The Creekside Strays
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The Creekside Strays

London, Ontario, Canada | SELF

London, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Rock Soul




"Some Funking Soul with The Creekside Strays"

A hard drum beat, some fast fingers on the bass, a moaning guitar and an emotive voice are what The Creekside Strays are all about. Anyone who came out and saw them play the Bombshelter on Sept. 20 would have found that out easily.

The Creekside Strays are from London, Ontario and are relatively new as a band, but not new to music and its splendours.

James Vinyard, guitarist and vocalist, has been playing with bassist Nic Cavaliere for a long time, having met in the first grade. Drummer Justin Shorey was put in almost six months ago, but had been good friends with Vinyard for awhile. However, all three have at least a decade of experience playing music.

This experience is evident in their music and live shows as it illustrates how great they all are as musicians.

Having just released their first EP, Tiger Waltz, the band have been touring around southern Ontario. Rightly so because their stuff is good.

The band has some old school influences, like The Beatles, Steely Dan and Pearl Jam, and some underlying funk. With the added spice of a unique modern sound, you can’t help but rock out.

“It might just be a lick, or a little jam out here, and if it sounds good, we’ll write it, regardless of what the genre will be,” Cavaliere said about making new songs. Specifically on one of the more intense works, “This Ain’t a Question” Vinyard said “Nic had that lick you hear in the beginning and it was all kind of based off that.”

Admittedly, I had only got what little exposure I could online. From what I heard, it was really good stuff. I only truly became a fan once I had seen them live.

Shorey was extremely concentrated as he smashed on the drums with speed and skill. Cavaliere moved with more enthusiasm than I have ever seen in any bassist. His fingers moved so fast, and the sounds he made from his instrument were simply funkalicious. James played for the rhythm, letting the songs take forefront, but showing his chops at key moments. His voice wailed along with his guitar, really piercing through the ears and emotions of this particular listener.

The crowd may have started out lethargic, once the set was finished, though, the audience was clapping as The Creekside Strays got them going.

Their songs were strong and you could see how much effort these guys put into their music. They also had a cover of The Beatles “Back in the U.S.S.R.,” which was groovy, quick and a delight to listen to.

The Creekside Strays are fairly unknown, but they shouldn’t stay there long. When asked what they want from their music and what they want listeners to take from it, Shorey said they would like “to provide an alternative to standard, generic, what you hear on the radio.”

For the future of the band, Vinyard said they want to “get our new EP heard by as many people as possible and just work our asses off.” With a few chuckles that follwed, he also said they wanted “to do it for a living.”

For more on the band, you can hear their music on their site Get their single, “I’ve Done Wrong,” for free, you won’t be disappointed.

By Mika Ilic - IMPRINT - University of Waterloo Student Newspaper

"The Creekside Strays Coming to Port Elgin"

The London rock and soul trio, The Creekside Strays, will be serenading The Wismer House Friday night for their third time.

Vocalist and guitarist, James Vinyard, bass player, Nic Cavaliere and Port Elgin native and drummer, Justin Shorey will start the show with an acoustic set, followed by 3 sets of 10 songs.

Playing in his hometown, Shorey said, “I am extremely excited. This is actually my favourite gig to play.” He said, Friday night “(is an) opportunity to play for a lot of people that were around when I was growing up in Port Elgin. “It’s a chance to showcase a bit about what I have been doing because there hasn’t been many people who have been exposed to it.”

He said that their music ranges from aggressive, mellow and radio friendly, to a couple of balleds that they will be playing Friday night.
The Creekside Strays have been busy over the summer as they played six shows at London Ribfest with one night opening for Bobnoxious, they opened for See Spot Run at Turkeyfest in Strathroy after winning a lengthy Battle of the Bands, Vinyard wrote in an e-mail.
They recently played a gig to a packed house at The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, and have an upcoming gig opening for Die Mannequin in London.

The trio has also been working non-stop playing all around Southern Ontario on the heels of our most recent EP “Honour Amongst Thieves” which has been doing really well, and are in the stages of planning to do some more recording come January, Vinyard added.

Needless to say, “We’ve been preparing for (Fridays) gig pretty hard and have some fun stuff lined up,” said Vinyard.

For more information on the band visit their website at or visit their Facebook page. - The Shoreline Beacon

"Creekside Strays myFM Radio Featurette"

Featured on the "Media" page of our website. Exclusive featurette featuring songs and interviews with the Creekside Strays! Aired Sunday, August 12 on all myFM stations:
88.7 - Greater Napasnee/Belleville/Kingston
90.5 - Exeter/Grand Bend
90.9 - Port Elgin
94.1 - St. Thomas
95.5 - Kincardine
96.1 - Renfrew
99.7 - Goderich
99.9 - Gananoque
100.9 - Brighton
104.9 - Pembroke/Petawawa
105.7 - Strathroy/Caradoc
107.7 - Arnprior - myFM

"It's an honour: Creekside Strays set to release EP"

“I personally loved being in a studio,” says James Vinyard, front man of local band The Creekside Strays. “Being in a studio is like going to Disneyland for us. It just reaffirms how much you love making music.”

Lucky for Vinyard, he’s been able to spend one day a week over the past two months in the studio perfecting the band’s latest EP, Honour Amongst Thieves. The band will celebrate the release of the EP Friday night at APK Live, headlining a packed local bill.

“The bands are all really different,” Vinyard says. “And they are all from London.”

The Creekside Strays will be joined by Phoenix Down, Drop 32 and The Mountain, the Forest, the Earth. Each group brings a distinctive style and voice to the evening’s line-up from The Mountain, the Forest, the Earth’s progressive vision to The Creekside Strays’ funk jams.

“We’re just trying to put together a good show,” says Vinyard. “We’re at this point that any show we play we want to be as professional a band as we can be. We want to always give people their money’s worth.”

That attitude has kept this hard-working band busy performing, rehearsing and perfecting the new EP.

“We’ve been playing these songs for a while,” says Vinyard, “But they were able to mature through performing them live and jamming them out. By the time we got into the studio they had evolved.”

In the studio at the Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology that evolution continued, the creative process never truly being complete. “Anytime you are in the studio little ideas come and you need to embrace these things and go with the flow,” Vinyard says.

Partnering with a talented team doesn’t hurt either. The Creekside Strays, made up of Vinyard, Nic Cavaliere and Justin Shorey, put their faith in sound engineer and OIART instructor Mark MacDonald, learning from his knowledge and experience.

With MacDonald’s help the band tried to capture their live performance on the EP, bringing the funk rock on-stage charisma to the tracks. “We try to keep the emotion from a specific performance on the recording,” Vinyard says. “That is more important than keeping everything perfect beat by beat, note by note. We would rather keep that performance element.”

The Creekside Strays celebrate the release of the EP Honour Amongst Thieves Friday night at APK Live. Tickets are $5 at the door and the music starts at 10 p.m. - METRO NEWS

"Creekside Strays Release New Music"

Creekside Strays release new music

By Chris Montanini

Local rockers The Creekside Strays are releasing their second EP “Honour Amongst Thieves” May 4 at APK Live.

The four-track CD, recorded here in the Forest City, is another glimpse into the developing London band’s style. It follows up “Tiger Waltz,” released last July, and offers a more edgy soundtrack compared to their first EP.

“It builds on the four songs we released before,” said guitarist and lead singer James Vinyard. “It’s not like it’s completely different but it gives a broader picture of the different stuff we like to do.”

“Every time you take out a four song slice you’re only getting a piece of all the different stuff we do,” added bassist Nic Cavaliere. “We left out doing some of our blues/rock stuff, but you’re getting a bit of the heavier stuff, some of the funk stuff, some of the jazz stuff.”

The EP is definitely heavier, leading off with Creekside’s newest single Gather The Remnants, a song highlighted by Vinyard’s gritty, grunge-esque vocals. It’s also available for download on their website.

The London trio showcases some of their range on Freddy and Me, slowing things down slightly and giving drummer Justin Shorey a chance to display his technical chops on the more jazz, funk-based track.

“I don’t think I’m more proud of anything else I’ve played on than that song,” Shorey said, adding that he feels the ‘Strays second EP is more akin to their live show.

Shorey joined long-time band mates Vinyard and Cavaliere last summer, about two weeks before they were booked to record Tiger Waltz. With around eight more months of experience under their belts, which has included a busier gig schedule in London, Toronto, Windsor and Port Elgin, Shorey’s hometown, the band feels a bit tighter and their chemistry is more apparent in their latest recordings.

“It’s given us time to establish ourselves,” Vinyard said. “And start getting known throughout Ontario a little bit more. We’re hoping this EP can take it to the next level. It show’s people we’re not messing around, we’re a serious band.”

Honour Amongst Thieves also includes What’s Gotten Into You, Leading Them In and an instrumental bonus track. It’ll be available at The Creekside Strays show May 4 at APK Live. Ticket’s to the show are $5.

For more: - THE LONDONER

"My 15 Minutes With... The Creekside Strays poised to release new CD"

It’s been a little over a month since I last talked to the guys of The Creekside Strays – James Vinyard, guitarist and vocalist; Nic Cavaliere, bassist; and Justin Shorey, drummer. Since then, they have been playing shows around town while also working hard at putting together their new album. I got the chance to catch up with Shorey about three weeks ago to follow up on what’s new with the band and how things are going with the new EP.

Can you tell me what you guys have been up to since we last spoke?
“We have been playing a bunch of shows – almost twice a week between London and Toronto. We have played at places like The Horseshoe, The Silver Dollar. Then over the last two or three months we have been going in on Sundays to record our new EP, which we are calling Honour Amongst Thieves. We have been doing all of the recording and now we are just in the process of making all of the adjustments to our master tracks and also putting the final touches the artwork so we can have that all together for May 4, which is the CD release party at APK.”

Is there going to be more than one show for your CD release party?
“We have a bunch of shows planned. We are doing the CD release here in London and we are also looking to do some other shows around southern Ontario, like something in Windsor and even maybe do something in Toronto as well. We also have a bunch of gigs booked in the summer for London Ribfest.”

What kind of response are you hoping to generate with this CD?
“It’s kind of two- or threefold. Firstly it’s kind of hard to show what your sound is with three- or four-song EPs. With our catalogue of songs, you can pick out four rocker songs and a person will go, ‘Oh, these guys are a rock band.’ But also in some of our other songs we get into some jazz, funk, maybe even a little bit of soul here and there, so we are just building on the EP we released last year. It has elements of jazz and funk and also has more drum and bass with rock, of course. We also have a song on the EP which is a mash-up of everything I just said.”

For more information and for tickets to their CD release show at APK on May 4, check out their website at
- INTERROBANG - Fanshawe's Student Voice

"My 15 Minutes With... The Creekside Strays on the rise"

The Creekside Strays are a Southwestern Ontario band whose star is quickly on the rise. James Vinyard, guitarist and vocalist; Nic Cavaliere, bassist; and Justin Shorey, drummer, all grew up in and around London. Their singles are being played on London-based radio station FM96 and throughout Canada on CBC Radio. The band played at the Out Back Shack on January 20, but I had the chance to talk to Vinyard a few weeks before the show to get his opinions and to talk about what is next for him and the rest of the band:

It's said that songwriting is very important to you guys. Can you describe your songwriting process?
"It takes a variety of forms. Sometimes we can just jam out and come up with stuff, sometimes someone will just bring an idea in and we will work with it that way. It starts and then branches off from there. Then we just keep kicking it around the room until it's gotten to a point where we think it's really cool and feel it's something we like and would listen to ourselves. It really becomes a band effort as opposed to an individual effort, like, all three of us really get our teeth in there and try to get our ideas and give way to whatever is going to be the best idea. It's a very collaborative effort. Then, once the music is done, I'll throw in some lyrics and will just play with those and just keep on playing with it until it's done."

Your songs received airplay on multiple radio stations throughout London. Where were you and what did it feel like to hear your songs on the airwaves?
"It was pretty awesome. The main radio station we knew it was going to be played on was FM96, so we all got together at our drummer Justin's and kind of just stood around waiting like little kids. We kept waiting and waiting and then eventually it came on and it was great. It was really cool to get to hear it amongst the other songs that were on the station. It was nice after the song ended to hear that it held its own with everything else that was being played."

You guys were filming a music video at Fanshawe. What was that like and what can we all expect from it?
"We did it in the TV studio in M building with Nate Wilson, who is our drummer's roommate. The video is for our song called 'Shaky.' It is a very kind of funk inspired song, and the whole premise for the video was that we are all auditioning as background dancers, so we all went in there and just danced around. We all had a really good time. We had other people in there with us also along with our bass player's mom, who owns a dance studio. She brought in a couple girls who were great dancers who were also featured in the video. Overall, we all had a great time."

You are currently on the last leg of your tour. What are you plans after your last show on February 28?
"We have been pretty busy. Starting (January 15), we are going back to the studio again and we are going to start work on our second EP. For the next month and a half we will be working on it and then we plan to release it in April so we can tour around that summer and promote it."

For more information on the band, check out for videos, links and news.

By Taylor Marshall
- INTERROBANG - Fanshawe's Student Voice

"The Creekside Strays"

Driven by the influences of strong guitars in the 60’s and 70’s, the trio based out of London, Ontario, has just released their new EP entitled, "Tiger Waltz”. The album, a fusion of rock and blues, features the rich hard voice of singer James Vinyard; coupled with the groovy baseline and punchy drumbeat of Nic Cavaliere and Justin Shorey, the Creekside Strays are surely a band worth checking out. Here off their new EP, is the live performance of one of their songs called, “Doc, can ya help her”.

I also had the opportunity to sit down with the band and get their take on music, songwriting, and what it takes to be a band these days. Enjoy! - More Sound, Less Noise Music Blog


Radio Interview - click link to listen. - 94.9 CHRW

"The Creekside Strays"

Driven by the influences of strong guitars in the 60’s and 70’s, the trio based out of London, Ontario, has just released their new EP entitled, "Tiger Waltz”. The album, a fusion of rock and blues, features the rich hard voice of singer James Vinyard; coupled with the groovy baseline and punchy drumbeat of Nic Cavaliere and Justin Shorey, the Creekside Strays are surely a band worth checking out. Here off their new EP, is the live performance of one of their songs called, “Doc, can ya help her”.

I also had the opportunity to sit down with the band and get their take on music, songwriting, and what it takes to be a band these days. Enjoy! - MORE SOUND, LESS NOISE

"The Creekside Strays Release "Tiger Waltz""

The Creekside Strays have released a new EP called the " Tiger Waltz ". Hit Songs featured on the record are " I've Done Wrong " and Priscilla, available for free download at .

The Strays fusion of Alternative Rock, Funk and Soul contains the wild abandon of The Black Crowes, the mystic attitude of The Red Hot Chili Peppers and the wandering Spirit of Pearl Jam.

Currently this Canadian act will be playing Ontario Clubs and Campuses with their EP Release Parties and doing a September Frosh Week Tour, followed by frequent mini tours in North American markets. A behind the scenes documentary is in the works.

The band has recently signed to Concerthouse Music, an Artist Management firm specializing in promoting great new artists to the world.

For live music bookings please contact Ross Tonkin at or 213 265 9866. - MUSIC INDUSTRY NEWS NETWORK

"Creekside Strays do the Tiger Waltz"

There was a quick transition for the Creekside Strays between finding a new drummer and recording their first EP, "Tiger Waltz."

With studio time already booked at the Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology, it wasn't the best time to be looking for new members, but Justin Shorey was more than happy to fill the gap on drums, even if he only had three weeks to do it.

A self-described fan of Creekside front man James Vinyard — who did some solo work recently prior to forming The Creekside Strays along with guitarist turned bassist Nic Cavaliere — Shorey said he was "absolutely stoked" to get in on the project.

"The stars aligned, it's a pretty romantic story, actually," said Shorey, 23. "These guys were really cool about me doing my own thing."

"It felt real," added Vinyard, 25. "It felt perfect and I think we've still been riding that energy."

Four months later the young trio is releasing Tiger Waltz with a show at Black Shire Pub July 29.

"We were kind of all at the point where we don't want to waste too much time," said Vinyard. "We try and do stuff everyday and jam and play as much as we can… working hard to get this EP going."

It was difficult to choose songs for the four track EP, the band said, but added that the CD offers a snapshot of their style — rock at its roots with a little bit of blues, funk and soul for some flair, which suits Vinyard's stylish vocals and sounds together for a group in its infancy.

"When it comes to making music we kind of just like to do whatever we think is cool," Vinyard said. "We don't really try to conform (to a specific genre). If we like it and we think it works, we do it."

"The best way (to describe it) is just kind of listen to it," added Cavaliere, 25.

I've Done Wrong is expected to be the first single released from the EP. Its catchy classic rock riff stands out on the disc and there's a bit of story to Vinyard's lyrics, although he's cautious about delving into the meaning behind his words.

"I don't like telling people, at least right away," he said. "Because that will give them a thought in their head…instead of interpreting it themselves.

"It's a lot of character-based songs and character-based story telling," Vinyard continued. "Some of the songs have absolutely nothing to do with myself personally."

Tickets to the CD release party are $5 and the show starts at 10 p.m.

By Chris Montanini - THE LONDONER

"Their Winding Story"

It’s been a whirlwind couple of months for local band The Creekside Strays. The group, made up of front man James Vinyard, bassist Nic Cavaliere and, the newest addition, drummer Justin Shorey, formed in March.

Only three weeks later The Creekside Strays were in the studio, working with Mark MacDonald at the Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology to create a four song EP.

“When I got the call to come play with James and Nic they had already been working together for years and years,” says Shorey. “They have a huge back catalogue of songs they have been writing.”

The band plans to keep learning and recording material in four song sets, building their repertoire for live shows and working toward a full-length album.

On Friday the band will be celebrating the release of their first EP entitled Tiger Waltz, performing at the Black Shire Pub.

“I think this album gives a really good snapshot of The Creekside Strays,” says Shorey. “There are a lot of different genres happening, making it hard to pin us down.”

With a grungy edge and gritty guitar sounds, The Creekside Strays first single I’ve Done Wrong is reminiscent of classic rock anthems, Vinyard’s voice adding colour to the character driven lyrics.

“James writes stories for song lyrics,” says Shorey. For example, the song “Doc, can you help her?” on the EP is about a mother dying during child birth, Shorey says. “And each verse told through a different perspective: from the mother to the doctor to the son.”

The band will be joined by another local artist, Calvin James, at the release show, a performance they have been busy preparing for.

“We can’t wait,” Shorey says. “We’re just trying to get our foot in the door, and are using this EP as a kick start so we can start picking up steam.”

The show starts at 10 p.m. at the Black Shire Pub on Talbot. Tickets are $5 at the door.

By Amanda Grant - METRO NEWS

"The Creekside Strays leave habitat to play the Spoke"

Some things are inevitable, and the coming together of London funk-rock trio The Creekside Strays is nothing short of that.

They’ve known each other since the tender age of six and have played in local bands throughout their teens, James Vinyard (guitar/vocals) and Nic Cavliere (bass) wanted to take their music to the next level. They recruited drummer Justin Shorey to become a member.

The Creekside Strays’ sound is surprisingly well polished as they only formed six months ago. They were able to start things out fairly quickly and hope they can keep the momentum going.

“We’re really just trying to play all around Southern Ontario so we can expand—we want to work as hard as we can,” he explains. “What we’re thinking of doing right now is continuing to release these four song EPs.”

Their latest EP, Tiger Waltz, showcases their obvious instrumental talent and dedication to the blues, funk and soul aspects of rock music.

“Deep down we love a lot of old-school funk music,” Vinyard said. “I know Nic is influenced by a lot of jazz stuff, and I’m a big fan of a lot of old soul music as well. We just like to make what we find interesting and cool, regardless of the genre.”

Vinyard also draws upon older artists’ storytelling style when creating lyrics for The Creekside Strays.

“Big influences of mine lyrically are Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Bob Dylan—[they wrote] a lot of character-based storytelling songs,” he explained. “People always say there’s a bit of yourself wrapped in any character you’re writing about, so if there’s something I feel passionate that comes out in a song, I’d definitely welcome it.”

When asked when the band would be releasing more new music, he explained they want to make sure every song on their EP is a quality single and can stand on its own.

“We’re really just trying to promote [Tiger Waltz] right now then hopefully we’ll be back in the studio again come January,” he said. “We’ll probably release another four-song EP sometime in April.”

The Creekside Strays are performing at Western tonight and students should prepare for an energetic set from the trio.

“We basically try to go pretty crazy,” Vinyard laughed. “We just try and go nuts and put everything into every show while having fun.”

Catch The Creekside Strays live at The Spoke tonight. Doors open at 9 p.m., and the band will be hitting the stage around midnight.

By Jesica Hurst - THE GAZETTE - UWO Student Newspaper

"These Strays at home in city"

After many gigs when its members were in five-piece outfits, a London rock and roll trio is finding room to move.

"There's a lot of space. There's a lot of room for different stuff," singer and guitarist James Vinyard said Tuesday of the Creekside Strays, a three-piece band formed about six months ago.

Vinyard, bassist Nic Cavaliere and drummer Justin Shorey are heard playing an unplugged version of their tune Freddie and Me in this week's Reaney's Pick video.

Former St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic secondary school students Vinyard and Cavaliere, both 25 and born in London, have been friends since meeting as kids at Notre Dame Catholic elementary school. Kincardine-born and Port Elgin-raised Shorey, 23, is a Fanshawe music industry arts (MIA) program participant.

Vinyard and Shorey met when the singer and guitarist was doing a solo gig at Friday Knight Lights. Shorey was impressed and kept working to see Vinyard had other chances to share the stage with the drummer's band.

Vinyard and his friend and frequent bandmate Cavaliere were impressed, too.

"We found Justin. We've been rolling with this now," Vinyard says."I like to think we're a rock and roll band with just as much emphasis on the roll as on the rock."

Influences on the Creekside Strays range from U.S. rock bands the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Steely Dan and Pearl Jam to funk from Sly and the Family Stone and Tower of Power to jazz icons Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie.

To go with more than a dozen originals, the band plays such covers as the Beatles' Back in the USSR, Van Morrison's Moondance and Traffic via Joe Cocker's Feelin' Alright.

The Creekside Strays' EP, Tiger Waltz, was recorded at Soundworks Studios OIART by Mark McDonald and his assistant Rob Muir. It was mastered at the Lacquer Channel by Noah Mintz.

This week, the Creekside Strays play at the London Music Club on Thursday and Norma Jean's on Friday. Nova Scotia rock band the Stanfields, who won the 2011 ECMA (East Coast Music Association) Rising Star of the Year award, headline on Friday.

After those two gigs, the Creekside Strays head on the road to play the Smiling Buddha club, 961 College St., Toronto, on Saturday.



Honour Amongst Thieves EP - May, 2012
Tiger Waltz EP - September, 2011



There’s a songwriting oasis that exists in a landscape of truth and harmony that was carved by the strong voices and loud guitars of the 60s and 70s; a festival fervour that took you from mellow, muddy depths to blissful, sing-along highs; a revolution and independence that captured you mind, body, and soul. The Creekside Strays are traveling that landscape in search of that elusive and exclusive oasis.

The Stray’s fusion of alternative rock and soul contains the wandering spirit of Pearl Jam, the mystic attitude of the Dave Matthews Band, and the wild-eyed abandon of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and their songs resonate with anyone who’s familiar with the unmistakable feeling of putting needle to wax. They are making music that rekindles a return to pure, dynamic songwriting with heart and purpose, a process deeply rooted in the songwriting traditions of journeymen like Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, and Tom Petty, but also possess a modern flare by dressing up their melodies and hooks with a bluesy desperation.

After the overwhelmingly successful release of their debut EP "Tiger Waltz," The Strays have since released their highly-anticipated, sophomore EP "Honour Amongst Thieves." Songs from both EP’s have received extensive campus radio airplay all throughout Canada, and have been featured on CBC Radio 2 and 3 and on London's top rock station FM96. The Stray’s fresh sound and unforgettable live performances have also generated a large amount of excitement and buzz with several press articles, interviews, award nominations, and features done on the band. At the pace the band is going one can't help but acknowledge they are on their way to becoming one of Canada's fastest, most up-and-coming, formidable rock acts, and getting closer to that elusive and exclusive oasis.