Brandishing an immediately identifiable “band sound” usually achieved by a group playing together for years, Toast may be the most cohesive, exciting high-school rock band the South Shore has seen.
Toast is a five piece rock band formed and supported by the David Jodka Scholarship for Future Rockers. Coming from all corners of the South Shore, the band convenes weekly for rehearsals and coaching with guitar / bass / composition / and ensemble coach Erik Caldarone at South Shore Conservatory. There, Toast hones their skills as musicians and band members in the context of challenging, genre-spanning covers and original music selected by both the coach and individual members.
After just 2 months of exploring their collective musical identities and building strong, lasting friendships, Toast found a unified vision and sound that begs the boundaries of rock. They expertly create delicate tapestries of interwoven guitar parts and vocal harmonies only to fearlessly careen into a moment filled with cinematic raw energy and chest-filling volume. Lit only by a few colored christmas lights in their practice space, Toast is already delivering cathartic, seamless live performances, though the only ones there to bare witness are their coach and their spirit animal - a fly named Jones.
Toast is currently in the process of writing original music and booking shows on the South Shore and Boston.
Elizabeth Croteau, Hingham - Piano / Vocals
Darcy Milligan, Scituate - Guitar / Vocals
Jack Holland, Plymouth - Guitar
Rose Cataudella, Marshfield - Bass
Suzie O’Neil, Duxbury - Drums / Vocals
Ball in the House is an R&B/Soul/Pop a cappella group based out of Boston that has been entertaining audiences of all ages for over 15 years. Averaging 250 shows a year, Ball in the House has performed all over the country at theaters, clubs, schools - even opening for some big stars, such as The Beach Boys, The Temptations, Lionel Richie, KC & The Sunshine Band, The Jonas Brothers, and numerous others. BitH’s founder & beatboxer, Jon Ryan, first met Dave singing with the Skidmore a cappella group, The Bandersnatchers. Soon after, Jon and Dave joined fellow Bandersnatcher Nate Watkins along with Doug Fraim to form West Lot, going on to rock the Saratoga, NY area for 4 glorious years.
It’s difficult to impart the roots-steeped, road-trippin' essence of the Adam Ezra Group into a single word, but frontman Adam Ezra nonetheless keeps one in mind as something of a mantra: community.
To the musicians at the heart of AEG, community is epitomized by a belief they all share, one that has long doubled as a mission statement for the group: namely, that making music together is itself a form of grassroots organizing, capable of nothing less than changing the world.
That Ezra and his bandmates hold sacred such an inclusive approach to their craft helps explain the gathering storm of an album that is “Hurricane Wind,” one of AEG’s most ambitious undertakings to date. Not only fan-funded, but also fan-produced, the project finds the broader AEG fan community playing a role in every step of the process from inception to its impending release on May 21st.
Such a groundbreaking form of collaboration makes all the sense in the world for a musical collective like AEG. After all, as Ezra sees it, the fans are really part of the band, active members of their movement who’ve always exercised a critical role in AEG’s ability to carry out its mission. This inclusive approach to musicianship, centered about respecting and celebrating their listeners above all else, Ezra insists, is what has allowed the group to explode out of their Boston-area origins to emerge as one of the most uniquely powerful, relentlessly entertaining live-music experiences in the country.
AEG’s grassroots efforts recently caught the eye of John Oates, of Hall & Oates fame. For the past year and a half, Ezra and Oates have been regular writing partners, meeting up in Nashville between tours. Three of their co-writes are featured on the upcoming Adam Ezra Group album, and Oates himself joined Ezra in the studio to sing and play on the album. They performed their first co-written song, "All I Am", live in-studio as an acoustic duet, a process also shared with fans, who were invited along for a virtual tour of the studio as well as granted access to unreleased studio performances.
Last December, AEG galvanized their community partnership by releasing 23 studio demos to fans, including multiple collaborations with Oates. Ezra established an innovative framework through which fans could follow the process of song arrangement and studio tracking, help whittle the album down to just 11 polished final cuts, steer artwork creation, and assist in naming the project itself.
The now-cemented title, “Hurricane Wind,” speaks to an elemental, overpowering force of nature, a quality AEG believes exists in every human being and can be magnified through the unifying power of music.
When the record arrives on May 21, the AEG fanbase will turn the full power of its collective hurricane wind outward, sharing the music for free with as many people as possible over the course of two energized weeks. Such a groundswell of activity wouldn’t have been possible even a few years ago; “Hurricane Wind,” to AEG, represents both a celebration and reaffirmation of how remarkably that community has grown.
Even amid ballooning success, Ezra says it’s been not just easy, but natural for AEG to stay dedicated to its mission and true to its humble roots. Perhaps no song sums this up more than a fan favorite, selected to anchor the new album. Called “I Believe,” it’s a gorgeously layered, nakedly emotional ode to the long path they’ve already traveled as a community - and to the wide-open road ahead.
You’ve got a style, that comes on like a hurricane wind,” sings Ezra on the track, backed by a group of musicians all equally engrossed in the material and attuned to its significance.
“You’ve got a spark, that lights the fire that never ends." With his next lines, Ezra speaks not only to the internal maxim that keeps him moving, but also to the enduring force for hope and change that his band has come to symbolize to its ever-swelling fanbase: “And in the times when hope is gone, you give me the strength to carry on - I know the path is long, but I believe.”
“On the cusp of a meteoric rise in the songwriter community, Julie Rhodes is a powerhouse vocalist with authentic soul, grounded both in the songwriting traditions of yesterday’s Americana and today’s very present social and political issues.” - Howl Magazine
Armed with legion of Boston fans and a new sponsorship from Bud Light, Dalton & the Sheriffs hit the road in the fall of 2016, earning a headlining slot on the Bud Light Down South Tour. From Virginia to Tennessee, from Florida to Alabama and Mississippi, the band brought Boston country music to the south to high praise.
Along the way, the band landed marquee opening slots for acts such as Sam Hunt and Jon Pardi at the Battle at Bristol, as well as supporting A Thousand Horses and Mickey Guyton at the Titans-Jaguars Thursday Night Football game at Nissan Stadium. In between their travels, the band also found time to open twice for LOCASH in the Boston area. Their work on the tour -- and at various additional stops such as the famed Bluebird Cafe's Sunday Night Writer's night -- earned the band three shows at Tootsie's Orchid Lounge playing their own music in November and December.
The band enters 2017 with a new EP on the way and their popular single "You Ain't Her" getting regular rotation on iHeartRadio's 101.7 The Bull's Backyard Country show. The first single of the new EP, "Call in Summer" is slated for release on June 9, 2017 and is already streaming heavily on Spotify.
Armed with a new Bud Light touring van, Dalton & the Sheriffs are primed to bring their distinctive brand of country music to the country at large.
Ball in the House, Toast, Julie Rhodes, Adam Ezra Group, The Aldous Collins Band, and Dalton & The Sheriffs
Ball in the House, Toast, Girls Guns and Glory, Dirty Bangs, The Aldous Collins Band, and The Sheila Divine
Peter Mundt, Ball in the House, Nate Watkins and Friends, Fat Boy, The Aldous Collins Band, and East Fourth