As Rocky Balboa, Sylvester Stallone once said, “It ain’t about how hard you can hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” Stallone obviously wasn’t talking about COVID, musicians, and the survival of local live music. Yet his words nonetheless capture the essence of the situation. COVID certainly sent local live music to the canvass with a roundhouse punch and broke what industry critics cited as a system already fractured. Yet many bands regained their footing, found new ways to maneuver, and kept moving forward to perform live music where they could. With local live music venues now slowly re-opening but struggling to stay afloat (while other area music venues have closed), no one knows what the second pandemic winter will bring. Indeed, the BBC recently wondered whether live music will survive COVID. Yet live music hangs on, and the best way to help live music stay on its feet is to go to a local live show, wherever you live and wherever shows are happening in your area.

Upcoming Live Music Shows at RCS

live music - Electric Space Circus

Toronto psychedelic rock collective The Electric Space Circus performs their high-energy rock (fused with fuzz-drenched guitars and psychedelic textures) on Saturday, Oct. 16th at Royal City Studios. Known for their extended improvisations, the Electric Space Circus draw on a wide range of musical traditions, including blues, prog, jazz, and (most centrally) the great psychedelic music of the ‘60s and ‘70s, meaning the Electric Space Circus offers musical tapestries now rarely heard in a live setting.

Tickets just $11 at Eventbrite. Show starts at 7:30 PM.

This is a licensed all-ages event.

8 Second Ride - live music

8 Second Ride plays today’s hottest country hits Saturday, Oct. 23rd at Royal City Studios. Performing covers by artists like Eric Church, Old Dominion, Luke Combs, and Luke Bryan, 8 Second Ride has been ripping up stages and exciting crowds from Peterborough to Manitoulin Island with their tight musicianship and great vocals. Ready for your 8 Second Ride?

Tickets just $16 at Eventbrite. Show starts at 7:30 PM.

This is a licensed all-ages event.

Unfamiliar with the area? Royal City Studios is located at 930 Woodlawn Rd. W., Unit 1 in Guelph.

NOTE: By Ontario law, COVID vaccine passports are required to attend the above live music events. Those unable to present proof of receiving at least two (2) vaccines will not be allowed to enter. RCS Music News Weekly acknowledges this blows space chunks for some people and hopes it all changes soon.

Book Your Own Concert at Royal City Studios for Free

With fewer live music venues available to many area bands, and more competitive booking at venues that are open, Royal City Studios is helping bands return to live music by making its music hall free for bands to book for shows. (Not a typo.)

To make shows viable for bands and RCS, bands take ticket sales. RCS takes bar sales. That’s it. No charge for cancellation.

Show bookings include (at no charge) promotion on the RCS social channels and other channels. Posts include digital concert posters* created by album artist Xristopher Bland (who created the Electric Space Circus and 8 Second Ride posters featured in this blog), plus Eventbrite banner graphics.

For optimal poster images, bands are encouraged to send high-resolution photos (band shots, head shots, and/or whatnot) and a short bio to RCS once their music hall booking has been confirmed. To help maximize show attendance and augment RCS promotion, bands are encouraged to promote their shows directly with their fans.

*Bands are free to share RCS promotional posts, but all poster imagery remains the property of the creator. Bands wishing to directly use created images should contact the creator directly.

Future shows are already being booked by bands/artists like On British Soil (currently slated for December 11th) and Paige Rutledge. So, you’re encouraged to book the RCS music hall today while spots remain.

Book the RCS music hall online or contact RCS owner Jim Duffield directly:

Speaking of Booking Live Music Shows…

Yonge-Dundas Square

ICYMI: Yonge-Dundas Square is now accepting applications for 2022 events of all types, including concerts. Area concert promoters interested in putting on a live music event in the Big Smoke are encouraged to get their applications in early through the Yonge-Dundas Square website.

Younge-Dundas Square understands that staging live music events in the current economic climate caused by COVID can be challenging. To assist promoters in the live music space, the Yonge-Dundas Square website includes links to funds and initiatives currently available for events and festivals, including:

  • Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund
  • Music Production and Presentation Projects
  • Ontario Music Investment Fund – Live Music

Yamaha Releases Two New F-Series Guitars

Yamaha F-series guitar

Yamaha recently announced the release of two new F-series guitars—the FX280 and FSX80C—to the Made in India Guitar lineup. Billed as being “built to deliver superior acoustic tone and resonance,” the new Yamahas come with a spruce top and rosewood fingerboard and bridge. They also come with Yamaha’s A.R.T. pickup system.

“The hallmark of our F-series guitars has been superior quality, tone, and durability at competitive prices,” says Rehan Siddiqui, head of business (musical instruments) at Yamaha Music India, “and these new models stand exactly for the same. We’ve introduced these models to further elevate the experience of customers by taking their playing to the next level.”

So, is this true or just marketing-speak?

Playing one of the new F-series will pretty much answer the question, and Yamaha Music India says the new F-series will be available through authorized Yamaha dealers. Yet Yamaha was unclear whether the new F-series will make it to Canada, and their Dealer Locator wasn’t helpful. For musicians in Guelph, a quick call to Long & McQuade will probably clear up the mystery of whether the new F-series will make it to the area, or drop in to Long & McQuade. They’re just down the road from RCS at 30 Arrow Rd.

Fender Survey Sheds Light on “The New Face of Guitar”

Fender guitar players - live music

A new YouGov study sponsored by Fender found 7% of Americans ages 13-64 (or roughly 16 million people) started learning guitar during the pandemic. Among the insights:

  • 72% of players (dubbed “the new face of guitar”) are between the ages of 13 and 34.
  • 67% of beginner guitarists seek out guitar content daily or weekly on TikTok.
  • 33% of new players have a family member who plays or has played guitar.
  • 38% of the 16 million new players have identified as Latinx in the past two years, emphasizing the need for Fender and the industry at large to support and ensure players of all backgrounds have a barrier-free experience to learning guitar.
  • 1 in 4 of the 16 million players have stagnated in their learning progress, underscoring that while starting guitar may be hard for some people, continuing with it may be harder. So, ongoing learning support is crucial to sustain new players.

To help support new players, Fender has launched the Beginner’s Hub, which includes tools and resources for players to start, stick with, and hone their guitar, bass, or ukulele chops.

Share RCS Music News Weekly with a Musician Friend!

Know a solo musician or band who wants to play live, can’t get booked somewhere, and doesn’t have the funds to rent their own venue? Share today’s issue of RCS Music News Weekly to let them know about Royal City Studios’ free concert hall offer.

Studies suggest sharing RCS Music News Weekly promotes thick, lustrous hair growth and miraculous delivery of free pizza!

Okay, such studies don’t exist, but RCS Music News Weekly is nothing if not hopeful that they will one day soon.

Stay awesome. Long live rock (or whatever music puts the juice in your jets).