The Huaraches
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The Huaraches

Kingston, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Kingston, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Alternative Punk




"The Date that Didn't Sing"

It's Saturday night and I'm sitting in the top level of The Toucan -- that weird upper region that nobody goes to unless they want a serious conversation. I'm trying to focus on what my date is saying. We've only just met and RustyMeyer (his online moniker) is asking me why I'm living in Kingston, "of all places?" RM is from Toronto, and he's telling me how great Ossington Avenue is. Amazing bistros have been popping up, he's saying, with the best local terroir for their produce and meats, and there's a street artist who plays jazz cello further up toward Bloor.

"We have a street artist who plays violin," I think. "He's been sitting outside the dollar store for a decade and he still can't hit a note ... so that's kinda like jazz."

I don't want to talk about his life in Toronto or about how small Kingston is. I don't want to tell him my life story, most of which has been spent in this city he so clearly despises. I don't want to talk at all, actually. I'm listening to the faint chords of Warmer wafting up from the basement level -- so far just a nasal guitar twang above the pop music. The band is opening for The Huaraches, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't pick our date spot specifically so I could catch these Kingston bands.

The Huaraches were formed in 2011 and they get better every time I see them. Inspired equally by the traditions of Jamaican ska and Californian surf-punk, the band has the mad-clown sounds of a Mariachi band in a Mexican crime flick. I tried listening to them once in my apartment, but the experience just wasn't the same, like throwing on a CD of the Grateful Dead in the '90s. Some bands are just live bands. You need to see the full effect of The Huaraches in their sunglasses and grease-monkey suits, the sweat glistening on the bare chests of their mask-wearing dancers. You need to see lead guitarist Adam Weave lose it at the show's climax and rub the bridge of his Fender Jazzmaster roughly against his amp, allowing his stage equipment to play the cacophonous solo.

I think about all this as I listen to my date talk about how much he hates Kingston. It's so small and nothing ever happens here. I decide at that moment that I don't want to see him again. I lead him outside, give him a quick hug, and say it was nice to meet him. Feeling somewhat cowardly, I circle the block and go right back to the basement of The Toucan.

Soon it's completely dark except for the spots trained on the stage. The openers have finished their set and a reverential quiet sets in. At the sound of the first muscular chords, The Huaraches' dancers begin shaking and shimmying like street performers, rousing whoops and cries from the audience. There is a woman in her late fifties in bright red pumps gyrating down to the floor, smiling with her eyes closed. Sexy, queer hipsters in ironic T's smirk sideways at each other and nod their heads to the music. In front of me a teenager in a hockey jersey stands with his jaw hanging open, staring around him as if he's been unexpectedly caught up in a lascivious parade.

And then there's me, my arms held high as the band calls upon us to clap in time to the beat: one, one-two, one, one-two...I thought about my date, and about shows I've seen in the basement of The Drake in Toronto. Clusters of well-heeled Torontonians standing stiffly, gauging the value of each other's kicks. Nobody was dancing, everyone was young, and I was the only one smiling and having a good time. I feel elated to be in the dank-smelling lower level of this Ktown institution. Keep your Queen West with its overpriced diners, perpetual streetcar commutes, and imported furniture stores. This is Kingston, where everyone's invited to the party.

Claire Grady-Smith is a freelance writer, cultural curator (CGS Productions) and co-producer of Garrula: A Storytelling Event and Podcast ( and will be going to see the Huaraches at The Toucan again on June 10. - Kingston Whig Standard

"Backstage Pass"

In this edition of Backstage Pass we talk to local instrumental surfer rock band The Huaraches! Adam Weaver, Chris Wood, Aiden Campbell, Steve Scottile and their dancers Miss Mae Oh My and E.L.E. Incognito bring a energetic unique performance to the stage. The Huaraches perform two originals, "I Guano Rock" and "Defending Go-Kart Champions". The band is playing at an upcoming festival near Barrie, sharing the stage with some BIG names. Watch the video to learn more. - Station 14 Kingston

"How Wayhome Landed Neil Young"

For the Ontario-born music legend who once wrote “On The Way Home”, a featured spot on the WayHome lineup seems perfect. But Neil Young’s headlining homecoming to WayHome Music & Arts Festival this July might not have happened if not for a persistent pursuit — and, like any great festival booking — a lingering distaste for a billion-dollar agrochemical corporation.

Last fall, AC Entertainment and Republic Live partnered to launch WayHome Music & Arts. The goal was ambitious: create a premiere music and arts camping festival at Burl’s Creek, an hour north of Toronto. Nothing like it had ever been attempted in Ontario, and if it was going to work, they needed top-tier talent. Neil Young was the first artist they targeted.

“Neil was at the top of our wish list from day one,” Shannon McNevan, Executive Director of Republic Live explains. “Whether it was solo, with Crazy Horse, with anyone, we knew we wanted him for WayHome. We just didn’t know if it was possible.”

Immediately after sealing the partnership with Republic Live, AC Entertainment President Ashley Capps flew from Toronto to New York to meet with Neil Young’s agent. Capps wanted Neil to headline the inaugural WayHome, and Neil’s team was interested. But it was October. What would Neil even be doing the following summer? Touring? Writing a book? Hocking high-fidelity portable audio players? No one knew.

Unable to lock up Neil before February, WayHome went ahead with their initial artist announcement.

“We were thrilled with the initial lineup,” Capps says. “We knew we were going to add more artists, but we didn’t feel we needed another headliner.”

Meanwhile, Neil started recording with Willie Nelson’s sons and their band, Promise of the Real.

Ashley Capps and Shannon McNevan — Photo Courtesy CNW Group Inc/Republic Live

One month after the initial lineup dropped, McNevan received a phone call. It was Capps, and Neil’s summer plans were beginning to materialize. Young now had an entire album full of songs protesting Monsanto and their genetically-modified seeds. Neil described the record as an “upbeat review of the situation” and he was taking it on the road with Promise of the Real.

“The timing was perfect,” Capps says. “When the stars aligned and we realized we could make this work, it was a no-brainer for us.” All Capps needed was more time to make it official.

With WayHome fans impatiently clamoring for artist additions, the WayHome creative team posted several cryptic clues teasing a second phase of the lineup. The quickly-expanding WayHome community struggled to decipher illustrations of icebergs, beach balls and scrambled letters.

“Icy Beach Balls and the Scramblers are playing!”

Not quite.

On the morning of 4/20 (because Neil’s team knows how to time an announcement) Neil revealed his new album The Monsanto Years and the corresponding Rebel Content tour. The trek will see the band travel through the States before closing the tour at WayHome. WayHome is currently the band’s only Canadian date — a coup for Capps, McNevan and the entire WayHome team.

Seven months after first contact with Neil, both Capps and McNevan, admittedly huge Neil Young fans, say they’re both honored and blown away to have Young returning to “a town in north Ontario” to play WayHome.

“Booking Neil Young for WayHome is a dream come true, and the fan reaction has been incredible,” McNevan says. “But for every person excited for Neil, there is a person equally excited for other additions like Amos The Transparent or The Huaraches. And some people were just excited about the clues,” McNevan laughs, admitting he was impressed by the eagerness, intelligence and creativity of the WayHome community when it came to solving their mysterious puzzles.

Having booked one of the deepest and most diverse lineups of the festival season, the WayHome focus now shifts to the on-site experience. While McNevan and the WayHome creative team enjoyed seeing how bizarre and mysterious they could make their clues, thankfully, not everything on-site will be cryptic. McNevan confirmed that attendees will not have to decode images of a man chopping wood to order a lager. But he did not rule out using Hieroglyphics and Wingdings to demarcate camping pods.

In the coming weeks, WayHome will announce what the festival plans to do environmentally, artistically and interactively. Attendees can also look forward to details of WayHome’s “seriously crazy food” and of course, the official announcement of WayHome late-night spectacles.

“We’ve got some big surprises in store both musically and dramatically for when attendees show up to the site,” McNevan says. “With any good festival, you show up expecting the moon. But only the best ones over-deliver. And we aim to do just that.” - Festival Snobs

"Surf's up on Kingston quartet's new recording"

Three years ago, guitarist Adam Weaver, a veteran of assorted indie bands around Kingston, found himself with some leftover guitar riffs, surf guitar riffs, and he felt compelled to do something with them. So he decided to put a new band together.

"I thought I would take these people from different musical backgrounds and kind of merge it all together and see how it sounded," Weaver said. "And it sounded surprisingly good."

Those people were guitarist Chris Wood, bassist Steve Sottile and drummer Aidan Campbell, and their musical backgrounds ranged from garage rock to rhythm and blues to prog rock. Together they would form The Huaraches -- who celebrate the release their second recording, Steal Second, tonight at The Toucan -- and the resulting sound was instrumental surf-punk, music that wouldn't sound out of place in a Quentin Tarantino movie.

"And once we sort of had those riffs, we started all bringing other stuff in, applying our own ideas to it, and sort of got a formula, I guess, from that," Weaver said.

The band's sound echoes more recent surf-rock bands such as Shadowy Men on Shadowy Planet (they're the band responsible for the Kids in the Hall theme) and Man or Astro-Man, Weaver said, than Dick Dale or the Beach Boys.

"I think the thing that might separate us a little bit from your traditional 'surf' is I don't see us as having a lead player, that sort of clean, quick-picking, really melodic idea of the guitar god backed up by a rhythm section. That's not us," Sottile explained. "We consciously play with bringing elements of melody and trying to drive the song without a singer, and without a true lead player we rely on the interaction between the four of us to kind of move the songs along. And that's conscious."

Wood, who listened to traditional surf music during his decade living in southern California, used to host a surf-themed radio show on CFRC, and was excited to sign up when approached by Weaver, whom he knew from the radio station. The surf-music genre is alive and well, he feels.

"It's still kind of an underground thing; it's a really niche market, but I love it," he said.

"I think people are still really into it, it's just that there are no lyrics, so people are kind of like, 'Where's all the singing?' "

The absence of a singer for the band has been a topic of many conversations.

"The singer thing came up a bunch of times with us when we first started, especially people wondered that we didn't have a singer, and things like that," Weaver said. "Maybe that made us dig in our heels a little bit more after that, I don't know."

To keep its live shows lively, and without the typical frontman to engage the audience, the band tried a few different things -- limbo contests for one, screening movies in the background for another -- to make the show more engaging. In the end, they settled on having two luchador mask-sporting dancers bookending the band onstage.

"Also, not being tied to microphones, necessarily, allows the rest of the band to sort of put on a high-energy thing," he continued. "I sort of like to think of it as a we-don't-let-up, James Brown meets The Ramones channelled through surf and go-at-the-audience sort of thing."

The Huaraches were surprised to find that there are a number of like-minded genre bands in the area between Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.

"I think we've found that there's been a lot more, in the last couple of years, bands that have sort of that genre and that community that have sort of been coalescing over the last couple of years, and the bands are starting to find each other, play with each other, and get along really well," Weaver said. "It's been really good because a lot of those other bands have been very receptive to us."

That other bands are dabbling in the same genre is encouraging, Wood said.

"I'm excited by the fact that there are a lot of people still playing it, and younger," he offered. "It means that people still dig that sound, and still want to play it. I think it's awesome."

And it turned out The Huaraches had some unexpected fans.

"We're getting airplay in the southern States, in California, in Argentina, and Japan, and Germany," Sottile said. "There are people buying our records and playing them on the radio. How did it happen? I don't know. You put it out there on the Internet, and I think because we're in this niche, we got picked up a little bit. It's so surprising that now we have fans we never would have had."

Even though the band is releasing its second album, don't expect the members to quit their day jobs any time soon.

"As much as we would love to be able to hit America and Canada as a touring band, the reality of your 30s, unfortunately, dictate otherwise," Weaver said.

Still, the band would like to play as many shows as they can within the three-city triangle.

"From my perspective, if we can keep playing, put out another album or two a year and pay it off through the shows we're able to play, if we can do that, I really like playing with these guys. That's a goal in and of itself -- is just to keep doing it."

The Huaraches

What: Instrumental surf punkers The Huaraches hold a release party for their second album, Stealing Second, along with guest Cap'n Footbags and The Evil Streaks.

When: Saturday, Nov. 15, starting at 10:30 p.m.

Where: The Toucan, 76 Princess St.

Cost: Admission is free.

For more: Go online to - The Kingston Whig Standard

"Surf-rock sensation The Huaraches release debut album"

Tricia Knowles, Kingston This Week:

Once immersed in the Kingston music scene, it doesn’t take one long to realize the city is home to some of the most talented musicians in the country, making it one of the most desirable scenes for performers and concert goers. The latest band grabbing people’s attention is the instrumental surf punk band The Huaraches, who are set to release their debut album Ride March 9 at the Grad Club.

The Huaraches’ music is layered, bringing the influences of older instrumental surf combos like The Ventures, The Challengers, The Spotnicks, and more modern bands like Man Or Astroman? and Los Straitjackets, together.

“Being an instrumental band is in part due to the style of music,” said Adam Weaver, lead guitarist for the band. “It’s also because many of our songs have a lot going on in a short space of time that vocals might end up cluttering up the sound too much.”

Weaver, who is joined by Dylan Carquez (drums), Chris Wood (guitar) and Steve Sottile (bass), joked that he’s been thinking of calling their style ‘HuaraCha-Cha’. The debut album sounds like it should be the soundtrack to a Tarantino film and offers a unique genre to the Kingston music scene.

“I find there are so many great bands in Kingston creating amazing original works,” said Weaver. “You have to try your best to keep up.”

The band name itself, The Huaraches, comes from the word for a popular sandal footwear in Mexico often made out of old tire rubber.

“It’s also a type of flatbread snack too,” said Weaver. “I’m not really sure how that works out.”

Produced by Zane Whitfield at N.O.P (North of Princess) studios in Kingston, Ride was astonishingly recorded in just one day.

“It all happened pretty quickly,” said Weaver. “Within about six months we had the record written and ready to go, so we are glad Zane was up for this somewhat insane idea of recording it in just a day.”

The band, whose current line up has been together just over a year, said recording an album so soon wasn’t their intention.

“We find it’s very easy for us to write songs together - we have actually started writing new songs for another record. All signs just kind of pointed us in this direction.”

With 13 danceable, instrumental tracks on the debut, Weaver said creating titles for songs without lyrical content to guide them is surprisingly easy.

“The titles of the album come from phrases being thrown out during rehearsals or an item that catches our attention,” he said. “For instance, ‘The Ballad of Dave Stieb’ became a song title due to a biography on Dave Stieb that was in our practice space when we were working on that particular song.”

With additional inspiration being taken from Lucha Libre wrestling, space age bachelor pad music, and “really bad educational movies from the 50s and 60s,” Weaver said the release party for Ride will contain some unique elements. “We’ve planned to include go-go dancers, move projections, mariachi trumpeting, limbo contests, dance offs, and machetes,” he said.

Showtime is 10 p.m., with Teenage Frankenstein adding to the tone of the night as the opening band. Tickets are $8 at the door, or $15 for a copy of the CD with admission. - Kingston This Week - Sun Media

"Top 4 shows to see in the Ottawa area this weekend"

Top 4 shows to see in the Ottawa area this weekend
Nov 16, 2014 12:17 PM ET Jessa Runciman, CBC News
The Reverb Syndicate, The Evil Streaks, The Huaraches @ House of TARG, Friday, 9 p.m., $10

The Reverb Syndicate are playing at House of TARG on Friday night.

The Reverb Syndicate's music conjures up images from B movies; someone surfing a wave or a swinging spy making a stealth move. It's music for the warmth of Hollywood, but its purveyors come from right here in our own cold climate.

The Ottawa band first formed back in 2006 with the goal of recreating the sound of bands like The Ventures, and coming up with "soundtracks to 1960s spy films that don't exist." Since then, they've even strayed into some spaghetti-western territory over the course of the three albums they've released. The Reverb Syndicate is currently in the midst of recording a fourth record for release next year, but you'll get a preview if you pay a visit to House of TARG on Friday night. The band is helping to kick off the second annual Surf & Turf weekend, beginning with Friday's "Surf" component, which will also feature The Evil Streaks, from Boston, and The Huaraches, from Kingston. Then, on Saturday night, it's the "Turf" (garage) part of the equation, with Boston's Muck & The Mires, Toronto's Pow Wows, and Ottawa's Sir John A. Macdonalds. Both shows are $10, with doors at 9 p.m. - CBC News

"The Huaraches Ride!"

The Huaraches exist in a strange, dark, wonderful place in the space-time continuum. The band was born in Kingston, ON, and now they have blessed us with a recording to sharpen our teeth with. Their debut album “Ride” is just that: a thrilling, mysterious, spaced-out ride into the unknown.This album is overflowing with wickedly delicious surf rock, liberally smeared with punk energy and whatever other influences the band wants to pull from: westerns, sci-fi, Mexican wrestling, film noir, and dark rockabilly overtones are all sucked up into their nervy hailstorm of full-volume rock and roll. The guitars tear and pull at each other like angry cats trapped at the bottom of a well, echoes abound, and the rhythm section slams through the whole thing with an energy that is both bruising and dexterous.

“Zzyzx Road” is a gorgeous, dramatic opener which only serves to set the table for what’s to come. A lone trumpet signals a forgotten menace, a threatening half-realized dream of wandering through the desert with a pistol and a handful of peyote buttons. But the dream is real, and it’s happening now. You wake with sand in your eyes and an unquenchable thirst. You shake your head and look around blearily. Scorpions scurry away and strange things hiss at you from the darkness. Shadows lurch and dart through your peripheral vision, taunting you with spectral electric guitar sounds. A creeping tension builds until the very air is changed with electrical potential. A mysterious band of strangers offer you a lift, and with no civilization in sight, you hop aboard for whatever entrancing weirdness comes next.

And then, with a crack of thunder, the journey has begun. From that point, the album takes off. It’s a convertible at full speed, down the desert highway and away from the light.

First stop is giddy, rolling rock monster that is “Pole Nectar”, complete with classic surf drum fills and slashing guitars. The bass dances around with mischievous glee, filling up the negative space and shoving the indelible melodies as deep into your ears as humanly possible. “The Shaker” keeps the vibrations going, with serpentine descending riffs coiling around you, as you scan the horizons for whatever comes next. It rumbles your innards like the footsteps of a tequila-drunk giant, thrusting you onward in mortal terror. You know it’s time to go further, faster, funkier. Peals of guitar tear through your fear, like bullets from the murk.

“Jaywalk, Don’t Run” ups the stakes. You’re not holding the wheel on this trip. The Huaraches push you into white-knuckle madness as they laugh from the driver’s side. There’s grinding urgency to this song, coupled with some groovy tempo changes; the steering of the car is being tested. You laugh too, knowing that this ride will take you to some of the strangest, most wonderful places.

“Chuggin’” feels like a stop at some beautifully seedy roadhouse, where people gamble away their time and drink until the bartender throws them back out into the night, where they take to the road once again. “Saucy” is where the convertible crashes at full speed, sending you sailing bodily out into the night, where ever stranger fates await you. There’s a mid-record respite on “Camel Meat”, where we find ourselves in a dreamy purgatorial state where guitar notes fall in the air as water droplets.

But the break is only momentary, because “Bad For The World” proves there are still more surreal Lynchian places to explore. The interplay on this song is intense and imbued with a seductive sense of danger. But in behind these sounds the wind and the dust are blowing, slowly grinding away at things with the march of time. There are more roads to be travelled. Once again, the ride is on.

“The Ballad of Dave Stieb” honours an old hero, the only type of hero in this story. He’s one of the many weird characters you’ve met on this journey, so you stop and carouse with him for a while, before The Huaraches drag you back onto the moonlit road. “Anal Leakage” is pounding and spacey. This song is a blistering showcase for this band. It’s dramatic and audacious. “Zooma Hey” comes on like one of those really sinister cartoon villains, the ones who sing a song about how they’re about to eat you. Your fate is sealed, and now you have to pay up.

The album finishes with a demented and powerful one-two punch: “A Nerd In Tunisia” and “A Fast One” are steeped in a reckless punk vibration fueled by nuclear waste, coupled with riffs that pulverize each other with the sheer force of true jackhammer rock and roll. Now the earth cracks and swallows you whole, down into a distorted abyss of punk fury.

But you open your eyes and find yourself back where you began.The convertible pulls over abruptly, and The Huaraches deposit you right back onto the same desolate highway where they found you. They’ve stolen your change and gotten you drunk. They’ve made you dance and taught you to embrace the beyond. You watched as they arm-wrestled the Devil himself, and won.

Like a glowing spacecraft, the songs hang in the air for a few seconds, before they disappear with the sonic boom still rattling around in your skull. You are once again alone in the desert, with a sinister grin plastered to your face. This is The Huaraches. Take the ride. - Audio Reckoning

"Interview: The Huaraches"

A little while back, I reviewed the debut album from Canada’s finest instrumental band, The Huaraches. The record is excellent, but I wanted to dig into their story a bit more. Their bassist Steve Sottile and I chatted over email about the genesis of the group, tobogganing into recording sessions, how the Principal of Queen’s University reacted to their bizarre video shoot, and the dangers of playing guitar with a sausage.

For reference, the band’s lineup is Chris “Cuz” Wood (guitar), Dylan Carquez (drums), Adam Weaver (lead guitar), and Steve Sottile (bass).

AR: How did the band come together?

Steve Sottile: Adam had the vision. He put the band together from players in our neighbourhood. We wrote three songs at our first jam. Dude knows how to put a band together, I guess. Our first drummer was Depravity Brown, a real heavy, check him out…he moved away, so we called Dylan, and first jam with him we wrote three more songs. Band came together like synchronized swimmers on Sybians.

Did you discuss your sound before you came together? How did you end up being an instrumental surf-punk band?

Us fellas in the rhythm section just followed Adam and Cuz…they sounded like they do from the first chord they played together…

Are there special challenges to being an instrumental band, or is it easier?

The main challenge is making sure we’re doing all the things a voice and words do with our instruments…signalling changes, creating suspense, setting the mood, etc. I think we can all say that it’s much better for all involved that none of us sing. It’s easier for everyone that way.

You guys run the gamut of what’s possible with your lineup. What kinds of artists influenced your sound?

Man or Astroman?, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, Huevos Rancheros, The Sadies, The Meters and the Ventures – great bands that know how to put together short, tight, wordless, badass tunes.

What is it like to do what you do in a place like Kingston? (Small towns are typically more close-minded and I’m curious as to how you guys are received there).

Kingston rules. There is so much creativity and support here. Great players, great scene. Can’t say enough about the place, really.

The album: where was it recorded? By whom? How did you make those decisions?

We needed a place to record. You can pretty much toboggan into Cuz’s house from Zane Whitfield’s North of Princess Studios in the winter, so that was an easy choice. We just went in one Saturday and recorded the whole thing live off the floor. We wanted to get our songs out on a budget, we had a power outage in the middle of our session, and Adam was about to seriously die of the flu, so there was no time to even make decisions. We played and Zane captured it… well, except the flu, guy’s got some lymph nodes.

How do you feel about how the album turned out?

We’re really proud of it.

How does your live performance differ from the recordings?

Sonically, not much is different since the album is a live recording. The show itself is way different from listening to the album in your living room, unless you’ve got one heck of a party going on there…in jumpsuits…with a machete…and lucha libre go-go dancers…

What’s your personal definition of success? (or What would be your ideal level of success for the band?)

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands. [cue the sound of one band clapping]. We just want to stay together as a group, keep recording, keep touring, and hopefully make enough dough to do so.

Favourite show memory?

Anything Adam does during “A Fast One”. He’s jumped into Dylan’s drum set, crowd surfed, played a solo with a knife. Cuz and I just hope he doesn’t hurt himself one day.

Least favourite show memory?

Anything Adam does during “A Fast One” (Do you know how long sausage can make a guitar stink for? We do.)

Favourite song to play live?

They’re all super fun to play.

If you could open for anyone, who would it be?

We’re likely the only band to have played on a bill with both Sarah Harmer and Fucked Up in the same month. So, for insurance, we’d like to open for Riff Raff and Julio Iglesias in March – stay tuned.

What’s next? Another album, touring, world domination?

We’ve got a video coming out in the next week and a bit. Brent Nurse, who did Cuz’s cousin’s video “Out For a Rip” (that hoser rap track that’s going viral on YouTube), filmed it at CFRC, our local community radio station. Zane from North of Princess plays a scaredy cat sleazeball DJ, and there’s jumpsuits, a machete and lucha libre go-go dancers.

True Story: The Principal of Queen’s University walked into the station as we were attempting to burn melted light gels off a lamp screen, in jumpsuits…with a machete…and lucha libre go go dancers. Dude didn’t bat an eyelash, walked into studio B, and recorded his weekly program in the glow of blue and red strobey lights…there’s windows between all the studios there…so on this particular Sunday, you’ve got a bluegrass band going live to air in one studio, the Principal another, and us filming in the third. It was a seriously weird day for all involved.

We've just received a FACTOR grant that should help us record a 7"EP for release in the spring, so that'll keep us busy for a bit... - Audio Reckoning

"The Huaraches Ride!"

When I first picked up this baby I thought kool cover by a band named after some Mexican flat bread and my interest was captured .To my surprise The Huaraches hail from Kingston, Ontario a town that has a pretty good music scene but is known more for some other things that I won't get into.Anyway these kats are a pretty kool surf band that have a rep for been a killer live band.The band's debut album "Ride" comes in with 13 original and strong tracks that will please any one who loves surf . This is a well balanced album that ranges from traditional surf to spaghetti to mainly surf punk.With only one track here over 3 minutes this puppy moves and has plenty of muscle to pull you in even if you're not a fan of surf. Highlights include: "Jaywalk, Don't Run", "A Fast One","Pole Nectar" and "A Nerd in Tunisia". The Huaraches recorded "Ride" live off the floor as they say and the result is pretty damn good .This is one Canadian surf band to keep an eye on .Recommended! - Slams Reviews

"Island in the Fun"

I can’t believe it has taken me almost four years of living in Kingston to visit Wolfe Island. There wasn’t a better excuse for a weekend away than the 2013 Wolfe Island Music Festival. The longtime tradition on the island has long been named as one of the best summer festivals anywhere.

The Wolfe Island event has a more laid-back atmosphere than most festivals I’ve attended. That is very apparent as you walk down the main street. Local restaurants and the hotel (which doubled as a venue for part of Friday’s music showcase) lined the calm residential island. Roaming around between venues, I caught up with a few familiar faces and met music-loving strangers. First to hit the stage were The Rhythm Haints. A friend suggested I check out this local band, which has been creating quite a buzz with their stellar vocalist and complex blues rhythms. Needless to say, the crowd was pumped. Closing the show was P.E.I. natives Two Hour Traffic, who
definitely rocked.

Booking it down the hill as dusk fell, I stopped briefly at The Island Grill, where Outside Music presented Leif Vollebekk, a Montreal-based singer and songwriter whose music caught me off guard as I stood mesmerised by his sound. As hard as it was, I was pulled away by the sound of the Bahamas in the distance, they were closing the main stage. Barrie’s Alfie Jurvanen, who plays under the name Bahamas, was definitely a fan favourite for Friday night, the biggest crowd response went to his song, Lost in the Light.

I quickly learned you pay the price for enjoying the full set, as hip-hop styles of Buck 65 reached max capacity early on. Upon gaining entry, I was quick to understand why. A positive surprise, his seamless blend of danceable hip-hop beats and rhyming about life experiences from lost love to the Internet, Buck65 kept the crowd dancing and laughing as a one-man show.

Day 2 began with me taking in the famous Wolfe Island Bakery. With some suggested homemade treats in hand, I walked to the ball diamonds where the main stage was ready for a second straight day of of rock. My favourite part of festivals is always the musical surprises you find. Opening Day 2, and easily scoring best dressed in cover-alls with dancers in fringe and Mexican wrestling masks, The Huaraches started to pump the crowd up with a surfer punk sound.

Lone guitarist Spencer Burton, known as Grey Kingdom, fought with more than his lingering cold to hold the audience’s attention in the increasing heat. His songs were well done, but seemed to lacked stage presence (or I just didn’t get his sarcastic humour). On a positive note, he felt comfortable to try new material.

The band Diana reminded me of current Canadian Electro/Rockers Metric with a heavy lean to the synthetic sound and experimentation. A saxophone was a welcome treat during their set. Overall. I felt their music didn’t fit with the whole alternative groove the festival had going.

July Talk seemed to be the underdog, but next to the festival headliner Joel Plaskett, and the popular Hannah Georges, July Talk was hands down the most talked-about set. Their electrifying stage presence and antics paired well as the main singers each had a unique style. Peter Dreimanis’ raspy growls were accented well with Leah Fay’s softer, but equally strong vocals. They have created something different and people are taking notice.

The Wooden Sky didn’t stand out for me, but they did a solid set, in a style that is more laid back. I feel they have a quiet power behind them. You could feel the anticipation for the three final acts.

Hannah Georgas, who has become known for playing with soundscapes and creating an indie pop sound that also create a sense of emotion and she is able to capture this same element during her live sets, was stellar to witness.
I got to catch the bassist of the Born Ruffians, Mitch DeRosier come out of a classic “getting lost in the moment” instance as all of the guys were rocking out hard. Their recent single, Needles, was phenomenal live. They successfully pumped up the crowd for Joel Plaskett and the Emergency.

East Coast native Plaskett and his band the Emergency, were greatly anticipated by many, and did not disappoint, bringing infectious “down home” energy with many points of humour (Park Avenue Sobriety Test) and sharing inspirations behind songs as they tuned their instruments. He played many fan favourites and easily stepped into a groove, mixing full band songs with a solo acoustic break. It was here where he tried some unrecorded material inviting some audience participation. The crowd was electrically charged with energy and many danced through the set.

After taking in some of local vendors and meeting a small handfull of local creative people, highlights continue to replay in my brain; I am looking forward to see if next year will top this epic first time at Wolfe Island Music Festival.

J. Kaela Simpson is a Kingston native with a heavy addiction to Converse shoes, a growing collection of concert T-shirts and a passion
for music of all genres. Contact her at; and - Kingston Whig Standard

"First Wave & Passes - 2017 CMW"

As the holidays near that means many things. One, that you’re running out of time to buy gifts, and two, that passes for Canadian Music Week 2017 are now on sale! Some may say that is a coincidence, but we prefer to look at it as a solution to your gift giving needs. After all, who doesn’t love the gift of live music?
This year we’re introducing the Explorer Pass and the Explorer+ Pass.
 EXPLORER PASS ($ 50.00)
Showcasing the best in new music, Canadian Music Week once again lands in the clubs across Toronto April 18-22, 2017. And if you’re all about the club hopping life you’ll want to grab the EXPLORER PASS which grants you access to all official CMW Club Series venues. By far the best value for music lovers allowing you to explore the festival the way YOU want. Catch the hottest club shows, discover your new favorite artists, all with one pass.
Valid for all 5 days (April 18 – 22, 2017)
Entrance to all club series venues
All venues / events subject to capacity
EXPLORER+ PASS ($ 100.00) Limited Amount
Want more access? Don’t like waiting in line? Then pick up the EXPLORER+ PASS for priority access to all official CMW club series venues, plus guaranteed entry to the CMW Concert Series to experience marquee headline shows at Toronto’s best concert venues.
Valid for all 5 days (April 18 – 22, 2017)
Priority access to all club series venues
Access Concert Series shows by picking up tickets at the CMW Box Office at the Sheraton Hotel from April 18-22, 2017.
*Limited tickets available – first come, first served. One ticket per person
All venues / events subject to capacity
Danforth Music Hall                                         Mod Club
The Opera House                                               Phoenix Concert Theatre
Adelaide Hall                                                      Baby G
Boots and Bourbon                                            Bovine Sex Club
Cameron House                                                  CODA
Comfort Zone                                                      Dakota Tavern
Drake Underground                                          Garrison
Great Hall                                                            Horseshoe Tavern
Lee’s Palace                                                         Longboat Hall
Painted Lady                                                       Revival
Rivoli                                                                     Silver Dollar
Smiling Buddha                                                  Supermarket
Velvet Underground
To get your passes click HERE!
We will have some major announcements coming up in the new year, but for now here is a sneak peak of some of the many great artists you’ll be able to see at CMW 2017:
#FAMILYGRIND – United States
36? – Canada
3peat – Canada
A Gentleman’s Pact – Canada
Abigail Lapell – Canada
Academy Killer – Canada
Across The Board – Canada
Alana Henderson – Northern Ireland
Alex Bent + The Emptiness – Canada
Alice Ivy – Australia
Always Never – Canada
Alyssa Marie – USA
Amberwood – Canada
Amy & The Engine – United States
Avec Sans – England
B.R.Mackie – United States
Babygirl – Canada
Bad Buzz – Canada
BARQ – Ireland
Big Knife Little Knife – Canada
BIRTHH – Italy
Bitch Falcon – Ireland
Bossie – Canada
Call Security  – United States
Cat Clyde – Canada
Chemical Burn – Canada
Cleo T. – France
Clubhouse – United States
Crisis Ctrl Club – Canada
Dear Criminals – Canada
Denis The Night & The Panic Party – Italy
Dentist – USA
DGS Samurai Champs – Canada
Dick Rodan – Canada
Dresden Wolves – Mexico
Ensh – Serbia
Exit Someone – Canada
Fond Of Rudy – United Kingdom
Forty Seven Teeth – Canada
Goodnight Tonight – United States
Grown Up Avenger Stuff – United States
hey! dw – Canada
Hiroshima Hearts – Canada
Honey Beard – Canada
James Blonde – Canada
Jordan Paul – Canada
June Divided – United States
Kyrk Dodds – Canada
Lab Coast – Canada
LABS – Canada
Lanikai – Canada
Last Bullet – Canada
Lauren Spike – Canada
Laurent Bourque – Canada
Limestone Chorus – Canada
Magnolian – Mongolia
Malca – France
Marcus Alan Ward – United States
May Wells – Canada
Menage – Canada
Molehill – United States
Moon Tan – Canada
My Son The Hurricane – Canada
Native Other – Canada
New Valley Wolves – Ireland
No Stories – Colombia
North by North – United States
Nuela Charles – Canada
ONFIILM – Canada
Only Wolf – Spain
Paddle to the Sea – Canada
Postmoderndisco – Canada
Pretty City – Australia
RendeR – Chile
Run Coyote – Canada
SC Mira – Canada
Skyward – United States
Smokes – Canada
Stan Simon & The Hotel Bible – Canada
Stand Up And Say No – Canada
Straight to Business – Canada
SuperGlu – England
Surf Dads – Canada
tangina stone – USA
Tété – France
Texas King – Canada
The Brevet – United States
The Census – Canada
The Extroverts – Canada
The Foreign Resort – Denmark
The Honest Heart Collective – Canada
The Huaraches – Canada
The Johans – Canada
The Kents – Canada
The Messenger Birds  – United States
The Most Loyal – Canada
The Ocean Cure – Canada
The Steady Rebels – Canada
Uforia – Canada
Viking Fell – Canada
Wasiu – Canada
We Were Lovers – Canada
What If Elephants – Canada
White Label Analog – United States
Wild Planes – United States
Wild Rivers – Canada
Windigo – Canada
Wolkoff – USA
Wotts – Canada
WYLAND – United States
Zoo Owl – Canada - CMW


The Huaraches are an instrumental band - no lyrics!

The Huaraches Ride!
March 2013
Huarecords, cat. HUAR-0001
Format: CD
Producer: The Huaraches
Engineer: Zane Whitfield

The Huaraches Steal Second
November 2014
Huarecords, cat. HUAR-0002
Format: CD
Producer: The Huaraches
Engineers: Zane Whitfield & Aaron Holmberg

Christmas is for Boys & Girls
November 2014
Format: CD, compilation
Track 9 - Sleigh Ride
Producer: Another Brother Production - Aaron Holmberg & Chris O'Connor
Engineer: Aaron Holmberg

The Punishing Gift - Single & Video
December 2016
Sneak Peak of new Drummer & Album Track
Producer: The Huaraches
Videographer: Peter Rae



The Huaraches are purveyors of Kingston, Ontario's finest/only instrumental surf punk. They take the spirit of artists like Link Wray, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, The Sadies and The Ventures, add volume, jumpsuits and impunity, then just straight-up put on a show.

Their short, high-energy, instrumental songs and renowned live musicianship are punctuated with a stage show featuring projections, lucha-libre go-go dancers, and the occasional machete. They work hard to give their audience a unique and genuinely fun experience.

With big-stage experience at the 2015 Wayhome Music & Arts festival, the 2013 Wolfe Island Music festival, a reputation for rocking small clubs, and confirmation as one of the “First Wave” of acts for 2017 Canadian Music Week, The Huaraches are primed and ready to bring something different to stages across central and eastern Canada in 2017.

Their debut album, "The Huaraches Ride", was released in 2013 earning radio play and record sales in Canada, the U.S., South America, Europe, and Japan.

With support from FACTOR, they released their follow-up “The Huaraches Steal Second” in November 2014. It has charted top-ten on numerous campus and community radio stations across Canada and earned the band airplay on the CBC and international surf-radio shows.

On the heels of “The Huaraches Steal Second”, the band's version of “Sleigh Ride” was included alongside tracks from some of Kingston's finest recording artists (incl. Sarah Harmer, Paul Langlois and others) on the “Christmas is for Boys and Girls” album. Released in 2014 it has sold over 2500 copies with all proceeds going to the local Boys and Girls Club.

The Huaraches are back in the shop working on new tunes and applying for grants towards a mid-2017 release of their first full-length vinyl LP. As an independent act, they're looking for help with distribution and tour support in order to bring their music to a wider audience.

You can check out The Huaraches’ music video and some live performances here:

“Saucy”, from the 2013 album “The Huaraches Ride!”, directed by Brent Nurse:

“Phasers! Zap! Blam! Kill!”, from the 2014 album “The Huaraches Steal Second”, directed & edited using public domain footage by Christopher Wood:

The Huaraches Live @ Wahyome Music & Arts Festival 2015, Fan Video, unattributed:

The Huaraches Live @ Wolfe Island Music Festival 2013, Matt Hartwick, photographer:

The Huaraches Live @ their Jam Space - 2017 Sneak Preview “The Punishing Gift” from their upcoming album.

For some recent press, check out these links:

The Huaraches included in First Wave of CMW 2017 Performers:

The Kingston Whig Standard - Print daily newspaper - Claire Grady-Smith, April 18, 2016:

Station 14 - Kingston, ON - “Backstage Pass” Video Feature - July 2015:

The Kingston Whig Standard - Print daily newspaper - Nov. 13, 2014 - Peter Hendra:

Band Members