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St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Rock Soul


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos




Today’s Therapy: Baytown’s Island (released March 24th, 2014)

Welcome back music lovers! Today is one of the many, many bands I got to see live in the basement of bars all across downtown PEI during the East Coast Music Awards in April. After several CD purchases, which now reside on my wall as decorations, I definitely enjoyed this one the most. Unfortunately, I could only find a couple songs off of the album online, so if you like what you hear please get a copy and listen to “New Moon”, “Awake”, “Carry On”, as well as the ones I’ll discuss today.

Below you’ll find the title track “Island”. I personally appreciate the slower tempo live version as Greg’s saxophone solo was much more detailed and Matt’s vocal notes were greatly sustained. Rock enthusiasts would better appreciate the album version as it contains an upbeat and absolutely awesome drum track. The catchy chorus always has me coming back for more “the fuel, the fire, the gasoline”.

Lyrically, this song is about leaving one’s love behind to pursue greater opportunities beyond the shore of their hometown island, which is perhaps reminiscent of Baytown’s growing popularity allowing them to play shows outside of Newfoundland. Speaking of which, they will be playing a show on July 26th at Sharbot Lake Country Inn, located between Toronto and Ottawa just off of the Trans-Canada Highway.

Another forward progressing drum beat is showcased in the first track off of Island entitled “Oasis”, containing the double-time hi-hat in the chorus. Also featuring back and forth vocal melodies with a faded echo and variable interspersed saxophone rifts makes this my second favourite song.

Thanks for tuning in everyone! Make sure to check out the extra tunes I briefly mentioned and hope your Thursday went well! - The Indie Blender

"Baytown touring new album ‘Island’ in the Maritimes"

When you think of St. John’s, NL and their music scene, a pop-rock/reggae/funk sound, may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Baytown is contributing to the diverse music scene in Newfoundland by releasing their sophomore album, Island. Baytown has only been a band for a handful of years but have already been garnering attention from their Music NL nominations and having their video, ‘Waited On’ receiving airplay on CMT.

The members of Baytown; Matt Cooke, James Lee Wright, Jason Howard, and Greg Bruce have strong musical backgrounds. Coming from musical families, it was a no brainer that they started playing music together.
“Myself, James and our original drummer Mike had grown up together, skateboarding together, and realized we liked the same music. We all come from musical families as well, so it wasn’t a stretch for any of us to get together and play music. In high school we all had similar tastes in music as well; talented upbeat music, like Sublime, Bob Marley, etc. It was a no brainer on what kind of music we wanted to play. Just music we could relate to and that we all enjoyed playing. Jason joined us on drums and we also asked our friend Greg Bruce to play saxophone with us at a couple of our live shows and eventually Greg joined the band full-time,” said Cooke.

Baytowns sophomore release, ‘Island’, is a mix of upbeat, reggae/funk songs that keep your feet taping, but you can also find hints of Cooke’s personal acoustic/rock/blues tracks on the album in tracks like, ‘Give yourself the Gun.’
“I am the sole songwriter for the band, and I usually hash it out by myself and bring the core of the song to the guys, and we work on it from there. It may get completely re-worked, or we may decide it’s not a good fit for the band. Jimmy is great to bring that set reggae sound and him and Mike put the groove of the song together. If it doesn’t fit for Baytown, it may be a song I will play on my own,” said Cooke.

As many Canadian bands are managing, organizing tours, and even producing their own albums, it is no different for Baytown.
“We are self-produced and self-managed, which is like a lot of bands out there. For ‘Island’ we took a few songs we had been playing for a few years and a few newer songs which we wrote over the recording process. It’s hard to be your own critic and deciding if a part of a song should get cut, or re-worked. There isn’t a whole lot of options in Newfoundland for producers and often times they aren’t available. Producing is a touchy thing and can make our break an album,” said Cooke.

As to what they have learned while recording and releasing two albums, touring, and releasing several videos, Cooke says, “When recording, the time you think you will need, double it. The budget you think you will need, double that. If you aren’t quite happy with an album, or even a song you have recorded, keep working on it, take the time to craft it, you will regret it later if you don’t.”

You can check out Baytown on their first visit to NB and PEI when they play Plan B in Moncton on April 3rd, The Capital in Fredericton on April 4th, and in PEI on April 5th at the ECMA Music NL Showcase.
Baytowns new album ‘Island’ is available now on iTunes and -

"Baytown kicks off tour tonight"

Band blends variety of sounds
The members of Baytown released their long-awaited second album, “Island,” early this week, and will kick off an Atlantic Canadian tour with a show at The Ship tonight.

Describing their sound as “groovin’ island pop,” the members of Baytown blend jazz, funk, reggae, ska and rock to create melodies and driving beats.

Guitarist/vocalist Matt Cooke, bassist James Lee Wright and guitarist Mike Dinn met at a skate park as kids and have been friends ever since, performing music together from the age of 13. Sax player Greg Bruce is the newest member of the band.

“Island” was created via email and phone, with Cooke living part-time in Toronto.

“I really do think we’re sounding better than ever,” Wright said. “We’re more devoted and professional and that, combined with our business side and a budget, thanks to the City of St. John’s and MusicNL, has made this a great album.”

“Our style of music has evolved through writing songs as a band,” added Cooke. “Having Greg on board for this album has really focused our sound in a fresh way.”

In addition to the gig at The Ship, Baytown will perform a free show at Fred’s Records on Duckworth Street Saturday at 2 p.m. After that, it’s on to shows in Moncton, Fredericton, Charlottetown, Sydney, Halifax and Yarmouth.

See a video of Baytown’s single “Oasis” online at - West Island Chronicle


Baytown’s new sophomore album, Island, is a blend of “upbeat new blend of reggae, funk and pop.” Vocalist Matt Cooke sent in these answers from the road — the band just showcased at the ECMAs in PEI, as part of a recent tour of all the Atlantic provinces. “Our style of music has evolved through writing songs as a band. Having sax man Greg Bruce on board for this album has really focused our sound in a fresh way.”

Is there a song on here that’s a little different for you, or that you questioned including?

I don’t know if a band is ever completely satisfied with every single song they put on an album, and there were a couple of tracks we went back and forth on. I think if you are mostly happy with the songs then you’re doing pretty good. We had some debate over “The Mist.” Sometimes it helps if you just rework the song and figure out what’s not jiving right.

Which one of these songs came out the hardest or was the longest in the crafting? Why?

We spent a lot of time with “Awake.” It has been an acoustic song of mine for a while and I really wanted to transform it to a Baytown tune. So that alone took some time. We added, flute, acoustic guitar, and glockenspiel and Erin Best on accompanying vocals, so it was probably the song with the most studio time involved. We are happy with it and are working on releasing it as another single.

Share a random fact about one of your songs on this album, or the album itself.

The song “The Brave” tells a true story about my Grandfather on a ship convoy during the Second World War. He saved nearly thirty lives by swimming to save stranded soldiers after their ship hit a mine. No one knew of the incident until the 1990s when a member of the crew came looking for him.

Name one influence on your approach to songwriting – whether it be a musician or a goal you have in crafting a song.

I try to write constantly. Whenever the feeling comes to form a chord progression, verse, or entire song, Ill just go for it. If you write one good one at the end of the week, you’re doing pretty well. And sometimes pieces/lyrics/progressions of “unused” songs can work with a new idea. A good song usually takes multiple sessions to get where you want it.

What’s a new album you’ve been loving lately?

Arcade Fire’s latest has been on heavy rotation. Sherman Downey’s latest has some very catchy tunes on there. We all have varying music tastes but I think we all dig hearing new sounds and it’s a pretty groovin’ playlist on tour.

There are many ways to evaluate a song. But for you, what’s one trait that makes a great song a great song? Name a song you love that fits that bill.

In general a good song is one that makes you feel emotion when you hear it. Whether it’s the groove you automatically fall in from hearing “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac or the laid back feeling you get from a Kendrick Lamar track, a great song hits you, and you’re like: thank you for that.

Other than music, name something else you love.

As a band we love to have a good time. It’s great to be in a band with not only great players, but people you are good friends with too. It’s not like we party super hard all the time, but it’s never a boring time on the road or after shows. I think after a year of working on the album, we are all excited to share the music and rock some shows. - The Overcast

"Baytown boogie - Band produces eclectic sound — Submitted photo Baytown"

It’s always interesting to ask musicians to describe their own style of music. Wanting to be unique, never interested in being pigeon-holed, they often come up with their own genres.
“Groovin’ island pop” is how the guys of Baytown categorize their sound, adding it’s always been difficult for them to describe the band, given they like to include many different styles and have a dozen influences.
The “groovin’” comes from their blend of jazz, funk, reggae, ska and perhaps a touch of rockabilly; the “island” comes from their outlook on life.
“We’re pretty laid back. We like to hang out, have a good time, and that’s island culture. More laid back than everywhere else,” explains sax player Greg Bruce.
The guys are just home from last week’s East Coast Music Awards and conference, where they brought their island mentality — and snazzy outfits, including suspenders, bowties and fedoras?— to Halifax, performing on the Breakout Stage and a MusicNL showcase, to crowds that may not have been islanders, but clearly understood what they were putting out.
Bruce is the newest member of the band, having joined in the past year to add saxophone sounds. The other three members — guitarist/vocalist Matt Cooke, James Lee Wright on bass and Mike Dinn on drums — met at a skate park as kids and have been friends ever since, performing music together from age 13 onwards.
“We never stopped playing, and that’s why we communicate so well,” Wright says. “Our first show (as Baytown) was at Roxxy’s for fun, and it was like, well, we might as well keep doing this. ?That was probably five years ago.
Since that first show, Baytown has released a couple of EPs, earning a 2009 MusicNL Award nomination for Best Pop/Rock Artist.
Their first full-length record, “Two Places,” was released at the end of 2012, and earned them another five MusicNL nominations, as well as radio airplay.
A year ago, the band released its first video, for a song called “Death of Us,” which has been in national rotation on CMT, followed up by a Heavyweather video for “Island.” They are preparing to release a third video, “Waited On,” next month.
Filmed at Quidi Vidi Brewery and in Toronto, the concept is simple, Bruce says.
“It’s a guy and a girl in a bar, and there’s kind of like a 1950s vibe,” he says. “It’s a smoky bar and the band is playing in the background, and there’s tension between the guy and the girl. That’s what the song is about — they’re waiting on each other, and not in a good way.”
Baytown’s been focusing on videos, Wright says, as a way to extend the life of a song.
“I just think people get bored really easily now,” he says. “No one wants to just listen to a song. They want to see stuff. It’s a great way to perform your music and to get people noticing. Obviously, you have to play shows and that’s the most important, but it’s another great avenue.”
Baytown shows are few and far between for the time being, given that Cooke has temporarily moved to Toronto. He flies in from time to time to perform and record, and will be home again this summer, Wright says.
In the meantime, thanks to grants from the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council, MusicNL and the City of St. John’s, the band has begun working on its as-yet-untitled second full-length record via email and phone.
Cooke will write a scratch song with lyrics and a basic song form, and send it to the other three, who flesh it out.
Wright comes up with the bassline, Bruce pens the sax and vocal harmonies, and Dinn puts down the groove.
“When I work with (Cooke) over email, mostly I’m just learning my part and learning what’s going on and I don’t get any inspiration until we jam as a band, and the song changes completely,” says Wright.
“It’s funny,” adds Bruce. “We still have the scratch tracks for the two new tunes we’ve put together and they’re in a different key, they’re slower and they don’t necessarily sound like a Baytown song. When we do it, it’s a Baytown song, whatever that means.”
The musicians have most of the songs for the upcoming album completed, and have ideas for the rest.
While their sound is eclectic, they’re hoping the songs on this record will be less diverse and more unified than they were on “Two Places,” giving listeners a better picture of who they are and what they do.
They’re focusing on a sound, and they’re also focusing on business, an aspect of their musical career they had put on the back burner until recently.
At the ECMA conference, they took in as many of the different panels and seminars as possible, Wright said, learning as much as they could about things like publicity and promotions, management and labels.
They learned from industry professionals that it’s entirely possible to have a career in music without a record label or manager, but only if you’re dedicated and impeccably organized — which they are. They’ve got a business plan in the works and, thanks to grants, the means to introduce it.
“I guess our ultimate goal is just to stick wit - The Telegram


"the music is as upbeat as a “late-night dancer” could hope for with bouncy tom and snare rolls, punchy horns, walking bass and Matt’s soulful vocals smoothing it all out with a sandpaper rasp" - The Scope

"Fresh Tracks: Baytown"

Originally hailing from Conception Bay South, Baytown is a three-piece band that derived its energetic and spirited sound from a variety of coastal and urban influences, mixing elements of rock music with aspects of funk, soul and reggae. Baytown is comprised of Matt Cooke (guitar/vocals), James Wright (bass) and Mike Dinn (drums), three childhood friends from C.B.S. who met at the local skate park and soon began playing music together. Since relocating to St. John's, Baytown has developed a devoted fan following made up of a combination of laid-back listeners and late-night dancers. They have released two EPs and have toured throughout Eastern Canada. In honour of their achievement and hard work, they were rewarded with a 2009 MusicNL Award nomination for Best Pop/Rock Artist of the year. After playing together for several years, Baytown shows no signs of slowing down. Their first full-length album, "Two Places," will be released tonight at The Rockhouse, with support from Chris Kirby and Mercy, the Sexton. Click here to listen to "Waited On". - The Telegram

"“Island” by Baytown"

CBS band Baytown will be playing a string of shows this week during the George Street Festival. The group consists of Matt Cooke (vocals, guitar), Jimmy Lee Wright (bass), Mike Dinn (drums) and Greg Bruce (saxophone) and their style goes hand in hand with the festivities downtown, as the group specializes in a fun blend of rock, funk, soul and other forms of danceable music. But while the lads put on a great live show they’re much more than a dance band as is evident from today’s track. This video was filmed by the incredible Heavy Weather crew and features a more laid back, jazzy side of the Baytown sound while remaining undeniably catchy and groove-oriented.

Baytown released their debut full length album last year. Stand-out tracks include the Stevie Wonder-esque funk of “Ignore”, the reggae-infused “Raining Down” and the bluesy, electric slide stomp of “One Night Time”. Check out a sample of these and other great tracks from Baytown’s album at their Bandcamp page.

You can catch Baytown live this week at the following venues and dates.

Thursday, July 26th @ The Brimstone w/ Mic Davis
Friday, July 27th @ Krugers (in Kelligrews) w/ White Collar Criminals and Full Flavor
Saturday, July 28th @ The Levee w/ The Thymes and Other People
Monday, July 30th @ The Levee w/ Full Flavor, Steve Maloney and Ol’Savannah - The Scope

"“Waited On” by Baytown (feat. Jessica Power)"

Matt Cooke (vocals/guitar), James Lee Wright (bass) and Mike Dinn (drums) have come along way since meeting in a CBS skate park many years ago. These three childhood friends formed the band Baytown back in 2007 and have since gained rapid local notoriety with their rock, funk, soul and blues sound. In 2009 the group was nominated for Best Pop/Rock Artist of the Year by Music NL. Since then they’ve added local saxophonist extraordinaire Greg Bruce to the line-up, and in 2011 they released their debut album Two Places.

Today’s track is the brand new video for the second single from Baytown’s Two Places. The song showcases the group’s jazzier side with delicately brushed drums, softly strummed sevenths and sax. It also features some lovely guest vocals by Jessie Power of Sea Caves who released one of my favorite albums of 2011, the band’s Of Gold Of Night. Check out more from Baytown’s Two Places below. - The Scope


ISLAND (March, 2014)

Recorded at Stagehouse Studio in St. John's, NL. Supported by NLAC, MusicNL 

TWO PLACES  (November 2011)

Recorded at Henge Studio with Leo Bruce in St. John's, NL. Supported by NLAC, City of St. John's



BAYTOWN's groovin' island jams brings to life the history and spirit of living on Canada's East Coast through blending horn-laced dance beats and lush storytelling with a ska-inspired vibe. The band, from St. John’s Newfoundland, is comprised of Matt Cooke (vocals, guitar), Greg Bruce (sax, flute, pedals), James Lee Wright (bass) and Jason Howard (drums, vocals). 

 Recently, Baytown released their sophomore ECMA nominated album, Island, described as “a mix of upbeat, reggae/funk songs that keep your feet taping.” (Girraffe Cycle, Moncton NB) that are “fresh, danceable, infectious and unique” (Fred's Records, St. John's NL). The band received grants from MusicNL and the City of St. John's for the recording, which allowed them to work with renowned engineer Rick Hollett in Newfoundland’s premier studio, Stagehouse. Island was their first album to involve sax-man Greg Bruce in the song-writing process. 

 Baytown first gained music industry momentum in 2011 with the release of their debut album Two Places. It spawned opportunities to open for the likes of Wintersleep, the Trews, and Matthew Good, while touring and showcasing across Canada’s East Coast. These efforts earned them multiple 2012 MusicNL award nominations, national radio play and funding from the NL Arts Council to professionally produce videos for their songs "Death of Us" and "Waited On", which can be seen nationally on CMT. 


Currently, Baytown is preparing to tour further across Canada, having already performed in staple venues such as The Carleton in Halifax, Wakefield’s Black Sheep and Toronto’s Cameron House, to promote Island. Keep an eye out for tour dates and new video releases by following Baytown on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter under the handle @baytownrock. 

Band Members