Mississippi Bends
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Mississippi Bends

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Duo Americana Country




"Gram Rockingham's Best Bets"

Mary Simon's haunting country-tinged voice and Andrew Aldridge's swampy lead guitar make for a powerful Americana mix that has made Mississippi Bends one of the more popular bar bands in Hamilton. Come see them Friday after Art Crawl at This Ain't Hollywood, 345 James St. N. It'll be a special night for the band, celebrating bass player Carrie Ashworth's birthday. Sarah Burton and Sarah Beatty open the show. Doors open at 9 p.m. $6 - The Hamilton Spectator

"Guitarist Finds His Muse"

Andrew Aldridge has seen enough live music in Canada and the United States to have a fairly good handle on the difference between "good" and "just OK."

Over the past 20 years, the Oakville-born guitarist has recorded and toured with a wide variety of groups, including the Wild Strawberries, Universal Honey, Sarah Slean, Jakalope, and Danny Michel. He's performed in Los Angeles and lived in the Toronto scene.

But he likes what he's found here. He thinks Hamilton musicianship is as good here as any place he's been, good enough for him to become part of a new band here called Mississippi Bends which releases its debut recording Saturday at This Ain't Hollywood.

"The truth is if you're good here, whether it's at the Cat 'N' Fiddle or This Ain't Hollywood, you're going to be good in the equivalent venue anywhere else in the world," Aldridge says. "You're going to be good in Germany. You're going to be good in Los Angeles. If you're good here, you're good anywhere."

Aldridge first came to Hamilton after high school in the late '80s to study music at Mohawk College. He soon discovered the rough-hewn atmospherics of his Gretsch guitar fit in with the established "Hamilton sound" of guitarists like Colin Cripps, Bill Dillon and Daniel Lanois.

Nevertheless, Aldridge moved to Toronto where he became a sought-after sideman. In 2004, he decided to return to Hamilton. He's been here ever since, playing with just about everybody in the city's vibrant roots-rock scene, including Duane Rutter, Lori Yates, Michelle Titian, Lynn Bebee, Andy Griffiths, Rae Billing and Sue Leonard.

About 18 months ago, Aldridge got a call from local alt-country singer Mary Simon. She was putting together a band to play a one-off show for her birthday at the Cat 'N' Fiddle on Augusta at John. Aldridge had co-produced Simon's last album and she wanted him to play guitar for the show. She also recruited bassist Carrie Ashworth and drummer Robin Pirson.

They played some covers and some original songs Simon had already recorded. It clicked and the four agreed to do it again. Before long, Simon was bringing new song ideas to the group. Ashworth and Pirson helped out with the lyrics, while Aldridge supplied some deep-grooved guitar riffs.

At some point, Simon said "I think this is becoming a band."

Aldridge contributed the new band's name, Mississippi Bends. It was a good fit with the Americana feel to the music.

The increasingly regular gigs at the Cat 'N' Fiddle turned into a Tuesday night residency which still continues. After working the new songs out live, Mississippi Bends took the new songs into Porcelain Studio in the city's north end.

The foursome recorded five songs, mostly live off the floor. Three were group co-writes, a fourth is a Simon collaboration with Tom Wilson of LeE HARVeY OsMOND, and the fifth is a haunting rendition of the Neil Young classic "Tonight's the Night."

Mississippi Bends will release the five songs as a self-titled debut EP with a show Saturday night at This Ain't Hollywood. If you can't make it to the show, the EP will be available on the band's website Mississippibends.com or at Dr. Disc.

905-526-3331 | @RockatTheSpec - The Hamilton Spectator by Gram Rockingham

"Hamilton Music Awards"

4. New Artist/Group of the Year
Ash & Bloom - Let The Storm Come
Laura Cole - Dirty Cheat
Dirty Jeans - Dirty Jeans
Mississippi Bends - Mississippi Bends
Tongue Fu - Tongue Fu

16. Alt/Country Recording of the Year
Rae Billing And The Unpayables – Walls and Fences
The Dinner Belles - The River And The Willow
Mississippi Bends - Mississippi Bends
Mimi Shaw - Niagara
Ginger St. James - Diesel and Peas - www.hamiltonmusicawards.com


Still working on that hot first release.



Mississippi Bends is Hamilton Based Alt Country/North Americana band with a dark, swampy organic brew that will buckle your knees faster than a triple whiskey sour.  Mixing the multi-grit ambient textures of Andrew Aldridge's guitar sounds and the dark country croons of Mary Simon's voice comes the unique sound of this duo.  In 2015 Mississippi Bends was nominated for New Artist/Group of the Year and Alt/Country Recording of the Year with the Hamilton Music Awards for their self-titled EP.
"I was never a big  fan of the name Mississippi Bends" says Andrew... " I've always liked it, and I came up with the name, but I was a little unsure about it. Now, however, I realize it fits what we're doing perfectly. It's not about the State of Mississippi or the Delta Blues Sound or something specifically Southern/Country. It's about travelling throughout the country along the entire length of the Mississippi River and being witness to a true American, or rather North Americana sound - Everything from Swampy Delta Blues to Alt Country to Mid Western Rock to Folk to Chicago Electric Blues  and Experimentation to Classic Rock and Pop Sounds of the North. Willie Neslon to Ryan Adams to Tom Petty to Buddy Miller to Lucinda Williams to Albert King to Sonic Youth to Dan Lanois. A true North American Experience."

Band Members