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The best kept secret in music


"Hip-hop and funk act breaks it down liveUp-and-comers Blues Underdog dish it up for the Black Eyed Peas"

PreviewBLUES UNDERDOGSaturday, April 24Whiskey I like programmed beats as much as the next Dr. Dre wannabe. But when you talk about taking the show on the road and getting the crowd pumped, you simply can’t match the energy of a live band. Considering that there are relatively few hip-hop acts that arrive in Calgary, and fewer still carrying more than a pair of turntables, it’s refreshing to hear that Black Eyed Peas and the opening act, Blues Underdog, both come with real instrument-toting musicians.Hailing from Pickering, Ontario, Blues Underdog is a seven-piece hip-hop and funk outfit that’s quickly gathering hype, after winning their local Bandwarz competition and playing the shows that matter (Canadian Music Week and North By Northeast). They’ve also opened up for Naughty By Nature, rocked out with the godfather of Canadian hip-hop, Maestro and their MC, Najja, even jammed with Busta Rhymes after one of Busta’s concerts.But the band sees their opening slot for Black Eyed Peas as the pinnacle of their short careers thus far."We’re extremely excited to be opening up for the Grammy-nominated Black Eyed Peas," says Blues Underdog bassist, Ledge. "When we tell people that we’re opening up for them, we’re taken more seriously (by record industry people)."The fact that Blues Underdog have seven members inherently leads to greater dynamics within the band, meaning that while the collective input brings greater energy and creativity to the table, there are more egos to deal with."We have a hard time juggling the personalities," admits Ledge with laughter. "Everyone’s got different personalities, different nationalities and different ages."We’ve been in a few fights before, but whenever we get into arguments before we play live, we rip it up onstage."Apart from live instrumentation, the one other common trait that both Black Eyed Peas and Blues Underdog share is their dancing skills. While Black Eyed Peas are legendary for combining great music with great B-boy moves, Ledge is confident that Blues Underdog will be able to keep up kinetic-wise."We have a little bit of choreography when we’re playing that we do onstage," kaya says. "If there’s one thing that we’re known for it is that we always tear it up live."
- calgary news weekly entertainment

"elephumk last stop"toronto ""

Are the zillion of concerts you're going to getting a little boring? Are you used to the set up, the routine, the order of things? Then you haven't seen the Black Eyed Peas live!

The Black Eyed Peas rolled into Toronto, Ontario, Canada for two consecutive nights at two different venues. However, the show on May 4, 2004 at The Guvernment was the last stop on the Canadian tour and you had to know this group was going to rock it like no other. Even with a bad leg and a dazzling new cane, Fergie [Stacey Ferguson] belted out her extreme vocals while performing a majority of songs from BEP's current release Elephunk. Fergie was reported to have hurt her leg while shooting their new video for 'Let's Get Started' [A remix version of 'Let's Get Retarded']. Not only did the band perform most of their hits via Elephunk, they also took it back and did some old skool tracks.

In the midst of all the music was complete and utter maddness! This isn't just your regular hip hop show, comon now! At various points in the evening, different members of the group entered the crowd. Taboo jumped down and walked right through the middle to try to seperate the crowd. Apl took a shot at crowd surfing, but was rudly interupted after a couple moments of smooth sailing, as the crowd dropped him [That's not nice Toronto, definitly not nice]. Along with the extreme crowd interaction, Toronto native Esthero came out and joined her friends for a couple of songs as well! If that wasn't enough, the group broke out a Free

Overall, checking out the Black Eyed Peas live would be a requirement if you are already a fan, and if not, you'll definitly be one after a show like that! Openers included Blues Underdog and Sweatshop Union featuring Kyrpios who also performed his solo release 'This is My Hit'.
- bandnation " by dawn krieslen


Motto should have been “There’s a problem”

We’re not getting paid, band tells fans
By Bruce Deachman

It’s unlikely, when he uttered “We must become the change that we wish to see in the world,” that Mahatma Ghandi had Ottawa’s Urban Music Festival, which adopted his words as it’s motto, in mind.
At least not this year’s incarnation, which got off to a woeful, music-less start on Friday - owing to a lack of power to their Confederation Park main stage, and later a walkout by an unpaid sound crew - continued in the same vein yesterday, with sparse crowds and an unpredictable slate of performers which, by mid-afternoon, was already running 90 minutes behind schedule.
A more suitable slogan for the festival, in fact, came at 9 o’clock last night, when a Smooth, lead singer for the Toronto-based five-man band, In Essence, announced to the crowd of about 400, “There’s a problem.”
The problem, he said, was that the band wasn’t getting paid. “There’s a problem with the promoter,” he continued. “We’re not getting any money at all. But we still want to do the show.”
And so they did - at least an abbreviated version - opening with the acapella Who are we?, before launching into Friend of Mine, the radio-friendly hit from their latest CD, The Master Plan.
The master plan is just what Urbanfest seems to be missing. The roster of performers listed on their Web site is, at best, a vague guide to what might be happening at Confederation Park, and headliners like Snow (who didn’t perform Friday night and, after being re-slotted into last night’s schedule, was also a no-show), Kevin Lyttle and Rascalz all failed to materialize.
Juno Award-winner Choclair, originally a late scratch from the program, did perform last night. The Toronto native ended up doing five-song set in support of his new CD, My Demo, due out in two weeks.
Main headliners Naughty by Nature were also scheduled to appear, although, with Choclair finishing up at 10:35 p.m., the Grammy Award-winning group, best known for hits like Hip-Hop Hooray, Ghetto Bastard and O.P.P., wouldn’t have had much time to strut their attitude.
The festival experienced a few other positive moments, such as the performance by Blues Underdog, a seven piece Pickering-based band that incorporates scratch-DJ hip hop with funk rock. Their four-song, 20-minute set was upbeat, lively and downright musical.
- ottawa citizen "By Bruce Deachman"

"more than just loose change & lint"

The night began with Blues Underdog, a seven-piece band from Pickering that played a blend of hip-hop, funk and alternative rock.

Featuring four vocalists changing up with the bassist for different songs, the band put on a good show in their own right. Their rhythm-heavy set exuded energy that couldn’t be contained by the stage. When the crowd initially hung back, the MC came to them, using half the bar for the performance. By the end of the set, which included a fine cover of Sublime’s “What I Got,” everybody in the place was grooving along with the band.
- queens journal "by cameron tulk"

"monday night showcase"

Blues Underdog

Crossing musical barriers with their unique blend of hip-hop alternative rock & funk is the Blues Underdog own “rooufffh” style. This upcoming 7-piece urban rock band features Najja Calibur (Vocals), Viste Patricio (Vocals), Candy Philip (Vocals), Brian Bracken (Bass/Guitar/Vocals), Jeff Ledger (Guitar/Bass), Jeff Roberts (Drums) & DJ Deez (Turn Tables).

B.U.D recently released their Toronto Maple Leafs promotional song “GO LEAFS GO” to radio days before the 2003 playoffs. Since the release of the song, it has been getting frequent spins on Y108 FM (Hamilton) & Hitz 97.7 FM (Toronto).

With the 2002 demo recording of ROLES, * featuring Ammoye, Blues Underdog was accepted into Canadian Music Week showcase at Silver Dollar Feb 27th, 2003. Blues Underdog received a rating from Chart Attack stating “Rocked us so hard we peed our pants” & received a C.M.W. Report Card rating of 80%.

In 2003 Eclipse Concerts hosted the 10th anniversary of Bandwarz at Durham College, Oshawa hosting the top 54 bands in Durham Region. Blues Underdog won the competition taking home $1,000, ETNIES shoe endorsement and a free recording time with Murray Daigle (Sum 41, Not By Choice) at MDS in Ajax. Their full length album is currently being recorded at Sound Proof Studio (Red Man, Method Man, Kardinal Offishall) in Toronto and will be hitting the streets early summer of 2003 with a first single and music video to follow.
- COCA music confrence review


Okay, I’ll admit it. When it comes to listening to Canadian bands, I’m pretty cynical.Aren’t you tired of the Canadian obsession with the American urban music trend of overproduced songs with no relevant lyrical content? However, it can be argued that there is a Canadian “sound,” per se, but even though our popular culture emulates our southern neighbours, we just choose not to pay much attention to it. But you can’t dismiss the fact that our culturally diverse society is ripe with the opportunity to experiment with different sounds and styles – and Blues Underdog is the band to prove it. This seven-piece band is becoming known for seamlessly blending rock, blues, hip-hop and soul into a flow that they like to call their “rooufffh” style. Having made the rounds of the college circuit, Blues Underdog is in the process of recording, touring and declaring their well-deserved place in the Canadian urban music scene. Urban Detour is excited about this group of dynamic and talented artists…. so why not spread the love?What is up with Pickering?The Ajax / Pickering corridor is becoming the new “Seattle of the North,” which started with the success of such bands as Sum 41 and Not By Choice. Whether it be the boredom of the suburbs that forces youth to pick up instruments and play, Najja Calibur (vocals), Viste (vocals), Candi Girl (vocals), Bracken (bass / guitar/vocals), Jeff Ledger (guitar/bass) Jeff Roberts (drums) and DJ Deez (turntables), all hail from that multi-ethnic borough east of Toronto. While the similarity stops at the style of music these bands play, what all of them have in common is their obvious fondness for delving into creative and alternative blends of music.Nobody does it like Canadians…While the sound of Blues Underdog has been compared to such American acts like The Roots, Sublime and Arrested Development, the sound reflects the melange of cultural influences the individual band members have brought to the fold. The spirit of African-American musical influences is prominent, especially in the voices of Candi Girl and Bracken. With the addition of DJ Deez, who compliments the sound with subtle but complimentary turntabling, the band creates a tight and professional sound without one instrument or vocal overpowering the other. In comparison to some of the more recognizable bands, In a relatively short period, this band has created a tightly knit unit.You get what you give…Currently on a college/university tour, the band is obviously ignoring the “get rich quick” stories of new artists being “discovered” and given a record deal without performing one live gig. Beside their regular appearances around the GTA, Blues Underdog has appeared at the 2003 Canadian Music Week, the North By North East festival, and the Urban Music Festival in Ottawa, alongside the Rascalz, Not By Choice Pocket Dwellers and Jersey. They recently won the 10th annual Bandwarz competition, which is currently being aired (in repeats) on Rogers cable 10.Chances of success within the Canadian music industry…Looks pretty damn good. It is always a challenge for anyone to make a dent in the presently chilly climate of the music industry. If you pick up any Canadian urban music publication, there is always a quote from a disgruntled artist, complaining about the lack of support from the major media outlets. Also, the current trend of artists who do not write their own lyrics or music seem to be the ones to rise above the rest. But Blues Underdog recently signed with SL Feldman and Associates, Canada’s leading entertainment agency, to serve as their management. Now on the roster with celebrated musical acts like fellow Ajax alums Sum 41, The Tragically Hip and Norah Jones, it is not only the beginning of great things to come for the band, but an acknowledgement that hard work, dedication and unique talent still mean something. Blues Underdog is currently recording their demo and continuing their tour across Ontario. For more information, check out Or bookings Published

"Bluesunderdog@the Silver Dollar"

Band: Blues Underdog
Hometown: Pickering, ON
Venue: Silver Dollar
Date: February 27, 2003
Reporter: Rob Kingston
Background/Composition A mish mash of everything including an MC, turntables and all the other pieces for a standard Blues/R&B band.

Achievement of Rock 'n' Roll Expectations
80-100: Band exceeds skill and knowledge expectations. Rocked us so hard we peed our pants.
70-79: Band achieves required skills and knowledge. Meets rock 'n' roll standard.
60-69: Demonstrates some skills. Approaches rock 'n' roll standard.
50-59: Band demonstrates some required skills and knowledge in a limited way.
Below 50: Band has not demonstrated required skills or knowledge.

Grade: 80

World Domination Status:
Progressing well towards world domination
Progressing with some difficulty towards world domination
No chance in hell for world domination
When you blend everything from reggae, hip-hop, R&B and a bit of blues it can either be something special or something seriously wrong. These guys are something special and definitely need to be taken seriously.

Learning Skills:
E=Excellent, G=Good, S=Satisfactory, N=Sad Really
Oral And Visual Communication
Eye Contact: E Strengths/Weaknesses/Next Step:
Pronunciation: G When you blend everything from reggae, hip-hop, R&B and a bit of blues it can either be something special or something seriously wrong. These guys are something special and definitely need to be taken seriously.
Stage Presence: E
Stage Banter: G
Image: S
Appearance: G
Use Of Stage: G

Musical Analysis
Level Of Participation: E Strengths/Weaknesses/Next Step:
Problem Solving: G With all the talk of the Ajax/Pickering area being a hotbed for music (Sum 41 and Not By Choice come to mind) these days, Blues Underdog has a real shot at keeping that a reality. They're totally different than that punk/pop sound, but are definitely radio friendly.
Teamwork: G
Work Habits: E
Organization: G
Audience Participation: S
Sound: G
Composition: G
Songs: E

Other Skills And Areas Of Interest
Charisma: G Strengths/Weaknesses/Next Step:
Problem Solving: G With a presence that brought a ton of energy and a couple of nice suprises in the ladies, Blues Underdog should use that trio a bit more and try and sustain the intensity a little bit longer. They could shelve the last bit of loudness that you get the feeling is there trademark finish though. It didn't quite seem to fit.
Teamwork: G
Sexiness: G
Haircut: G
Indie Rock Footwear: G
Nods To Disposible Fashion: G
Cool Equipment: G
Level Of Inebriation: G
Actual Ability: G


"Blues Underdog rocks judges’ world"

DURHAM – The war is over, at least at E.P. Taylor’s in Oshawa. Bandwarz 2003 concluded it’s nine-week extravaganza last Saturday.
And the winner is Pickering/ Ajax-based Blues Underdog. Blues Underdog was the last band to perform at the finals as well as taking the stage last on the first night of the competition. Only a handful of people stuck around for it’s entertaining set on the first night, but this was not the case at the finals. Fans and other band members danced and cheered Blues Underdog on to glory.
Ironically, placing second in the competition was talented band One Short. One Short won Bandwarz in 2000.
“We spent the $1,000 we won on a new PA system,” said front man Rich McPherson.
One Short has been recording frequently and has even appeared on Toronto talk show “Jonovision” as well as performing at Vans Warped Tour since winning.
Despite not winning this year, One Short was happy for Blues Underdog.
“They have a good groove,” said McPherson. “Congrats to them, they did an awesome job.”
Placing third was the high energy, politically-charged, rapcore styling of Sin 7. Other finalists included Truth Syrum, Meadowvale, Green Division, Tenfold, and Warden.
Blues Underdog brought with it a different flavour from the rest of the music being played at the competition. The band describes its sound as urban-rock fusion.
The members of the victorious eight-piece group include Najja ‘Calibur’ Crest (vocals), Alfred “Viste” Patricio (vocals), Shernette “Ammoye” Evans (vocals), Candice “Candi” Philip (vocals) Jeff Ledger (bass/guitar), Brian Bracken (guitar/bass/vocals), Jeff Roberts (percussion), and Darren “DJ Deez” Farmer (turntables).
This was the first time Blues Underdog performed at Bandwarz and members had a great time.
“We loved playing Bandwarz,” said Ledger. “It was great. The money, the food, we got on TV, everything. We should have one of these every day.”
By winning the 2003 Bandwarz competition, Blues Underdog was awarded $1,000, two days of recording time at a studio, and a pair of Etnies shoes each.
Aside from the prizes, Blues Underdog and the rest of the finalists received the priceless gift of publicity. More then five Rogers’ video cameras were filming the event. Rogers Cable will air the Bandwarz finals on May 10 at 10p.m.
In addition to the free studio time, the band plans on using the $1,000 for more recording. It hopes to put out a 10-song demo CD along with a music video by late summer.
The winners were prepared for the finals. They practiced five days a week for the last couple of weeks.
“We came to win,” said Ledger. “We thought we had a good chance, but had no idea the other bands would be this good.”
Blues Underdog is made up of members from five different bands of different genres that have been playing the local music scene for about eight years. They have been together as a band only 10 months, but in this short period they have played more then 15 shows.
We just did Canadian Music Week and Chart Magazine did a review on us,” said Patricio. “They said we rocked them so hard they peed their pants.”
Ammoye, one of the band’s female vocalists, also has a solo project. She just finished recording an independent demo CD that is expected to be out in the next couple of months. You can catch Ammoye’s acoustic set at the Spaha in Toronto on April 10.
Blues Underdog is currently trying to get a tour organized, but it will be performing two dates at the Reverb in Toronto on April 4 and July 4, as well as participating in the New Music Festival in Vancouver.


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


2004 "The crowd had obviously been gathering in anticipation for this act, and it's safe to say they weren't disappointed!!"-->>>>>>Chart Attack at Canadian Music Week ------------------------------------Blues Underdog----------------------------------- "Our culturally diverse society is ripe with the opportunity to experiment with different sounds and styles and Blues Underdog is the band to prove it.", Laina Dawes------------------ Blues Underdog has been tearing down musical barriers & rocking the masses with their blend of funk, hip-hop & alternative rock for over two years. This 7-piece band has a unique sound like no-one else but has been compared to Black Eyed Peas, Sublime & the Roots in Canadian media. B.U.D. features Najja Calibur (vocals), Viste (vocals/keys), Kandy (vocals), Tizz(guitar/bass), Roberts (drums), Briggidy(guitar/bass/vocals)& Dj Deez (turntables).------- With big expectations, S.L. Feldman sent Blues Underdog off to tour the country with Grammy nominated Black Eyed Peas for a sold out tour in Spring 2004. "(It was a chance) to learn from someone who has made it," Najja said. "B.E.P. are humble, genuinely good people. They always had time for everyone." The tour went so well that Blues Underdog were given an extra tour date in Canada. Not too mention, B.U.D. got to meet Justin Timberlake, Wesley Snipes & Esthero when they made special guest appearances & surprise performances at selected tour dates. After returning home from touring Canada, news had spread of their solid C.M.W. 04 performance with Maestro & they were offered to headline the Canada Day celebration at Nathan Phillip Square. Like Chart Attack stated Maestro helped Blues Underdog Bring the party to the next level with over 2000 people celebrating at the festival. Look for B.U.D.s CMW 04 live performance of God Bless The Child with Maestro on his new greatest hits album entitled 15 coming to stores soon. In 2004, BUD starting invading television sets all over Canada with performances on The Toronto Show (Toronto 1), Urban Rush (Shaw), Breakfast Television (City TV), WIRED (A-Channel) & Eclipse Bandwarz (Rogers). Not to mention the buzz created when Blues Underdog played key festivals like Canadian Music Week (Toronto), N.X.N.E. (Toronto), C.O.C.A. (Montreal), the Vanier Cup Football Championships (Toronto) & the HOT 89.9FM Urban Music Festival (Ottawa). B.U.D. HAS SHARED THE STAGE WITH... Black Eyed Peas w/ Justin Timberlake & Esthero * K-OS * Maestro Fresh Wes * Cameo * Naughty By Nature * Rascalz * The Salads * Buck 65 * Snow * Jersey * Brassmunk * Skye Sweetnam * Choclair * IRS * DJ X * Sweatshop Union * The Dears * Kazzer * Pocket Dwellers * Flashlight Brown * The Miniatures * In Essence * JD ERA * Bedouin Soundclash * John Legend * The White Stripes * Jack Johnson * Michee Mee * Rich London * Kardinall Offishall & The Black Jays * Darryl Riley * Bishop Brigante * Ammoye * Ray Robinson * ------------------------------------------------------