joe Chithalen, who was a talented bass player in several well-known Kingston bands. Joe’s M.I.L.L. operates in tribute to Joe’s love of music, so that anyone who wants to can enjoy playing music as much as he did.

All proceeds from sales of the poster will go to support Joe’s M.I.L.L.