The Maladies of Adam Stokes
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The Maladies of Adam Stokes

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

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Indie




"CMW 2013 Live Review – The Maladies Of Adam Stokes"

Who: The Maladies of Adam stokes
From: Toronto, ON
Where: Free Times Cafe – Toronto, ON
When: Saturday March 23th – (1am)
The Crowd: The back room at the Free Times was jam packed! There wasn’t a seat left in the house. People were also lined up against the wall and into the entry way for The Maladies Of Adam Stokes. “this is actuallly the most full it’s been In four days” said stage manager Jon Wishart.
Style: Intelligent country alt- rock. The Maladies jump from fun filled country rock to serious folk indie rock. Some songs are dark, some are light, all are well written.
Technicalities: There were pluses and minuses to The Maladies playing such small room. There is the intimate value of it, however they deserve a bigger stage. (see article about lees palace performance). The drums and keys were off to each side of the stage as there was nowhere else to fit them. Most things were not mic’d up, which would normally be fine, but not when the vocals started to feed back. CMW should have put Maladies on a bigger stage (maybe The Phoenix?), they deserve much better. That being said, songs like “City Of Trees” felt very intimate in this nice acoustic small space and I overheard a comment from someone saying this was the best show they’ve seen them play.
Memorable Song/Moment: When the band was talking about their album “Please download the whole thing from bandcamp” said guitarist Kohji Nagata which was followed by “or just steal it from somewhere” from front man Mikey Hill I love it when a band understands the concept that no ones buys albums anymore and The Maladies get it! They are here to share their music with you. This was followed by Kingdom Come song which included some Iron Maiden style guitar harmonies – wicked! Pretty much the best thing I heard all night.
Sex Appeal/Image: The Maladies have the right look for their sound.
Comments: The maladies of Adam stokes kept getting better and better with each song. They are a good example of a band that is not afraid to be themselves. They write excellent songs, no gimmicks, no tricks and they are going places.
Review By: Darrell Shelley
Photos By: Andrej Ivanov
Check out the album review and listen here!
THE SCENE - The Scene Magazine

"The Maladies of Adam Stokes – City of Trees – album review"

Released: October 23, 2012
Produced & Engineered by Dave MacKenzie at Beyond The Beat Studios
Mixed by Denis Tougas
Edited by Laura Titchner
Mastered by Noah Mintz
Artwork by Tom Twolan
Established in 2009 by former band mates Mikey Hill and Kohji Nagata, The Maladies of Adam Stokes has since become a six-piece folk-rock band that brings to the table a quality of sound that would make fellow Canadians proud.
Their first full-length album, City of Trees, is a well-rounded collection of songs that are mature, full of allegory, perfectly placed guitar riffs, raspy yet clear vocals, and a plethora of instruments that make each song multi-faceted. Nothing was done wrong in making this album.
The album feels a bit book-ended due to having easy-paced, acoustic tracks at the beginning and the end. However, this helps to build up a slow crescendo of sound, starting with Type You Forget. The intensity just keeps increasing as each track elapses, until we’re brought back down to earth with Kingdom Come.
With the third and fourth tracks, The Maladies were able sneak in a combo of songs that move effortlessly from one to the other, yet act as a dualistic “ying and yang” of sorts. Hollow Love portrays a sound that is slightly dark yet intriguing, with the opening of the song featuring a melancholic fiddle and lyrics such as “You may be my blood and you might have made my bones, but you ain’t no love”. My ears couldn’t help but prick up when I first heard this track because of two distinct sounds that I was able to extract. What first caught my attention was a guitar riff very reminiscent of one found in Neil Young’s Like a Hurricane. The second was a baseline that sounded very much like one in Modest Mouse’s The Cold Part. I’m not sure if this was intended by the band, but this odd mix of influences somehow works in this song. Hollow Love then shares its ending with the beginning of Oceans, which is possibly my favourite song on the album. Oceans is the more upbeat partner in this duo. I absolutely love the trumpet on this track and the effect used for the guitar. The song just carries itself.
Other songs of note are title track City of Trees with its perfect harmonies and backing piano; When the World Burst to Flames, with guitars that again, remind me of old Neil Young; and Fall of the Moor that has a unique, tinny sounding piano that makes you feel like you’re listening to an old set of keys from the Depression Era (the harmonica on this song is also amazing).
Apparently both the drummer and bassist have a lack of experience when it comes to their instruments, although you would never know they were novices at their trade upon hearing the music. Drummer née sound engineer, Ted Turner, picked up the drums for The Maladies; likewise, bassist Brett Harris didn’t play until he joined the band. The drums add a perfect kick to each song, with a mixture of folk beats, drum rolls and snare; whereas the bass line is seamless, sometimes undetectable, lying just below the surface of each song.
Add to the mix “jack of all trades” Kohji with his guitar, lap steel, glockenspiel and trumpet; the delicate piano and fiddle playing of Emily Anderson; Josh Awerbuck and his guitar that supports each song; and Mikey’s voice, which has a quality of tone that hooks you, and you have yourself not only a great album that can be played until it’s worn out, but also an incredibly talented band that I’d bet on lasting the long run.
City of Trees is an album that for sure should create some buzz for these guys prior to their show during Canadian Music Week. And as of the evening of March 4, they were named one of the top five bands in Toronto contending for CBC Radio’s Searchlight: Here & Now contest, looking for the best new musical artist in Canada.

Recommended Track: Track 4: Oceans - Trumpet such a nice touch, blurred guitar, bass line carries throughout, honestly, a song that needs to be on the radio 10

The Good – The music is infused with a folk feel thanks to acoustic guitar, banjo, trumpet and harmonica, but The Maladies are also able to keep it bluesy and rock-based with the electric guitar solos and sometimes grungy guitar riffs.
The Bad – Call me biased, but I can’t detect anything “bad” about this album
The Ugly – “Ugly” and “The Maladies of Adam Stokes” is an oxymoron that doesn’t belong in the same sentence.
Review By: Ashley Macnie - The Scene Magazine

"Gid's Reviews - The Maladies of Adam Stokes - City of Trees"

The Maladies of Adam Stokes are like a refreshing breeze livening the Toronto indie scene. Their music is a fresh take on an assortment of classic genres, blending country, folk, classic rock and 90's pop in a lovely wall of sound style. Put more simply, these guys are great songwriters who play good old rock and roll. And yet, when I questioned them on this subject they claimed to not know how to play their instruments. Funnily enough this is actually nice to see as staying humble is a quality sorely lacking in some of today’s musicians.

Albeit, their bass player, Brett Harris, and Ted Turner (no comment) their drummer, had never played their instruments before playing in this band. However, now that the band has been together for four years now they have clearly grown into a formidable, energetic and playful rhythm section, the key to making any band a cohesive unit.

Another noteworthy thing about The Maladies is that every member of the band sings on the album, always a sign of balance. Several band members fill multiple roles. Kohji Nagata plays the electric guitar, the slide guitar as well as some trumpet. Josh Awerbuck plays lead guitar and Emily Anderson Plays piano and fiddle. She is the only classically trained musician in the band. Lead Vocalist Mikey Hill, who also plays some guitar and banjo, writes heartfelt lyrics about love and sacrifice, which go over top of these arrangements. Fans of the Hamilton bands ‘Huron’ and ‘Harlan Pepper’ will enjoy these guys.

Their musical style varies from the magnificent melancholy in epic slow songs like; Hide In Here, Oceans, City Of Trees and Fall Of The Moor. To galloping folk-rock anthems which mix soulful country and classic rock ingenuity like; Type You Forget, Hollow Love, See You In Another Life, Crooked Hand and When The World Burst To Flames. This is their first full-length album, ‘City of Trees’. It was over a year in the making and gives the distinct impression of an album, that is, one with a recognizable theme, flow and direction, a treat that grows to be more and more of a rarity in the indie scene.

This is not music that is meant to blow your mind with blistering solo's and time changes. Their music is not complex and it is not its purpose to be. That is, even though ‘The Maladies of Adam Stokes’ may not know how to play their instruments, but, it is unquestionable that they have a flair for organic songwriting and arrangement. Listening to their songs is akin to eating good home cooking, it is captivating, charismatic, creative and it makes you feel nice inside.

Come check out the album right HERE! And be sure to catch them live at Canadian Music Week! - Indie Round Table

"Best of 2012 Music: Top 10 album lists"

Best of 2012 Music: Top 10 album lists

DECEMBER 14, 2012 10:27 AM

Top 10 Albums

1. Kathleen Edwards — Voyageur (MapleMusic)

2. Fiona Apple — The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do (Epic Records)

3. Jack White — Blunderbuss (Third Man/Columbia)

4. Sharon Van Etten — Tramp (Jagjaguwar)

5. Cat Power — Sun (Matador)

6. Joel Plaskett — Scrappy Happiness (MapleMusic)

7. M. Ward — A Wasteland Companion (Merge)

8. pine Fits — A Thing Called pine Fits (Merge)

9. Plants and Animals — The End of That (Secret City)

10. Sun Kil Moon — Among the Leaves (Caldo Verde)

Terry Peters

Top 10 Albums

1. The XX — Coexist (Young Turks)

2. Lana Del Rey — Born to Die (Interscope)

3. Black Keys — El Camino (Nonesuch)

4. Joss Stone — The Soul Sessions Vol. 2 (S-Curve)

5. Jack White — Blunderbuss (Third Man/Columbia)

6. Emeli Sande — Our Version of Events (Virgin)

7. pine Fits — A Thing Called pine Fits (Merge)

8. The Ting Tings —

Sounds from Nowheresville (Columbia)

9. Mumford and Sons — Babel (Island)

10. Angie Stone — Rich Girl (Concord/Stax)

Nicholas M. Pescod

Top 10 Albums

1. Jesse Cook — Blue Guitar Sessions (EMI Music Canada)

2. Chad Brownlee —

Love Me or Leave Me (MDM Records/EMI)

3. Cody Simpson — Paradise (Atlantic)

4. Victoria Duffield —

Shut Up and Dance (Warner Music Canada)

5. Ashliegh Lisset — Misunderstood (Independent)

6. Tori Kelly —

Handmade Songs By Tori Kelly (Toraay Records)

7. Last Bullet — Love. Lust. Illusion. (Independent)

8. Maladies of Adam Stokes — City of Trees (Independent) 9. Cadence Weapon —

Hope in Dirt City (Upper Class Recordings)

10. Kieran Strange — Adamantine Heart (Independent )

John Goodman

Top 10 Albums

1. pine Fits — A Thing Called pine Fits (Merge)

2. Frank Ocean — Channel Orange (Def Jam)

3. Saint Etienne —

Words and Music by Saint Etienne (Heavenly)

4. Rose Cousins —

We Have Made a Spark (Old Farm Pony/Outside Music)

5. Neneh Cherry and The Thing —

The Cherry Thing (Smalltown Supersound)

6. Sissy — March of the Humans (Four O’Clock Sun)

7. Fran?ois Houle 5+1 — Genera (Songlines Recordings)

8. Ladyhawke — Anxiety (Modular)

9. Chromatics — Kill for Love (Italians Do It Better)

10. Of Monsters and Men —

My Head is an Animal (Universal Republic)

John Goodman

Favourite Reissues/remixes/archival releases

1. Tav Falco’s Panther Burns

— Lore & Testament, Vol. 1: Behind the Magnolia Curtain (Fat Possum/Rough Trade)

2. Van Dyke Parks —

Discover America (Warner Bros. Records)

3. Lee Scratch Perry —The Sound Doctor: Black Ark Singles and Dub Plates 1972-1978 (Pressure Sounds)

4. My Bloody Valentine —

Loveless/Isn’t Anything/EPs 1988-1991 (Sony)

5. Porter Ricks — Biokinetics (Chain Reaction)

6. Wendy Rene — After Laughter Comes Tears: Complete Stax & Volt Singles + Rarities 1964-65 (Light in the Attic)

7. Francis Bebey —

African Electronic Music 1975-1982 (Born Bad)

8.Carole King —

The Legendary Demos (Hear Sounds/Starbucks)

9. Don Cherry — Organic Music Society (Caprice Records)

10. Fela Kuti —

Live in Detroit 1986 (Knitting Factory/Strut)

Josh Skinner/ INtune Magazine

Top 10 Albums

1. Jenn Fiorentino — Upon Our Wonders (Broken Window Records)

2. The Rabid Whole — Refuge (Boonsdale)

3. Last Bullet — Love. Lust. Illusion. (Independent)

4. Jessica Speziale — Dear Reverie (Independent)

5. Heather Hill — Leuty Station (Independent)

6. Meghan Morrison —

We Are All Born Naked (Independent)

7. Victory Bells — Looking Up (Independent)

8. Suzy Wilde — Suzy Wilde (Independent)

9. Drew Smith — The Secret Languages (Independent)

10. Ellie Anderson — After the Reign (Independent)

Charlotte Blackwell/Radio Nation

Top 10 Albums

1. Faber Drive — Lost In Paradise (604 Records)

2. Fighting For Ithaca — To The Rescue (604 Records)

3. Victoria Duffield — Shut Up And Dance (Warner Music Canada)

4. Take Me To The Pilot — What Makes You (Independent)

5. Seventh Rain — Room For A Rumor (Independent)

6. Carrie Underwood — Blown Away (Sony)

7. Hedley — Storms (Universal)

8. Gloriana — A Thousand Miles Left Behind (Emblem Records)

9. Adam Lambert — Trespassing (RCA Records)

10. Matchbox Twenty — North (Atlantic)

Jenna Cocozziello/Radio Nation

Top 10 Albums

1. Thenewno2 — The Fear of Missing Out (H.O.T. Records)

2. Godsmack — Live and Inspired (Universal/Republic)

3. Last Bullet — Love. Lust. Illusion. (Independent)

4. Paul McCartney — Kisses on the Bottom (Hear Music/Starbucks)

5. Cake — Showroom of Compassion (Upbeat Records)

6. 5th Projekt — V (Independent)

7. Lamb of God — Resolution (Sony)

8. Napalm Death — Utilitarian (Century Media)

9. Muse — The 2nd Law (Warner Music)

10. Cattle Decapitation — Monolith of Inh - North Shore News

"Review- “City of Trees”- The Maladies of Adam Stokes"

Review- “City of Trees”- The Maladies of Adam Stokes
Posted on December 4, 2012 by glasspaperweight
reviewed by Michael Thomas

Just when you think you have a reading on this band, your reading will change. The Maladies of Adam Stokes are a band that could be rock, roots, pop, and probably other things as well. Their not relying on any one formula makes City of Trees a fairly tremendous album.

I was reminded heavily, at least in the first few songs, of Graydon James & the Young Novelists. That’s not really much of a surprise- the two bands have played together before and will be playing together again for the Maladies of Adam Stokes CD release party.

The opener is “Hide in Here,” a very pleasant song that adds instruments as it goes along. Lead vocalist Mikey Hill as well as Erin Anderson make for very pleasant vocals and sing lyrics like “Oh my darling, I’ll light a fire/We’ll just hide in here.” And then there’s “Type You’ll Forget,” a more upbeat song than the previous. It’s supported by a nice combination of multiple guitar lines, a keyboard line and some call-and-response in the chorus.

Suddenly the music shifts from a more roots-flavoured affair to some more straight-up rock. “Hollow Love” begins the buildup of intensity, with its driving bass line and marching-band style drums. It then flows near seamlessly into “Oceans,” which features a steady line of electric guitar and some unexpected horns.

After such a buildup, “City of Trees” comes as a relief in a sense, returning to a slower, and actually almost solemn pace. It’s easily the most emotionally-charged song, with little more than an acoustic guitar playing the melody. It’s got a powerful line, repeated a few times: “You saved my life when I was alone, you saved my body when I bled from my soul.”

“See You in Another Life” and “Crooked Hand” signal a return to the band’s roots-rock sound from earlier. The latter song also features the first inclusion of banjo, and I can never get tired of numbers with a surprise banjo part.

“When the World Bursts to Flames” features some lyrics as violent as its title, while “Fall of the Moor” begins yet another two-song build in intensity. This eventually leads to closer “Kingdom Come,” a song that seems to be firing on all cylinders.

I found that this album grew on me more each time I listened. It’s definitely an album that requires a slightly more careful listen to pull out what makes it so great. Because it is pretty great.

City of Trees is available from Bandcamp.

Top Tracks: “Oceans” “When the World Bursts to Flames”

Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good) -

"The Maladies of Adam Stokes CD Release Party at Lee’s Palace"

Last Saturday Toronto music collective The Maladies of Adam Stokes celebrated the release of their latest record by playing to a packed house at Lee’s Palace.

The Maladies of Adam Stokes started as a group of friends jamming together. Their voices were unpracticed, they used cigarette lighters for slides, and some were just starting to learn their instruments. But with passion, practice and perseverance, the Maladies became not only a real band, but a great one. Singer/guitarist Michael Hill puts reality to music, writing poignant songs about life, love and loss. These songs are brought to life by the incredible musical skill of multi-instrumentalists Emily Anderson (violin/keyboards/vocals) and Kohji Nagata (electric/slide guitars/trumpet/ glocken-spiel, and guitarist John Awerbuck, bassist Brett Harris and drummer Ted Turner. With influences ranging from Attack in Black to the Band and Kathleen Edwards to Blue Rodeo, the Maladies have a sound that warms the soul and quickens the pulse. With a full length album (City of Trees) under their belts, the Maladies of Adam Stokes were clearly thrilled to be sharing the fruits of their labour with the eager and adoring crowd at Lee’s Palace.

View slideshow: The Maladies of Adam Stokes
The Maladies filed on stage with a humility and bashfulness that was both refreshing and adorable. They thanked the large crowd for attending, and asked if everyone had a copy of the handy lyric books that a friend of the band had kindly put together. Looking around the crowd, it was evident that many people had not only picked up a booklet, but were diligently following along and singing with the band. What was more evident however was how many hard and true fans there were in the venue that night. They sang, they danced, they sang some more, but most of all they smiled; the smile of fans in the presence of the music they loved. And they loved every song played. The twangy “Hide in Here” featured beautiful harmonies between Hill and Anderson, and the skillful Nagata on slide guitar. “Crooked hand” was also a little bit country, as special guest, friend and the record’s producer Dave MacKenzie joined the Maladies on stage to play banjo and round out the song’s soulful strain. “Hollow love” was a fast paced song, filled with dark intensity, exemplified by Hill’s wrenching vocals and Awerbucks finger blurring guitar solo. And title track “City of Trees”’s already lovely keyboard melody was complimented with stirring three part harmonies courtesy of Hill, Awerbuck and Nagata. As the members of Beyond the Mountain, David Hustler and the Trustworthy and Graydon James and the Young Novelists (who were all on the bill that night) joined the Maladies on stage, that three part harmony swelled to one of a hundreds part harmony as the other musicians, and soon the crowd added their voices to the chorus, creating one of those perfect and unforgettable musical moments.

Every now and again, a band comes along that gets in your head, your heart, and your soul. The Maladies of Adam Stokes are just that kind of band. Their show at Lee’s Palace was a performance that was not only remarkable, but completely heartfelt. The band’s passion for music was evident and contagious in the best possible way. With every song and every show they reach into the hearts and minds of their listeners, reminding them what great music truly is, and how great it feels to find it. -

"Toronto live review – The Maladies of Adam Stokes at Lee’s Palace – November 24, 2012"

The Maladies Of Adam Stokes – Cred: Jason Hodgins
Who: The Maladies of Adam Stokes
Where: Lee’s Palace
When: November 24,2012
Presented by: Maple as a CD release party for the bands first album, City of Trees
Crowd: Lee’s isn’t that big of a venue, and I’ve been to shows here where there was only a handful of people in the crowd, but The Maladies had the place PACKED. There was a lot of good energy in the venue that night.
Style: Folk-rock with a whole variety of instruments, including three electric guitars, a bass, drums, tambourine, piano, fiddle, lap steel guitar, trumpet and a guest appearance of a banjo.
Technicalities: guitarist and lead singer Mikey Hill lost sound on his guitar at one point, but it was quickly fixed by switching up amps. Other than that everything else went off without a hitch. The band even provided free lyric books at their merch table, something which I’ve never seen at a show before.
Memorable moment: Before they started to play Type You Forget, guitarist Kohji Nagata admitted to the crowd “We’ve definitely never played to a crowd like this before”, prompting bassist Brett Harris to cross the stage in order to shake his hand. During this same song all members of two other bands on the bill, Hustler & Trustworthy and Graydon James and the Young Novelists, came on stage to join in on the singing. It was one of those moments when you can only stand there and watch with a smile on your face as you think to yourself “Shit, this is fucking incredible!”
Sex appeal: Sexy, raspy lead vocals backed by smooth harmonies + wicked instrumentals = many swooning audience members, and not just the ladies.
Memorable song: See You In Another Life — the bluesy guitar riff that carries throughout the song is amazing.
Rating: 8/10
Comments: A whole-hearted and much deserved 8 out of 10. This band is well on their way to a successful career.

Review By: Ashley Macnie
Photos By:: Jason Hodgins - The Scene Magazine

"The Secret Weapon of Inexperience"

Be it stitched wounds or guitar
“The parallels between music and
medicine have surprised me,” said
the lead singer of Toronto-based
indie sextet The Maladies of Adam
Stokes. Hill is currently training
as a pediatric resident between
band rehearsals and gigs. “Training
to be a pediatrician has offered
me opportunities to share some
of the most intimate moments in
others’ lives, and music is sort of
a response to that — an attempt to
share my most intimate moments
with others.”
in vulnerability, especially in the
band’s early days, due in no small
part to its lack of proficiency.
“We can now actually play our instruments,”
Hill said, before rhyming
off his bandmates’ previous
shortcomings. “When we started,
trying his hand at instruments he’d
only pretend-played before, Emily
(Anderson) started up her fiddle after 10 years of being away from
it, (Josh ‘Square’ Awerbuck) and
I were expected to hold a tune and
Ted (Turner) and Brett (Harris) literally
picked up their instruments
only a few months before our first
That missing expertise may have
been an unlikely asset, as the band
took to the famed Horseshoe Tavern
in Toronto with the kind of adrenaline that only naivety could provide.
The gig was for the release of their
first EP,Or oMedonte, and they were
opening for Australian singer-songwriter
Kim Churchill.
“His set is mesmerizing and naturally
it went overtime. So we had
to kick it into high gear to keep the
night moving – that mixed with
nerves and booze made for this
whirlwind set,”he said, adding that
his bandmates were equally overwhelmed.
“Kohji has a saying that
there’s a moment when you think,
‘Uh oh … this is what I want,’ and
that night was it.”
The success of those early gigs
led fans to adopt a strange uniform
of sorts, the kind that couldn’t
be further from latex gloves and
“Plaid has weaved its ugly face into
The Maladies so thoroughly, we actually have plaid merch. Seriously,
come to a show and see it. It’s horrid,
but somehow strangely appealing.
(Bassist) Brett’s love of plaid is
only to be outdone by his love of his
beard. Actually, we thought about
beard merch,but it seemed unsanitary.” - HERE Magazine

"Indie Week Editors Picks"

Amazing folk meets indie rock. Great vocals with extremely melodic instrumentation. - The Scene Magazine

"Interview with The Maladies of Adam Stokes on Radio Nation"

Our interview with folk/rock band The Maladies of Adam Stokes.
Interviewed by Nicholas M. Pescod - Radio Nation

"Indie Week - Our Top 5 - Part 2"

At #4 is The Maladies of Adam Stokes.

As one of us, Nadia Elkharadly “Music Addict” was at Cherry Cola’s and I, Mark Munroe (Editor) had been at The Hideout seeing other Indie Week acts, I finished up and made my way over to Cherry Cola’s to see Nadia and check out what was going on there, I walked in to The Maladies of Adam Stokes opening up their set, and from that moment till when they went off, I was completely taken over by there music, and performance.

I feel like that is what’s supposed to happen when you find a good band, you just get totally drawn in and loose yourself in the moment, and that’s exactly what happened with them, and that’s why they made our #4 Spot for Indie Week Canada 2012 Top 5. - Addicted

"Actress Tara Hunnewell chats with the band "The Maladies of Adam Stokes" in the RealTVfilms Social MEdia Lodge"

Actress Tara Hunnewell chats with the band "The Maladies of Adam Stokes" in the RealTVfilms Social MEdia Lodge PRESENTED by CANADA CALIFORNIA BUSINESS COUNCIL and Platinum Sponsor PROPS. The band started as a group of friends jamming out their favourite songs using cigarette lighters for slides and hoarse singing voices. The LIVE show was part of the RealTVfilms Filmmaker Music Series with Skylar Entertainment. - RealTVfilms

"The Maladies of Adam Stokes"

Band: The Maladies of Adam Stokes
EP: The Maladies of Adam Stokes
Shot of choice: tequila, at least according to Michael Hill

Toronto-based The Maladies of Adam Stokes is a 6-piece country/folk rock band. The band is comprised of Michael Hill (vocals, guitar), Kohji Nagata (guitar, lap steel, vocals), Josh Awerbuck (guitar, vocals), Emily Anderson (piano, violin, vocals), Brett Harris (bass), and Ted Turner (drums). Their self-titled debut EP, which was recorded at Chemical Sound, consists of only 3 songs but each song is a strong one in its own right.

“See You In Another Life” is a darker song lyrically, but is offset by some fancy guitar work driving the song. There is an element of rawness to the song, particularly when you get to the “I want to break these shackles” sing-a-long break. It’s an energetic song that I distinctly remember hearing live, so perhaps my opinion is a little tainted now, but it’s certainly my favourite of the 3 songs on the EP. “City Of Trees” is a beautiful slower country song, with the melodies really tugging at the heartstrings and Hill’s vocals offering a sense of comfort (or perhaps it is vice versa and it’s Hill’s vocals that tug at the heartstrings and the melodies that provide the comfort). The EP closer, “Type You Forget,” has almost marching-like beats driving the song and is strong ending to the recording effort.

This band hasn’t been around for very long, yet they possess maturity lyrically and musically, which is really impressive. Given that the genre they really fall into isn’t unique in and of itself, to keep their sound one they can call their own, they add some of their own elements, such as group chant-like vocals that completely take advantage of their roster of beautiful voices and harmonies. The breaks in the music to simply hear vocals are really lovely.

The EP can be streamed for free or purchased from the Bandcamp. Give it a listen, will ya? - Buying Shots for Bands


Still working on that hot first release.



The music we make is incredible, and the plaid is mesmerizing.- Brett Harris

Since forming in 2009 , The Maladies of Adam Stokes have extended their reach from back-alley clubs to sold-out shows at legendary Toronto venues like The Horseshoe Tavern and Lees Palace. Theyve formed a strong fan-base by consistently producing and publishing new music and bringing it to fans new and old through touring and local live performances.

The first full length album from this six-piece folk-rock powerhouse, City of Trees, released in late 2012, was over a year in the making. The thoughtful and masterful songwriting displayed on record is a testament to the bands live performances. Organic, open, warm and raw, the songs on this album are fresh and vibrant new entries for the Canadian folk-rock cannon. With too many standout tracks to mention, the overall flow of the record takes the listener on a journey, weaving personal tales through a vibrant musical tapestry created by an accomplished group of players.

Lyrically, the songs are compelling portraits of lead singer Mikey Hills personal and musical histories. Dividing his time between The Maladies and his training as a pediatric resident, the themes relayed in the songs display emotional depth that reveal a double-life filled with love and loss. Reading their liner notes, youll notice that there isnt anyone bearing the name Adam in this cryptically named band. The Maladies of Adam Stokes started as a group of friends jamming out their favourite songs using cigarette lighters for slides and hoarse singing voices. From the most humble beginnings these six friends have put their heads and hearts together, working toward finding their sound.

Today, Kohji Nagata has traded in a make-shift slide for a multi-instrumentalist approach, including electric and slide guitars, trumpet and glockenspiel. Kohji and Mikey have a long history of making music together, first meeting in, during which they played shows as large in scope as Taste of Chaos and recorded with amazing people, including Juno-award winning producer Dan Achen. These two have a musical relationship that goes beyond words and is best felt in the compositions of their songs.
The soundscape is layered further by lead guitarist Josh Square Awerbuck. Fresh with experience from his previous band, Leaders and Dreamers, Joshs tenacious guitar solos have developed into a strong signature for The Maladies, repeatedly being hailed as a highlight of their live show. Brett Harris literally picked up the bass for the first time for The Maladies and almost immediately found a rhythm that would define the group as a wholeand his beard is like something out of legends. Working with Kohji and Mikey to record demos in, Ted Turner has made the transition from an aspiring sound engineer to picking up the sticks and becoming the drummer for The Maladies. As a new player, his fresh outlook has only emboldened the subtle folk/rock feel and his experience recording is heard in the bands production. Emily Anderson, a classically trained pianist and a pub-influenced fiddle player, provides the final touch with arrangements that gives texture to The Maladies stomp-along tempos.

From the humble beginnings of a guitar and a lighter, The Maladies of Adam Stokes have made tremendous headway in the Toronto folk/rock scene and enjoyed a successful tour to the East coast around the launch of their first full-length record. With a full album under their belt and an eagerness to take on future projects, the band is ready to share their sound with everyone willing to listen.

Band Members