This Juno award-winning band may be making it big, but they're ringing in the new year with a small town feel.
The Arkells, a five year old band from Hamilton, Ontario, are scheduled as the headlining band at Barrie's 14th annual Downtown Countdown. The city hosts this free concert in the heart of downtown Barrie, mainly promoting local bands and always throwing in a few star performers. Past headliners have been Blue Rodeo, Bedouin Soundclash, and the Trews (just to name a few).
The Arkells have opened for many big names such as Sam Roberts, Tragically Hip, and Them Crooked Vultures and are amazed to find themselves switching places from opening act to headlining act. Their first album, Jackson Square, was released in 2008 and resulted in two awards: a CASBY award from Toronto's 102.1 The Edge and, in 2010, a Juno award for New Group of the Year. Their second album, entitled Michigan Left, was released October 18 of this year and thus far has been quite the success. If you have yet to discover this band, check out "Ballad of Hugo Chavez" or "Whistleblower" (two of my personal favourites).
The band is looking forward to the performance and are excited to have their Hamilton friends, San Sebastian, as an opening act. Keep an ear out for this fantastic band in your town, as their Canadian winter tour kicks off January 14 in Niagara-on-the-Lake.