The Heroin Hayride – Live at Bar de Courcelle – January 22nd, 2014– Montreal, Quebec

The Heroin Hayride - January 22nd, 2014 - Montreal, Quebec

It was a brutally cold evening, and after what seemed to be a stressful month for me, I decided to give it a go and check out Montreal’s  Folkabilly Blueswing sensation The Heroin Hayride. While it became a major tongue twister for Eric to even say the band’s name, we were interested to see this five-piece would bring to us as they played their interesting instruments and created magic on stage.

Frontman Chris Von Danger, who also sings and plays guitar for The Von Rebels, greeted us kindly before the set. We sat in the back middle of this cute little dive HeroinHayride-12observing the interestingly mixed crowd of gutter punks/bar junkies and friends supporting the band; it was a small crowd and everyone seemed to know each other like one big happy family.

The Heroin Hayride began with “Westbound,” which started off at a slow pace but as the speed picked up, more bluegrass people around me sang and danced along. Bar de Courcelle is definitely a place for intimate shows and this band fit the atmosphere perfectly.

During “Heroin Whiskey Blues,” more and more people were walking in, running to the stage, and cheering their friends on. I had a hard time really focusing on the band because there were lots of people chatting around me, but that’s what happens when you play a bar. It was still a great crowd and the band got their attention fine.

HeroinHayride-6I fell in love with Alex Charbonneau’s voice while she sang her bits in certain tracks, especially, “I Like Trains.” Her voice reminded me of a modern Billie Halliday. It’s not every day you see a rad chick playing a mandolin as awesomely as she did. Charbonneau rocked that thing and it was incredible. The tune itself was really catchy and I loved the band’s chemistry on stage.

Mike Desj has one of those raw, country-hillbilly voices that I don’t get to hear too often. His vest, baggy pants, and body language while playing the upright bass fit so well, and he was quite entertaining to watch. Chris had sung a few songs as well – he has such a lovely voice, sounding similar to Buddy Holly. As amazing as his voice is with Von, he has a much softer sound with this band.

The Heroin Hayride has been together for about three years with several band member changes. They kicked off their 10-day Canadian tour the same night. A free show, cheap beer, and good service created an overall great night.  Check these guys out.

Written by Liz Imperiale
Photography by Eric Brisson   
Eric Brisson Photography
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About Liz Imperiale 153 Articles
Liz, founder and CEO of Bucketlist, Canada's first female-owned music webzine, is an avid lover of music and the arts who brings a rich, artistic background to every aspect of her life. As a child, she sang in a choir and has been playing keys on and off for 15 years. Liz’ musical inclinations coupled with her love of art allowed her to pursue a degree in media/marketing/design. After 20 years working in the music industry, booking raves, shows, handling promotion management, and managing artists she decided to form a webzine called Bucketlist Music Reviews. The zine was a medium for her to be able to help musicians gain some recognition that they deserved. She has taken advantage of this experience and pushed her career further in Public Relations and Social Media Management. Because of Liz’ wide knowledge and musical taste she DJs as well, blasting your favourite 80s and 90s tunes. If you find DJ Lizard Queen spinning in your town do not miss out - you may just have the time of your life.

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