Blackwood Sinners
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Blackwood Sinners

Sudbury, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2015

Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Rock Hard Rock




"Blackwood Sinners"

As new bands emerge everyday into the harsh world of music, some will push through everything that comes their way and be able to create music that really connects with their audience, and bring a sound that they worked hard for. Blackwood Sinners have presented the world with an impressive first look at what is to come in their upcoming debut album expected in 2016, and will continue to play out their dream. - Alyssa Lashbrook (Rolling Music Reviews)

"Blackwood Sinners Loud and Proud"

Blackwood Sinners are loud, rock-and-rolly and basically sound like a good time. Their vibe goes well with cold beer and warm decks.

The four musicians – Andrew Boyd on lead vocals and rhythm guitar; Andre Beaulieu on guitar; Connor Dagaz Mitchell on bass; and Mike Lavigne on drums – are in the final stages of preparing their first album for release.

“We are finally releasing the album to the public and wanted to do it big,” Boyd says. “Being an independent band, it’s all out-of-pocket so we’re hoping it’s a success. … (It’ll have) a professional light and sound show. We have a couple of other bands, door prizes, draws and admittance includes a download card for the album as well. ”

Boyd says the album is an honest representation of band members with a live-off-the-floor feel. They are proud of the recording and feel they did a good job putting it together.

“It’s where we really feel comfortable. We took our time and really made sure we were happy with everything,” he explains. “Billy Brumhuller, our recording engineer, did an absolutely stellar job on it and made it sound amazing. It’s a straight-forward, hard-driving rock record that we are very proud of. We even tossed in an acoustic version of our song, Somewhere, as an added bonus. You know, to show we’re sensitive and what not.”

The release happens May 28 at 8 p.m. at Theatre Cambrian, 40 Eyre St. Following that, the band heads out on the road.

“We have shows booked all over Ontario well into September, are working on shooting a music video soon and are already starting to write for the next album,” Boyd says.

Boyd says the band, which counts The Cult, Slash, Monster Truck and Queensryche among their influences, has a vintage feel.

“On the broad spectrum we are definitely considered rock music. We have a lot of varied influences and styles, which mesh really well together,” Boyd says. “I always find it hard to describe, which isn’t a bad thing since I think we have a unique sound. I’m a little all over the map. I love everything from old blues to modern metal. I draw from many pools. Some vocalists who truly inspire me are Dallas Green, Ian Thornley, Myles Kennedy, Colin Macdonald and Brandon Boyd to name a few. Andre is a huge Slash fan – loves his solo stuff and Guns N Roses, 80s hair metal. Loves any hard rock, vintage or new. Connor is inspired by Billy Sheehan, Mr. Big, Winery Dogs and a lot of progressive rock. Mike loves the 80s hair metal, Motley Crue and the like, and is a big fan of Shannon Larkin of Godsmack, the Offspring. He also likes country.”

Born and bred in Sudbury, the Nickel City rockers say the city’s Group of Seven landscapes have definitely influenced them. Surprisingly, proximity to nature seems to be a soulful thing for these guys.

“Sudbury is a mining town. It’s hard working, blue collar just like us,” Boyd says. “I would have to say it helps shape our sound through inspiration. It really is gorgeous. You’re a 15-minute drive or so in any direction to get to a lake, a forest, a lookout, a walking trail. A lot of people don’t have that and we definitely feel fortunate to have that at our disposal.”

They are a passionate lot, with a tremendous amount of energy and enthusiasm for their music, which Boyd says can be therapeutic.

“We absolutely love what we do, creating and playing music,” Boyd says. “We all really love music in general. It’s a universal language that can connect anyone. If we can inspire, evoke an emotion, help recall a thought or help clear the mind for a couple minutes, then I think it’s a job well done.”

Veterans of the Nickel City music scene, Beaulieu and Lavigne came together after playing in a few other bands. They recruited Dagaz Mitchell through Kijiji and Boyd through Facebook (social media to the rescue). Once the line-up had been finalized, creativity flowed and the songs came quickly.

“I was in-between bands doing the solo acoustic thing and thought it might be fun to jam in the basement a little,” Boyd explains. “It was instant chemistry. Within the first two months we had three or four songs written already, which was very surprising considering it was intended to be a Sunday jam band.”

Working as a team, they typically begin writing songs not with lyrics, but with a guitar riff.

“From there we start to flesh it out and build,” Boyd says. “Connor usually comes up with the chorus. He just has a knack for it. Once we’ve gone through it and made various tweaks over the day, week or month, we can usually settle on a theme or a feeling and then a story is written to accompany.”

The band often plays out of town, and counts Wawa, Chapleau, Timmins and North Bay amongst their tour stops. They only play once or twice per month in Sudbury, but have taken to the stage at the Townhouse Tavern, Theatre Cambrian, Little Montreal, Bell Park, The Coulson and Cousin Vinny’s.

A typical live show is upbeat, entertaining, driving and loud, Boyd says.

“We really pride ourselves on our live show and play with 110 per cent,” he adds. “This is what we live for. It’s a blast for us. We love seeing people come out to support local music and having a great time. We love hanging out and chatting about music after, as well.” - Sudbury Star

"Making Magic : Blackwood Sinners on a roll"

Sudbury hard rock band Blackwood Sinners only formed a little over a year ago, and already it's released its first album.

The band puts that down to the “magic” that happens when the right group of people get together to play music.

In late 2014, Andre Beaulieu and Mike Lavigne, who'd played in bands together in the past, decided to form their own group.

They answered online ads from Andrew Boyd and Connor Mitchell — who were also looking to join a band — and the four men just clicked.


“Anybody who plays in a band will understand what I say when I say this,” Lavigne said. “It's not learning the music or creating the music, it's finding the people to do it together, and do it well and make magic. Really, music is magic.”

The guys started out playing covers, but realized quickly they wanted to write their own material. “It jelled really well,” Boyd said. “Within a year, we wrote, recorded and produced a full album. We're already writing for the second album.”

The writing process seemed almost effortless, said Lavigne.

“Andre would come in with a riff, and within 45 minutes, we had almost a song, complete,” he said. “The next practice, Andrew would come with the lyrics, and the song was done. It's just fine tuning. That's how quickly the songs came to us.”

As a way to get the band's name out there, it entered one of its songs, “Reno,” into the CBC Searchlight competition.

It ended up as the regional finalist for Northern Ontario, and one of the top 25 finalists in Canada. That's out of more than 2,000 musicians and bands who entered songs in the contest.

It's safe to say the band members are thrilled. “We just entered because it was one more thing to put our band name in,” Beaulieu said. “We never thought anybody would pay attention and actually vote.”

Then, on May 28, came the album release party for “Against the Grain,” the Blackwood Sinners' debut album.

Held at Theatre Cambrian, the band spent months planning the event, a rock concert with choreography and professional lighting.

“There was better turnout than I thought was going to happen, and we sold more tickets than I thought we were going sell,” said Mitchell. “It's hard to do something like that in Sudbury.”

The Blackwood Sinners is now focusing on touring — the guys especially like small venues in Northern Ontario — and writing material for a second album.

“Every show you do, you gain a fan, or maybe four or five, and then that opens new doors, new opportunities,” Lavigne said.

The band's album is available on CD for $15 and as a digital download for $10. Visit its website,, for more information. - / Northern Life

"Most Original Prize winners"

Congratulations to our 2nd Annual Most Original Prize Winners. Judges took place in a number of rounds with various artists, musicians and writers taking part. Sponsors include Musicians Atlas Group, Blues411 and Hwy 11 Records.

There were a number of great artists and these were the top three that were narrowed down based on a number of criteria.
James A Taylor (Kirkland Lake, Ontario)

The Blackwood Sinners (Hanmer, Ontario)

Francois Lemieux (Blind River, Ontario) - Hwy 11 Records

"Downie, Hip Inspire Sudbury Concert"

Local bands will get together at Theatre Cambrian on Oct. 1 for a night of tribute for The Tragically Hip and to fundraise for brain cancer research.

Tickets can be purchased online, reserved over the telephone, or by visiting the office at 40 Eyre St., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, visit or Theatre Cambrian's Official Facebook Page.

Diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour, Gord Downie, the lead singer of The Tragically Hip, announced Aug. 20 would be their last concert. An estimated 11.7 million people watched that last concert.

The concert and the Gord Downie Fund inspired Sudbury bands to put together a concert to fundraise for brain cancer research.

"We are honoured to partner with Blackwood Sinners on this endeavour," Mark Mannisto, Theatre Cambrian's executive artistic director, said in a release. "Last Saturday, the country stopped to watch a final farewell to the rock legends that are The Hip. We are pleased that we are able to help Blackwood Sinners and local bands fundraise for the Gord Downie Fund at Sunnybrook hospital".

Spearheading the project is Andre Beaulieu, lead guitarist from Blackwood Sinners. Beaulieu recently lost a best friend to brain cancer.

"Watching the concert Saturday, every song brought me back to a point in my life and I realize what an influence The Tragically Hip has had on me," said Beaulieu. "This is about giving back to Gord for what he has done musically, and contributing to an important cause." - Sudbury Star

"Gord Downie inspires Sudbury Musicians"

When Andre Beaulieu learned Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie had terminal brain cancer, the news hit him more ways than one.

Beaulieu counts Downie as a major influence, representative of his carefree days of adolescence and all that's right with Canadian music. But it also brought back the sadness of losing his best friend Mike Gilbert to the same battle in February 2012.

"From high school on, we hung out every single day," said Beaulieu, his voice cracking over the phone.

So, like many of the 11.7 million Canadians who tuned into Downie's last concert streamed live Aug. 20 on television, radio and online, he was moved beyond words.

"Every song being played at that concert reminded me of a certain point in my life," said Beaulieu, who's seen the Hip perform three times in Sudbury. "It reflected how involved the Tragically Hip was in my musical life. They've been there since I was a kid. We're losing a tremendous part of Canadian music."

Beaulieu felt compelled to do something.

So Beaulieu, along with members of his rock band Blackwood Sinners - Andre Boyd, Mike Lavigne and Connor Mitchell - decided to organize a Tragically Hip tribute show to raise money for brain cancer research. They teamed up with Theatre Cambrian to present the Giving Back To Gord concert on Oct. 1. The night will feature Blackwood Sinners and other local acts like Don Kunto and Unfinished Business who have all stepped up to donate their time for the cause. All acts have selected five Hip songs to perform that evening

Tickets are $10 and Beaulieu said every penny raised will go to the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research at Sunnybrook Hospital to support research into new drugs, techniques, and therapies to fight terminal brain cancers.

He said his wife Allison is dedicating her spare time to finding sponsors and so far the response has been great.

"We have tremendous support from sponsors," said Beaulieu. "The list is growing every day."

Tickets can be purchased in advance online at , reserved over the telephone at 705-524-7317, or by visiting the Theatre Cambrian office at 40 Eyre Street between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. - Sudbury Star


Still working on that hot first release.



Recently have released a full length album 'Against The Grain' , have opened for Lee Aaron, have won band competitions, raised close to $4000 for the Gord Downie Foundation for brain cancer research,  was selected as one of the top 25 artists in the CBC Searchlight competition and won 2nd prize in HWY 11 Records' Most Original Song contest.

BLACKWOOD SINNERS are a hard rock band based out of Sudbury,
Ontario. In late 2014 band members Andre Beaulieu and Mike Lavigne came to a
collective decision to start playing music again considering it had been eight
years since there last project was active. With the thought of playing music
again there was definite excitement brewing. So the next step was to search for
some likeminded and equally talented musicians to partake in this project.

After searching throughout the Sudbury area for possible
band mates Connor Mitchell was the next band member to step in roll for BLACKWOOD SINNERS. Andre responded to Connors Kijji add and set up the first jam. After the
first jam it was evident that the chemistry was there and the band was almost
complete. The next challenge was to find a vocalist. After many unsuccessful
auditions it was not looking very promising for the new project. Then Andrew
Boyd agreed to an audition. The audition quickly became more of a jam session
playing some favorite covers and having a good time. There was an automatic
connection between the musicians and therefore BLACKWOOD SINNERS was complete.

After a few jam sessions the band discovered that song
writing and creating original music were a high priority for each band member.
With a common love for hard rock and rock n roll the decision was made to start
creating the music they loved.

As the writing sessions began it became very clear that each
member were genuinely excited to create some great music and the writing
process was surprisingly very quick. Within 2 months there were 4 songs written
and BLACKWOOD SINNERS had performed there first show at Cambrian College Battle Of the
Bands and won!

What a great start for the band and a real motivator to
create more music to work towards recording the first BLACKWOOD SINNERS album. The
band have been working hard creating and are set to hit the studio summer of
2015 including playing festivals and local fundraising shows.

Exciting times for BLACKWOOD SINNERS and the boys are looking
forward to the future creating music, playing shows and making new fans.

So if there is a BLACKWOOD SINNERS show in your area and your looking for a good time this is the show you need to see .You will not be disappointed!


Band Members