Key Witness
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Key Witness

Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Music Podcast"

These guys are a great band, very skilled musicians and they play with spirit. -

"Notes from the NXNE festival"

In the evening, Key Witness started things off at the Silver Dollar with an enjoyable dose of folk-math rock. Imagine Do, Make, Say, Think backing up Elvis Costello — then add a scruffy violin player — and you’ll have an idea of what this band is all about - Toronto METRO

"NxNE from A to Z"

Key Witness: If nothing else, NXNE slapped me across the face with several Toronto acts I needed to hear. Key Witness play my favourite venue in all of Toronto, the Silver Dollar Room, at 9PM on Friday. Is it wrong that I've rocked out to "Last Man on Earth" at least four times since I found their MySpace today?

Key Witness played at the Rancho on Friday, and they were great. Several people I was hanging out with agreed, so there you go. It's not just me. They've got a very appealing country vibe, but it's not that straightforward, because they also rock it pretty hard. Lots of energy, too, so that's a bonus. Basically, I really like this song and Key Witness put on an excellent show, so you should check them out in both their live and recorded versions.

"NxNE Report Card"

Key Witness @ The Comfort Zone
Saturday June 10, 2006 @ 12:30 PM
By: Staff

Key Witness is a five-piece that trades in many currencies. Mixing modern rock, country, Phish-esque noodling and ever-so-slight traces of goth, this band is all about contradictions — song to song, and minute to minute. Versatility is the key and, with a violin and occasional harmonica thrown into their atypical guitar/bass/drums lineup, Key Witness can play to a wide range of styles and do so with a high degree of skill and proficiency. This is no mean feat in 2006.

When trying to define Key Witness' sound, the best comparison that can be made is the more dissonant moments of the Blue Rodeo catalogue. There's a lot of country at the root of these songs, with added subtext drawn from other genres and styles. Luckily, these are some A-class players, so they definitely have the skills to match their ambition — especially lead guitarist Stefen Dragon, who was given ample opportunity to flaunt his manual dexterity up and down the frets.

Key Witness seems like a band that would have been huge in the 1990s. They could have slotted in nicely amongst the Lemonheads and Soul Asylum and Buffalo Tom, and done quite well for themselves. Luckily, the '90s revalidation must be right around the corner and, considering how talented these guys are at what they do, there should be a chance for them to bump up their stature soon.

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"Two Way Monologues Showcase #3"

Key Witness buck the perceived Two Way Monologues Showcase rule by being "established" in terms of their live act, as well as having already released a few records and EPs to date. No complaining, however, as their well-deserved live reputation was only solidified this night. J.M. McNab is easily one of the city's most sincere and confident front-men; he may spit like a deadly snake when he's not (Elliott) brood-ing, but like most great acts, Key Witness sound only like themselves. However, the band does share at least two things with the closest comparison I could think of — namely, Television Personalities — and those are (1) punk energy and drive mixed with a folk core, and (2) a commitment to songcraft. The guitars (two electric and one acoustic) blend perfectly together, and at other times you can distinguish what each is doing. It's a damn shame violinist Jacques Mindreau is leaving the band: if his solo on the last track of the Key Witness set tonight was any indication, the band will have a hell of a time filling those shoes. In sum, a band to start going to see now, while the gettin' is good, especially if they still have free copies of their latest EP to give away.

- Mondo Magazine


An LP entitled "cocaine heart" has been followed up with the "Key Witness" EP, with a debut album due out in the fall of 2007.



Key Witness is the test tube baby grown from the love of six diverse musicians. It's genetics are so varied, (unfinished tests show tracings of folk, garage, noise rock, country goth, punk...) that a chaotic youth nearly tore itself apart. Now, having embraced it's battles and vast soundscapes, Key Witness is booming forth like never before.

Since 2005 Key Witness has played all over Toronto, including the Horseshoe Tavern, Healey's, the Tranzac, and their home, the Silver Dollar. They've played the NXNE festival with King Khan and his Shrines, and opened for such bands as Japan's Zoobombs, the Willowz, Polaris nominee Patrick Watson and Swedish rockers the Soundtrack of Our Lives.

In the end, the merge of energy and original sound flooding a Key Witness show is the fuel that drives them. Look for an upcoming album in the fall.