Bad Habits
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Bad Habits

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada | SELF

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada | SELF
Band Blues Rock




"Bad Habits Bandwagon"

by Jill Hamilton
If it’s a Saturday night in PEI, Bad Habits are probably playing a crowded blues show somewhere.

The clinking of tambourines, extended guitar and drum solos and soaring, heart-quaking vocals are regular features of a Bad Habits show—and they’ve only just begun. Bad Habits was recently nominated for two PEI Music Awards—Entertainer of the Year and Bell Aliant Weekend Warrior (which they won). On a national scale, the band has garnered much attention on, reaching #1 on the international Hot Blues charts and #49 on the blues charts in North America. These accolades are especially impressive for a band less than two years old.

Newcomers to a Bad Habits show might recognize vocalist Amanda Jackson from The Waterman Blues Band. She joined Bad Habits in September. “I found it a very exciting challenge. Blues comes naturally to me so I knew the genre would fit,” Jackson said. “Once I filled in a couple of gigs with the boys, I knew in my bones this was a good match.”

Drummer Liam Kearney has been performing live since age 14, but for guitarists Jason Condon and Dale McKie and bass player Matt Wilson, being in a band is a new experience. Making the transition to live performances was a big step for Condon, but the positive energy from fans made it easier. “It’s a feeling you don’t really get from anything else,” he said. “You feel the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. Your toes curl up a little.”

Bad Habits has played almost every Charlottetown venue and all over PEI. They are booked for festivals next summer in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and plan to play Moncton and Halifax shortly. “We want to take the Bad Habits show on the road and let everyone else know what the fuss is about,” said Wilson.

Performing isn’t just about playing music, said McKie. “We bring a few dozen [tambourines] to every show and hand them out to the audience so they can play along and have some fun,” he added. “It’s our duty to make sure you have a good time.”

Bad Habits plans to breathe some soul into a debut album and are heading to the studio in the spring. “We want to make something great,” McKie said. “We’re building a really good catalog of songs. Songs we really care about.”

Every show and rehearsal is full of laughs, said Kearney. “Who knew making blues music could be so much fun?” - The Buzz

"We’ve Got Our Eyes On…Bad Habits"

Who they are:
Amanda Jackson – vocals
Dale McKie – harmonica, guitar
Jason Condon – guitar
Matt Wilson – bass
Liam Kearney – drums, percussions
Home base:
“We’re kind of stretched out,” says Bad Habits drummer, Liam Kearney, who, along with Dale and Jason, is based out of Charlottetown. Matt Wilson hails from Kensington and Amanda lives close to Montague.
On the scene since:
Spring 2010. During a Colin James concert at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in February of that same year, Dale decided he wanted to put together a blues band. “On March 17, he posted on his blog that he was going to do this,” recalls Kearney,” and everything quickly fell into place after that.” Bad Habits held their first practice on April 12, 2010.
What you’ll hear them play:
The five-piece describes their sound as Blues Rock. During their dynamic three-hour sets, Bad Habits mixes things up with blues covers and original material. No two shows are ever the same as they are consistently adding new original songs every week. “Some songs veer more towards the blues end of the spectrum and some more towards rock,” says Kearney, “but they all have their heart firmly rooted in the blues in some fashion.”
Musical influences:
Colin James, SRV (Stevie Ray Vaughn), Albert King, Big Sugar
How Bad Habits got their name:
The band adopted the Bad Habits moniker from a blues song covered by Colin James called “Bad Habits”. “It kind of goes back to that blues band tradition of naming yourself after a song you really admire,” reveals Kearney. “The song type also shows our philosophy as a band when it comes to covers. That song was not written by Colin James, but if you listen to it, he owns every second of it. You walk away thinking the song belongs only to him.” The band usually plays the song as a part of their set at every gig.
On the rise:
As their second anniversary nears, Bad Habits have a lot to celebrate. Their over-the-top live shows have packed local venues, festivals, and charitable events and have earned them the title as one of the hardest working blues bands on PEI. In addition to their entertaining and interactive performances, Bad Habits are making their online presence felt in a big way, sharing photos, special moments, and upcoming gigs with their fans. It’s not hard to tell this is a band who truly loves what they do.
Some of their most memorable moments include the first show with Amanda, who joined Bad Habits in September, at the sold out Beef n’ Blues concert in Summerside during Fall Flavours. The band also performs an annual Toys for Tots Christmas Bash, which is one of their favourite gigs because “it’s always such a fun time for such a great cause.” Bad Habits capped off a busy, yet exciting 2011 with a sold out New Year’s Eve show at Globe World Flavours, kicking off 2012 in high style.
Most recently, Bad Habits took the stage during the Music PEI Awards Gala, performing to their biggest crowd yet, both as nominees for Entertainer of the Year and Bell Aliant Weekend Warrior. The band took home the Weekend Warrior award that night, as voted by their ever-growing fan base.
On winning the Fan’s Choice Bell Aliant Weekend Warrior of the Year award:
“It (the WWA) was huge for us because it’s the only fan voted award for Music PEI,” says Kearney. “We are so lucky to have a growing and dedicated fan base that actually snuck in tambourines and made lots of noise during our performance. Members of the band ran out into the audience and played guitar in the aisles as the fans shook their tambourines and made lots of noise.” The band later posted photos of Music PEI Awards Gala host Jonathan Torrens, Lennie Gallant, and Catherine MacLellan shaking the Bad Habits “tambos” on their Facebook Fan Page.
On what it takes to be a success:
“We’re still working hard to find that out,” they reveal, “we actually treat it like a business, but it’s a business we love. We rehearse a minimum of four hours every week, we arrive to gigs early, play long sets, and we stay sober during every show. We believe in showing the venues respect. Plus, our fans deserve that.
“We actually discuss how to make our shows more entertaining for the fans. April Condon, our visual design guru, has worked very hard on our image. Her and Jason were nominated for Music PEI’s Visual Artist of the Year. There is a whole behind the scenes team working as hard as we do. Everyone is working hard to make us look good!”
Looking ahead:
Bad Habits are currently working on their first album and hope to have it released in time for the next round of ECMA, Music PEI Awards, Maple Blues Awards, and upcoming festivals. They just launched their campaign on Indiegogo ( so their fans can help make this album the first of many more to come. “It’s going to be a big year for Bad Habits,” says Kearney. Indeed it will.
Check them out:
Facebook Fan Page: Bad Habits – Blues Band
Email: - G!


Bad Habits first album "Good Thing" was released in September of 2012. The CD contains 13 original tracks which reflects many of the bands influences. Their first single "How About You" has been put in rotation on Q93 and several tracks have received regular air play on CBC.



Bad Habits are the hottest up-and-coming band on the PEI blues scene. Fresh off their nomination for Music PEI Entertainer of the Year, and their win for the fan voted Bell Aliant Weekend Warrior 2012, they are on a roll that can't be stopped. Their over-the-top live shows, with long sets, short set breaks, crazy antics and audience participation, have helped to establish them as a seriously entertaining blues act. Bad Habits have played venues all across PEI showcasing their original material, along with a mixture of blues classics rearranged with a rockin’ twist. With their sights firmly set on being a top notch blues band, Bad Habits delivers amazing entertainment value at every show.

In just over a year Bad Habits have written an album worth of original material, which they are in the process of recording. They have had three singles air on local radio stations, and performed a 3rd single live on CBC radio. They have stormed the stage at two PEI Jazz and Blues Festival showcases, the Red Island Blues Festival (formerly the PEI Blues Cruise), the Smokin' Blues Festival, Atlanticade 2012, Festival of Fall Flavours Beef and Blues, and performed on the main stage for the Music PEI Awards Gala. Bad Habits also maintains a steady schedule of club gigs and many charitable events. This is one blues band that truly loves what they do!