The second Winter Blues Festival warms up Brantford, Ontario

The Healers

By Carey Langsner, Rock At Night Ontario Correspondent

Venue: Club NV, Brantford, Ontario–February 25, 2017

The second annual “Winter Blues Festival” was organized by The Darren Ross Agency at Club NV in Brantford, Ontario on February 25, 2017.
Jace Martin

The Darren Ross Agency was founded by Jace Martin in January 2015, and is named after his late brother Darren and grandfather Ross. With over 20 years in the entertainment industry as producer, writer, performer, promoter, Jace has taken his knowledge and is applying it to this new company. By 2017 the Roster of artists includes JUNO Winners, Derek Miller, Crystal Shawanda, Murray Porter as well as CCMA Winner, Shane Yellowbird & Guitar Player “Top 50 Guitarist of All Time”, Stevie Salas, and Billboard “Top 40′′ Recording Artist Jace Martin. The Roster of Emerging Includes: Mimi O’Bonsawin, James Alphonse, Rob Lamothe, Missy Knott, AK Mcleod Blues Band & Leah Belle.

The Bad Guys

The Bad Guys (Dan Porter-vocals, Clayton Jesse Porter-guitar and Evan Williams-Drums) opened the evening with their big guitar sounds and hard drum beat. Tonight, the Bad Guys had a special guest, Lacey Hill, playing on Bass and singing both back up and lead vocals. After the Bad Guys was Alexander Kenneth McLeod, or as he is more commonly known A.K. McLeod. A.K. is a blues and rock guitar player, singer originally from Moose Factory Ontario (on the southern shores of Hudson’s Bay) he now makes the Six Nations Reserve his home.

AK McLeod

Tonight A.K. McLeod performed songs from his latest CD, “You Better Mean It”. This album has the perfect combination of good old Blues mixed in with Rock & Roll. His performance is not only a pleasure to listen to it is also great to watch. With his

eyes closed, body curled around his guitar and arching his back on the long notes you could tell that A.K. gets totally into his music like so many other great Blues guitar players before him.
The Healers

The Healers took to the stage after A. K. McLeod. They are a four-piece band from Six Nations of the Grand River consisting of; Randy Miller-Vocals/Guitar, Carter Bomberry-Vocals/Guitar, Jason Miller-Bass, Frank Miller-Drums. Throughout their set the played everything from AC/DC to ZZ Top. A little Bruno Mars thrown in, for the younger members of the audience near the end of their set caused a flood of dancers onto the dance floor.

Last to hit the stage for the evening was Jace Martin and his band. Performing songs from his CD’s as well as a couple of cover songs like “Some Kind of Wonderful” by John Ellison, Mr Martin had the crown on their feet dancing and singing along through out his set. The large crowd of fans went crazy with a loud round of cheers when part way through his set Mr Martin announced that the next song was “Free to Fly”, from his third album “Mighty”. “Free To Fly” debuted in January 2017 at #35 on the USA Mainstream Billboard “Top 40′′ Radio Chart right behind Lady Gaga’s “Millions Reasons”. Becoming his first Top 40 Hit Song & the first Top 40 released by Darren Ross Agency.
This year, like last year’s, Winter Blues Festival was a huge success with an evening of great music. I would like to that Jace Martin and The Darren Ross Agency for the invitation to cover this evening. I look forward to the third edition of this annual event.

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