Swollen Members - The Family Reunion Tour, Oshawa

September 30, 2018, 9-0-Nickel Entertainment and The Music Hall Concert Theatre brought another great night of music to Oshawa!

The Swollen Members - Family Reunion Tour is sweeping across Canada leaving thrilled fans everywhere. Oshawa was more than happy to have the tour stop in for a night of hip hop that would have fans talking for some time to come. Unfortunately not everyone that was slated made it that evening. It was ok though because the artists that did perform more than made up for it. Everyone hit the stage that night and brought their “A” game. You can never ask for more than that.

DJ TYCO/ Tyler Tyco Collins warmed up the fans spinning some wicked beats as always. Anytime DJ Tyco is on the turntables, you know it’s going to be a good night. To add to a show a good host for the night is essential and it doesn’t get much better than JDON but I say “Fuck That Guy!”. You’ll find him hosting on the mic for all sorts of great hip hop and rap artists around Ontario. The guy is hilarious and knows how to get the crowd rowdy and ready for a show. JDON also known as Jordon Deltor is owner of RAW DOG ENT. and founder of Feed The Streets Canada. This is a guy you can respect and make sure to check out RAW DOG ENT. and Feed The Streets Canada on Facebook, like, share and show the guy some love!

Kicking off the night was Zaze, a local artist from the Eastside of the GTA. Not just an artist but co-founder of 9-0-Nickel Entertainment. Zaze was a great start to what would be a really good night of Hip Hop. He was joined by another local artist, Billy Jones. It was a solid combination and I look forward to seeing them both on stage again. Always good to have an entire night of all Canadian talent. People focus on the U.S. but we have all the best musicians here in the North!

Next up was Alpha Omega, a Canadian rap/ hip hop artist from Victoria, B.C. He was sitting quietly at merch pre-show. Alpha Omega talked with fans off and on but then he hit the stage, came alive and tore it up! I admit to never hearing him before but happy to have been there. This guy has serious skill on the mic. Not only did he give a great solo performance but would later join Prevail on stage during the Swollen Members set. Whether he’s on his own or paired up with someone else, Alpha Omega needs to be seen live. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that he’s headlining his own shows in the future.

That leaves us with the main attraction. The first and last time I had seen Swollen Members was at The Warehouse in downtown Toronto and they were great. Let’s just say that show was a few years ago but I’m talking a high energy, great vibe show from start to finish, easily remembered! You never know how time is going to affect artists, it’s not always pretty. In the case of Swollen Members however, these guys never missed a beat. It was a great surprise to see yet another high energy, killer vibe show from start to finish. They gave the fans all their favourites as well as some freestyle by Prevail along with the Prevail/ Alpha Omega duo and left it all on stage. The fans could not have asked for a better display from Swollen Members!

The Static Shift

Thursday August 30, The Static Shift invaded Oshawa and took over The Music Hall Nightclub & Concert Theatre. Anytime I get the chance to combine music and my photography, it's a great day. It's even better when it's local or Canadian artists. Everyone in attendance was treated to a solid line up of music from start to finish. Thanks to Molson Canadian and 94.9 The Rock for helping bring this night to Oshawa!

 First up for the night was Sarah Fazackerley. She is a local favourite from Whitby, Ontario. I remember the first time seeing her live and she was good then. This girl has done her homework and just keeps getting better each and every time. It's so good to see artists always working on getting better and she definitely has. Sarah also plays a mean Sax, which you don't see too often, this girl has serious talent. She is backed with a good band and they have a really good stage stage presence. They made the show that much better, can't wait to see them again. Go see Sarah live, you won't be disappointed! 

 Next up we had Outshined, another local favourite from Bowmanville, Ontario. They came on and followed up Sarah Fazackerley with a solid set of their own. The band is made up of Brandon Hasting- lead/ rhythm guitar/ vocals. Braedon Jeffery-bass guitar and finally Dylan Porter- Percussion. This band I've seen a couple of times and they don't disappoint. They have a really good vibe and good upbeat tunes. Easily another local band I'd suggest to go see if you can. 

 To end off the night of damn good music we have Canada's own, The Static Shift. They come all the way from Calgary, Alberta. This trio was featured on and won CTV's "The Launch"! After seeing them live I know why they won. This band was born in the wrong generation but I'm definitely glad that they're here. The band features Mitchell Brady - guitar and vocals, Keone Frieson - Bass, Harmonica & back up vocals, Isaiah Stonehouse - Drums, back up vocals. The three of them have a look & sound from better days gone by but with a modern touch. This band is one to watch as they are bound for stardom. It would not surprise me in the least to see them sell out stadiums in the future and I look forward to seeing them do it. They hit the audience with a number of tunes, all of them were really good. They even played a number of songs that they used on The Launch. The audience, including myself enjoyed a great show from start to finish. 

 I love supporting local and Canadian music but you can't have great music shows without places to have them. That's why I love the people at The Music Hall & Concert Theatre in Oshawa. They do what they can to bring in local / Canadian talent to this city and the live music scene is better because of it. My hats off to The Music Hall for all they do and for providing Oshawa with such an awesome venue! 

Quinn Mills & The Common Era at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern

If you read the the name of the band in the title, be sure to remember it because there’s no doubt you’ll be hearing it again! Basic White opened the night followed by Quinn Mills & The Common Era and closing off the night was Obsolete.

August 27, 2018, It was a nice night and rolling up to the Horseshoe Tavern my wife and I were greeted by friendly door staff and made our way to the back of the venue. Looking at the Horseshoe from the outside you’d never know it’s as big as it is until you go all the way through. There was already a crowd building long before anyone was to go on, that’s always a good sign. Having heard Quinn and the guys play live before, it was no surprise that people were getting there early.

As always, you can count on the very friendly face of Quinn’s mother, Jody who is so friendly and a pleasure to talk to. I was also fortunate enough to meet their manager from MP House Music, nice guy, glad to have finally met him. Then it was a brief chat with the guys, introduced my wife, followed by a tour backstage and downstairs to the dressing room. Like a few other legendary live music venues that I’ve been in, this one had artists signatures all over the walls and ceiling. What you have to appreciate is that the room is a piece of music history, so many bands, singers and other musicians have graced that room. Not going to say if Quinn & the guys signed the walls as well, you will have to ask them yourself.

First up was Basic White who is an Indie-Rock band from London, Ontario. It’s always great to see local and Canadian artists getting to pay live while getting a larger fan base. The band consists of Riley White, Jordan Wallace and Sandro De Stefano. They hit the stage and were a great choice to open for Quinn and the guys. They got the crowd going and set the mood for the night. It was my first time hearing them but I’d go see them live again, you should too.

After a short break for the bands to switch up gear came the main event of the night Quinn Mills & The Common Era. The band consists of Quinn Mills on vocals & guitar, Chris Buysse on drums and Julian Guzman on bass guitar, back up vocals. They’re a good bunch of guys as well as talented musicians. They gave it their all and rocked the stage with a great set. With their friendly nature and good vibe on stage that’s backed by solid music, they’re bound to go places. Once the show was done they hit the crowd and made sure to greet everyone who wanted to say hi as well as sign copies of their newly released EP. This is a band that you need to keep an eye on and go see live.

Last up, we have Obsolete to close off the night. They come from Ajax, Ontario and the band consists of Steven Layzell, Tyler Smith, Caden Borsboom and Eric Croteau. Unfortunately I didn’t grab any pics of them but hope to shoot them at another show soon. Like the two bands before them though, they played a good set to a very happy crowd. All in all it was a good night of music at an iconic live music venue in the heart of Toronto. Whether you go for a show or just a beer, the Horseshoe Tavern is a must see!

CMW Showcase at The Hideout

 Canadian Music Week otherwise known as CMW is a long running event that brings together the best in the music industry from across Canada and beyond. It has been going for over 30 years now and only getting stronger. As part of this, different venues Toronto host showcases of different genres of music. If you are a live music fan as much as myself then during CMW there is nowhere else you'd ever want to be!

  One of the venues hosting a Canadian Music Week showcase this year was The Hideout in Toronto. You can find it at 423 College St. at the corner of College & Bathurst. I need to give a shout out and thank you to the owner Jimmy for having me come in  and shoot as well as Samantha G. the stage manager at the venue for CMW. I've known her for a number of years, CMW is lucky to have her! It was my first time at the venue but it definitely won't be the last. They have a stage for live music, serve food and drinks. The staff were all friendly & professional, not to mention the service was fast. I'd recommend anyone go and check them out!

  Wednesday, May 9th, 2018 The night started off with two Country Music acts, Cole Malone and then Chase Cameron. Cole Malone is from Ontario but now resides in Alberta. He hit the stage first and set the bar high. Chase Cameron who is also from Ontario and living in Toronto, followed it up with a solid performance of his own. If you like country music then you should check them both out at their next live show. Both of these artists are represent Canada well and were a great addition to the CMW showcase lineup.

 Then we have The Commoners, a Pop Rock band from Toronto, Ontario. This was the band of the night that everyone in The Hideout was talking about. After seeing them live, I know why. They were high energy from start to finish and have a really good stage presence. Looking forward to seeing them again as they're sure to continue going strong and developing a strong following. If you like Rock music and want to support a great up and coming Canadian band, you need to see these guys!

 The next two acts were Jim Dan Dee and The Road Wolves, two more solid acts that kept the night going strong. Each had their own distinct sound and vibe. Jim Dan Dee is another Toronto band and their Facebook page describes them as "Bourbon Fueled Funkabilly Grunge Blues". They were good as was everyone that night but fun to watch too. The Road wolves, hailing from Stratford, Ontario are a really good Hard rock band! They rocked the stage from start to finish that night let me tell you. The Road Wolves are another band I will be following and you should too! They are sure to go places if they work hard and keep going.

 The last two acts of the night were Kevin Bresser and Jonny Porter. Unfortunately I missed Jonny Porter, another Canadian musician from Oakville, Ontario. I was fortunate enough to catch some of Kevin Bresser. Kevin is another of the nights acts that is from Toronto, Ontario. Earlier in the evening he walked around the venue and introduced himself to every guest. It's not something that you see very often but it's a great idea and showed everyone that he was thankful they came. It's sure to stand out in everyone's minds. Kevin turned out to be a great end to my evening. Like everyone else before him, he gave a solid performance and easily deserved to be on that stage. The audience liked him too. Kevin is an artist I've been following since being introduced to his music from a mutual friend. He is a name you will be hearing again, no doubt about it. Even though some of the artists go by a single name all of the musicians who played that night deserve credit. Every show that is good is because of all the musicians on the stage as part of a combined effort.

 I applaud the artists who have the courage to get up in front of people and perform. Of course we can't forget to thank the people from CMW for creating and continuing such a great event. Thanks as well to all the venues like The Hideout that host these events and give local artists a place to play and be seen. Last and not least we all have to thank the staff that work at these places and events for all their hard work to make sure everything goes off as planned. If you're reading this, please make sure to support local musicians and live music venues!

I Mother Earth & Finger Eleven take over The Phoenix Concert Theatre

 I Mother Earth & Finger Eleven took over The Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto on December 15th, 2017. This post is long overdue because it was bothering me how to properly talk about this show and where to start. Finally I've decided to just start at the beginning of the night.

 It was cold and the weather was horrible. Parking in Toronto is like driving there, it's a nightmare. Across from Phoenix is a parking lot and it only took about 10 laps before deciding to just park where there was the most space and hoped not to get hit. I did put money in the meter and get a ticket for the windshield. Rolled up to the front door, got patted down by security, got in and was given a few different wristbands. Off to coat check and started to get my camera ready. The guy at coat check says "Hey, you're going to miss the bands on stage doing a Q&A followed by a joint acoustic set." 

 I thought there is no way this is really happening but if it is then there's no way in Hell I'm missing such an opportunity and rushed like never before. Get inside and get a great spot at the barricade, front of the stage with other photographers. Sure enough both I Mother Earth and Finger Eleven are sitting there together answering questions and then go into an acoustic set. The bands fielded a variety of questions and hit the fans with some great tunes. You couldn't ask for a better start to a show.

 After that one of the members of USS Ashley Buchholz did an acoustic set of his own. I had never heard of him before but it was a good performance. Fast forward to the post show Ashley decided to dive under a barricade instead of moving it or going over it. Thought for sure he was going to bash his head or break his neck but he did it. Have to say it was funny as Hell to watch and it's even on video.

 Next up is Finger Eleven and they rocked it, the crowd couldn't get enough. The Phoenix Concert Theatre was packed, moving was nearly impossible but it was completely worth it. Thank goodness for the barricade! The Phoenix is a great live music venue and Toronto is lucky to have it. It's a venue that has hosted some incredible musicians, make sure to go see a show there. Anyway, back to the show. Finger Eleven is a great Canadian band and they know how to put on a live show. They're a band that helps keep Canada on the map for music, they're just that good. From start to finish they gave it their all and left the audience cheering with big smiles on their faces!

 To finish off this incredible night of music was the main act. I Mother Earth is another awesome Canadian band that shows the world we have all the best musicians. They hit the stage and boom, they brought it! It was incredible seeing them live on stage together that night. As a die hard music fan having been to thousands of concerts, I have to tell you that I was beyond impressed. I Mother Earth and Finger Eleven are a killer combo that you don't want to miss.

 People wanted to hear about the show like it was any other regular concert but it wasn't. It wasn't a regular concert or even a show. I Mother Earth & Finger Eleven was an experience that will be remembered for years to come by myself and anyone lucky to have been in attendance that night! 

I Mother Earth, Finger Eleven. December 15, 2017, The Phoenix Concert Theatre (3 of 502)IG.jpg

Oshawa welcomed the Headstones!

The Moustache Club presented the Headstones at The Music Hall Nightclub & Concert Theatre to a sold out house on Thursday, December 14th.

 The night started with Punk Rock band Like A Motorcycle. If you know me then you know I'm a big fan of music and like to promote it through my photography. What you may not know is that I'm an even bigger fan if it's a Canadian artist or band. Like a Motorcycle comes from my home province of Nova Scotia, which means they get the biggest props ever. Coming from Halifax, Nova Scotia, the band consists of Michelle Skelding, Kim Carson, KT Lamond and Dave Casey. They were a great fit to play the same stage as the Headstones. As much as people like to rip on opening acts, you can't with this one, they brought it!

 After everyone got fired up from Like A Motorcycle, it was time for the main act. Headstones are an Alternative Rock band. They started out in Kingston, Ontario. The band consists of Hugh Dillon, Trent Carr, Tim White, Steve Carr and Rickferd Van Dyk. Headstones came out, gave it there all and left fans wanting for nothing more. They were high energy from start to finish with a great light show. Headstones are yet another band that makes Canada proud. I've said it before, Canada has the best musical talent in the world. I'm proud to be a Canadian photographer capturing all that I can. Nothing beats a high energy show with band and fans all just rockin' out!

Headstones, December 15, 2017
Headstones, December 15, 2017
Headstones, December 15, 2017, Oshawa
Headstones, December 15, 2017, Oshawa

Sean Kingston - Made In Jamaica Tour Featuring Peter Jackson

 Saturday, December 9th, 2017. Sean Kingston's Made In Jamaica Tour rolled into Oshawa. If you are a true fan of Rap & Hip Hop then you know who Sean Kingston is. He has a number of hits like "Beautiful Girls" and "Fire Burning" which he performed.

 To start the night out DJ Playa kicked it off, solid set by him indeed. Fans were then treated to a number of local artists like Tre Da Kidd, The "MadMan" Joey Brown, Ruby Red, Killa Kella and more. I must make note that Oshawa was treated to Shauna Elizabeth who The MadMan has dubbed the "Queen of Hip Hop for Durham Region. It was the first time I've seen her perform live and happy to have been there to catch her sing.

 This wasn't just a regular night of music or Hip Hop or Rap. The fans were hit with a double treat which doesn't happen very often in the music industry. Oshawa was blessed with not just one but TWO headliners! You read that right, two headliners. Peter Jackson the man who brought you hits like "On A Wave" and "Vacation" hit the stage before Sean Kingston and tore it up. As a music fan it doesn't get better than that. Peter Jackson hit the stage, dropped a ton of great tunes on the audience and set the bar for Sean Kingston.

 I've never seen Sean Kingston perform before but I have seen more shows than I can put an exact number on (we'll just say it's over two thousand and leave it at that). Sean Kingston had a massive applause and cheers as soon as they announced his name, yet alone actually getting on stage. He performed a hit filled set and the audience loved him. One thing that stood out while watching and shooting his show was that he looked liked he was genuinely having fun. Artists will perform, smile here and there but Sean Kingston truly looked like he was having the time of his life. It was refreshing to see an artist enjoying what they do and playing off the audiences energy. 

Peter Jackson and Sean Kingston were a great combination, hope to see them on stage at the same time in the future. I have a feeling it would be a killer event!

The Trews ROCK Oshawa!

If you are a fan of rock music then you need to know about The Trews. This incredible band came to The Music Hall Night Club and Concert Theatre on October 20, 2017 and rocked the house!

 The show started off with a couple of openers including Jane's Party and what a great choice they were. I will be looking for them in the future, they have a lot of potential. You never know how good an opening band is going to be but it was a great night of music.

 Let's get back to The Trews, these guys are awesome live and I mean, fuckin' incredible! It's always great to go to a show knowing you're seeing a really good band but it's so much better when the band exceeds your expectations like they did. The house was packed and there was no room to move. The greatest thing about The Trews is that they aren't just any hard rock band. The greatest thing about them is that they are a Canadian Hard Rock band. From the time they stepped on stage to the last note played, the audience including myself just couldn't get enough. The Music Hall has had some really good shows up to the point of the Trews playing but I tell you all here and now, for the record, The Trews blew the roof off that place!

 If you have never heard of them, check their music out on YouTube and then go see them. If you have heard of them but never seen them, go see them. If you have seen them live then there's nothing left to tell you but to tell others and have them go see them live as well. The Trews are Hard Rock music at it's finest, my hat off to these guys.

Hey, that's just my opinion....

Outshined, Six Side Die, The Fell and what a show!

A week ago today this happened, Outshined and Six Side Die opened for The Fell at The Music Hall Nightclub and Concert Theatre. It was a solid line up and great night of live music. Every city has to have a great live music venue so if you're in Oshawa, you have to go to The Music Hall.

 Outshined kicked it all off,  they have a good sound and get better each time I see them. You can tell when a band is putting their time in and it's clear these guys have. Founded in 2012 the band consists of Brandon Hasting - Lead/Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Brandon Hasting - Lead/Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Dylan Porter - Percussion. I'm looking forward to seeing how they progress and of course I'm always happy to promote local and Canadian artists. They were a great choice as opener.

 Next up for this solid line up of music was Six Side Die, another Canadian band that I had never seen live before. To be clear though, they were worth seeing. They have a really good sound and stage presence. The band is made up of Bryan Crouch- Vocals, Anthony Xander- Lead Guitar,  Pat Kavanagh- Bass/Vocals, Kelly Voelkel- Drums. The singer in particular was high energy and gave it from start to finish. This is another band I'm looking forward to seeing progress in the music industry.

 Of course the best for last, The Fell. This band consists of well known and experienced musicians including the singer Anthony De La Torre who has some serious talent on vocals! The Fell came out and did their thing, the crowd couldn't have been happier. These guys haven't been together as long as other bands but you wouldn't know it by the way they played together. Besides De La Torre the band consists of fellow Canadian Mike Krompass on guitar, Randy Cooke on drums and the legendary bassist Billy Sheehan on bass. This alternative rock band delivered what every great live show needs, an amazing headliner.  I wouldn't have changed a thing about the entire show. So glad to have seen them live and very happy to have finally shot Billy Sheehan. 

 You can be sure the next time The Fell are in town that I will be there whether I'm shooting or just there as a fan. Truth be told you should go see them live too! 

54.40 A Great Canadian Band

 When going to see a band live you don't always know what to expect. Sometimes the show isn't as flashy, loud or maybe the band just doesn't sound the same as it did on cd or radio. Other times the band just doesn't have it anymore. Last night 54.40 proved that none of those are even close to being true in their case. That's right, 54.40 rocked the stage last night in Oshawa at The Music Hall Nightclub and Concert Theatre. After all you can't have a great Canadian band like 54.40 play just any venue, in order to be seen properly for a great experience you need a venue like The Music Hall backed by it's incredible staff. 

I have seen more shows then I can remember but I tell you all now that last nights show wasn't just a show, it was an experience and will be remembered for a long time. They hit the stage after opening acts Old James and The House Call set the mood with great sets of their own. I do have to give special mention to The House Call. Every time I see them they get better and I'm looking forward to seeing where they go in the future. Each one of them is a credit to the band. After the openers warmed up the crowd, cheers ripped through the entire venue as they took the stage. No need for introductions or words to the crowd they went right to business and business was great.

Every song was met by cheers, clapping and smiles as people got ready to sing along to another loved tune. Even I couldn't help smiling and singing along as I shot this event. Everywhere I turned people were singing, smiling and dancing, it was a vibe you can't find just anywhere, it was a special moment shared by all in attendance. If you haven't seen them live then you are missing out indeed and should fix it as soon as possible. 

Richie Roberts: Pushing Local Music

As long as I can remember there has always been music playing where ever I am. My father always had music going and used to listen to 50's, 60's & 70's rock n roll. My mother was always singing. As I grew up I just kept music going all the time and have various tunes associated with different memories. Music has always been a love of mine as is photography. When the chance comes to blend the two, it's a great day for me. There is no musical talent in me but I can shoot it and share it. It's great to go out and shoot bands, especially local artists , try to get them known by more people. It's hard to find people that want to push local music as much as myself but then there's Richie Roberts.

Richie Roberts is the front man for the band Rich With Sin, he is a hard working and talented musician. You'll find him ripping it up on guitar and belting out great rock tunes or you'll find him pushing local talent. He like myself loves music and wants to help local artists get better known. What you also should know is Richie hosts the best open mic in the city, most people think of Oshawa as "car town" but if we have our way it will be known as a music city. He was kind enough to take some time and answer a few questions. Here's what he had to say:

  Well I was born in a small town called Orangeville but was raised in Peterborough Ontario. Not big enough to say I lived a city life but not far enough in the bush to be a back forty guy

 I First picked the guitar up around three years old and was singing and playing my first song "Bobbie Mi-gee." Though much of those years I dont remember much, as I got into my early teen years I was playing any song I could learn on the radio By ear.

 My musical influences vary from Stevie Ray Vaughn to the great Jimi Hendrix. As I got into the Ninety's I had many great alternative influences  such as  Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana , Offspring, Stone temple pilots and many more.

 Because I never learned by theory, or was taught by lessons, I was left to learn from the greats by ear which in turn resulted into me pretty much writing music my whole life. I am currently working on original material as we speak with my latest band Rich With Sin.  I've worked with many other bands in the past such as Esteem , The Kneegrows, Unchained , Johny Boom and the jelly fish, Emerson Ireland band. ( if I've missed some I apologize )

 I would have to say my favorite band I have worked with would be Esteem. This band broke a lot of barriers for me and we had some amazing experiences. with playing the North by North East (NXNE) festival to rocking Ep Taylors for a sold out show. These guys and gal have a lot of talent and there sprint shows when there up on the stage. Watch out for them as there coming back out on the scene with a new vibe, new style and new name.

 My favourite place to play was and still is Sneaky Dees in Toronto Ontario. Maybe its because the place was so packed bouncers were removing people from the venue or because it was part of one of the largest canadian festivals in this side of canada and we headline the final night, either way by far best experience I've had yet. Cant wait to experience it with the band Rich With Sin

 I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to say the band I'm in now lol which is totally true but id love to, in the future work with a few bands and collaborate a super group , which in turn would be a super show . The Ultimate super group members - krystle M "Esteem" on main vocals,( Johny R' The Hippie Cripplers- Justin D 'Esteem"-  Angus H " Bone Devil" and ME on guitars and back up vocals, Troy H on the bass and my good man Josh W on the skins. We would be called the JuggerYess band. lol

 It Don"t matter where as long as it packed and full of great people, but in truth Woodstock would have been the place to play. Maybe Sound Academy. 

  I love to fish, Fished all my life. I love to stay fit and I am currently getting back into lifting the iron. I love supporting other great talented bands and checking out there shows or even just going down to my favorite watering whole and having a few with friends but lately there's been a special person in my life that I just cant get enough of.

 Well as many know I do have an active band in the music scene called Rich With Sin and we are currently working on our originals and many more great cover songs for you rock loving fans. I'm also a full time boneified Roofer lol. that's right I'm a roofer during the day and rocker at night and I just got accepted into local 27 roofing union. 

 As many know our band host a open mic every Thursday at the Gravity lounge( 45 prince street Oshawa Ontario) but our next booked gig is May 13 @ the General pub and grill. Were Partnering up with The Goombas and gonna put on a yell of a party. we have many more shows booked in the many great venues in Oshawa Ontario.

 People can get the latest details at our band page @RichWithSin.  Here you will find Early Demo releases and all our scheduled gigs booked in the future 

 "Every Good band started With Another great band", lets make a music scene together. Though many bands fall short of trying to do it on there own its the many great legends that new in order to rise to the top we must first create a scene large enough that the top  will take an interest. My Whole reason for Entertaining is to reach out to people and connect with them on a physiological, emotional and physical level. Its through my music I hope to give people inspiration and motivation to live in a way that your eyes are open but not to be taken advantage of. All my music is written based on my experiences of happiness , pain, anger and love. So come bring your dancing shoes and the great smiles and we will bring the party 

Large Prints and Clients

 It seems nowadays that everyone is looking at one screen or another. Most people accept that "this is how it is now". That's fine for most people but not for me, you can't stand out in the crowd when you're doing the same as everyone else.

 There are so many photographers out there with websites and photos with social media following it's hard to figure out what to do. A photographer that I follow, Jared Polin, released a number of videos where he spoke about making large prints. They looked great on the screen as he held some of them up but again this was being watched on my laptop screen. He likes to give out photo books and his clients seem to like them, it's also something that helps him to stand out from other photographers.

 I have always had photo albums and prefer prints over digital images but with the number of images I've shot there's way too many to ever print. Still it entered my mind that it would be cool to hold a big print in my hand. What size to make them? 4x6 was standard and not very exciting, 5x7 is ok and then there is the typical 8x10 that people use for family portraits and school photos. Who wants to be typical, not this guy!  I had a couple of my favourite prints made into 13x19 and they went BOOM, in my face. Beautiful, large prints staring at me clear as day. 

 It was awesome to hold these large prints in my hands. While looking them over it dawned on me that if I liked them this much that maybe clients may like them too. I started making large prints of musicians that I had photographed and presenting them my favourite one. Everyone loved them and told me i'm welcome to shoot them anytime. As a photographer having an artist appreciate your work is great. To have those same artists love your work and allow you all access to shoot anytime is amazing! It was rewarding to see these artists jaws drop and smiles come across their face as I revealed their big prints to them.

 I will tell you folks, nothing beats holding a big print in your hand as you look at it. This beats an image on a screen any day. Find your way to stand in out while doing what you love as well. Follow my link and see some of the reactions for yourself. Peter Jackson, a hip hop artist, is my latest photo reveal.   

The Madman aka Justn Cr3dibl3

Recently I was able to catch up with The Madman himself and talk about music. Justn Cr3dibl3 is a Canadian Hip Hop artist who like myself is all about promoting music and in particular, Canadian artists.

We met up at his radio station in Oshawa that he recently started and we will cover that more as we go. Here's what he had to say.

Me: I wanted to know who he listened to growing up and his reply surprised me. Madman: It was the likes of the Tragically Hip (who can blame him? they are amazing), Hootie and the Blowfish, Travis Tritt, Kenny Rogers and more. (Not exactly what I was expecting to hear from a hip hop artist but he has a solid taste in music and a variety.)

Me:When did he get into hip hop?". Madman: A family tragedy left me angry and unable to deal with his emotions. A friend introduced me to writing music, song structure. He told me to write about everything that was bothering me inside as a means to get it out and deal with it. (The Madman started and has never looked back, it's been writing and moving forward ever since.)

Me:When did you start performing live? Madman: 2013

Me: Who are your favorites in Hip Hop? Madman: Hopsin, Classified, Jay Z, Eminem and a few others.

Me: Tell us your favorite or some of the favorites that you have performed with. Madman: Classified, Insane Clown Posse, Peter Jackson and Obie Trice. (An impressive list for an artist anywhere yet alone Oshawa, Ontario.)

Me: Any upcoming shows you want to let people know about so they can come check you out? Madman: Mac Lethal on April 7th, I'm an artist for the show as well as promoter.

Me: I see you started a radio station, tell us what it's called and why you started it. Madman: It's called Power Stream Ent. Radio. It's dedicated to all the underground artists who need a place to be heard. Everyone can come together here and get known! (Sounds like a great idea as there's lots of artists looking for means to get radio play and known.)

Me: Any long term goals for your career performing? Madman: Stay relevant and talk about things that matter! Me: Long term for your station? Madman: The goal is to become the number one radio station in the world. 

Me: Any artists that you'd like to work with? Madman: Darius Rucker, I'd like to write a song with him and do a show together. (Like to see that dream come true for you.)

Madman: I want to leave you with a quote. "Get mad and enter my world!"

I'd like to thank Justn Cr3dibl3 "The Madman" for taking time to sit and talk. I have seen him live myself and it's well worth checking out for yourself!

In parting I'd like to leave you with a photo I took of him myself at The Music Hall Oshawa (Awesome venue and staff BTW)

2016/ 2017 and the Future

 If you are reading this you survived 2016 and good on you, it was a tough year. I was hurt in November 2015, further more in December. It really derailed things for my photography and business endeavors. I had to wait until July 2016 in order to get a very risky spinal surgery and have been recovering ever since. 

 Here we are in 2017 and it's time to go after it all. What is in order for 2017? It's time to shoot as many bands and musicians (local and otherwise) as possible. Everyone wants to focus on America for music but Canada has some of the best talent in the world. It's great to have music from other places but Canada is where it's at and it's time more people knew it. I want to shoot, write about and help local musicians get known. Oshawa has some great talent and expanding on that so does Durham Region. 

 To make things even better Oshawa and Durham Region has some incredible live music venues. If you are going to have great local talent, you need to have places to show it off. My music coverage will be including venues. 2017 has a ton of possibilities and we all need to go after what we really want in life.

 I fully admit my writing is lacking but my love for music, concerts and great music venues is genuine. I'm a huge music fan and always will be. I shoot my photos as if I was a fan opening a a magazine, what would I want to see? My coverage won't be limited to one genre either, if there's great music to be covered and they give me access to shoot/ write about it then it's in. Rock n' Roll, Country, Rap, Blues etc it's all good. Music is global, it brings people together and the world needs that! 

That's just my opinion....

Richard Dukeshire

The Tragically Hip Final Show, Let's Shut Down the Internet!

If you are Canadian and love music then the odds are you know the name of this great Canadian band. The Tragically Hip are just that, as hip as they come. These guys have been bringing it on stage every time for years to Canada and the rest of the world.

If you have been one of the lucky ones to have seen them live then you know this to be true. They are a well knit group, not just friends but at this stage of the game, they are family! These guys make you want to stand up and dance no matter how bad you are at it. If you know the words then there's no question you are on your feet singing your heart out with everyone else. These guys are what music is all about and they are one of Canada's greatest exports. I would even go as far to say they are music legends in Canada, they are to me. Let me know if you agree....

The Tragically Hip  started in 1984 in Kingston, Ontario and have rocked it ever since, no one can ever take away from these guys especially with an amazing fourteen Juno awards. There are musicians, bands and singers that go their whole life trying to get nominated for one or win one yet alone fourteen! The Hip as they are commonly known are creative and make poetry into music. Each one of them has their own look and style, yet combined match perfectly into this dynamic band.

I was fortunate enough to work many shows and events with these guys for over a decade while doing concert/ event security and bodyguard work. They were as great offstage as they were on it. All of them friendly, never once did anyone power trip or say "do you know who I am?" which is common to hear as some musicians/ famous people feed their own egos. These guys didn't have to because we knew who they were. They were the great Canadian band that everyone loved and still do.

I remember filming the video for My Music at Work on a Mother's Day of all times in a little place on Queen Street East in Toronto. Karen Campbell (an amazing lady) was the first one I ran into arriving on set who told me we were in for a very busy day. It was cold but that didn't stop anything. There was an open casting call and people came from all over to be in the video. The final scene was Gord Downie turning his back to the crowd and falling back into them and being caught. Not sure if i can disclose why so I won't. I was asked to dress up as a fan and catch Gord when he fell. Being in a video, movie, documentary wasn't new and I was happy to help, it was a fun day. Before we did a couple of test runs the video director or producer said "Please do not drop the Gord, do not break the Gord." we all laughed. The music was cued and we got it done. That is just one of my many memories with these guys.

Unfortunately Gord has been diagnosed with brain cancer and this will be the bands last tour. The Man Machine Poem tour is set to end Saturday August 20, 2016 where it all began in Kingston, Ontario. There really are no words to describe how tragic this is. Everyone please send out their thoughts and prayers to Gord, his friends, family the band for his well being.

I would like to challenge Canada and all the fans around the world to shut down/ break the internet! That's right, let's break the internet by over loading it. Ellen DeGeneres did it with a single tweet and though she's great she has nothing on The Hip. I challenge every Canadian to watch the show anywhere you can and tweet, Facebook, Instagram everything you love about them, what you see, who you are with, what you feel as you watch this last great show. Let's show The Tragically Hip how much we love them, let's show The Hip how grateful we are for the years of amazing memories and give them the love and respect they deserve. When that band finishes their last song I want every fan in Canada on their feet and to cheer so loud they hear you from every corner of this country!

Sincerely, 

Richard Dukeshire

Aug 12, 2016 Toronto, Ontario, Air Canada Center, wish I could be there to shoot their last show but I will be watching from anywhere I can. #thetragicallyhip #thehip #gorddownie #canada #ontario

Week One

I have been home for a week now from the hospital and so happy to be here.

The hospital food was horrible, I spent the entire time in critical care under constant watch and regular check ups.  The surgery was a fusion of my L4/L5. Disc material had been squished into my spinal canal and was pushing against nerves that went to my lower body. My left foot has not been the same since the accident that caused it. There is numbness, tingling and an over all lack of feeling in different parts. It's an odd feeling and makes walking difficult since I have to try and compensate for it.

Special thanks to the people who did the surgery at Toronto Western Hospital and those who assisted or were present during.  Another special thanks to my wife who visited me everyday. She fed me ice chips when my mouth was dry from the drugs, she wiped my forehead with a cold cloth when I was too warm, moved my pillow and helped be comfortable in anyway she could.  It was the most painful experience of my life and she went above and beyond to help me and be there for me. Love her so much!

Everyday is still a struggle, movement is restricted and painful but I'm up on my feet. I need a walker for most days and moving around but can manage very small distances with a cane and the help of walls. At least I'm not dead or in a wheel chair for life, both I was told were a very real possibility. I wake up every night because moving causes pain and reminds me I can't move as I'd like to. I have to try and sleep in one position. It doesn't matter if I sit, stand or lay down, they are all painful. for me each day and night is about finding the least painful position.

Many people have messaged me and expressed their concern for my recovery and I appreciate it more than I can express. Good to know so many care about my well being, thank you to all who reached out to me.  

Next week I am going to get into how the accident happened and how the government is failing workers and the holes in our safety nets that are set up to protect us. 

Wish you all the best until then, cheers!

Disappearing Photographer

Some people who follow my site asked what happened to me and why I haven't been updating my site. The reason is that I was in a work accident and prior to surgery was in pain and not able to do much. I squeezed some very minor work in as my physical abilities were and still are very limited.

In late 2015 I was hurt at work doing rough carpentry trying to make some extra money for photography gear. Now as a result of the injury and surgery I will never do manual labor again. Anyone who reads this needs to heed my warning, do not risk your health for threat of losing your job. Trust me it isn't worth it. 

Now that the spinal surgery is over the recovery process begins. It will take six months to a year for my spine to heal and months and months of physiotherapy. Either way I've lost some mobility for life but am waiting to see once healed whether I can still do my photography. Photography is my creative outlet and my passion. Photography makes me happy and it is always great seeing an idea through from concept to finished product whether its for a client or myself.

There is a lot of work that needs to be done and added to update my site. Technology isn't my thing so be patient as I heal, edit and update. Wish everyone an awesome Summer!

 

 They said I may never leave the table alive. They said I may be paralyzed fr life. Here I am less than a week after a major spinal operation. No time for dying or being trapped in a wheel chair, too many things to do and goals to reach. Besides, quitters never reach their dreams!   

They said I may never leave the table alive. They said I may be paralyzed fr life. Here I am less than a week after a major spinal operation. No time for dying or being trapped in a wheel chair, too many things to do and goals to reach. Besides, quitters never reach their dreams!

 

Headshots for Hope

In my last blog I talked about helping out in relation to a model friend. This time I'm going to talk about helping on a  larger scale. People need to help others and get involved when they can.

 I have tossed around ideas on how to help my community and do volunteer work when I can. I'm a member of a veterans club and volunteer for them whenever I am needed. If it wasn't for the vets we wouldn't have this great country, we owe it to them to do what we can, that's my feelings on it anyway. So helping with the vets is great but it dawned on me that more could be done but what? I'm a photographer so how to make that into a way to help others became the issue.

The other thing was where to help? It just seemed to make sense that local businesses should help their own community and that's my goal. The next question was who to donate to? Then I remembered hearing about Hearth Place from a friend of mine. She made it very clear that without their help she wouldn't be here today. That sold me right there. Local business helping the local community, what a great idea. My plan became this, shoot headshots/ portraits and give all the money to Hearth Place. My studio is mobile, not a permanent one so I went and spoke to Robert Gunn, the manager of Henry's in Oshawa. Right away he liked the idea of helping support a local charity and they have offered a room/ studio to host this event in. Since then they have offered up lighting, a monitor etc. My deepest gratitude for Robert Gunn and Henry's Camera Oshawa for being on board so quickly! They are a great store for photography with staff to match.

 For those who may not have heard of Hearth Place, they are a cancer support center. They provide community support for people with cancer and their families. They provide individual and group support, information and resources. They provide wellness programs and discussion series plus so much more. Hearth Place is not publicly funded and rely on donations and help from people like you and I. 

 I can't do what these amazing people do but just maybe with the help of Henry's in Oshawa we can raise money so they can continue their awesome work. So please come in and get a portrait or headshot done. We ask for a minimum ten dollar donation which helps the local community and you get a great shot for Facebook, Linked In or anywhere else you made need to use a photo.

Hope to see you all this Saturday at 245 King st West in Oshawa between 12pm and 4pm.

Helping Out

As a photographer you are regularly approached to work for free or "help" someone with free images.

Sometimes it can be frustrating as photography seems to be undervalued even though pictures play an important part in our lives. Other times as in this case it can be a way to step out of your comfort zone and be creative.

I was approached by a local model who wanted to win a contest for the Oshawa Centre and become their "style icon". The winner of the contest would become a guest blogger and win a variety of gift cards from the stores in the mall. The contestants had to post different fashion looks from clothing sold in the O.C. Fashion is not my regular style but it seemed like it may be fun and give me a reason to try something different while helping a friend. 

We went a couple of times in short trips to different stores and grabbed some snap shots in and out of the mall. Along the way we did run into some great staff. Special shout out to the staff of Le Chateau and H&M, they were extremely helpful and polite! In the end we may not have won but we had fun and I had the chance to meet new people and get creative so for me it was well worth it. 

I suggest everyone take time to help others when they can, it may just have some unexpected rewards.