by Nilabjo Banerjee

Calum Graham captivated the early birds with his mastery of the acoustic guitar. The 22year old West-Coast phenom can play the guitar like no one else, and he can sing too! The vocals have bit of boyish charm to it, enough to make Graham a double threat in the singer-songwriter category. Watching Graham perform the songs in person, instead of the videos on the YouTube channel, had me asking the same question I ask every time: how is he doing that? Standouts in the set included “Waiting”, the soothing Don Ross duet and Arabian Nights flavoured “Phoenix Rising”. He will be back on July 17 for a show at Harbourfront Center show. Missing that would be a crime.

Newest signee on Pheromone Recordings (Joel Plaskett, Mo Kenney) Steph Cameron had no rookie jitters about her. The first impressions from initial moments of the set: she means business and she will sing about it! She had an air of quiet confidence, and a voice that had moments of youthful sensual delivery, but also huskiness of a great storyteller. The songs had a Dylan-esque quality to it, where words matter more than the riffs on the guitar. Cameron told stories from her days hitchhiking and riding freight trains, and no she wasn’t born in the 60s.  Her debut is coming out in the fall, and this unknown yet impressive folkstress won’t be a no-name for too long.