ON LOCATION: Ash & Bloom's CD Release Party at The Casbah

Wow, what a night! This past Wednesday Hamilton’s own folk duo Ash & Bloom (Matt McKenna and James Bloemendal) had their first CD release at the Casbah, and it was one incredible night. The album Let the Storm Come has been a long time coming for some, but its final release was a huge success and most certainly left no one disappointed.  

The night began with Waterloo’s JoJo Worthington. Catching her for the first time was a great experience. This folk artist blew me away. Her unique voice matched with the soft sound of her ukulele captivated the entire room’s attention as she sang her songs of personal experience. Despite being by herself, she was able to fill the room with the multiple sounds and harmonies of her ukulele and voice through her loop pedal. Her set was solid and I look forward to following her career!

As for Matt McKenna and James Bloemendal, there is simply no better way to hear the duo than in a calm, intimate and candlelit setting. You almost could not help but get lost in their soulful writing and harmonies. A night for quiet listening, but also up-beat catchy folk rock - Ash & Bloom provided it all. 

A few of my favourite parts of the night had to be the completely unplugged version of 'You Carry Me'. The duo unplugged their guitars, stepped off the stage and came right down into the centre of the audience to perform. The room was still and silent as Matt & James did what they do best - sang their song and captivated the audience with their passion and moving music! 

Along with the intimate moments of simple listening, there was also a lot of audience participation as Ash & Bloom played old favourites that the audience was able to sing along to. Joining in their harmonies was a surreal experience; the room resonated with the voices of friends, old and new, as they said, making it a very special night. 

While the first CD release in the heart of the Hammer was a success, there will be a second CD release June 28th at the Rivoli in Toronto! You can purchase the album Let the Storm Come on iTunes or at CDbaby.com. I know I will be listening to this CD for weeks and reliving the precious and intimate moments that these guys create through their music, lyrics and harmonies. Great job, Ash & Bloom! 

'Let The Storm Come' Live In Studio: