Homegrown Hamilton 27 King William Street

I always enjoy my time at Homegrown Hamilton, whether I’m popping in for their delicious coffee (and racking up another stamp on my Homegrown card, working my way up to a free coffee!) or checking out a show. There is always fantastic live music happening throughout the week and I was really excited about this one – Matt Paxton & The Bloomfields.

Luisa and I started off with a coffee and a snack. That’s the good thing about hitting a show at Homegrown – you can get a little caffeine boost before relaxing with a beer. We had a hilarious encounter with our server who lapsed into an Irish accent as we were asking her about which beers she had on tap. They’re always a friendly bunch at Homegrown!

Matt Paxton & The Bloomfields
Matt Paxton & The Bloomfields

I met Matt Paxton a year ago when I saw him play at This Ain’t Hollywood, but the singer-songwriter had been on my radar for a few years before that. More recently, Matt has released two new singles, “Factory Town” and “Shore Pine Walk.” The accompanying video for the latter was shot by the Vancouver Institute of Art has already gained a staggering amount of hits. Matt also wrote the song during his time in Vancouver.

But before Matt and co. took the stage, we were treated to performances by two acts from Guelph, Lowlands and Alanna Gurr. The band has a very chill, country/blues/bluegrass sound. They also introduced a new instrument to me – the pedal steel guitar, which I had seen before but didn’t know what it was exactly.

I saw Alanna Gurr back in the fall during one of the Folk’d Up Friday shows I attended and it was nice to see her again. A highlight of her set for me was her song “Oh, Horsefeathers.” Alanna and members of Lowlands also overlapped a bit and played some stuff together.

Matt Paxton & The Bloomfields
Matt Paxton & The Bloomfields

I was excited for Matt to take the stage, having never seen him play with a full band before. With his new material, Matt is kicking his music up a notch by writing some more upbeat tunes. I liked the format – they played some songs together, then the band ducked out to leave Matt to a solo song (a nice cover of Ryan Adams’ “Shine Through The Dark”), and came back together.

It was a packed house and a slightly noisier crowd than I’ve typically seen at Homegrown, for a quieter show, at least. Not exactly the time and place, during a nice folk set, to get chatty, but I gather the ladies tend to follow Matt and The Bloomfields around. Those heartbreakers! The guys joked during their set that they’re The Bloomfields in the spring/summer, but in the colder weather they turn into Matt & The Hoodrats.

Matt is currently writing his new record, and this show was a great indication of what’s to come. I plan to catch up with Matt soon to learn more about what he’s up to. In the meantime, check out a clip I took of one of his tunes, “Corrina Corrina.”

– Kristin

Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (www.ihearthamilton.ca), where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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