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Awakening to Single Malt Sunrise

This weekend I took a trip down Ryerson alumni memory lane with a visit to the wood-panelled haven that is Reilly's Bar & Grill. The 3rd floor has welcomed an endless sea of young bands to perform there (god, I've even performed there myself) and as such is a pretty interesting place to be if you want to catch a glimpse of groups just beginning to make a name for themselves.

For one reason or another, I hadn't been down in a couple years, but returned on Saturday to catch Single Malt Sunrise in action.

Admittedly, I didn't come across Single Malt Sunrise through any grand grapevine connection or insider recommendation. I just happen to have known the lead singer, InĂŞs Ribeiro, since she was 6 and when she e-mailed me to tell me that not only was she fronting a band but she was heading home to Toronto (from Montreal) for a gig, I just had to see it with my own eyes.

Not knowing what to expect and probably expecting something a bit amateur, I was veritably shocked when it turned out I was not seeing some other emo-incarnation, but some well-developed southern blues/roots music.

[ VIDEO CLIP ] (Quicktime)

Now, I love roots music -- as my flimsy cd towers will attest to -- but the rest of the all-ages audience consisting mostly of rockers and ska fans (there for earlier bands) might not have had that much previous appreciation. That is, until SMS took to the stage and had them dancing in minutes.

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Song after song, what really struck me was that for such young musicians, each member had some mature talent to show off. Quick fingered blues lead guitar (that threatened to have girls throwing themselves on stage), capable bass (which at one point is traded for a banjo), wild improvisational keys (which often went hammond organ style), and more than a 3-piece drum kit to say the least... oh, and everyone's favourite: cowbell. YES!

Looking forward to April when their univ semester is up and Single Malt Sunrise return to T.O.


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