A&E » Arts

Mixed Mile

Funk beat In Whistler before returning to Australia



Who: Nine Mile

When: Monday, Feb. 20

Where: Boot Pub

Nine Mile guitarist D’Ari originally founded his own label Dreadrock Records because he didn’t want a big evil company taking creative liberties with the music he produced, upholding honesty in his songs above all else.

However, when record giant Warner showed interest in partnering with his label to produce Nine Mile’s second yet untitled album, the Ontario boy couldn’t say no.

Once Nine Mile completes a rigorous tour schedule – including a Western Canada tour with a Whistler stop Monday, Feb. 20 at the Boot Pub – followed by an umpteenth tour in Australia, the Nine Mile trio of D’Ari, David Tolley and newest addition Marie-Josee Dandeneau will head straight to the recording studio in June.

Honesty threads together Nine Mile’s patchwork quilt of rock, funk, Caribbean and folk music. The son of Jamaican immigrants who came to Canada in the 1960s, D’Ari grew up in a household listening to everything from Jimmy Hendrix and Bob Dylan to the Beatles and Janis Joplin.

The big criteria for me with music, regardless of whether it is hard rock, classical or folk is that it oozes with honesty, D’Ari said over the phone before heading to his next gig in Canmore, Alberta.

We are out here for the right reasons. We are pretty eclectic listening in the (touring) van. The music is all over the place.

Drummer Tolley, a Berklee Music student, has studied percussion all over the world and bassist Dandeneau’s music prowess extends to jazz and funk.

There is an eclectic blend of lots of different styles,D’Ari said. Instead of going from reggae to country to a groove song, elements of each are within each song, so it ends up to be a unique listening experience. ð

Nine Mile’s credits include its sophomore indie release Close to Touch followed by a six-song EP The Almanac, which was released in Australia under the Dreadrock and MGM label partnership.

After establishing a strong fan base in Canada and northeastern U.S., the band headed Down Under to a place they now call their home away from home.

Nine Mile has kept great company, touring with Aussie heroes Xavier Rudd and The Beautiful Girls.

In Australia, the vibe of culture is to be outside, to get out on the beach and see live music, D’Ari said contrasting North America’s indoor fixation with the boob tube. A lot of energy is focused on getting out and living life. The music we are making is what some people classify as being pretty surf friendly. You can complain about a place that happens to have a summer during our winter either.

Nine Mile has also shared stages with Keller Williams, Gomez, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Blackalicious, Collective Soul, Sarah Harmer, Cowboy Junkies, Wide Mouth Mason and The Rheostatics, just to name a few.

I am surrounded by talented and successful people, D’Ari said. If we have three people focused on playing from our hearts, honestly and having the time of their lives that will translate to the stage and the audience.

Up and comer Matt York will warm crowds up with his groovy acoustic soul music.


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