Strictly Roots: Strictly Memorable

In a busy metropolis city like Toronto, all day long people are hustling and bustling; this type of lifestyle has, over time, infused into all things pleasurable. Strictly Roots was the brain child of Nine Mile's Dari Pouyat; the goal is to celebrate an evening of pure and honest music. A festival which goes against the conventional, it eliminates everything superfluous.

The evening was jam packed with eclectic styles of music which despite its deviation complimented one another. The strongest link between the three musical acts, Nine Mile, Matt York and Melissa Larkin is their undeniable reverence for music and their passion to share.

Melissa Larkin: Music as beautiful as her voice. Lyrics as honest as her spirit.

Women who strum their guitars are more often than not pigeon-holed as musicians that sing solely about sappy love songs or the longing of lost loves. As cliches go, Melissa Larkin is the straw that broke the camel's back. On the surface, she has all the ingredients that make her the manufactured product of a conglomerate record company; however, her complex and deeply profound performance exhibits raw talent, which is fresh and untouched. Additionally, Melissa's lyrics are thoughtful in its approach, it unsuspectingly influences the audience by its uncanny honesty resonates. Melissa's commanding talent silenced 500-person venue with her chilling voice which captivated, compelled and has the potential to shake her audience to their very core.

Matt York: A soul star who'll make your body groove and your heart swirl

Special guest, Matt York, added flair of funk, soul and zest to the evening's line up. Not only is Matt's performance enchanting but there is also a lesson to be learnt. Initially, people are likely to misperceive what Matt has to offer; strapped with his guitar and backed up by his two piece band, he surprisingly unleashes a very natural wave old school soul behind his vocals. Matt is reminiscent of a soulful lounge singer from the 50's and in due time, will absolutely find himself our generation's Freddy King. Matt is simply irresistible.

Nine Mile: Indescribable trio. Unexplainable talent.

Having broken out of the Canadian music scene a few years back, Nine Mile has been making their mark all across the globe. For the first time in Toronto, they debuted as a trio. Previously, Nine Mile have found themselves compared to the likes of Ben Harper and Jack Johnson; however, their new format has pivoted them into a whole new level of performers. Nine Mile's carefree musical attitude is led by singer, Dari Pouyat's charismatic characteristics, he build a relationship with the audience and unknowingly controls them, while keeping them on their toes. Furthermore, percussionist Dave Tolley stunned the audience away with his mind blowing skills on 'the box' he was undoubtedly a one-man rhythm and beat symphony.

At Strictly Roots, concert goers are treated to an intimate ambiance that is created by the acoustic, stripped-down format rarely seen today. The wall between performers and audience members is deconstructed to remind us what music can be, if we would just take a moment.

Thank you to the talents of Melissa Larkin, Matt York and Nine Mile for making Strictly Roots, Strictly Memorable.


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