Meet the Musicians of Hard Rock Medical
Northern music and musicians are an integral part of Hard Rock Medical. See TVO’s mini-documentaries From North Bay with Love to learn more about the musicians of Season 1.
North Bay, ON/Toronto, ON
Benjamin Hermann builds houses out of steel strings and a precise, weathered-honey baritone. They are houses you want to explore or just hang out in.
Benjamin Hermann is a songwriter, composer, and accompanist currently living in Toronto ON, working, performing, collaborating, and creating from this city as a launching pad. Originally from North Bay, ON, Benjamin since lived in Whitehorse, YT, travelled through Germany and Russia, considering these Northern and Eastern places to be the source of his artistic considerations. Benjamin considers himself a recording artist, mainly composing with guitar, voice, and piano. His newest release is a full-length album titled 'Windows Wide Open' released under Roaring Girl Records. Ben has two previous self-released EP's titled 'Red Sky In Morning' and 'Will Return.'
North Bay Ontario
Based in North Bay Ontario, Brigitte Lebel is a singer songwriter who just released an album that was funded by the Ontario Arts Council. Her influences span from the electro down-tempo era of the 90’s, including Portishead, Massive Attack, and Radiohead; with more recent influences from Feist, Jen Grant, & Bon Iver. Released May 22, 2015.
Brigitte is a member of the Hidden Roots Collective.
North Bay Ontario
Cole Fournier is a singer songwriter from North Bay, Ontario, where he lives with a crippling hatred of winter. He writes sad songs, and makes jokes on the internet for money.
A founding member of the band Les Chaizes Muzikales in 1993, Paquette launched a solo career in 2002 with his first solo album, L'Homme exponentiel. His second solo album, Salut de l'arrière pays, was released in 2011 and won a number of awards, including the Prix Trille Or from the Association des professionels de la chanson et de la musique in 2013. In January 2014, he won five of the seven prizes at the annual Contact ontarois music competition, with his prize package including an extensive series of music festival bookings across Canada.
Songwriter and guitarist MD Dunn's latest album is SOLACE. Previous releases include Clay Rooster, Thursday's Monster, and Floodgate. Dunn's poems have been widely published and have been collected in three books: Even the Weapons (BuschekBooks, 2014), Fancy Clapping (Scrivener Press, 2012), and Ghost Music (BuschekBooks, 2010). On SOLACE, Penguin Eggs Magazine writes: "There's an echo of Bruce Cockburn in Dunn's guitar work...The instrumentals are engaging guitar journeys that explore sound and acoustic space. By themselves they would be a compelling reason to acquire this album, but that's only scratching the surface...The combination of strong lyrics and compelling guitar work make this album shine...This one's a keeper."
LEWIS & CLARK
Lewis & Clarke is a Rock and Roll, Country, Punk band featuring members of ‘Big Sweet Lou’, 'Gord' ‘Myrle’ and ‘the Hunt Club / Sector Seven’
Formed in 2010 by Lewis Hodgson and Jamie Clarke, their songs recall the glory days of rock and roll when bands like The Who, the Clash and Led Zeppelin were the order of the day and the music was what mattered.
January 1, 2016 marked the release of the band’s debut album ‘Lewis& Clarke’
THE AUDITOR GENERAL
North Shore of Lake Superior
The Auditor General is four professional drinkers from the cold North Shore of Lake Superior who occasionally play a tasteful blend of folk and rock music. When they find the time, the group explores complex lyrical themes through memorable, simple hooks that tap the toes and hearts that beat beside them. If you thought a Finnish guitar prodigy shredding along with sweet harmonies and upbeat rhythms didn’t belong on the indie scene, The Auditor General is out to prove you wrong.
Six Nations Of the Grand River, Mohawk Territory
“I also just found out about Derek Miller, and the guy blew my mind. Unbelievable, you know? F---! What a f---ing talent! Whoa!” - Iggy Pop
Derek Miller is a multi-award winning, artist/producer working in music, film and television, specializing in eclectic, guitar orientated, roots music, with a pop sensibility.
He won 2 Juno Awards in Canada and has recorded for The Smithsonian National Museum Of The American Indian in the USA, with Juno nominated Rumble - A Tribute To Native Music Icons. He also stars in the film ‘Rumble - The Indians Who Rocked The World’ premiering at Sundance Film Festival January 2017.
Derek has recorded with Willie Nelson, Buffy Ste. Marie and Daniel Lanois among many other talented artists across the globe. Most recently, Buffy asked the guitarist to play on her 2016 Polaris prize and Juno winning album Power In The Blood.
Derek appears as Kyle in the Canadian TV drama series Hard Rock Medical, where his song Trouble has been featured.
He is currently in post production on season 2, of the the Canadian TV series, Derek Miller’s Guilt Free Zone. It will feature 13 new songs from Derek Miller & The GFZ Tallboys that will air in the spring on APTN in 2017.
Derek likes to race cars and pet his dog when he isn’t working.
Music Is The Medicine.
Ben Leggett is a multi-instrumentalist and the busiest music producer in Northern Ontario. He was nominated for a JUNO award in 2012 and for a NOMFA award in 2015. He has produced, engineered and/or mixed over 100 albums since 2010 and moved seamlessly into composing – creating the soundtrack music for this season of Hard Rock Medical. Ben also produced and engineered many of the songs featured in the nine episodes of season 3.
North Bay Ontario
An Ojibwe/Algonquin artist from Pikwakanagan first nations and born in North Bay Ontario Tasheena is a hard working mother of three children and an active member in her community. She is powwow singer, dancer and a self taught seamstress/craftor. Over the past 6 years her main involvement has been with Aanmitaagzi community theatre and the Near North District school board, mostly acting as a lead artist/intern and a first nations artist in residence. Tasheena's passion is to gap creative arts and culture as her mother did before her to create a safe space for a healthier tomorrow
Indie-folk singer Annie Sumi spent the summer of 2015 growing her fan base, taking her sweet, soulful voice to stages big and small, and sharing a brand of musical storytelling that spans folk, roots and country-rock.
One radio interviewer described this young artist as an “old soul” which truly captures her spirit— like a traveling minstrel, she has a way of breathing in all the beauty of nature and the subtleties of life, and breathing out musical tales that speak in a familiar voice to those around her.
And when she strums her guitar and the words pour out, you can almost close your eyes and imagine a young Jewel or Carole King. “You really hope that people feel your songs and make a deep connection with your music,” Annie says. “When that happens, it’s magic, pure magic.”
Annie released her debut album, Reflections, in April 2015. The record charted on college radio for 10 straight weeks and a few of the album tracks earned airplay on CBC Radio One. In 2015, she was nominated as “Best Singer-Songwriter” at the Toronto Independent Music Awards, and received encouraging feedback from music reviewers across Canada.
Annie toured Eastern Canada with her music, playing more than 50 shows, from Hamilton to Halifax, and many points in between. Along the way were performances and workshops at various Ontario music festivals including the Shelter Valley Folk Festival, Live at the Rock Festival, and The Blue Skies Music Festival.
On stage, Annie is warm, engaging, and loves nothing more than making a connection with her audience through an intimate acoustic set, or kicking it up a notch with some musical accompaniment.
“You can’t leave an Annie Sumi performance and feel anything but inspired,” says Leah Morise, of the House of Harmony. “Her songs manage to pull you into her world, and you can almost feel the cool grass on your bare feet and the warmth of the Northern Ontario sun on your face as she sings.”
As an artist, Annie recognizes her potential to create positive change in her environment. Her thought provoking lyrics, and hopeful melodies always leave her audience with a sense of possibility.
Kevin Closs is a singer/songwriter from Manitoulin Island, Canada. Since 1988 he has worked as a recording and performing artist releasing eleven independent albums and playing concerts, festivals and clubs across the country. Many of Kevin’s songs have become part of the northern Ontario landscape. “Manitoulin", The Camp Song”, “Build Me A Bridge”, his solo guitar arrangement of “O Canada”, and many others are as familiar to northerners as jack pines and loons. His contributions to the folk music community in Sudbury won him the Jackie Washington Award in 2002. His latest CD is entitled All for a Song.
Matthew Jordan Foy
Matt's musical journey began when he received a brand new acoustic guitar at age 11. Within a few months we were experiencing the lyrics of Pink Floyd and the enthusiasm of a Grade 7 rock band in our basement. That was the start of an ongoing love affair with music and performing.
During his school years, Matt was busy as a part-time Ski Instructor/Coach but he always found time for music - his #1 passion.
As his talents developed, his venues were larger and his popularity as a musician and vocalist grew.
We have watched him develop into a multi-talented artist, playing guitar, banjo, ukulele, drums, mandolin and percussion as well as vocals.
He released his first solo record in 2004, featuring original songs on all of the above instruments. His new record, Shine, was released in the summer of 2010. An appealing facet of Matt's talent is his ability to adapt vocally and instrumentally to many different styles of music - as diverse as his own heritage [Irish, Norwegian, Swedish and Polish]. He has traveled in Canada and the U.S. with the Smokers, a highly rated ska band, and with Zabava, one of the best polka bands in North America. He has toured Ireland and England as a drummer with Ox, a west coast folk/rock band and is currently touring from time to time with local musician, Brian Dunn.
At home, in Sudbury Ontario, he has regular gigs at The Townehouse Tavern as a solo artist and with a variety of bands featuring Reggae, Bluegrass, Rock and Surf music. Matt has also been a frequent performer at the Northern Lights Festival Boréal and Summerfest Festivals. Matt is a percussionist for the modern dance classes at Sudbury School of Dance, and has also composed music for local dance company, elleQ dance factory. He continues to write and to experiment with other music styles and instruments.
Over 20 years later, he still carries his well-worn Yamaha acoustic guitar and loves to "jam" with his Dad and entertain friends and family at home. We have to admit that guitar was a great investment! We thank you for all the years of pleasure that your music has brought us and look forward to your continued success on the music scene.
David Dino White
North Bay, Ontario
Every song a hit, every hit a smack!
Born and raised in North Bay, Ontario, David Dino White's ability to harness their instruments full potential is what defines their unique and haunting style. As melodic as it is unpredictable, their inspirations run the gamet from metal to folk to disco and back again.
Their debut album, 'Alone Together' was released in 2015 to a devoted audience who crowd funded a limited edition 12" vinyl of the record and just over a year later, the band followed up with an EP titled, 'Hair of the Dog', co-funded by FACTOR.ca. Both albums and more goodies are available on www.daviddinowhite.com
David Dino White is a completely independent band and credits any amount of measurable success to their loyal and devoted fans. Thank you!
Andrea Menard is an acclaimed Métis singer, actor, writer, and music messenger who excels in all four creative areas of her medicine wheel. Andrea, who has performed for royalty, prime ministers, ambassadors, governor generals and even sang her song “Peace” to the world’s NATO generals, has created life-long fans with her powerful voice, her songs, and her message of hope.
The Vancouver-based performer has recently emerged from an intensely creative gestation period armed with new projects and talents and has managed to re-invent herself once again. Menard launched a collection of uplifting songs, debuted her symphony show entitled “I Am Andrea Menard”, filmed two television series, and is developing an inspirational business called “The Music Messengers”. The magnetic Menard is aiming for the stars and inspiring change wherever she goes..in the music industry and beyond.
Ox began in the smokey confines of East-side Vancouver’s Profile Studios- as songwriter Mark Browning’s project to remake Woody Guthrie’s ‘Dust Bowl Ballads’. What started as a musical history excercise and sonic experiment quickly transformed into an intimate expression of rambling folk soundscape mixed with indie rock. Browning’s 2003 debut, ‘Dust Bowl Revival’ bridged the burgeoning roots alt-country scene into indie cult status coming out of nowhere to eventually reach #1 on Canada’s national college radio chart- the first time an independent record has achieved such an honour.
Following this, thousands of miles of touring across Canada, the USA, UK, Ireland, Germany, and the Netherlands crystalized Ox’s underground cult status. Avoiding the mainstream, and ignoring the industry, Ox lurks on the fringe with a fiercely independent DIY approach and through subsequent albums and tours- each generating critical acclaim- has gained a loyal following.
After 7 years and 4 albums, Browning moved the Ox homebase to his hometown of Sudbury, Ontario. There, with support from longtime Ox collaborator Ryan Bishops, and part-time sideman Brian Dunn, he founded Cosmic Dave’s Sound Emporium- an atmospheric analog equiped recording studio and vintage music store situated in an iconic old-time Sudbury diner. Here, Ox continues the tradition begun in Vancouver combining haunting dust bowl soundtracks with reverb-soaked garage indie folk- either providing late night playlists for all night prairie drives.
North Bay, Ontario
Infusing playful jazz with airy folk sensibilities, Holly Cunningham's debut album is immediately welcoming - a record to savour and pore over. Best served with a fireplace and wine.