Way back on February 2 of this year, it honestly feels like an eternity ago, I did a blog on the single, Catching Flies, from the band St. Arnaud and enthusiastically endorsed it. I have been listening to it again for the umpteenth time since February 2 came and went. Catching Flies did not buzz off.
On March 23, my son Joel and I are in the Starlite Room waiting for St. Arnaud to take the stage. We were the first non-staff/musicians to enter this old building. It used to be a cute cathedral. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyy_yiZ-3DY The Starlite Room was originally a “citadel” (church or place of worship) for the Salvation Army, constructed in 1925. If these walls could talk, I am sure there is a song waiting to be sung.
We parked ourselves in our favourite corner of the balcony, and I noticed Ian St. Arnaud was sitting just behind us talking to someone. I boldly asked him if he could sign my CD, and he blurted out, “Where Did You Get This?” He didn’t shout, but he was sure excited. This was the first time he had seen the CD, Love And The Front Lawn, which would not be released until April 29! He signed it “Copy # 1” with his signature.
The opener, Wyatt C. Louis, is an emerging artist with a couple of good songs. I feel that with time and experience, Wyatt will be an artist to keep on the radar. Check him out on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsLeoGHBeds
Ian takes the stage with a crackerjack band, and I feel that the band generates more energy live than they due on an album. And that is saying a lot because I think the album is damn good. The band looked like they genuinely enjoyed being up there and playing music after the long Covid hibernation. They bantered with the crowd and interacted with each throughout the show and during their little jam sessions.
It isn’t often that a band has a single horn player, Whitney is the only other one that I can think of, and that is a funny coincidence because we bought their CD at a show in the Starlite Room before it was officially released. Two bands with a horn player and I have their music in hand before hitting the store shelves.
My first taste of St. Arnaud’s music was when they opened for Lucy Rose at the Temple on July 17, 2019. They impressed me, and I was eager to hear them again post-Covid. They did not disappoint. Ian St. Arnaud is front and center with a sweet vintage Harmony guitar that makes some beautiful noise.
I was remiss in not getting all the band members’ names and their signatures on the CD, live and learn Norman. I assume the drummer is Will Holowaychuk from the band’s formative years. He holds the beats so smooth that I almost forgot that he is playing.
There is a slick Telecaster player, the trumpet man and a bassist. Five musicians that I hope to see again. I was going to add that I hope to hear them again, but that would be silly because I am listening to them on Apple Music while I type this, and no, I will not be listening to the CD; it is retired to the vault, and I will get a player copy when St. Arnaud the album Love and The Front Lawn is released via Mystic Sons.
All photos are courtesy of Joel Weatherly https://jweatherly.ca