This Ain’t Hollywood 325 James Street North

What better place to continue our fit of giggles than at our next stop of the evening. James Street North’s live music venue This Ain’t Hollywood is always a fun spot for us; we knew we had to make it an official tour stop. It’s cozy yet rock’n’roll. From the brick walls, fireplace, leopard-print lounge bed, board games, artwork, and best of all, this lampshade… what’s not to love? This time there was even a hula hoop on the wall. We didn’t end up giving it a spin (literally!) but needless to say, we were tempted.

This evening’s show was a part of Hamilton’s annual Spring Music Festival. First up was singer-songwriter Max Wray. Always a pleasure to watch and listen to, Max performs his acoustic tunes with charm and sincerity. Tonight’s show was no exception. He played some songs off his debut album Max Wray Live (available now!) as well as some newer tracks, including introductions to his songs with his characteristic candor. Max is a favourite of mine on the Hamilton music scene to check out, and once you see him, he’ll be one of yours, too. Follow him on Twitter @MaxWray.

Next up was the lovely Meredith Shaw. I knew I liked her right away – she was wearing sequins! (I’m quite partial to sequins.) With a smooth folk-pop sound and fresh off her CD release party for A Place Called Happy, Meredith played songs off the album, accompanied by a single guitarist. Her songs stuck with me and she was a delight to watch.

We’re definitely getting more familiar with the James North area, and can’t wait to check out more attractions. We’ll be back for more tomorrow!

– Kristin

Max Wray
Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (, 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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