On a cool fall Friday night, I decided to attend a triple bill concert headlined by a great folk rock band known as the Wilderness of Manitoba. I was in for a night of making new friends, hearing new sounds, and feeling the great positive love and vibe that emanated throughout the night.
The first act goes under the name T H O M A S, a group headlined by singer/guitarist/songwriter Thom Gill. He opened the set with his effective take on soul, folk, and even gospel music, bringing a more eclectic and jazzier feel to contemporary Christian music. I especially dug his very inventive, re-harmonized takes on Lenny Leblanc’s “Above All” (a classic praise and worship stable infused with soul and sass) and the Clark Sisters’ “Is My Living in Vain” (a more reflective, contemplative take on the tune versus the rousing, in-your-face original version). Throughout his set I fell in love with his voice, his personality, and his soul, and I cannot wait to hear more music from this stellar artist.
The second act goes under the name Kite Hill. Kite Hill was a departure from the jazzier, gospel feel of the first act since this time it was a classically influenced band that was piano and strings driven throughout. I loved the rich vocals and the instrumentation of the group, ranging from upright bass, cello, and violin, to even the glockenspiel. It was inventive alternative folk/rock music at its best and most creative, and it has something for both the rock fans as well as those who are inclined to lean towards classical music.
The main event was of course, the Wilderness of Manitoba, fresh off the heels from their third album, “Island of Echoes”. What struck me with this band was their intricate harmonizations between the four lead vocalists. They sounded like a full-fledged choir that was in sync, full bodied and in harmony with one another. Plus, each one of the members is skilled in their own instruments, some fluctuating between percussion, violin, bass and trumpet. The tunes were very catchy and harmonious, and the band is certainly one to watch on the Canadian music scene.
Three great acts for the price of one. Surely I did not go wrong this time around.
T H O M A S Web Site
Kite Hill Web Site
The Wilderness of Manitoba Web Site
(T H O M A S)
(The Wilderness of Manitoba)