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"Chillin' Room: Fresh Bait: Independent"

Fredericton (quartet) Chillin' Room began in 2001 as a collaborative endeavour between roomates Matt McGuire and Andy Cotter. That pair remains the creative spark behind the group.
After setting up a fanbase after tireless gigging and a websie that is filled with their music, they have moved to convention by packaging 8 of their original on a self-recorded, produced and distributed cd.
The relaxing groove of the songs - everything from their elliptical lyrics and vocals to the acoustic melodies and groove - conjures up images of unplugged Phish or Dave Matthews Band for the neophyte.
McGuire and Cotter share lead vocals on the songs, which are as much about groove, progression and feel as they are about content. There is not a dud in the lot, but
"11 + 12 = 17," "baby tree," and "the Shed," are paticular standouts.
"Love in a Mason Jar" is likely the most mass-accessible track of the lot, so it is well chosen as the cd's lead single.
When one considers that this is a totally in-house effort,it is auspicious, and it bodes well for Chillin' Room's future.

Wilfred Langmaid writes about new music releases for The Daily Gleaner. - The Daily Gleaner

"Local Band will release first album on Friday"

Chillin' Room: Melting Pot - Home Grown/Independent

From humble beginnings, this decade is shaping up to be the decade of Chillin' Room locally. The Fredericton-based quintet has boasted a stable lineup through these years, and little local gigs and a self-made demo have now given rise to bigger things in 2007.

Late last year, they were chosen Best Band in Fredericton 2006 from a Fredericton survey conducted by Here Magazine.

Now, they are all set to release a 12-song album next week. The launch is set for Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Charlotte Street Arts Centre, followed by a gig at the Capital on Queen Street.

The album, entitled Melting Pot, is a nice cross-section of their long-standing gifts as well as a clear picture of the artistic growth they have enjoyed these past half dozen years.

Stylistically, Chillin' Room fits into the acoustic jam band category. This makes their long-standing status all the more crucial, as the guys know where one another is going musically, so the funky songs move without either pointless meanderings or dead ends.

Matt McGuire (vocals, electric, acoustic, and baritone guitars and ebow) and Andy Cotter (vocals, guitars, and mandolin) share lead vocal duties and do the lion's share of the songwriting. Ross Jones (bass), J.D. LeJeune (congas and percussion), and Scotty Sampson (drums and percussion) round out the band.

Lyrically, McGuire and Cotter have their own writing styles, but both are gifted storytellers. Their tales of life and love will resonate with anyone. Meanwhile, the frequent local references add a special charm.

Just one example of the latter is the reggae-tinged, hook-filled gem Longboarding, in which McGuire and Cotter use geography as a life journey metaphor. It starts as they tunefully wail in tandem:

"Colonial Heights, she curves about five times/

And down Mitchell Street, the day rewinds."

Another frequent subject line is this earth on which we live. Tracks like Baby Tree are obvious examples, but the notion of mother earth as nurturer and sustainer imbues many of the tracks.

All of the tracks are sweetened by melodic harmonies and contagious hooks. McGuire and Cotter deliver intricate acoustic and electric guitar licks while Jones follows note for note with finger/flat pick/slap bass. The bedrock is LeJeune and Sampson on percussion and kit.

They master complex rhythms that support the adventuresome timings and tempo changes that mark the band and the genre.

There are wrinkles with the full-length album. Some come from cameos.

Kora Woolsey and Matt Robinson of Vetch show up on some of the tracks, and they fit hand-in-glove. Meanwhile, DJ Scout is billed as Special Guest: Turntables on a couple of tracks.

That said, what makes this album work is the now young veteran quintet. Older favourites like Baby Tree, Love In A Mason Jar, Cathance Lake, and The Shed combine with newer compositions. The result is a 12-song CD without a single weak link - just like the band.

Chillin' Room is a true band of five members without a weak link. They are going far.

Fredericton-based freelance writer Wilfred Langmaid has reviewed albums in The Daily Gleaner since 1981, and is a past judge for both the Junos and the East Coast Music Awards. His column appears each Saturday.

- Wilfred Langmaid - Daily Gleaner

"Just Chillin'"

The Grad House is exactly what it sounds like. A bar lodged in the back of the UNB Graduate Studies House. Tucked away on Windsor St, the main area is small, housing only a few tables, one at which is seated the Final Four sweatshirt wearing Andy Cottar, lead guitarist and backup vocalist for Fredericton band Chillin’ Room and the first half of my interview for the night. We both empty a pint of Picaroon’s as we wait for the second half, which eventually arrives in the form of lead-vocalist, STU sweatshirt wearing Matt McGuire. Three more pints are purchased and we retire to the quiet of the smaller rooms. Replete with couches, it offers the perfect atmosphere. As we sit down the story of Chillin’ Room begins to unfold.
“There was this little grungy room downstairs,” says Matt, of the house they shared four years ago. “It was mold infested and had these weird concrete shelves. We just ripped them out, put some couches in there and called it the chillin’ room. It’s pretty much where we learned to play guitar.”
“It was great because it was just a group of friends and it was a party house,” continues Andy. “That’s kind of where the band was born and we built everything around that. It’s the first place we really started experimenting and playing a lot of music.”
Chillin’ Room has progressed substantially from their humble beginnings in the depths of a party-house dungeon. The band has adopted a new bass player, Tayce McAvity, to complement JD LeJeune on percussion and Scotty Sampson on drums. As well they have gradually improved their live performance and finally entered the recording studio. On Friday January 26th they will be hosting a CD release show at the Charlotte St. Arts Center to promote their first full-length album, Melting Pot, followed by an after party performance at The Capital Bar.
Musically, their album is tight, blending folksy bluegrass with slap-bass funk and the occasional DJ scratching. One can almost taste the melodious traces of East Coast rock flavouring. According to Matt, “it’s music that you can just throw on while you’re doing the dishes or driving your car, and it makes you feel good.” But while the album itself is good, Chillin’ Room goes beyond just the music, which is talented, and combines lyrically mature songwriting with an abundance of art and poetry.
“A lot of these songs are about relationships, but not specifically with someone from the opposite sex, just human relationships with the world, and how you react to it. Whether you’re from Indonesia or Afghanistan, people connect with that. We strive to not only write about different stuff but to word it poetically.”
Music and songwriting aside, artistic presentation is just as important to the band as having a solid album. “You have a great single, fine, but you need to make a really good album with a solid CD presentation that captures everything, visually and musically. Album art is very important to us.” This importance is evidenced by both Chillin’ Room’s album, as well as on their website (, which incorporates artwork and poetry created by friends of the band. “Our friend Tony designed the artwork for the album,” explains Andy. “He’s got the whole thing laid out conceptually throughout the entire album, like a melting pot.” Recognizing the talents present in their friends is an important source of inspiration for the band. “Their work is just as important as ours, and it makes up a part of who we are as well.”
“The Forward Music Group, run by our good friend James Boyle, is trying to umbrella the up-and-coming Fredericton bands. There’s something to be said about Fredericton because it’s different, a completely different sound,” says Andy of the camaraderie existent in the local music community. “Forward Music Group is pushing for these bands to get noticed, to get some clout on the national music scene. Fredericton bands deserve it, because we’re really putting time and effort in.” Indeed, Chillin’ Room have been committing their time and effort for four years, and now, with Melting Pot under their belts, the band can turn their full focus towards national touring and their live performance.
The live performance is an integral aspect of Chillin’ Room’s personality. “If you sound good in the studio, great, but if you sound bad live then you’re not a good band,” says Matt. “Anyone can produce anything in the studio. There are vocal coders that make you sound good. If your live show sucks then you’re entertainment, you’re not a band who can collectively perform.”
“We’re not a jam band, but we can jam,” explains Andy. “We jam music out. We take a song and we won’t play it exactly like the album. We stretch it out, improvise.”
Since their inception Chillin’ Room have developed a dedicated following, not just of loyal listeners, but of friends as well. Their humble, laid back attitude is a refreshing change from an industry that is dominated by aloof, image conscious egos. This connection to the audience is what truly shines through during their live shows, and it is this energetic intensity that they strive for.
“Almost all of my experiences that have been really heartfelt or memorable have been at shows, concerts or festivals,” says Matt. “Sometimes it’s not even the music that’s bringing people together, it’s just the show.”
So what can people expect from a Chillin’ Room show, you might ask? According to Matt, “they’re going to have a hell of a time.” Eloquent as that is, you should still provide yourself the opportunity to see for yourself a fantastic live band. Chillin’ Room’s CD release begins Jan. 26th at the Charlotte St. Arts Center at 7pm, and moves to The Capital Bar in downtown Fredericton around 10:30 for a truly kickin’ after party.

Matt McCann - The Aquinian

"Room to Groove"

Fredericton's Chillin' Room brings its sophomore CD release tour to Saint John:

Fredericton's Chillin' Room throws down The Melting Pot this week when the five-man jam band releases its sophomore album.

The Melting Pot is an 11-song potpourri, a follow-up to its debut CD, Fresh Bait. Consisting of Andy Cotter, vocals and guitar; Scotty Sampson, drums; Matt McGuire, vocals and guitar; Tayce McAvity, bass; and percussionist, JD LeJeune, the album also features some capital guests, Kora Woolsey, Matte Robinson and Jeanine Gallant of folk-rockers Vetch add vocals, trumpet and trombone, respectively.

Added to the mix is turntablisy Jody (Scout) Wagstaff.

Chillin' Room takes its brand new release on the road this weekend with a show tonight at Elwood's in Saint John. You can also catch the band in St. Andrew's at the Fulcrum Gallery on Friday, Feb.9.

They will be back home in Fredericton at the University of New Brunswick's campus pub, The Cellar, as part of the Rock the Earth Festival on Feb. 10.

For more information on the band, you can visit their website at
Grant Kerr - Telegraph Journal

"Best of Fredericton 2006"

Best band or singer: Chillin' Room. These guys are amazing, good call everybody. Haven't heard them yet? First, pull yourself out from under that rock and then check them out at Best of Fredericton Your results are in. By Justin Piercy of Here Magazine.

Also at - Here Magazine


Freshman album: "The Melting Pot"- 12 professional tracks recorded with James Gauthier of Medium Rare Productions - Released January 26th, 2007. Mastered at the infamous Joao CarCarvalho Mastering studio.

Fresh Bait - 8 song Demo LP created and produced by Home Grown Productions in 2005.

Tracks can be heard at:


Feeling a bit camera shy


Voted Fredericton’s “best band of 2006” by HERE magazine, Chillin’ Room is already immersed in a prolific 2007. While broadening their touring schedule through Central and Western regions of Canada, the Maritime-based group has sold 1000 copies of their freshman full-length album, The Melting Pot, in a mere 7 months. With an impressive live performance that is quickly turning heads resulting in a rapidly growing fan-base, the group is earning its nod as one of Canada’s newest premiere musical talents.

CR consists of Matt McGuire (vocals, guitars), Tace McIvity (bass), Andy Cotter (guitars, vocals), Scotty Sampson (drums), and JD LeJeune (percussion).

Lyrically, McGuire and Cotter combine their unique writing styles to deliver stories of personal experiences that strike chords amonst the many. These vicarious adventures are offered through infectious melodic harmonies and intricate guitar works. McIvity contributes his memorable live performances that consistently captivate audiences. A heartbeat is pulsated through LeJeune on percussion and Sampson on the kit. The two interchange complex rhythms working together to carry the band through tricky timing and tempo changes.

Chillin' Room has the ability to exploit their sound through a variety of instruments and a new, fresh style of song writing. The live performance is exciting, entertaining, moving, and highly memorable. With every show brings new faces that are transformed into devoted fans. A growing cult following CR's artistically promoted gig posters, stickers, buttons, poems, paintings and pictures, as well as sought out live bootleg recordings, promise to build a strong allegiance of life-long-listeners and show-goers. Chillin' Room's involvement in the reputedly growing Maritime music scene has had hard hitters like the, "Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival" and the "Evolve Festival" showcasing the group in marquee venues. College radio continues to place Chillin' Room on the charts and CBC shows the band frequent favour.

CR's music has found its way around the world with copies of live shows and album sales distributed to fans in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, the US, and many parts of Canada.

Chillin Room is the new sound of Canadian Indie Rock with stirring vocal harmonies, infectious lyrics, and a moving live performance; a compelling song-writing talent of a band, "Rock Heavily Weighted in Gifted Story-Telling."