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"Weeds Cafe Show Review"

August 9, 2007

Outside Weeds Cafe the temperature plummeted, the wind swirled and dust blew, turning a perfectly fine Calgary summer night into an eerie experience. But inside this eclectic little coffee shop the atmosphere was warm and inviting as Tom Howie unpretentiously did his thing.

His thing; is a perfect blend of unique melodies that form a backdrop to heartfelt lyrics and a natural giftedness for drawing his audience into a lovely place. Before he sang his first note, Howie innocently, but intentionally set the personal tone for the evening, saying something about being up close and personal even after the show. So with instructions in place, we stood around and lounged with lattes and imported beer as Howie wooed us for a blissful hour.

Please give me permission, just this once, to employ the over used phrase "make it your own", because Howie did just that. He has penned his own easy listening lyrics and music--writing with incredible maturity beyond his 19 years. This young star also bravely attacked the Joni Mitchell classic “Both Sides Now”, performing a dynamic version of this song while many of us in the crowd (well over 19 years) mouthed the words with smiles on our faces.

Howie's summer release, “Song is the Lifeblood”, boasts elite musicians such as Sarah McLachlan, but at Weeds Cafe on Friday night, the band and vocals were simple. Two men, two instruments. It was Howie with his magical guitar and Theo Hall on cello. Yes, guitar and cello. An unlikely combination, but refreshing, daring and groundbreaking. The duo had obvious musical chemistry-- their instruments blended and beautiful music happened all around us.

The hour passed too quickly, but as promised, Howie mingled and meandered his way through the adoring crowd, greeting almost each visitor in the venue.

The storm outside Weeds Cafe finally subsided. But beware, there is a gentle breeze building in the passionate Tom Howie which is about to explode into a dazzling storm in the music world. Howie has served notice. Be on the lookout.

--Stephanie Gladysz
Regina, Saskatchewan
- Independent writer

"Strumming in Stereo"

What happens when you combine guitars, trumpet, bass, piano, keyboards and percussion with one incredibly talented 19-year old lead singer-songwriter and a lineup of contributing artists that would leave any established rock star drooling?
You get a collaboration called Stereobuss, headed by rising star and soon-to-be-household-name, Tom Howie.
Featured on Stereobuss' first independent studio album, 'Song is the Lifeblood', is a list of music industry heavies that includes Sarah McLachlan on background vocals and piano, her husband Ashwin Sood as producer and drummer, sound engineer Chris Potter, who's worked with the likes of Bryan Adams, Ozzie Osbourne and Ms.McLachlan, Keith Scott, a guitar player for Adams, and Jason Nett, the other permanent member of Stereobuss and the band's lead guitar.
What makes this band so unique is not that the lifeblood behind it is a level-headed West Coast kid from Vancouver, or the fact that he was busy making music and a name for himself long before he was noticed by industry big-wigs as he attended high school, but rather Tom's outlook on Stereobuss as a casual, changeable 'musical entity' instead of a black-and-white band with permanent artists and defined roles.
Proof of Stereobuss' unconventional approach to making great music lies in the fact that, at tomorrow night's no-cover live show at Weeds Cafe (1903 20 Ave. N.W.), University of Calgary cellist Theo Hall will be, for the first time, diving right in to accompany Tom in his acoustic, album-debuting show.
Catch some samplers at, and then head on down to Weeds for the show at 9 p.m. tomorrow. - Calgary Sun


Song is the Lifeblood (2007)
- Set Me Up
- Bulletproof
- Fight With Me
- Living Right
- Runaway
- Sexy Poses
- When the Time Comes
- Far Cry



Fall 2007 marks the release of Stereobuss’ first independent studio album, “Song is the Lifeblood”. The Vancouver based pop rock band was formed in late 2006 by Tom Howie, who is the lead singer, songwriter and visionary of the emerging group. Tom, along with lead guitarist Jason Nett and an experienced lineup of contributing artists have spent the last 8 months recording the album in Vancouver.

The record features eight memorable tracks with honest, raw lyrics about self exploration and life’s purpose. Guitars, trumpet, bass, piano, keyboards and percussion are combined to create the album’s diverse and soulful sound.

Included in the collaboration of musicians on the album, Sarah McLachlan lends piano and background vocals to Stereobuss’ talent. “Song is the Lifeblood” was produced by Mowgli (Sarah McLachlan), Tom Howie and Jason Nett and engineered by Chris Potter (Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan).

After recording the album, Tom and Jason recruited the talented local rhythm section that is Denham Trollip (drums) and David Marion (bass), to fill out the band’s live sound and bring more energy to the stage. With their diverse range of performance styles and capabilities, from rocking full band shows to chilled out acoustic renditions of the songs, Stereobuss is a versatile and stunning live act.