On Wednesday night at RBC Bluesfest, you can look forward to seeing the Ottawa-based indie folk group Winchester Warm. They are happy to be playing the festival again having previously performed in 2012. “We are excited to be playing in the Barney Danson Theatre this year as shows always sound so great in there. We will be playing a mix of songs from our catalog, along with a couple new ones as well,” said band member Jonathan Pearce in an email interview. “I am extremely honoured to be opening for De La Soul, who play immediately after us. Three Feet High and Rising is a very special album for me and I hope to be able to get the original cassette of that album signed by Posdnuos, Trugoy and Mase.”
Winchester Warm was formed in the living room of Matt Godin’s Vanier apartment in the summer of 2008. It originally began as a duo consisting of Pearce on acoustic guitar/vocals and Godin on drums and vocals. They were both playing in a louder rock n’ roll act called Poorfolk and they realized they had a bunch of quieter, more reflective acoustic numbers that they wanted to bring to the world. They are now a four-piece, featuring Matthew Corbiere and Michael Zorn on guitar and bass.
The group has been busy playing numerous shows around town over the last several months and released an album ‘Belle Attente’ in 2014. They released their first album in 2010, “Sky One Room.” They are working on some new songs and hope to begin recording in the coming autumn/winter, with a potential split 7 inch release in the coming months.
We asked the Pearce about his views Ottawa’s local music scene. “In the last few years it really seems like the Ottawa music scene is coming into its own. I am constantly having to choose between three or four shows to see on any given night. The rise of festivals like Arboretum and Megaphono as well as venues like Mugshots and House of Targ and blogs like Ottawa Showbox, Apt613 and Photogmusic point to an increasingly vibrant local music scene in the city.” (Editor’s note: Mugshots just closed, what a shame). He added: “I would say the small town feel of Ottawa is great – everyone knows everyone and there is a lot of support for local music. I think the city could definitely use a mid-size music venue and more venues in the general.”
In terms of the band’s dream? To get signed by Merge Records and get asked to tour with one of their fine artists. Realistically, they want to keep striving to write songs that they think are good. “We are all huge music dorks so I think we are always on that dogged quest to write ‘the perfect song’ (as Bill Callahan would say) – regardless of who may hear it,” says Pearce.
“Bluesfest is a great opportunity for local bands to showcase their music to a crowd that wouldn’t normally see you play. It is so great because the Bluesfest
folk basically treat you like you are Snoop Dogg (Lion) and you feel like a rockstar for the day. You feel kind of like Wayne and Garth felt in Wayne’s World when they are backstage and met Alice Cooper.”
Winchester Warm plays Bluesfest on July 15 at 6:00 p.m. at the Barney Danson Theatre. For more information please visit: www.ottawabluesfest.ca.
Check out their sounds at winchesterwarm.bandcamp.com