Thursday, January 2, 2014

Monkley Cascade + Motown Lovers + Venue = Party

Over the past two weeks I've had two doses of Monkley Cascade's motown music. The first time was at the Baltimore House, where my first impression was generally good. The band turned up the heat a few notches on what was a very chilly night, and kept everyone on their dancing feet. Subbing in on bass was Olivia Brown.

My next chance to hear the band was at the Casbah last Saturday, January 4th. My opinion of the band was now settling in as, "very good." The groove was solid, the musicians were relaxed and looked comfortable on stage, the performance was polished. When combined with the solid sound mix it made for a very exciting experience. The enthusiastic crowd was on their feet and dancing from the first tune.

What's unique about this band? It's named after a local waterfall. (See the endnote) **

Singer in red dress, bass player and sax player
Emily Kemp, Olivia Brown, Andrew King at the Baltimore House
Andrew King, Emily Kemp, Eric Minden, Justin Sauson at The Casbah

The band will be returning performing during Art Crawl on April 11, 2014. They also had the experience of performing at Ribfest in Burlington last summer. 

Here is Monkley Cascade's current lineup:

Emily Kemp - Vocals
Andrew King - Sax, Vocals
Michelle Willis - Keys, Vocals
Scott McIntosh - Guitar
Justin Sauson - Bass
Eric Minden - Drums, Vocals

Originally Will Seaborn, Andrea Unrau (keys, vocals), and Eric Minden had the idea to form the group and brought in Andrew King and Scott McIntosh. Emily Kemp was found soon after to take over lead vocals. Will and Andrea moved out to Western Canada to pursue animation and musical careers respectively in September of 2012. Michelle Willis and Justin Sauson were added to replace them.

Andrew King, Emily Kemp
Photos: Glen Brown
Of the current lineup, 3 of 6 have graduated from Mohawk's Jazz program - Emily, Scott and Justin. Andrew took a year of Jazz at Humber before turning to scientific pursuits at McMaster University. Eric is a Commerce graduate from McMaster but was involved in Jazz and Musical Theatre while there. Michelle Willis was also a Humber music student.

About the Monkley Cascade Waterfall

** From Hwy 403 take the Lincoln Alexander Parkway exit to Dartnall Rd. and head south past Stone Church Road. Turn left into the Billy Monkley Bird Sanctuary parking lot. Follow the trail at the south east end of the parking lot. Where the trail turns east (left) and downhill, look for a narrow path or listen for the waterfall, then take the trail to the creek and waterfall.

Let the music flow!


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