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Introducing your local Folk Fest Part 4: The Wicked Mercy, Spencer Scharf and The Cardboard Crowns

By François Levesque on May 12, 2014

Today is the final instalment of our  2014 Folk Fest locals’ showcase. There’s been great excitement around the local bands playing this year’s fest. If you’ve missed the first few posts, you can read them here, here and here. Our final three bands and artists encompass a broad musical spectrum from southern dirty blues, to expert string-picking, to ska.

The Wicked Mercy

Genre: dirty blues

The Wicked Mercy’s been around for only a couple of years although its members have been playing music for decades. Initially formed after many jam sessions of loud, dirty blues in their basements and living rooms, the Wicked Mercy have grown and continue to evolve as a group, fusing heavy, lovelorn rock’n’roll and blues stylings into their own heavy and sweaty sound.

While rock and blues are the foundation of the band’s songs, some tracks incorporate Spanish melodies, psychedelic prog-rock and funk elements, which makes for an interesting diversity. They’ve been compared to bands like the Sheepdogs and the Doors.

Singer Case Bakker leads the group with intense vocals, sharp lyrics and blasts of harmonica. The band is rounded out by Dave Nado on the guitar, Mark Sudiacal on bass, charming Erik Hertzberg on organ, keys and vocals and Cory Zadorozny (formally with the Sam Roberts Band) on drums

After last year’s appearance at the Ottawa Bluesfest, The Wicked Mercy’s now ready to rock it out at Folk Fest.

The Wicked Mercy play Folk Fest Sunday, September 14. 

Spencer Scharf

Genre: roots folk

Spencer Scharf  describes his music as down-home acoustic roots / folk rock & blues played with fingerstyle, flatpickin’ guitar, dobro, banjo, uke, and mandolin. He’s an expert with pretty well anything with strings and likes to experiment with homemade instruments like the cigar box guitar or the banjo-ukulele.

He has a deep repertoire of original songs influenced by the likes of Neil Young, Eric Clapton and Robert Johnson. Scharf’s a truly talented musician that will feel right at home at Hog’s Back.

Scharf takes to the Folk Fest stage Sunday, September 14. 

The Cardboard Crowns

 Genre: Ska

While they’ve been playing music together for the last 5 years, The Cardboard Crowns  – aka David “Tokyo” Speirs , Joel “Rat” Kuehn, Matt “Googles” Megannety, and Francois “MysteryFranks” Cunningham –  took a major step forward this year by winning Live 88.5’s Big Money Shot competition. Their combination of ska-beat, reggae, and punk-rock, takes inspiration from acts like ska-legends the Skatalites, acoustic anarcho-punk of Mischief Brew and Cab Calloway’s orchestra.

Their love for life permeates through all their songs. The band has been working furiously in recent years to build up a kingdom built on the pillars of social justice, community, and overall good-times.

The Cardboard Crown is an exciting and energetic addition to this year’s Folk Fest. They play Sunday, September 14.