For the Shiners, it comes down to two things: the music and the experience. It starts with good songs and good players. Beyond that, it’s the quality of the sound hitting your ears, it’s the showmanship you see on stage, and it’s the energy you feel in the room. “If you’re not having a good time, then we’re not having a good time,” insists Eric Willison, singer and guitarist for the band. The Shiners are a popular roots-rock group from the Seaway Valley (Ontario, Canada). “As musicians, it’s certainly a privilege to play the festivals and venues that we do,” added drummer Jay Collis, “but we can’t help but thrive on the audience and the feedback from doing a good job…it’s our lifeline.”
The band’s unique sound doesn’t land squarely on one particular genre. “We call it roots-rock,” says bassist Joel Labrosse, “and without saying we play Roots-Country-Pop-Celtic-Folk-Rock, we’ll label it Roots-Rock for now.” Growing up near Glengarry County, and as fans of Canadian rock, classic country and Americana, all these influences are easy to recognize. Factor in the years Collis and Labrosse spent playing in a hard rock band and you’ve got a rhythmic and solid foundation for the East-Coast guitar stylings and alt-country vocal delivery of Willison. Reviewers have described the Shiners as a cross between Blue Rodeo, Great Big Sea and Steve Earle. Canadiana or Americana, it doesn’t matter – the bottom line is this band writes, records and performs great music with plenty of dynamics, energy and an honest, and sometimes quirky, approach to life in general.
Playing almost 1000 shows in their short time together, The Shiners continue to grow beyond their back roads roots. Some nights are intimate shows for 30 and other times the band commands the voices of 30,000. The band has shared festival stages with the likes of Ashley MacIsaac, Colin James, Amanda Marshall and Glass Tiger. Selling thousands of copies of their debut CD, ‘Happy Now’, The Shiners are constantly writing and recording with plans to release more music in the near future. The band performs regularly in their tight 3 piece confirguration yet other musicians often share the stage – whenever possible the fiddle is a welcome compliment to the Shiners music. Both on stage and in the recording studio, many great players have jammed with the band including Ashley MacLeod, Greg T. Brown, Colin Mills, Nelson MacPherson, Neil Emberg, Graham Greer, Steph McAlear, Richard Irwin, Glenn Forrester, Ewen MacIntosh, Paul Villeneuve, Norm Bruce and many other friends, family and fans.
WHAT FOLKS ARE SAYING…
“There’s nothing better than a Shiners show…..they are like all my favourite bands in one, but with more energy on stage and I can party with them after!” – Josh T.
“I put the Shiners on in my car every morning. Get Living is the only thing that ‘gets’ me to work!” – Karen K.
“The Shiners are the best band around, period.” – Steven I.
“Listened to Happy Now twice on my flight to Vegas last week. It set the mood for Sin City. Keep doing what you’re doing and can’t wait to hear the new tracks live.” – Ben Q.
“You guys are awesome, every time I see a notice that you are playing somewhere, I know it is sure to be a great night, the dance floor packed and the toes tapping. You guys rock!!!” – Tanya R.
“The Shiners are awesome – a bit of everything all rolled into one band!! ♥ u guys! :)” – Sarah H.
“Self-described as roots-rock, you could also expand the description to include folk-rock, country-rock, Celtic…..aw, what the heck, let’s just call it ‘good’…put The Shiners somewhere between the rock side of Blue Rodeo, and the Celtic flair of Great Big Sea.”
– Larry Delaney (Country Music News)
“The Shiners are a lot of fun to see and they play a great set of tunes.
Their quick wit brings us a lot of laughs thoughout the night!”
– Sue Stewart (Variety104 FM, Corus Entertainment)
“The band definitely got the crowd going and dancing until the very end.
I heard nothing but positive feedback about The Shiners.”
– Rita Assabgui (Canadian Association of Physical Medicine)
“The Shiners make foot stompin’, beer swillin’, candy flossin’ music that will have folks young and old wishing for summer. ‘Happy Now’ is ripe for the picking and grinning like a Georgia peach. Zac Brown meets Bon Jovi meets Steve Earle with some Irish roots thrown in for good Celtic measure.”
– Chris Taylor-Munro (freelance music columnist)
“You guys are awesome – where do you get all that energy!
You boys need to come back next year! Thanks for a great night.”
– Paul Villeneuve (President, Maxville Fair Board)