Tuesday, June 6, 2023


An artist I first saw last fall has returned to the East Coast for a series of dates, including a couple of slots at the Living Roots Festival in Fredericton. Bryce Clifford works out of Hamilton, as a roots[rock singer-songwriter. On disc, his songs have quite a punch, even a touch of punk influence and lots of drum power on cuts such as "TV Snow" from his recent Brewha East Hamilton E.P.  "Checkpoint Charlie" sounds like a much more together version of The Replacements. Let's hope he brings more of that cool blue vinyl release with him for sale at the shows.

Like last time, Clifford is joined for the live sets by Brother Brisco, a/k/a Greg Brisco, one of the stalwarts of the Hamilton music scene. The keyboard whiz first came to my attention in the Canadiana outfit The Dinner Belles with Terra Lightfoot, and with Clifford he takes on a significant role, always up for an impromptu lead vocal on a  classic cover when Clifford calls out something fun.  With the duo, the emphasis is placed on Clifford's strong lyrics and hooks at the heart of his songwriting. He has no trouble winning over audiences on the strength of his originals. With a second Downeast tour in less than a year, he's proving to be a road warrior as well. You gotta support that.

The Living Roots Festival runs Thursday, June 8 until Sunday, June 11 in Fredericton in various venues, and also features fine folks such as rising star Kellie Loder, Sherman Downey, and Joce Reyome. Bryce Clifford and Brother Brisco will be at The Ville Cooperative on Thursday at 7 pm, and at Southside Shake in the Hilton Gardens Inn Saturday at 3 pm. You'll also find them Friday, June 9 in St. Andrews at Char and Chowder, and Sunday in Hampton, NB at Gridiron Brewing.

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