by Laura Feeney

To be honest, my Saturday night plan was derailed by a combination of freezing weather and oversold shows. My first stop quickly became my last, which was on shame since Hunter’s Pop-Rock stage had of the best line-ups I’ve ever seen. In a single word to describe the evening: wow.


The night started off with Andy Brown’s “Happiness”. I think – I was still waiting outside for the doors to open.  Arriving half-way through the set, I was impressed to see a much more commanding stage presence from the Fredericton singer-songwriter than I remembered from Harvest Jazz in 2012.  His upbeat set had the audience bouncing and singing along with “Tin Man” and the energetic closing song “You Wear me Out”.  Andy will return to the Hunter’s Stage on April 25, 2014.


Nova Scotia’s Ria Mae pleased the crowd with raw vocals and a fantastic blend of pop-rock.The edgy “Take your clothes off” got everyone’s attention with it’s playfully provocative lyrics. I enjoyed Ria’s humourous stage presence and look forward to her upcoming release to be produced by Classified.


Dylan Guthro of Nova Scotia is a singer-songwriter on the rise. His blend of pop-rock, infused with a variety of percussive sounds, made for a very cool show. The female backup vocalists really shone in this performance, earning their own cheers as they added depth to the lighter moments. Dylan treated the Hunter’s crowd to an acoustic version of his new release “Do it all Again”, a track written with David Myles and Classified – well worth checking out.


Mo Kenney was the reason that I couldn’t risk to leave this venue. I saw her in a songwriting circle last year and was intrigued by her interesting lyrics and quirky stage presence. Her collaboration with producer and fellow Nova Scotian, Joel Plaskett, can be heard in the composition of her songs, particularly in the kickass guitar solos. Mo’s set was enthralling, with songs such as the endearing “Sucker”, the rocking guitar solo in “Great Escape”, and a peek at several new songs. She held the audience captive and it was no surprise when, following her set, she was awarded the ECMA for pop recording of the year. She’s definitely an artist to watch for!


Charlottetown’s own Tim Chaisson headlined the Hunter’s stage, bringing a mix of energetic folk-rock and some traditional east coast fiddling.  Tim’s soft vocals and electric acoustic riffs are a winning combination, which can be heard in “Beat this Heart”. The final minutes of his set were a festival highlight for me as the band nailed some traditional east coast music as the audience danced with unparalleled enthusiasm.

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