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Bluesfest: Kingston’s rock sensation – The Glorious Sons

By Terry Steeves on July 14, 2015

Kingston, Ontario’s 5-piece rock sensation, The Glorious Sons, paid a visit to Ottawa’s Bluesfest Sunday night where they appeared on the Canadian Stage. An added sixth member relieved lead singer, Brett Emmons’ keyboard duties to take center stage as front man.

The heavy fan base was apparent as much of the crowd sang along to many of the songs’ lyrics. Their very 70’s/80’s-inspired classic rock sound was charged with heavy tribal beats, spirited melodies that bore chant-inducing choruses, and lyrics that delivered honest and unguarded reflections of life’s ups and downs.

The last few years have been a whirlwind for this band, whose first full length album, Union (Sept. 2014) was nominated for Best Rock Album of the Year at this year’s Junos. They are currently on a cross-Canada tour, with added dates throughout the U.S. in the fall.

Their first song, “Mama”, immediately grabbed a hold of the crowd, and set them off to sing its anthem-like chorus for several bars acapella. Emmons displayed the first of his harmonica abilities as well as his power-packed vocals in this vibrant piece. I was also impressed by Chris Huot, whose strumming style on the bass brought a great beefed-up tone to all the material. Others, like “Ruby”, also brought about a long give and take with the audience before the band kicked into a thunderous ending. Emmons would pause occasionally to marvel at the crowd’s reaction, while he allowed them to take the song away.

Brett Emmons of The Glorious Sons.

Brett Emmons of The Glorious Sons.

I loved the dark bluesiness of “Man Made Man”, which crept along until its resounding chorus. Brett Emmons’ long locks covered his face, as he half-staggered across the stage, wine bottle in hand, and sang in such a brooding tone that for a moment, had the uncanny semblance of Jim Morrison.

“Heavy”, was a completely catchy power rock tune that hooked me from the first note. It has recently been made the official theme song of WWE Battleground 2015. Emmons kept up his swagger and would hoist the mic stand up over his shoulder from time to time.

I enjoyed the steady head banging 70’s rock sweetness of “Baby”. Drummer Adam Paquette led the way with a heavy rhythm intro, and singer duties were turned over to guitarist, Andrew Young, who later shared solo segments with Emmons’ brother Jay on lead guitar.

Other highlights included “Lover Under Fire”, which had some great changing rhythms and a U2-like energy. Similarly with “White Noise”, which was also rich in tribal beats and strong edgy vocals. The crowd kept up the chant on the song’s chorus, as well as their reciprocation right to the end of the show, with arms reaching high, and a clear love for the sons from Kingston town.