Tag Archives: BS Fridays

People Profile: Ryan VanDrie!

This is a special BS Fridays edition People Profiles! BS Fridays is a musical networking community where musical souls in the industry from artists, performers, businesses peeps and more get together to pool their resources and expand their support. On Friday August 12th you can come out to The Cameron House in Toronto and meet us and see some of us performing– including me and Ryan VanDrie!

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Who is Ryan VanDrie? Well, he’s a kind of road warrior, creative musician and more! He is currently building his own alt rock band project called if & when  that has light show programming with live performances. It has been a lengthy labour of love that finally comes to fruition at The Piston for Tues October 18th. Be there if you can!

You can get a sense of Ryan’s music on Soundcloud! Here’s a sampling duo!

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You know I asked Ryan some questions about himself! Here are his answers!

What is your career? I am currently working in Road Operations for a local municipality. I respond to high priority concerns and investigate legal claims related to roads.

Is it the same as your passion? No. Not yet, anyway.

What is your passion? My passion is creating, writing, recording and performing music. I also have a great deal of enthusiasm for concert lighting / visuals.

What are the greatest challenges and greatest rewards of your career? Greatest challenge can be dealing with the public. Haha. Greatest rewards are the extended health benefits.

What is your advice to others embarking on similar career? Whatever it is that you choose to do, make sure that you love it. Skills can always be developed, but passion is something that you will either have or will not have for a certain career.

What does it mean to be an artist? To me, a true artist unapologetically creates and performs with self awareness and intent, and without the burden of inadequacy and indiscretion.

5 years ago, did you expect to be where you are today? Why, why not? Five years ago, I didn’t know where to expect I should be today. Mostly due to of a lack of foresight. I’m content with my current situation, but there’s so much more I desire for myself. Needless to say, I’m planning a little harder now.

Where will you be in 5 years? Cover of the Rolling Stone? Hah :p

What would you say to your 8-year-old self? “Give me your lunch money”. Seriously though: Don’t listen to the discouragement of others. Focus on what you want and make sure you’re willing to work your ass off to get it.

What would you say to your 80-year-old self? I’m sorry.

How lucky are you and why? Pretty friggin lucky. Good things seem to just come to me.

What would people be surprised to know about you? I’m kind of a physics geek.

What makes you laugh? What is fun for you? Brooklyn 99. Love that show.

What makes you question humanity? The current state of the impending US election. It’s terrifying to think that “President Trump” might actually be a thing in less than a year.

What is your favourite quote? If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. Carl Sagan

What does being involved with the BS Friday’s group and community mean to you? Being a part of BS Fridays means being connected to hundreds of incredible musicians and music business entrepreneurs and using those connections to share valuable information which helps us to be better, and helps to create a better local music scene.

How long have you been involved and what have you gotten out of it? I’ve been involved with BS Fridays for about 3 years. I’ve made some great friends and relationships as a result, and learned things that have changed and strengthened how I function as a musician and member of the music community.

What can people expect from the BS Friday’s networking and showcase event in August? You can expect fun times with great people.

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For more on Ryan if & when, and to connect:
www.ryanvandrie.com
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram = @ryanvandrie

Twitter & Instagram = @ifandwhenband
Facebook = @ifandwhen

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And of course, come see us play at The Cameron House Friday August 12th 9:00pm!
Look at the spectaaaacular lineup! 🙂

Click for Facebook Event here!

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People Profile: Melanie Peterson!

This is a special BS Fridays edition People Profiles! BS Fridays is a musical networking community where musical souls in the industry from artists, performers, businesses peeps and more get together to pool their resources and expand their support. On Friday August 12th you can come out to The Cameron House in Toronto and meet us and see some of us performing– including me and Melanie Peterson!

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Who is Melanie Peterson?
Melanie is a beautiful singer-songwriter and actress. With a wide open heart, wit and charm, Melanie envelopes any audience with a big ‘ol hug! You can catch her not only at the BS Fridays event August 12th but also the Plein Air Outdoor Garden Concert Series this summer August 10th at 7:30. This is an all-ages event $10 tix at the door!

Here’s a sweet sampling of her sounds!

What does Melanie have to say for herself?

What is your career? My career is actress/singer-songwriter.

Is it the same as your passion? It is the same as my passion! Which is self-expression.

What are the greatest challenges and greatest rewards of your career? Patience! Getting the perfect role or gig.

What is your advice to others embarking on similar career? Any time you are feeling broke, depressed about your career or down, turn to your craft and focus on getting better at it.

What does it mean to be an artist? To be an artist it means to be creative daily.

5 years ago, did you expect to be where you are today?  I did expect to be where I am today, though I had no idea how I would get here.

Where will you be in 5 years? In 5 years I will be creating on even a deeper more consistent level doing bigger roles as and actress and bigger shows as a songwriter, having paid my dues.

What would you say to your 8-year-old self? Don’t listen to the doubt of others, be who and what you want to be, it is the only path to happiness.

What would you say to your 80-year-old self?  Keep up the good work!

How lucky are you and why? I’m lucky because I am surrounded by talented people who inspire and protect me and I have a good team helping me reach my goals.

What would people be surprised to know about you? I left home at 16 years old.

What makes you laugh? What is fun for you? Flight of the Conchords and the Mindy Project make me laugh as does SNL on a regular basis. Fun for me is playing my songs live for a large attentive crowd and/or acting in a well-written commercial or TV role…also, writing songs is a heck of a lot of fun – with friends, or on my own.

What makes you question humanity? I don’t really question humanity, but I don’t understand being entertained by violence…

What is your favourite quote?

What does being involved with the BS Friday’s group and community mean to you? .

BS Friday’s helped me realize you can be the best writer in the world but if you don’t get out there and meet people, nobody’s ever going to know it! Who you know IS as important as what you know. Also, Barbara Sedun encourages co-writing, and before I started going to the group I had never considered it seriously. Now, because of the group I have 3 co-writes on my latest album”Anywhere From Here”!

What can people expect from the BS Friday’s networking and showcase event in August? From the event people can expect to meet a lot of people who share the same passion and interests as them and hear 8 diverse artists. They can expect to go away inspired and a little better connected.

What is something that inspires you? I find this blog particularly inspiring: Actorinspiration.com

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For more on Melanie and to connect, visit her here…
www.melaniepeterson.ca
YouTube: Melanie Peterson
Instagram: @watermeloni
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Come see us play at The Cameron House Friday August 12th 9:00pm!

Click for Facebook Event here!

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People Profile: Me! Kat Leonard!

This is a special BS Fridays edition People Profiles! BS Fridays is a musical networking community where musical souls in the industry from artists, performers, businesses peeps and more get together to pool their resources and expand their support. On Friday August 12th you can come out to The Cameron House in Toronto and meet us and see some of us performing– including me!

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So who am I? I’m a singing-songwriting comedian, a TV personality and motivational entertainer.  My new touring show Myselfie is a musical comedic approach to loving your body, promoting healthy body image and self-esteem and it is available for booking in schools and beyond with an accompanying interactive workshop. I am  Artistic Director of Let’s Make Good Productions and WonderFest, the series of workshops and concerts spreading empowerment through art. I’m also a freelance voiceover artist, actress, journalist, live show host and frequent podcast guest and host to various events.

Here’s a good sample of my dance moves!

 

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I interview myself…
(not the most-offensive thing I’ve done to myself for public consumption)

What is your career? Motivational Humourtainment. 🙂

Is it the same as your passion? It pretty much is. It combines my passions of laughter, music and dance along with empowering others with meaningful messaging and encouragement.

What are the greatest challenges and greatest rewards of your career?
The greatest challenges are fitting it all in in such a busy world. The greatest rewards are sharing the energy of a room with a group of people on a ride with you, making powerful connections you can physically feel that stay with you long after the point of contact.

What is your advice to others embarking on similar career? Do it. Do it. Do it. Do it. And figure out how to do the business end of it too so you don’t have to do something else while you’re doing it.

What does it mean to be an artist? To trust and explore, to be open and to pay attention, assess and express.

5 years ago, did you expect to be where you are today? I knew I would be entertaining with music, comedy and dance but I did not know I’d be a body confidence advocate in the realm of motivational speaking.

Where will you be in 5 years? Doing what I do spending more time in LA and travelling across the country with my one-woman shows Myselfie and Katbaret!

What would you say to your 8-year-old self? You’re right! Do it!

What would you say to your 80-year-old self? Good for you for doing it!

How lucky are you and why? SO LUCKY! I really feel blessed with the intuition, insight and confidence I have that allows me to take risks, to not embarrass easily, to get on with it, to be open-minded and free, willing to experiment and not to shy away from fun and adventure. I am very thankful for my sense of humour and my empathic ability that allows me to understand, comfort and inspire others.

What would people be surprised to know about you? I have a degree in Science.

What makes you laugh? What is fun for you? Funny: Foibles and vulnerability, ridiculocity, spontaneity,  clever jokes I don’t see coming. Arrested Development, Ricky Gervais, Flight of the Conchords, Louis CK, Frazier, Golden Girls. Fun: Dancing, eating pizza in bed, laughing, creating, Netflix, exploring.

What makes you question humanity? The common denominator getting lower and lower and lower and lower and lower.

What is your favourite quote? “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

What does being involved with the BS Friday’s group and community mean to you?  It means being involved in a productive community that is committed and fluid. I can count on the group as a whole to offer advice, leads, good times, and I can count on being part of a lovely growing web of creatives that is never the same. It grows and evolves and keeps us on our toes.

How long have you been involved and what have you gotten out of it? I have been involved for about 4 years. Although I can’t make all of the meetings, when I do I always meet someone knew that I end up loving– not in a dirty way. I have gained industry tips and connections as well as performed alongside some fabulous performers. I’ve also made a good many friend! That’s a bright highlight!

What can people expect from the BS Friday’s networking and showcase event in August? Music! Laughs! Hugs! Maybe the best night of their life! Prolly shouldn’t miss it, just to be sure!

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For more on me and to connect, you can follow this blog, join my newsletter and/or visit:
www.KatLeonard.com
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/KatLeonardMusic
YouTube/Instragram: @katbandoo
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/katbandoo 
Soundcloud: http://www.soundcloud.com/KatLeonard

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Come see us play at The Cameron House Friday August 12th 9:00pm!

Click for Facebook Event here!

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People Profile: Alissa Vox Raw!

This is a special BS Fridays edition People Profiles! BS Fridays is a musical networking community where musical souls in the industry from artists, performers, businesses peeps and more get together to pool their resources and expand their support. On Friday August 12th you can come out to The Cameron House in Toronto and meet us and see some of us performing– including me and Alissa Vox Raw!

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So who is Alissa Vox Raw? Alissa Vox Raw is like an doo-wop band in a box. Old meets new as Alissa finds new and creative ways to express old a cappella styles with just a loop station and voice. An entire choir seems to emerge as music beds are built live in a number of harmonic parts, bringing a new twist to old soul. And it’s not just a cool trick. The music is phenomenal on its own. The fact that it’s made predominantly by one lovely voice makes it all the more uniquely mind-blowing!

Here’s a sample, and one of my fave AVR tunes!

In Alissa’s words…

Career: Musician.
Passion: Music—so that works out! 😀

What are its greatest challenges? The greatest challenges are that it’s still unfortunately a very exploitative industry. In this city, it’s still hard to find bars that will pay you fairly if at all. People understand that music like all of the arts is a labor of love and something you just HAVE to do and it’s easy to exploit that fact. But being passionate about what you do doesn’t mean that it’s not still a lot of really hard work, expense, stress and physical exertion. It is not just all good times. Lots of people love their jobs and they get paid to do them. Exposure won’t pay the bills. So I’d love to see the exploitative nature of the industry change and see musicians get paid fairly for what they do.

What are its greatest rewards? The greatest reward is when you see people singing or dancing to your music or otherwise appreciating it. It’s always really nice to see people enjoying what you do. Getting offered great gigs, interviews etc., is also really validating and shows that your hard work is paying off!

Any advice to others embarking on this type of career? My advice to anyone trying to embark on this career is that you need to be patient and you need to stick to your instincts and persevere. This industry is a rough one. There are a lot of great moments, but being a performer also means a lot of putting yourself out there. It won’t come easy, and there will always be some pain and heartache along the way. You just have to keep going and know that so many brilliant artists played for a decade or more before making progress… and so many more brilliant artists are still out there pursuing it.

What does it mean to be an artist? I think it can mean so many different things. It can be a personal means of self-expression through a variety of mediums… I think when it comes to being a professional artist, there are other things that come into play, because it’s no longer just for you. Then, there might be a lot more pressure involved to please others, to bend to what the public might want, but I’d say never contrive your art for the acceptance of others, because then it loses its sincerity. You need to stick to your vision.

Where did you expect to be 5 years ago and where do you expect to be 5 years from now?  Hmm, I’m not sure. I’d say being a musician isn’t necessarily a straight path. There are a lot of ups and downs. You can feel like you’re doing really well and then all of a sudden you can feel like you’ve hit a bit of a wall. Sometimes, it’s really just in your head. But I feel like you need to always keep pushing and being productive in this field or else things can start to go pretty quiet. I feel like I’m kind of moving in new directions and trying to get to a place where I’m doing more of what I want to be doing and realizing that fully. It’s hard to think about where I might be 5 years from now with it. I have so many things I’d like to get finished… albums and definitely more videos…I have so much material, but it can be a struggle to lay some of it down due to a number of variables, but this is one of my main aspirations for the next few years.

What would you tell your 8-year-old self? “Are you sure you want to go into music?”

What would you tell your 80-year-old self? “You’re still doing this music stuff, you silly ass?” 😀

How lucky are you and why? Well, there are some who get lucky in this field…but it’s extremely rare…luck plays a hand, but it generally still needs to be paired with a ton of hard work. I’ve had friends who have gone on to become very successful and others that are still struggling and the ones who are successful aren’t necessarily more talented or hardworking, but often just at the right place right time on top of those things. You just have to keep going and never depend on luck for anything.

What would people be surprised to know about you? Well, I don’t know, but they are always welcome to get in touch and ask questions…

What makes you laugh and what is fun for you? Friends like you! [Meeeee? Aw!!! I find you fun too!!!] Music, dancing, swimming, summer time! Backyard parties, traveling….

What makes you question humanity? Racism and prejudice (how many years of history do we need to look back on to stop repeating it?!), ridiculous gun laws in the States, Trump (Really? REALLY???) and other stuff…but let’s not get too existential here. 😀

What is your favourite quote? Well, I’ve always really liked this one: “Lo barato sale caro.” [Which translates loosely from Spanish to: buying cheap things turns out expensive in the end.]

What does being involved with BS Fridays mean to you? I think we all need some support sometimes. Especially in a tough field like this, it’s great that we have some allies that we can turn to, bounce ideas and songs off of, get advice from and just see that others are going through the same struggles. We really have a lot to learn from each other. Plus groups like BS Fridays are a great way to form mutually beneficial relationships. Musicians, publicists, PR people, sound engineers, producers, label reps… we all are looking for each other and these are great places to find each other. It’s a great place to find the people you may not know where to look for…

I’ve been involved in BS Fridays probably for about 2 or so years now and I’ve met a lot of great people in the industry and have been to some very helpful meetups with guest speakers who shared a lot of invaluable info. I definitely look forward to more meetups and meeting more fellow members in the future!

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For more on Alissa and to connect, please visit:
Facebook: Alissa Vox Raw Music
www.alissavoxraw.com  
www.soundcloud.com/alissavoxraw
www.youtube.com/alissavoxraw

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Come see us play at The Cameron House Friday August 12th 9:00pm!

Click for Facebook Event here!

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People Profile: Jeff Alan Greenway!

This is a special BS Fridays edition People Profiles! BS Fridays is a musical networking community where musical souls in the industry from artists, performers, businesses peeps and more get together to pool their resources and expand their support. On Friday August 12th you can come out to The Cameron House in Toronto and meet us and see some of us performing– including me and Jeff Alan Greenway!

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So who is Jeff Alan Greenway? His music is a blissful blend of pop, rock and jazz. He tickles the keys like magic and they like it! He is such a powerful pleasure to watch perform and a pleasant energy to be around!

Jeff just released a new single, “I Need”, which is available everywhere including right here!  So epically whimsical!

In Jeff’s words…

What is your career? Singer/songwriter, musician and teacher.
Is it the same as your passion? Yes!

What are the greatest challenges and greatest rewards of your career? Greatest challenges: finding ways to break through all of the “noise” in the music industry to reach people who like your music. Greatest rewards: playing live with other musicians and having those special moments where the world just disappears.

What is your advice to others embarking on similar career? Learn everything you can. These days, DIY really means DIY. Musician, producer, engineer, promoter, video director, and everything in-between!

What does it mean to be an artist? I think an artist has to create something new and express who they really are through their music.

5 years ago, did you expect to be where you are today? Pretty much.

Where will you be in 5 years? Hopefully still writing and performing, and reaching a wider audience.

What would you say to your 8-year-old self? Get your butt in gear! 😉 (Being a Pisces, I’m prone to long bouts of “going with the flow” instead of challenging myself).

What would you say to your 80-year-old self? Dude! You made it!

How lucky are you and why? I think I’m pretty lucky because I make a living in a career that is all about music. It’s not always exactly what I want, but it’s rewarding and challenging.

What would people be surprised to know about you? I’m a huge fan of horror movies. Not gratuitous slasher films, but real, Hitchcockian, creepily atmospheric horror movies. And sci-fi. Needless to say, the original “Alien” is my all-time favourite.

What makes you laugh? What is fun for you? Kids. Teaching music to children is awesome. They give you some of the funniest quotes ever.

What makes you question humanity? The 2016 U.S. election. Enough said . . .

What is your favourite quote? “Dance like nobody’s watching, Love like you’ve never been hurt, Sing like nobody’s listening, Live like it’s heaven on Earth”

What does being involved with the BS Friday’s group and community mean to you? So many great artists and music people with so much great advice. It’s full of people full of music with great hearts that are open to sharing their talent and knowledge with others.

How long have you been involved and what have you gotten out of it? I haven’t been a member for long, and my work schedule has unfortunately made it difficult to attend the meetings. But even just the online discussions and feedback from members of the group have been amazing.

What can people expect from the BS Friday’s networking and showcase event in August? I honestly don’t know, this will be the first one I have been able to attend. But I’ve heard great things, and I’m really looking forward to meeting everybody and hearing some great music!

What is something that inspires you? One of my favourite songs ever written from an artist I really admire – this is a cover of Peter Gabriel’s “Solsbury Hill” from my CD Release at C’est What.

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For more on Jeff and to connect, please visit:
http://www.jeffalangreenway.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jeffalangreenwaymusic
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/jeffalangreenway
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jeffalangreen
Soundcloud: http://www.soundcloud.com/jeffalangreenway

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Come see us play at The Cameron House Friday August 12th 9:00pm!

Click for Facebook Event here!

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People Profile: SALt!

This is a special BS Fridays edition People Profiles! BS Fridays is a musical networking community where musical souls in the industry from artists, performers, businesses peeps and more get together to pool their resources and expand their support. On Friday August 12th you can come out to The Cameron House in Toronto and meet us and see some of us performing– including me and SALt!

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So who is SALt? She is an Electro Pop Rock music maker and performer!  Here are some samples of her work using the music video maker app Triller for her songs Graduation and Galactic!


In SALt’s words…

What is your career? I’ve been a singer my whole life, and was the lead singer in Endo Santos, a band in England, and now SALt here in Canada. I’m also a PSW in private home care.

Is it the same as your passion? What is your passion? I’m passionate about both. I love helping people and feeling like I’m contributing in some way. And music is a great outlet. I try to bring positivity to it.

What are the greatest challenges and greatest rewards of your career? Most of the challenges are between the ears…the self doubt, self criticism. Also, not everyone will be into your sound or what you’re doing. Making time for your art in a busy life can also be a challenge .  The rewards are endless. Being able to express your heart to others is priceless. Also, having an outlet for all of the thoughts and feelings bouncing around is also stellar. And dancing and singing makes me happy!😀

What is your advice to others embarking on similar career? Never stop, never give up. Keep creating, keep grinding and connecting with others. And do it for the love💗💫

What does it mean to be an artist? Creating something meaningful to you. Bringing some new life and beauty and joy into the word….and self expression

5 years ago, did you expect to be where you are today? Why, why not? 5 years ago I had a chronic, debilitating disease, which I’ve since been healed of. So in some ways I had had hopes of being further ahead in some ways. But some beautiful things have happened in my life instead, and all good things come to those who wait.

Where will you be in 5 years? Still writing and recording music, and performing regularly.

What would you say to your 8-year-old self? You have some gifts not everyone has, use them wisely and treasure them deeply.

What would you say to your 80-year-old self? You lived life fully, took chances and loved others.💗

How lucky are you and why? I’m very blessed! I’m now physically healthy again and I live in one of the best countries in the world! (Canada)

What would people be surprised to know about you? I’m a Christian and God comes first in everything I do.☀️🌈💗

What makes you laugh? What is fun for you? AFV, Bob’s Burgers, being silly with my friends and hanging out with my daughter.

What makes you question humanity? Senseless violence.

What is your favourite quote? “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” – Tennyson

What does being involved with the BS Friday’s group and community mean to you? It’s a beautiful way to connect with people who may be on a similar journey and perhaps find new peeps to collaborate with!😀

How long have you been involved and what have you gotten out of it? About 4 years. I probably would have benefited more if I had been able to show up to the meetings (but I work Fridays). But last month I was able to get to my first one. It was there that I connected with a record label owner, a few producers, some up-and-coming singer/song-writers and major industry players!

What can people expect from the BS Friday’s networking and showcase event in August? See above and… An amaaaaaaazeballs show!!! 😀 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼💗🌈☀️💥🚀🌊🌊🌱🌳🌎💫💗💫

Is there anything else you’re involved in that you’d like to plug or point our attention to? I have a small production company called Laukkanen Productions Inc. (Movie scripts, music albums)

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For more on SALt and to connect, please visit:
Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/SALT-215125575167552/
SoundCloud https://m.soundcloud.com/sarah-salt

Album on iTunes Salt & Light by Salt https://itun.es/ca/xvaoN

Free streaming of album https://sarahradford.bandcamp.com/

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Come see us play at The Cameron House Friday August 12th 9:00pm!

Click for Facebook Event here!

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