Family Bands and a Bus Named Jerry

Family Bands and a bus named 'Jerry'

By James Gizzie

Music is often a family affair. The Kinks, Beach Boys, Tegan and Sara, Kings of Leon… countless bands have painted musical landscapes with their relatives. Eli & the Straw Man has (we think?) the first husband-wife 'lead singer' and 'trumpet player' combo. We are very big on family. So much so, that we will only perform with other family bands.

OK, that's definitely not true.


But it just so happens that we will be gracing the stage with two other family-oriented bands on May 29th at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern, along with a band that owns a bus named Jerry... which they believe has been touched with the spirit of Jerry Garcia.



Check out their music below... and come see us all at the show. Family or not, this is a cross section of Southern Ontario indie music you do not want to miss.

May 29th at the Horseshoe Tavern.






The Retrievers

The Retrievers used to have siblings in the band, so we'll give them that. They still treat each other like family though, complete with frisbee-at-the-ready back yard BBQs. And they own a school bus named 'Jerry' which has taken them all the way to sunny San Diego and back. Their music can be likened to jam bands such as Phish and The Grateful Dead, but with a touch more, ummm...cajones? Very groovy tunes! They are currently working on their 3rd EP, and have a busy year ahead.

The Ballroom Babies

The Ballroom Babies are a band of brothers - literally. Three of them, all alumni of Humber's fantastic music program. This is an certainly an equation for something pleasing to the ear, and this rock trio from Mississauga doesn't disappoint, with straight ahead rock beats, killer guitar tones, and a powerful push by the lead vocals. They've gained airplay out in western Canada, as well as making a dent internationally in South America and the UK/Europe.

Common Deer

Common Deer, featuring not one but two sets of siblings, call on their deep bonds to compose music that invites audiences to feel at one with the group. Violin and cello are beautifully incorporated to create majestic soundscapes for their unique blend of old European composition with the western frontier folk story, a style they have dubbed 'Cinematic Alt-Folk.'

eli & the straw man

We are truly a family band, with a husband-wife team and the remaining band members teaching Tam and Eli's kids music lessons and sitting around the dinner table on a regular basis. You can read the story of how this live-off-the-floor video came to be, with the inevitable post-jam dinner, here.

Be sure to make it to the Horseshoe in time to catch our set at 9:30pm on May 29th.