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Its Always a Good Time With Jon Rae and The River

The whole world knows about Jon Rae. Just type his name into Google, and pages upon pages of hits come up. What you may not know, unless you've been to one of his shows, is that he's not the only one in the band. Far from it in fact.

After spending an entire day sitting around at MTV Canada, Jon Rae and The River (all seven of them) sat down with me in the back room at Ronnie's Local 69 to do something unprecedented: conduct the first interview with all the members of the band.

Jon Rae Fletcher, or just Jon Rae; has been playing music his entire life. A transplant from Vancouver (this seems to be becoming a theme), he formed The River with old time friends and bandmates Anne (vocals) and Ian (bass) in 2003. Paul (guitar) came on board next, followed by Jonathan (Keyboard), Mike (Keyboards, and accordion!), and the newest recruit Dave (drums).

The band, big as it is, works together so well. Throughout our interview, it was clear that this large group is a group of friends more than anything else. It shows in the music too, as their soulful blend of folk, blues and rock has been featured on the CBC Radio 3 Podcast twice, and all over the internet, radio, and now TV.

Lots of laughter and friendly stabs were thrown out. Many of the members play together in other bands as well, including The Deep Kisses, Lullabye Archestra, Rosatia, Denolo, Death and Taxes and LSDoubleD Cup. [As an interesting side note, all members (save Mike) would get it on with Bif Naked if no one was to ever find out about it.]

The band just came off playing a hugely successful New Year's show at Lee's Palace. "It was like a party on stage, playing with so many friends" says Jonathan. Those friends being The Constantines, The Deep Kisses, Lullabye Archestra, and Horsey Craze.

There are big plans in the works for the band. They will be playing on January 26th at Nathan Phillips Square as part of the Winter City Festival, and embarking on a cross-Canada tour with The Constantines in March. The summer will see their latest album Jon-Rae and the River Knows What You Need likely picked up down south, sending them to the US to tour.

Its nice to see a great group of people work so well together, not only as musicians, but as friends. Be sure to drop by the Square to see the show on the 26th, and keep and eye open for them on tour. And bring your dancin' shoes. Just keep them away from Bif Naked.


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