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When an artist gains a certain level of fame and respect, they have the opportunity to act as a gateway band for bands with less infrastructure. How many punk rockers first band was Green Day in grade school? This gives us music lovers the excuse to listen to more new and amazing Canadian music. Every act we love can lead us to new amazing artists. That is, I know that new things can be scary, but there are a few parallels between some of your old favorites and new Canadian music. In no way am I trying to take away from the amazing originality of these talented artists by saying that they stole their style. In fact, through the process of interviewing hundreds of artists I have realized that many musicians do not even realize whom they sound like until someone brings it up. Please feel free to add other relevant pairings or disagree with me in the comment section.
Ben Caplan – Tom Waits
Probably my favorite current Canadian Musician. Caplan is very close to Tom Waits in many ways. He is relaxed and very comedic on stage. Waits was also a grinder, he never stopped working and although he is a living legend, he deserves a far wider audience. Their most obvious parallel is their musical composition and a voice that makes a rock slide seem smooth. Both Waits and Caplan tend towards a combination of Jazz and Eastern European phrasing.
The Pack AD – The White Stripes
The first time I heard The Pack AD I actually thought it was a new White Stripes single. Unbeknownst to me it was actually two insanely talented women from Vancouver. Paired down Blues-Rock is hard to do well. They actually recorded one of their albums with one of Jack White’s producers in an abandoned chicken factory in Detroit. Both bands also have certain air of mystery and drama to them, which somehow makes their music all the more enjoyable.
Little Foot Long Foot – Joan Jett
Put simply, both these bands make simple punch you in the face rock and roll. There are, unfortunately, not many women in Rock and Roll who can really make your jaw drop. These are two bands that contain this mythical element. Also both of the amazing front women of these bands are named Joan. These groups both draw from a very specific area of Classic Rock.
Revival – Led Zeppelin
A high-powered heavy group out of Manitoba, Revival is pure stadium Rock. The first time I saw Revival I actually remarked on how their sound reminded me of a modern version of Zepplin, as the bassist kept switching over to a synth. Just after which, seemingly on queue, they played an amazing cover of ‘The Ocean’. On a sad note their drummer actually died several years ago. Their lead singer Galen Hogg also has a hell of a range and long blond hair. Let’s just hope he doesn’t leave the group to start a country career.
Jumple – Gogol Bordello
Jumple actually refers to them selves as Toronto’s Gogol Bordello. Of course, even if they had not proclaimed themselves as such, how often do you encounter a gypsy punk band. These guys are also Serbian with a slight American influence. They also dress up in garish costumes and perform in the classic over the top absurdist manner. Another hilarious parallel is that both bands lead singers are mustachioed named Eugene.
SC Mira - Enya
Give her a listen, you will instantly understand. A songstress from Winnipeg, SC Mira’s voice is angelic yet jagged. Her vocal control is intensely awe-inspiring.
Earth’s Yellow Sun – Dream Theatre
Only a combination of the finest musicians and the biggest nerds ever EYS are Toronto’s best purveyors of Progressive Rock.
Steve Marriner – Muddy Waters
Old school Electric Blues from Ottawa. Steve may very well be the best harp player to come out of the Canadian blues scene in years. Muddy is a huge influence of his.
The Stanfields – Flogging Molly
When it comes to Celtic Rock both of these bands are simply of the finest caliber.
Tia Brazda – Billy Holliday
Tia will make you believe that she is a time traveller from the 1930’s, come to make hot jazz cool again.
The Dead South – Trampled By Turtles
Both of these bands play high energy, up-tempo New Grass. The Dead South put a similar form of flare and dramatic composition into their songs.
Article by: Gideon Greenbaum-Shinder
Edited by Jesse Kline