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Guys, it’s a magical time to be in St. John’s right now. It’s East Coast Music Week here in town! Musicians from all over Atlantic Canada have gathered here to perform, mingle, and share their talents. And during ECMW you can see shows with a half dozen amazing bands at a time, often for less than you’d pay to see one of them on a regular night.

This week honestly makes me feel like a kid in a candy store. Just in case you’re unsure of where to start, here is a collection of bands and shows that I am excited about this weekend!

Today alone, there are some amazing things happening.

  • Catherine MacLellan is playing like, three times today! I hadn’t heard her until last night at the East Coast Music Awards, but she is definitely worth catching! You’ll find her at the East Coast Buyer’s Showcase in the Delta Ballroom B (her set is at 4:00 pm). Then a half hour later, she makes an appearance on the CBC On The Go broadcast, held at the LSPU Hall. Finally, she will be on the Music PEI stage at the Martini Bar. She also has a show on Saturday, and is part of Sunday’s songwriter circle.
  • Jumping back to the East Coast Buyer’s Showcase, another act I’m newly in love with is Còig. Are you a fan of trad music? Well you should definitely not miss this group. They are playing the Delta Ballroom B at 3:30.  Then tonight they will be at Dusk Ultralounge as part of the Music Nova Scotia stage. Can’t make it tonight? Find them tomorrow night at the Cape Breton Embassy Showcase at the Martini Bar.
  • Keeping with the trad music, check out Ten Strings and a Goat Skin. I saw them at last year’s ECMW and enjoyed them thoroughly. They will be on stage tonight at Erin’s Pub at 11, and have two Saturday showcases. Catch them on the Music PEI stage at Holy Heart Theatre, opening the show at 8 pm, and then at the Canada Roots Room at 11:40 in the Avalon Delta ballroom.
  • You only have once chance to see Soho Ghetto, so do it! Tonight they’ll be rocking the Music Nova Scotia stage at 9:20 in the Avalon Delta Ballroom.
  • Looking for some local St. John’s talent? How about this free show at Fred’s Records this evening. As I’ve written about before, it doesn’t get much better than Fortunate Ones. There is also my favourite source of smiles, Sherman Downey. You will also see these two at Sunday’s Songwriter Circle. (Seriously, you don’t want to miss that.)4
  • Looking for something a little heavier? Look for St. John’s own Cabbages and Kings. This band features some major talent, including one of my favourite local guitarists, Josh Noble. You can find them gigging their butts off at official and unofficial shows, including Saturday night’s RBC Breakout Stage at the Ship. They’ll be hitting the stage at 11:40.
  • If you want a huge collection of the St. John’s music scene, you don’t want to miss the Music NL showcases at the Rockhouse, Friday and Saturday at 10:00 pm. While it’s not an inclusive collection of what makes us great (there are many locals I love that were overlooked in their backyard this year), it is a great sampler of what you may be missing at home!

I could go on for hours more, but use this as a rough guide to one of the best weekends St. John’s will see this year! Please let me know who you see and how much you loved them. I’d love to find some new music this weekend too!

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