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James Barker Band and Emily Reid at Canadian Music Week 2019!

By Phjoshua @thereviewsarein
James Barker Band and Emily Reid at Canadian Music Week 2019!

On Thursday night of Canadian Music Week 2019, country music took over The Phoenix Concert Theatre as SiriusXM House presented James Barker Band with Emily Reid and Pretty Archie.

The packed house took in the three country acts with excitement and appreciation from the start of the evening to the very end, and you would be hard pressed to find anyone who wouldn't go to that exact same show again.

James Barker Band served as a fantastic headlining choice, bringing hits, fan favourites, and covers to the stage, but we'll get to that in a just a little bit.

The Thursday night show opened with Cape Breton's Pretty Archie taking the stage. And the five east coasters made a great impression on the Toronto crowd.

Lined up across the stage to start the show, Brian, Matthew, Colin, Redmond, and Scott filled the room with strings and harmonies, drawing everyone in. After a few songs up front, we got some percussion with Redmond hopping on the drum kit, and the music kept on flowing. The band is tight, pulling all of their musicianship together, and performing with a confidence and talent that is clear to the eye and ear.

It would take a really big kitchen to fit all five dudes and their instruments, but we can't help but think that it would be a really good time to have them play at a good old fashioned kitchen party!

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Emily Reid was next to take the stage at The Phoenix. The Victoria, BC native is based in Nashville now and made the trip to Toronto to play for the CMW crowd. With a selection of original songs, Reid showed the crowd that she's got a lot to offer and that they should be ready to see and hear a lot more from her in the future.

As a singer-songwriter, Emily Reid has established herself in Music City, playing songwriter's circles, showcases, and all kinds of other events. She has been featured as a member of the Song Suffragettes, with videos of her singing stripped-down versions of her songs on YouTube. But on Thursday night, backed by a full band, Reid turned up the volume and the energy as she played songs like If I Wanted Wine, Friday, and Stay Golden.

Emily also busted out a surprise cover when she broke into Sheryl Crow's 1996 classic If It Makes You Happy. It was a sing-along moment that the crowd fully embraced, and made the songstress smile.

The biggest pop though came when Emily Reid ended her set with her first radio single, Good Time Being A Woman.

The song is a bop. I can't get enough of it, and having the chance to hear it live, with the excitement of both its singer and the crowd going all-in, was perfect.

If you don't know Emily Reid yet, now is the time to start paying attention. Her star is on the rise.

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After a short break to prepare the stage, James Barker Band were introduced and got the loudest cheer of the night to that point.

The boys have become big-time stars over the last few years, and their awards, radio hits, and growing popularity with Canadian country music fans proves it. They've reached the top of the charts, they've toured all over the country, south into the US, and into Europe, playing their songs and making their way.

On Thursday night, the band ripped through a 15-song set that included covers we love, HUGE hits, and special little moments that make for great live shows. Keep Your Hands To Yourself, Fishing In The Dark, and Barker's solo acoustic turn on Good Directions were all nice additions to the James Barker Band library, and the medley in the encore was an exclamation point on the cover fun.

Off the top of the show, Just Saying and Going Places got things going in a big way too. At this point, fans in every crowd we see know the words to the JBB singles. And the assembled mass at The Phoenix was no different. There may not have been much room to dance in the first 20 or so rows, but the singing was strong.

That same excitement and vocal accompaniment continued throughout the set, and when songs like It's Working, Lawn Chair Lazy, and Chills came around in the back half of the set, all the voices were warmed up and louder than they'd been all night.

We've been fortunate enough to see James Barker Band play a lot of venues and shows over the last few years, including Canadian Music Week in 2017. And every time it seems like they've added a little something to their connection with the fans, their set on stage, and their presence in the Canadian country music industry.

They're stars already, but we know James Barker Band are still on their way up. We can't wait to see what comes next. And we're not the only ones.

James Barker Band Setlist, Canadian Music Week 2019

🍁 Just Saying
🍁 Going Places
🍁 Keep Your Hands To Yourself
🍁 Throwback
🍁 Good Together
🍁 Keep It Simple
🍁 Good Directions
🍁 Living The Dream
🍁 He Can Have You
🍁 Fishing In The Dark
🍁 It's Working
🍁 Sold
🍁 Lawn Chair Lazy
🍁 Medley
🍁 Chills

Photos of James Barker Band at The Phoenix Concert Theatre, Canadian Music Week 2019

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