Kora began as a singer-songwriter, touring with Juno-winner Julie Doiron, opening for Genie-winner Oh Susanna, Veda Hille and ECMA winners Sol. She collaborated with Isaac and Blewett, Brent Mason, and members of Hot Toddy, and she showcased at the Junos and the ECMAs. She comes from a family of folk musicians, received training in bebop vocals in Montreal, and has played a host of instruments. Matte Robinson originally joined her on trumpet, and later on keyboards and vocals. They clicked and morphed the band into a duo, showcasing at the Nashville New Music Conference, the ECMA sneak peek showcase, and Canadian Music Week. Their collaboration as a duo lives on in their work for film; they have three film projects under their collective belt, including the feature-length Original Music for the Film Margaret and Deirdre, and they’ve appeared on a CBC Roundup special about couples who work together. But both were eager to expand Vetch-they knew that there was still growing to do.
After Life is Not That Hard garnered national attention-resulting in feature interviews on the Roundup and Atlantic Airwaves, coverage on Definitely Not the Opera and an ECMA nomination for Alternative Recording of the Year-the band added Jeannine Gallant on trombone. She and Matte had played together for years in a funk band, gigs ranging from reggae to blues, and all three had been together in an experimental collective and a big band. A schooled trombone player and a good singer and keyboardist, Jeannine added the ingredient that really made the band cook-now it could be a horn section, or a guitar/keyboard/two vocalist setup, or three part harmony. The band that had opened for moe., Martin Tielli’s rock tour and Matt Mays and El Torpedo could now also play jazz standards and music from the Great American Songbook.
Venue size and budget permitting, Vetch includes drummer Andrew Demerchant and bassist Scott Culligan. Andrew’s specialties are jazz and heavy music; he and Matte played in a band over a decade ago, opening for Pluto, Madhat, Punchbuggy, and ECMA-winners Eric’s Trip. Andrew, with his longtime punk act 283, has opened for the likes of Fugazi, and is also in demand among discerning jazz players in the Fredericton area, being the longtime drummer for The Thomists (a 20-piece big band in which all five Vetch members have played) and for multitudinous jazz combos. Scott Culligan is only nineteen years old, yet he already has to turn down gigs. Last count he was in four bands (plus combos), and is in high demand as a hot up-and-comer with an amazing ear and sensibility. Vetch is very pleased to have him on board.
Recently Vetch has toured with Harmony Trowbridge, played benefits at Fredericton’s Playhouse alongside Casey Leblanc, and has been gearing up for a year of playing. Now that the Woolsey/Robinson recording project (mastered by Vetch friend and collaborator, Gémeaux-nominated Tim Rideout) is complete, the emphasis has been on composing new songs and booking gigs, and they have already started work on their second full-length studio album and a live album. Their performances are high-energy, engaging, entertaining, intelligent, and eminently danceable. They infuse their audiences with a love of music—not just rock or jazz, but pure music, of any and all genres. And that’s what they’re about: music.
There is the entertainment side of the live performance, though, and it comes from the band dynamic. They’ve known each other for years, cried, laughed, and argued together. Two were once married to each other, while Kora and Matte remain a healthy couple—fighting or kissing on stage, depending on how they feel at the time. Jeannine’s expressively surreal; Andrew’s taciturn and wry; Scott’s favourite line is “I’m indifferent.” Even though they sometimes argue, they’re all serious about playing together, and they can read each other’s minds.
Edited by buddypepper on 2 Mar 2007, 14:37
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