Straddling the border between Country and Americana, the Ole Fashion is the self-proclaimed “Best Ole Country Band this side of 40”. Their youthful take on vintage classics pay homage to the good ole days where songs were played with real-live instruments and stories were told from the heart with a whiskey in your hand. Think vocals reminiscent of Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn and Emmylou Harris, CSNY-like harmonies, and a master pedal steel guitar player with a big ole cowboy hat. This is country music the way it was intended. After all, the rhythm section boasts a drumkit and a double bass that are older than your grampa.
It’s not all sappy though, this band gets the crowd up and dancing with chicken-pickin’ Ole Fashion originals like “Cried All Night” (a duet between the husband who drinks too much and the wife who’s too hooked to leave him),“Take You Out in the Morning” (a reference to taking someone home one night and having a first date over breakfast), and “Hipster Queen” (‘nuff said).
A Sunday-night residency at Opera Bob’s (Toronto’s favourite makeshift Muskoka cabin) was the inspiration to form this band where they’ve been going strong for almost 2 years. Why else do the patrons love it? Well that might be because the Ole Fashion is officially sponsored by Jameson’s, who offer a discount on their whiskey during performances.
GET TO KNOW THE FOLKS:
DARCY WINDOVER – lead vox, backing vox, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, harmonica
Some of Darcy’s fondest childhood memories include driving around in his cousin Ira’s truck listening to Claude King and Johnny Horton. He started playing country music to pay homage to his late father Lloyd but has shared stages with the likes of David Usher, Joel Plaskett, Finger Eleven, and the Tragically Hip. He is known as the walking encyclopedia of the band, especially when it come to all things Beatles.
MELANIE BRULÉE – lead vox, backing vox, rhythm guitar
Melanie grew up force-fed country music in her grandmother’s trailer outside of Cornwall, Ontario. She therefore hated country music until she moved to Toronto and realized she had a knack for the twangy over-the-top genre. She’s the wild one, you can expect her to walk into the crowd and pick a victim to sing to.
SARAH BURTON – lead vox, backing vox, rhythm guitar
Also known as the Princess of Oakville, Sarah’s no stranger to a spaghetti-western love story- she’s been performing country-dusted folk around Toronto for the last decade, with 3 solo albums under her belt. She’s the cool, calm and collected one, which can only come from extensive touring across Canada with stinky boys.
KEVIN NEAL– pedal steel guitar, banjo
Also known as The General aka The Man of Steel, Kevin has recorded with artists such as Ron Hawkins and the Do Good Assasins, Brendan Canning, the Fast Romantics and Andrew Austin. Kevin also hated country music until he picked up the “10-strings of pain” aka “the hillbilly science mobile” aka “the math problem on legs” aka “the Sudoku puzzle described as a musical instrument” aka the pedal steel guitar.
KURT NIELSEN – double bass, electric bass
Known as the jazz-based virtuoso of Sterling Street, Kurt gives up his wily chops every Sunday night in pursuit of the best half note in Toronto. His tone? Impeccable. Kurt has played with heavy hitters such as the Great Lake Swimmers, Michael Ciufo and Richard Whiteman. And he’s tall enough to make a double bass look like a ukulele.
ROBIN PIRSON – drums, percussion
The only band member who consistently liked and played country music growing up with his father in bars at age 12. Robin’s father was a bad-ass sunofabitch who played in a band called Sugar Creek, amongst others. After finishing his jazz degree, Robin has spent many years as a part of the Folk/Americana community and has toured Europe and Canada extensively with folk duo Madison Violet. He has also shared the stage with the likes of Ron Sexsmith, The Skydiggers, Jack Soul, The Indigo Girls, Emm Gryner and The Jayhawks, with his classic 1930’s drumkit.