Two Twenty Two
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Two Twenty Two

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter

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The name "Sweetgrass" refers not to a certain illegal substance but rather a native good-luck symbol that when burned brings creative energy and good luck...!
We first heard Amanda & Warren when they performed on Lakeshore Road this past Canada Day. We thoroughly enjoyed their musical approach. Last night the duo was the feature act at The Moonshine Cafe and yours truly was part of the audience.
The opening selection was Warren's "White Lights"; subtle reminders to drivers - don't interfere with oncoming traffic. Another work - "Red Moon" was about a singer/songwriter - Matt Osborne, from K/W who died three years ago and was an integral part of the local Folk scene. Their piece 'If It Ain't You' was the first song on which they collaborated. During its creation, a musical bridge stymied them until a Johnny Cash song inspired them. Both are accomplished guitarists; Warren also plays other stringed instruments; harmonica and percussion.
An odd quirk...Amanda acquires her inspirations while driving. Thus she uses her cell phone to leave a home voicemail message recording of her idea for later tweaking. Hopefully her vehicle is equipped with a hands-free set up! The groups' set finale was aptly titled 'Already said Goodbye'. They would later return to jam with the other featured musician - Chuck Baker. ... Unfortunately, I had to leave before both featured performers united for a session that went on until 2am. - Ontario Arts Review, Terry Gaisin


Outdoor concerts will continue in Waterloo thanks to summer series

By Jennifer Ormston

Arts & Entertainment
Jul 02, 2008



Although the time when C.F. Thiele's brass band had people flocking to Waterloo Park is long gone, free summer concerts continue to this day.

The summer concert series keeps this tradition going with live music on Sunday evenings in the bandshell at Waterloo Park West and on Monday nights at the Brewmeister Green.

"Music has always been really important," said Colleen Dostle, the city's festivals co-ordinator.

"It's just part of our historical community life that we've enjoyed in Waterloo."

Sunday nights at the bandshell, which can be accessed off Westmount Road, has been running for more years than anyone can remember, Dostle said.

The next concert is on July 6 when the Waterloo Concert Band will take the stage at 7 p.m. A complete list of concerts and dates is available on the city's website at www.waterloo.ca.

"It's really a laid-back, community summer concert," Dostle said. "People are free to bring out their chairs and blankets ... and listen to music from a different era."

The Monday night event kicks off with Two Twenty Two, formerly known as Sweetgrass, on July 7 at 7 p.m.

Made up of local husband-and-wife team Warren Muzak and Amanda Brewer, Two Twenty Two will entertain the crowd with folk-rock tunes from its recently released CD, Grass Routes, which will be sold at the concert.

The duo admits it doesn't take itself or its songwriting too seriously.

"We're not that Greenwich Village brooding poet kind of thing," said Brewer, who, along with her husband, sings, plays guitar and writes songs.

They have attracted a following in eastern Ontario, and now they're hoping to build a larger fan base in their hometown, Waterloo.

"It's funny, you get more shows away than you do at home," Brewer said.

And that's one of the reasons they auditioned for this concert series in the first place.

"We want to start playing here a little bit more, but it's actually a real challenge to get shows in your own neck of the woods," she said.

"For some reason venue owners tend to think if you're local why are you still here, you should be somewhere else.

"And when you're from away, venue owners tend to think, oh, well that's a big deal, you're travelling, you're on the road."

Their live audition for a spot in the series was held at City Hall one day at lunchtime, and Brewer admits they got some unusual looks from passersby.

But they ended up getting the position.

The city likes to give local artists the opportunity to play for their community, said Dostle about this concert series, which has been running for about 15 years.

"We have such a wealth of musical talent in this area, so we like to showcase what we have."

Two Twenty Two promises concert-goers a high-energy, interactive show.

"Warren bounces around," Brewer said about her husband. "Somebody called him Tigger the other day."

And they think the fun they are having when they entertain is contagious -- especially when they pass around tambourines and shakers.

"We want them to genuinely enjoy themselves and not feel there's this heavy-handed songwriter up here," Muzak said.

"We love looking out and seeing the smiles come back at us as we're smiling out at them."

The couple enjoys performing outdoors at such venues as the Brewmeister Green, located at the corner of King and William streets, because the sound travels so far.

"If the wind carries the sound properly, it will draw (people) up to where we are," Muzak said.

- Waterloo Chronicle


There is no ghost of Tom Joad coming to Waterloo— just Kevin Kane, formerly of The Grapes of Wrath, one of Canada’s most popular folk rock bands in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.
Kane kicks off his first solo tour of Ontario and Quebec May 5 at Maxwell’s Music House.

Formed in Kelowna, B. C., The Grapes of Wrath in their heyday sold out concerts from coast to coast, with a string of hit singles that include O Lucky Man, All the Things I Wasn’t, What Was Going Through My Head, Backward Town, and I Am Here.

Since disbanding, Kane has released three solo albums and discovered a whole new audience with his quiet, artful song-writing and sparse acoustic arrangements.

His latest album, How to Build a Lighthouse, was short-listed for a 2009 Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album. Kane says he plans to play songs from his 2007 solo release, along with his previous albums, Neighbourhood Watch and Timmy Loves Judas Priest (an album of covers), when he performs in Waterloo next week.

“I’ll be playing solo, just me and my guitar,” Kane said over the phone from his home in Kelowna, B. C.. “I’ll also be playing some Grapes of Wrath stuff and I have a few new songs that might get played a bit. I often don’t do set lists and just play whatever I feel like playing or what people feel like hearing.”

Opening for every show on the tour will be Two Twenty Two, the acoustic songwriting duo of Amanda Brewer and Warren Muzak, who Kane says got the ball rolling for these upcoming concerts.

“Warren found me on MySpace a couple years ago and we would chat about old records and guitars,” said Kane. “I noticed that he and Amanda did a fair bit of playing and asked him who did their bookings and he replied, ‘I do. Why? Want to play some gigs together?’ I might have to see about borrowing them for a song or two.”

Kane says for this tour, Two Twenty Two — with their songs of heartbreak and haunting melodies — is a perfect fit for his grassroots approach to playing music these days.

“While the record industry has been blaming the internet for all its troubles these past years, it’s been very inspiring that musicians and fans can get in touch and work together without having to rely on ‘the machine’ to make it happen,” said Kane. “It’s a very exciting time to be a musician because a career in music is less and less about getting the approval of the industry at large, and more about playing honest music and building up an audience based on that.”

His audience, he says, can expect to hear music written from the heart with songs that capture the essence of his life experience, with familiar themes of small town sentiments.

“As a solo artist I tend to play places that are more singer/songwriter oriented,” said Kane. “It’s more about sitting and listening than drinking and carousing.”

Kane says at his solo concerts he sees a vast range of people of all ages:

“When the Grapes were doing shows in bars about 10 years ago we noticed the further you looked from the stage the older the crowd got – newer fans up front and the ‘elders’ listening from the back,” said Kane. “I still see that mix, though I don’t play loud when on my own and the crowd is more mixed.”

While attending the Juno Award ceremonies in Vancouver a few weeks back, Kane was surprised to hear from so many fans who remember The Grapes of Wrath, including his peers. “I ran into so many people who have professed their admiration for our music, from members of Loverboy to Sam Roberts to George Canyon,” said Kane. “In fact, (fellow band member) Tom Hooper and I joined 54/40 onstage to play Peace of Mind and the audience just went nuts, they were so loud. You can check it out on YouTube.

“It was a great time indeed.” Tickets for the May 5 show are $10 and are avaliable online or at the door.

For more information, visit www.kevinkane.net .

Kevin Kane

Maxwell’s Music House 220 King St. N., Waterloo May 5, 9 p. m. Tickets: $10

Call 519-498-5705 or visit www.ticketscene.ca . Go to www.kevinkane.net for more information.
- The Waterloo Chronicle


link directly to review: http://wildysworld.blogspot.com/2010/01/review-two-twenty-two-grass-routes.html

Review: Two Twenty Two - Grass Routes


Two Twenty Two - Grass Routes
2008, Two Twenty Two/SOCAN

Two Twenty Two might be the best kept secret of the Southern Ontario music scene. Warren Muzak is a talented multi-instrumentalist who previously served as lead guitarist for The Misunderstood before embarking on a solo career. In the process of playing gigs he met Amanda Brewer (nee Weiss), a country-flavored singer/songwriter who spent a decade singing in cover bands and writing material for artists such as Soma Sonic. When Muzak and Brewer met and began writing together they found a musical chemistry that is unique and highly productive. As Two Twenty Two, Muzak and Brewer have gained considerable critical praise for their live performances. Two Twenty Two's debut album, Grass Routes, rolled out in 2008 and was voted one of the best Indie releases of the year by American Homeplace.

Grass Routes opens with If It Ain't You, a country-flavored love song full of energy and angst. There's more of a traditional country flavor here than you might expect, and Brewer and Muzak's voices mix admirably on the song. Brewer takes the mic for Control, a melancholy song of love lost that sung with heartfelt emotion; Muzak crafts a driving guitar part that stands in perfect contract to Brewer's voice in the process. Alice is built on a fingerstyle guitar run that made me wish I still had my acoustic kicking around so I could sit down and figure it out. Muzak's voice is fit perfectly to this tune, and Brewer's harmony vocals add an almost haunting element to the tune. Passenger features Brewer on lead with assistance from Muzak. The vocals here are top notch, but it’s the songwriting that stands out. Passenger has some modern feel to it, but at heart it could have walked out of the American 1960's Rock Fakebook. The song has a classic Folk/Rock feel that's nearly transcendent.

White Lights might be the best of a new generation of road songs, trucker songs or whatever else you might want to call them. There's almost a Grateful Dead feel to this tune with Muzak on lead vocals. White Lights is my personal favorite from the album. Bedroom is a bit more upbeat, a song that will make you want to get up and move and clap your hands. Its Paul Simon meets Rusted Root with strong lyrical content and an arrangement that features tons of movement. All About Love is one of those rare love songs that goes much deeper than boy crushes on girl (or vice versa). The song focuses on the transformation that a relationship undergoes over time where the mundane tasks grow to be done out of love rather than out of a need for something to do. Couples goes to familiar places they've always gone more because it's a part of the foundation than a place they need to be. It's an amazingly subtle and deep song that may take a few listens to really sink in.

You Can't Know goes at the other side of love, the pure emotional gotcha. Amanda Brewer reminds me strongly of singer/songwriter Denise Culhane on this tune. Two Twenty Two takes us on a compelling ride in Forest Fire, a driven rocker based in social dysfunction about someone who leaves personal destruction wherever they've been. Brewer seems a bit mismatched on the vocal on this tune, but it's definitely a song worth checking out. James St. Station is a song about making the choice between blazing your own trail or giving up your life for the sheepish existence of cubicles and public transportation. It's a call out to anyone of an artistic bent to choose before you're trapped in a path you don't want. Two Twenty Two closes out with the piano ballad No Good, where Brewer sings cynically of the chances of a new love not ending in disaster. There's a clear desire here for things to work, but the wounded heart of the narrator can't believe; she also can't pull out of the nosedive, for good or ill. It's a wonderfully personal and emotional accounting in song of a heart/head conflict.

Grass Routes is a stunning debut for both composition and lyrical content. Warren Muzak and Amanda Brewer are each quite capable on their own, but there is a sort of musical alchemy that occurs when their voices and songwriting skills join and work together. Two Twenty Two have their flaws, but it’s that aura of perfect imperfection that makes them so compelling. With the mix of Country, Rock and Folk, there isn't an easy pigeonhole or genre to classify Two Twenty Two under, but however you tag them this is a band you need to get to know. Put Grass Routes on your must-hear list and don't let it languish!

Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5) - Wildy's World


Heres a link to an article from the Quinte area where we play regularly.
http://www.shieldmedia.ca/default.asp?sourceid=&smenu=143&twindow=Default&mad=No&sdetail=12026&wpage=1&skeyword=&sidate=&ccat=&ccatm=&restate=&restatus=&reoption=&retype=&repmin=&repmax=&rebed=&rebath=&subname=&pform=&sc=1944&hn=shieldmedia&he=.ca - The Shield


Discography

Grass Routes released June 18th, 2008
available at:
http://cdbaby.com/cd/twotwentytwo

Photos

Bio

“Your energy is incredible!”

This is a statement commonly heard at a Two Twenty Two performance.

Formed in 2005, Two Twenty Two is the magical combination of two established solo singer songwriters. Amanda Brewer and Warren Muzak have brought very different songwriting styles together to create a sound which ranges from traditional country, to folk and blues, to modern rock and jazz. Brewer’s sweet melodies are paired with Muzak’s driving rhythms and their powerful voices weave together to draw listeners in to stories of love, loss and life on the road.

“Warren and Amanda sing of heartbreak, yearning, and deliverance, harmonizing like they've been doing it together for years but with a certain spark of spontaneity and freshness, as though they're singing an old favorite for the first time. On the softer side, a story-song like "Alice" combines an Americana rootsiness with a touch of British folk chime in its descending guitar figure that is simultaneously hushed and urgent, while "Rambler" is pure old school country (featuring the lonesome wail of Warren's lap steel guitar), a tear jerker reminiscent of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris. The higher energy numbers like "Bedroom" and "You Can't Know" are delivered with all the footstomping verve of an after-hours hootenanny, but the songs are more reflective of having grown up on Beatle and Who records: imagine if Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris - with Pete Townsend on acoustic guitar - were in your kitchen belting out British Invasion classics you'd somehow never heard before.” – Kevin Kane, Canadian Singer-Songwriter, formerly of The Grapes of Wrath.

Muzak is a multi-instrumentalist influenced by classic rock, blues and the Manchester sound of the early to mid 90’s. In 1995, after having held the role of lead guitarist for the Hamilton Ontario based band The Misunderstood, Warren left the group to re-invent himself as a solo artist. With 7 self released CD’s to his name, Warren found himself playing many roles (and instruments!) to create his sound and promote his work world wide. After playing both Songwriterfest and Blues, Brews and BBQ’s festivals in Kitchener, Ontario in 2005, Warren decided to call Kitchener home.

Brewer spent years as a ‘dabbler’ in the music biz. Singing in a successful bar cover band for 10 years produced strong stage legs, which today make her a powerful performer of her own compositions. Always a writer, she accumulated shoeboxes full of scribbles on napkins, envelopes and sticky notes, which now step out as songs of exquisite simplicity and stunning reality. She wrote the lyrics for the acclaimed 1999 Soma Sonic debut album, Future, on which she appears with Katalin Kiss as a guest vocalist. “Soma Sonic...creeps through your speakers with a haunting melange...turning on most ears when vocalist Amanda Weiss (Brewer) whispers over the ambiance with her bittersweet lullabies" – Canadian Music Journal. Amanda began to play solo in 2005 & was quickly welcomed into the songwriting community in Southern Ontario.

It was through this community that she and Warren met. A natural fit was found as Brewer & Muzak began to contribute to each other’s material, making it even stronger…even more listenable…even more enjoyable. Two Twenty Two was born.

As Warren says: “Its music for ears that are bored”.

And with the energy of Two Twenty Two….there is no chance of being bored!