Picture this: hot summer night; ice cold beer; lakeside in beautiful Muskoka, Ontario; great country music. That was the scene on Saturday night when Chad Brownlee set The Kee To Bala on fire! Yet another SOLD OUT concert presented by Cabin Media. You couldn’t ask for a better, or more appropriate setting than to be in the country and watching live country music. The bill was Chad Brownlee, with Ty Baynton and Jason Weinberg and The Kee was absolutely jam packed. It was crazy hot inside, and it was one amazing summer night of country.
Kicking off the show was Jason Weinberg. Like many of the attendees, Jason cottages in the area so I’m sure this felt like home to him. Accompanied by a barefoot Stuart Weinberg on guitar, they played a great acoustic set that immediately captured the crowd and got them singing along to some great tunes such as Rain Is A Good Thing, and Chicken Fried. It was a fun way to start the night off. The guys just looked like they were having fun up there and that came out in their music. Well done. Watch for Jason this coming long weekend when he performs July 2 at The Coffee Station in Gravenhurst and then on July 15at Boston Pizza on the Gravenhurst Wharf. He can be booked at email@example.com
After a super quick change-over, Ty Baynton took over the Kee stage and delivered a really strong set. The Canadian Country Boy, with a full band on stage now, definitely ratcheted up the volume and the heat. Ty has a great sound and was rocking this brand new custom guitar from Cithara Guitars. I play a little guitar myself, and let me say, this is one sexy instrument. The set list was a great mix of songs, like Old Small Town, and How Country Feels but I must say, a highlight for me was when they pulled out Three Doors Down Kryptonite and ripped it Ty Baynton style. I mean, who does that at a country show? Man, that was amazing and something you wouldn’t expect a country band to play, but it totally worked and the crowd freaking loved it. I loved it! Party mode was now fully engaged (as if it needed any more incentive).
Again, Baynton and the boys are a group of musicians who were having fun and feeding off the energy of the crowd. Ty is no stranger to the stage and really provides a great live performance. I had a chance to chat with Ty briefly before his show and he was pretty excited and looking forward to a great crowd and a great night. Well, thanks in part to his music, it was indeed a great night. Look for Ty at these upcoming shows: Hagersville Rocks and The Exeter Rodeo later in July and early August. And, we hear that he’s currently in the studio making some new music! Can’t wait!
And finally, the night capped off with British Columbia’s Chad Brownlee. This was just another notch up in energy from the crowd and from Chad’s set of music. When he asked “Where The Party At?” he was answered in unison by the sold out crowd. Chad brought out all the goodies as far as song selection, Fallin Over You, Hearts On Fire, and his newest single (a song I think just might be one of if not his best) I Hate You For It. That last one is getting lots of radio airplay and it’s no wonder. Killer tune. The MDM Recordings artist knows how to get the best from the night and give the best to his audience.
Chad’s band were an absolute photographer’s dream. They were awesome. Tons of movement and facial expressions. His bass player, Greg Carroll may well be one of the most animated musicians I’ve seen and, as one fan mentioned to me during Saturday’s show “he is almost a show on his own”. I had to agree. I love when band members use the full stage, and team up in pairs and threes to give an added dimension to the performance. It provides an even better experience for the fans. Thumbs up from me for this.
When Brownlee closed out his main set, there was no way anyone in the crowd was having any part of it. They definitely wanted more and cheered and yelled until they got more. Chad came back out solo and started off what would be a long encore with a medley of Thinking Out Loud and Thomas Rhett’s Die A Happy Man. Then the rest of the band came back out to join Chad for a few more songs including Tom Petty’s Free Falling and Chad’s When The Lights Go Down closed out the night. His album release, Hearts On Fire is a really solid offering from Chad. The title track and the aforementioned Hate You… have some definite staying power. Go to iTunes and grab your copy now. Chad has some upcoming shows, mostly in western Canada starting with Dauphine’s Countryfest on Canada Day then Craven Country Jamboree on July 14. He will be working his way further west for a bunch of shows and then back east by Aug 18 to play Ontario again at the Havelock Country Jamboree. So get ready Ontario! More Chad Brownlee is on the way.
I must also say, that after all these many years of shows being performed at The Kee, this is the first time I have photographed there. The sound was great but the lighting was surprisingly good. In fact, it was superior for this show Saturday night than I’ve seen in many of the big concert bars and theatres in Toronto. No kidding. The stage is expansive, albeit extremely high. I mean it’s got to be 7 feet off the floor. Certainly unique as far as concert venues go, and quite a gem in my mind. Where else can you travel to a concert by boat? Loved being there to cover this.
We would like to thank Chad Brownie’s team and Cabin Media for having us out to this awesome summer show.
Scott Burns / Scott Burns Images / Sound Check Entertainment