I had the pleasure of seeing Mattie Leon, a local folk artist on Saturday night. He played a show at the Drake Underground alongside a few other folk artists, namely Brooklyn Doran and Limestone Chorus, both from the GTA. It was truly refreshing to see that folk music is still alive and well in the city of Toronto.
The opening bands, Brooklyn Doran and Limestone Chorus, were both fantastic. I really enjoyed the set by Brooklyn Doran, as she had a rich and beautiful sound. She also took the time at the beginning of each song to describe to the audience what circumstances in her life compelled her to write each of her songs. I liked that she shared with the audience what she was going through in her life when she wrote those songs and it was refreshing for an artist to share those hardships openly with an audience of strangers. Limestone Chorus was made up of five men, who really harmonized well. I love that they incorporate the Cello into their music, it added a great classical flair to their folk music, which I absolutely enjoyed.
Mattie Leon opened his set with what is arguably my favourite song by him called "Boy", which to my surprise sounded even better live. It is one of the songs off his new record, Signal Hill, which was released last November. If you haven't heard it, I'd advise that you check it out on Apple Music or Spotify. Alongside Mattie's serene melodies, he has a voice that makes his music seem effortless. Mattie told me after the show that the drummer, his brother, was battling the flu that day and their bass player, Nelson, had surgery just two day's after to repair a torn bicep. I have to say, if he hadn't told us that info up front, I would never have known, as the show was still amazing.
Every one of the songs they played had such super catchy rifts that you couldn’t help but fall in love with. My favourite song of the night was "Bowery" which had a video projected behind him in the background, featuring a breakup scene. It was a great touch and really enhanced the overall mood of the song and conveyed the confusion, anger and emotion that a breakup song speaks to. You can listen and watch the video he played here.
Mattie has a few shows coming up that you should definitely check out!
March 3 - Orillia - The Brownstone
March 10 - Guelph - GAIN Music and Arts Festival - DSTRCT
March 11 - Hamilton - Collective Arts Brewing
March 23 - Thornbury - Bruce Wine Bar
March 30 - Windsor - Phog Lounge
March 31 - Sarnia - Refined Fool Brewing
April 21 - Collingwood - The Crow