Bare Bones and Up Front with Meredith Shaw and Patrick Ballantyne

On Wednesday night the Indie Music Series Bare Bones and Up Front presented by The Toronto Centre For The Arts showcased the wonderful talent of Meredith Shaw and Patrick Ballantyne.

The concept for the showcases is a fantastic idea, and really lets the artists reach out to the audience more than they would normally be able to. Tonight Meredith and Patrick shared a quite a bit about their history together as song writing partners and even let us in on a few stories about their songs, Patrick definitely took sole advantage of the storytelling aspect. They shared quite a few details about their songs that I would have never guessed or probably would have heard anywhere else.

The night was broken up into two sets with each set lasting around 45 minutes each. The original theory was going to be Meredith was going to play a set then Patrick was going to close out the night, but they decided to rotate songs instead which worked out great as we really got in depth stories about the songs which they wrote together and songs that they collaborated on together for other musicians.

Playing lead guitar and backing vocals for Meredith Shaw was Kori Kameda. Kori also assisted Patrick during a couple of songs providing backing acoustics and vocals.

Meredith quickly filled the room tonight with laughter and stunning vocals as she played us selected songs from her set of “Tringles” and A Place Called Happy. The placement and arrangement of the studio room in which the Bare Bones and Up Front show took place really decorated Meredith’s thriving vocals whether she was singing her own Pop songs or joining Patrick on a country song. It was great to hear some of the small tidbits of information about the history in a couple of her songs especially with one of my favourite songs “Little Fishy”.  After watching and listening to Meredith and Kori perform their songs acoustically tonight, this really begs the question of putting pressure on Meredith to release an acoustic album. “Trouble” was another song that really stood out and sounded fantastic acoustically performed tonight, and we also got to hear a bit a bit of insight of what went into the lyric video as well. Another little gem that we got to hear was “Call It A Night” where the ending of the song with the compacted lyrics really makes and completes the song.

Patrick was the definite story teller of the night with some of the stories almost lasting longer than the actual song, but he did give a really good insight into his songs and song writing. I also had absolutely no idea that he has worked alongside and has co-written some of my favourite Canadian songs of all time even including “All Hell For A Basement”. While writing songs for Meredith and Gordie Johnson as well as others tonight Patrick displayed his personal prolific song writing playing us songs off his self titled release and his soon to be released album, with the common timeline being “Four Months”. His song selection started off a little slower compared to the songs that he played nearing the end of the night more of focusing on the folk side of his songs. “I Want You Now” was one of my favourite songs from earlier on in his set.

One of the biggest surprise songs for the night especially for me was when Patrick started to talk about the song “Beat This Heart” which was written over using Skype and Meredith jokingly talked about how it should have been her song, and how Tim Chaisson brings up the song live in concert before Meredith sings backing vocals on the song.  Instantly the audience was right into the song when Patrick started to play the highly recognizable opening riff to the song.

Now there are a couple more weeks left to this amazing concert series that you are able to attend, here is the link for you to check out the remaining shows.
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