CHESTERVILLE — Local teen band Sons of Gord have been making waves on the area’s folk-rock scene for six years already.
Now the Sons of Gord — their name being a clever offshoot of their dad Scott Veinotte’s band, Furious Gord — are kicking it up a notch with their original song and video entry in CBC’s Searchlight competition.
Releasing their eponymously named debut EP earlier this month, the Veinotte boys and their filmmaker friend, Abraham Thodakee, recently took over the McCloskey Hotel for an afternoon while shooting the video for City Lights — one of three original tracks on the new EP.
The finished product comprises their entry to the CBC competition.
But first, there’s the official launch of that EP and video — set for tonight (Saturday, Feb. 18) back at McCloskey’s. The all-ages show includes performances by Trevor Dubois, who goes by the stage name “Charlie The Kid.”
Near the conclusion of the Feb. 2 video shoot, the 17-year-old eldest brother in the group, Conor, praised the 22 Victoria Street venue as a creative place for the group and Thodakee to work out the final concept. “It was a slow start, but we pulled it together in the end,” said the violin- and guitar-playing St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School student. “It was originally going to be a lot more elaborate,” he explained, adding they arrived at McCloskey’s with storyboards but settled on a more traditional video style showcasing the band on stage.
As a location, McCloseky’s had the advantage of being close, “and it looks kind of cool in here,” Conor observed. “And there are pool tables.”
The contest they’ve entered with Canada’s national broadcaster will see their submission judged by an esteemed music industry panel.
By being accepted into the competition, the boys have already guaranteed themselves some extra exposure and radio play. They could also make it onto the televised Searchlight special as well as the CBC Music Festival. The four semi-finalists will perform at the National Arts Centre on Canada Day weekend in Ottawa as part of Canada Scene — all part of the country’s 150th birthday. And the overall winner will be commissioned to write a song for Canada 150 with the help of a celebrity mentor, during a 10-day stay at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.
“We’re pretty hopeful we’ll make it past the first few rounds,” said Conor.
Conor, Liam, 15 (bass and mandolin) and Gavin, 13 (keyboards) already play regular gigs around the area. They also featured in Miracle on 34th Street over the Christmas holidays at Upper Canada Playhouse — a stage very familiar to their actor mother, Kate Veinotte.
Update: The event also served as a fundraiser for Conor Veinotte’s upcoming March break mission trip with St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School classmates to an orphanage in the Dominican Republic. In the first half of the video, the Veinotte boys (Sons of Gord) are shown performing with that evening’s other featured act, Charlie the Kid (Trevor Dubois). The boys are joined by their parents, Scott and Kate Veinotte, in the second segment.
Below, armed only with an acoustic guitar, Charlie the Kid hit the bulls-eye with his one-man fusion of high-energy vocal talent and animated comedic delivery reminiscent of Jim Carrey, in front of a packed house Saturday night (Feb. 18) at McCloskey’s.