The 24th Street Wailers

Posted by Dee-Ann On September - 17 - 20143,512 views

24streetwhere are you from? We are from Toronto, Ontario, Canada
How and when did you start?  We started after meeting in music school and having a mutual love of blues and 50’s Rock n Roll.  I was glad to find 4 people to start a band with and not just have a backing group.  Each member, Emily Burgess-Guitar, Jon Wong-Tenor Sax, Jesse Whiteley-Piano and Michael Archer-Bass are talented and a feature in their own right.  
Describe your music style?  We are a 50’s RnB band.  

How did your love for this music start, which age, which artist?  I’ve always loved music, of all kinds, for as long as I can remember but when it comes to 50’s RnB I would have to say that Little Richard was the first to really move me.  I would have been around 10 years old then.  
Who did influence you?  My influences are very eclectic, however my main influences when it comes to the world of R n B would have to be Little Willie John,  Mickey Baker, Little Richard, and most importantly Nick Curran.  He was a great singer, guitarist and drummer.  He really brought this music forward for a whole new generation to hear and see.

Do you write your own songs?  Yes I write the songs, along with Emily the guitar player, we play a few covers but the lions share of the music is original. 

If so, where do you get your inspiration? Real life, or total fantasy.  I would say my song content comes very much from real life,  Emily on the other hand likes to mix some fantasy in with hers.  
Do you write together? We have in the last year begun to write together but up until this point the  song writing was very separate and we’d bring them in when either Emily or I was done with them.  Now we’re a bit more open to writing with each other. 

(Tell us about your latest cd)

Our CD is called “Wicked”.  It was recorded in WyldWood, Texas at Fort Horton Studios with Billy Horton producing and engineering.  Working with Billy was a thrill as he was Nick Curran’s bassist and has made so many great records in his studio for Nick as well as some of my other favourite artists and some that were new to me that I fell in love with because of the recording aesthetic.  We are very proud of this record and are very excited about its reception to it so far!

What are your do’s and don’ts on stage? 
I am very particular about everything as far as being a bandleader goes however, I don’t have many do’s or don’ts at this time with my own band because after 4 years of playing and touring together they really have it together.  If I were to give a general answer it would be
Do’s- always have extra gear (batteries, strings, sticks, heads, tuner etc.)!
Don’t-Acknowledge, to the audience, your missteps or mistakes!
Clothes, performance? What’s important, musical quality or stage fun?  The two are not mutually exclusive.  You should look great in the outward sense, be dressed cleanly, look like you’re having a blast.  You should also be on point musically every moment of every night.  One of the most important things to me as an artist is that you are being your most authentic self and that means, for this band, we do some wacky things on stage as well as being very technically controlled on the instruments and above all else we are always having fun! 

Do you like other styles than rockandroll?   I love classic country (ie-hank williams, george jones etc.), I love straight up blues (Jimmie Vaughan, Magic Sam etc.) I basically will listen to anything that is good.  

Is there an artist you would like to work with in future?  We recently had Blues Legend Jimmie Vaughan sit in and play a song with us.  I would love to do something more extensive with him some day!  I would also be excited to do a show with JD McPherson.  That would be tonnes of fun!  

Where would you like to play, festival/ country/ event/?  We want to go wherever the world takes us!  The sky is the limit! 

Tell us a fun story about your band or gig.  Well being in a touring band that spends their life on the road I can tell you we’ve had our fair share of hilarious moments.  I guess one of the more recent moments was when we were in Corpus Christi, Texas and our new piano player Jesse wanted to take a hot wing challenge!   Jesse is a man who will often carry hot sauce around so he can always have it.  He is no light weight when it comes to eating hot foods, however these chicken wings were so hot that he couldn’t actually touch them with his bare hands!  They gave him gloves!  He got through about 2 of them and had to stop.  It took him a few hours to recover from the heat!  I’d say from that point on he was officially in the band! 

Do you regret anything? Missed chance, big mistake, …  If I were to say anything it’s that we are still self booking and independent. Which is not bad but it’s a huge amount of work, especially since the band seems to be progressing well.   There have been a few opportunities where those responsibilities could have been taken over by someone else but we just were too afraid at those points to let someone else in to take over some of the work.  If that were to arise again I wouldn’t say no this time.  

What are your future plans? Continue to tour,  this year and into 2015 we will extensively tour the United States.  After that we are looking towards Europe as well.  One day at a time to expand our touring area!  We’ll also make another record in a year or two with Billy in Texas.  

Finish this sentence: we will never ever…. give up this band or playing music and will continue to grow!  You get one chance at life,  you have to do what you love!  

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