My Son The Hurricane
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My Son The Hurricane

St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | INDIE | AFM

St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 2009
Band World Funk




"Review - My Son the Hurricane"

What has 28 arms and legs, 140 fingers, greater air control then a TESLA weather machine, and more members than Regina based Government Town? Niagara and Toronto based My Son the Hurricane, that’s who! (Sting!) Government Town’s review for III used up my only “big In Japan” joke, so all that can be said is My Son the Hurricane, at an impressive 14 piece ensemble, is even bigger in Japan. I’ll work on that one…

An addictive mix of progressive, ska, jazz, rock, rap and funk, bandmates Danno O’Shea (drums), Jacob Bergsma (vocals), Sylvie Kindree (vocals), Alex Duncan (trombone), Justin Williams (trombone), Abe Bergsma (guitar), Ewan Divitt (trumpet), Troy Dowding (trumpet), Cooper Hannahson (percussion), Fraser Gauthier (bass), Anthony Rinaldi (tenor sax), Phil Skladowski (baritone sax), Jess Gold (percussion), and Chris Sipos (guitar) are a riffy, rhythmic juggernaut, bravely blending genres while never fearing to travel artistic terrain. Is This What You Want?! is a flashy musical voyage complete with its own dancehall party soundtrack.

“Smoke and Mirrors” opens the album with a distinct Hall and Oates vibe being played though bendy, fun house mirrors. Double bass drum, smashing cymbals and drum-fills propel the guitar and horn pushes. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones in intent with Rage Against the Machine vocals, this track will create spontaneous air bands in automobiles worldwide.

The next track “Birthday Cake”, prepares listeners for a cruise line beach party, with a fiesta sounding guitar riff and straight ahead thumping bass drum, to set the good times in motion. Punchy horn lines soar with a prominent bari sax riff. This track is just one example of the numerous, cleanly arranged and precisely played horn lines that appear throughout the cd, such as in “Bottles Into Money” and “Head Above Water.” Growing up loving Huey Lewis and the News, this album would have blown my young, twelve year old mind.

The production on the horns is great representing the true sound the players can produce. Often brilliantly played ska records are derailed by unsupported horn sounds, where the listener can tell the winds can play, but sound weak and unsupported. Nice full horn tones with wise use of harmonies and doubling.

The fiesta party turns into a solid infectious groove (yes, that is a band name reference) that spreads down one’s limbs, the kind of grove that the body instinctively follows, muscle memory kicks in and even the worst dancers will shake their misguided hips. Vocally, “Birthday Cakes” switches up from party fiesta to Fishbone, quick clean rap propelling the story along (random “Bwaaaah” vocal sound included). The song kicks into the best chorus Len never recorded, Sylive Kendries’ vocals sail on top of solid chords and trumpet shots, a great juxtaposition, just in time for…bari sax solo.

Alright, I don’t write myself often in the first person into a review, or clearly state my bias (which a review is, only more veiled and poetic), but any band that includes a barrage of bari sax in the first two tracks of their record deserve my attention.

Phil Skladowski, the best real, but sounds made up, name ever, has a commanding presence on the bari, holding down the harmonic foundation and soloing with great structure lines and big tone throughout. The upper range of the bari can be a beast to keep supported and Skladowski keeps a strong tonal foundation throughout the instrument. From here on in, Skladowski will now be referred to as Skadowski, I am sure the pun has been made before, but it is being made official for this review.

Jacob Bergsma’s vocal lines are clear stately and cleanly articulated, letting listeners follow along with recognizable words and catchy cadences. Rhythmically, Bergsma switches between Fishbone’s Angelo Moore, rapper Eminem with the gusto of Rage Against the Machine’s Zack de la Rocha. Rhymes are on point and clever, never clumsy and never getting in the way of the song’s narrative. Always clean, crisp vocals throughout.

“Rolling with the Punches” takes the listener down a classic 70s jazz vibe, Tom Scott jamming with Weather Report. Solos abound and are all masterfully played, stylish instrumentalists who know how to fit in and around the chordal and rhythmic centre. Each member of this group are heavy-hitters and could have their own individual profile in this review, and would be well deserving. Fraser Gauther knows when to take the “bass out for a walk”, a la Ron Burgundy, and when to lay a rhythmic and harmonic foundation.

“Grapes” is a gritty, art house slow jam with Dr. Madd Vibe vocals, dirty Tom Waits drumming, some Dr. Beefheart dissonance, with Frank Zappa close mic narration panning hard from left to right. The chorus opens and lightens up, giving sweet relief to the “dry mouth looking to be quenched’. Sequencing wise, not sure if it is the strongest closer for an album, but one of the strongest tracks on the record. Hmmm…paradox producing…I need to ponder this…

Listeners will answer with a resounding “yes” if asked “Is This What You Want?!” after experiencing this masterfully played, arranged and produced album.

Writing myself in the first person again, I never read the press release until after listening to the album I am reviewing, allowing myself to go into the experience with fresh ears. There is a link in the press kit to check out the band’s “powerhouse” live show. My Son the Hurricane translates their live vibe to record so well that I can feel the impressive presence of their live show. This band is energy combined with slick beats, artistic creativity and catchy, catchy grooves. Check out the record Is This What you Want?!, then see them live as soon as possible. The “best live band you’ve never heard of…” (blogTO) deserves a devout audience. - Canadian Beats

"My Son the Hurricane: Is This What You Want?! REVIEW"

My Son The Hurricane is a 14 piece “brasshop” band that forges hip-hop, funk and jazzy brass band style with enough propulsion to blow your hair straight back.

Headquartered in St. Catharines, The Hurricane have turned up the heat with their latest release Is This What You Want?!

Front man Jacob Bergsma has such bombast and swagger in his voice, that he’ll either have you grooving to the flow, or wanting to punch him in the face. Either way, his coiled energy is well matched to the wall of sound he fronts, making everything seamless. Playing foil to Bergsma is Sylvie Kindree who makes her MSTH debut on Is this What You Want?! She carries a certain kind of sway all her own.

“Smoke and Mirrors” is good primer for an introduction to the band, before you get hit with “Birthday Cake”. It’s here where you’ll really start to ‘catch the wind’ that is My Son The Hurricane. They’re in full force with Sylvie providing the vocal release from the tension built by Bergsma and all those horns.

The tracks that follow will have you dancing or thinking or at least thinking about dancing. Then “Grapes” slams into you at the end. “Grapes” is reminiscent of Tom Waits in his clang bang era. With voices panned left and right, the song gives you a clammy kind of vibe before you are promptly thanked and are done.

When you strip all the dance party away, what you will find are words that are well thought out, expressive, and tap into our shared modern experience. They have stuff to say. You’ll find musicians who work their craft, in order to pull this off with a high level of proficiency and intensity. Listen to the greasy, funky bari sax solo by Phil Skladowski on “Birthday Cake.” Put all this together with the evolving imagination of drummer and ringleader Danno O’Shea and you have the makings of a perfect storm called My Son The Hurricane - whose credo is “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.”

If you can’t get yourself to their much heralded live shows, grab the album Is This What You Want?! and crank it.

By Shelley Gummeson
May 31, 2016 - Ear Shot

"Bands On the Verge"

My Son The Hurricane (MSTH) call themselves a “14 piece brass-hop beast” with the mantra “anything worth doing is worth overdoing”. My Son The Hurricane mixes Funk, jazz hip-hop & rock powered by a 7 piece horn ensemble with a more conventional 6 piece band & one charismatic MC in Jacob Bergsma. It seems audacious in theory, but on record and on stage it’s magic! My Son The Hurricane are based in Niagara but have members scattered all over the Golden Horseshow, first came to our attention here at HTZ-FM when somebody passed along a video of the band covering Metallica’s For Whom the Bell Tolls but as we dug deeper we found that MSTH was far greater than a band with a clever cover version.

Their new album Is This What You Want? and it goes on sale on June 3rd. Fans can pre-order the new album at the band’s website. - 97.7 HTZ-FM

"My Son The Hurricane: Sometimes Size Does Matter"


The members of My Son The Hurricane have something to “smile” about these days. It could be their new album, Is This What You Want? It could be the fact the first single, “Smile,” is helping broaden awareness of the band thanks to airplay on Southern Ontario radio, including 97.7HTZ-FM and Edge 102.1. Or maybe it’s just the fact that the 14 members of My Son The Hurricane – you read that right, 14 members – have managed to survive seven years playing their own unique hybrid of New Orleans-infused “brass-hop” music.

Whatever the reasons are for their current state of happiness, drummer and co-founder Danno O’Shea says that the mood in the band is so good right now it’s got this Niagara-based collective thinking of expanding their musical and geographical horizons south of the border.

“This year has been the most successful year for us so far,” said Danno, calling in from the van while on the road to Sudbury to win over some new fans. “That must mean that next year we’ll have to hit the road and go to the States. Maybe it’s time to break out. It’s always nice to play for your hometown, which we’ve done. And always nice to play for your home province, which we’ve done. The next step is moving on from your home country. We have aspirations and you can’t rest. The band’s always got to be on the run, you’ve got to be going after something.”

What the members of My Son The Hurricane were going after when this unlikely mob of musicians first came together was simply to have some fun playing music. Since then Danno and his bandmates -- Jacob Bergsma (vocals), Sylvie Kindree (vocals), Alex Duncan (trombone), Justin Williams (trombone), Abe Bergsma (guitar), Ewan Divitt (trumpet), Troy Dowding (trumpet), Cooper Hannahson (percussion), Fraser Gauthier (bass), Anthony Rinaldi (tenor sax), Phil Skladowski (baritone sax), Jess Gold (percussion) and Chris Sipos (guitar) – have discovered there’s actually an enthusiastic audience for a well-played, high energy fusion of funk, jazz, brass, hip-hop and modern rock.

“I think originally our plan had been let’s just do a couple shows, and bring some New Orleansy-style music to Southern Ontario,” said O’Shea, a full-time musican who’s spent time touring the States in other bands. “And the time we weren’t aware of any similar type of music going on. We didn’t have any thought of recording. It really just took off and the response was so good we decided to stick around for half a decade.”

Hailing from Niagara and Toronto, My Son The Hurricane got some unexpected traction when their sophomore release Cashing A Deadman’s Cheque (featuring U.S.S. frontman Ash Buchholtz and three-time Juno/Polaris nominee D-Sisive) was featured on CBC Radio One and Much More Music. The band started ripping up the festival circuit with breakout performances across Ontario. With the release of Is This What You Want?, the band is once again flirting with unexpected but long-overdue radio airplay.

“A six-piece horn-line plus a full six-piece rockband plus one crazy MC and a bunch of guest singers equals a whole lot of awesome,” said Paul Morris, Music Director and on-air host at 97.7HTZ-FM who featured the new track on his “Bands on The Verge” segment. “What looks like a trainwreck on paper is a wonderful mix of hip-hop, funk, soul and rock. They’re so much fun, both live and on record.”

While the airplay has been a bonus, O’Shea said it was not something the band was intentionally courting with the release.

“That wasn’t even a consideration. Besides that’s why we sardonically titled it Is this What You Want?. When you have a big band that doesn’t fit into a specific genre I think that a lot of people just actually have an idea that you should do this or you should do that. It wasn’t necessarily a shot at radio. Radio has just never been on the radar to start with. The radio is nice, because it exposes you to new people who may not know you, and it makes your Uncle Steve think you’re a rock star. I’ll take all the Uncles Steves we can get.”

The seven tracks on the new release were recorded at Phase One Studios with engineer Jeff Pelletier (Big Sugar, Ludacris), which may have given tracks like "Smile" a more radio-friendly sound. O’Shea says Pelletier was just the guy the band needed behind the board for this recording.

“Jeff is just the kind of guy who knows when something sounds bad, or that you’re just too emotionally attached to something that’s not good. He’s just the perfect listener, and that’s what we needed, someone with those kind of ears that can really hear the whole thing and how each instrument fits into the bigger picture.”

With the album done the band is back doing what is loves to do most: hitting the road and playing to intimate audiences like the one that will no doubt be packing the dance floor at St. Catharines’ L3 Nightclub June 24th. O’Shea admits that staging a 14-piece band in a small club presents its challenges, but it’s something the band has come to enjoy.

“L3 is a stage that is very good to use. We don’t being shoulder to shoulder sometimes. You share some sweat and that’s how it is. It’s still more comfortable than being out in the crowd. L3 is nice for me because I have my own little lighthouse vantage point. Basically it’s a big ole rhythm section with two trombones, three trumpets, three sax, a sousaphone and a rapper and a singer. So it’s a big crazy live show. It’s not a sit around and watch show, it’s a moving show.

To hear their music visit - Go/Be Weekly

"Spill Track of the Day: My Son the Hurricane - "Roll With the Punches""

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

My Son the Hurricane debut the first track, “Roll With The Punches” feat. Jack Shitt from their upcoming LP, Is This What You Want?! available June 3, 2016. - Spill Magazine

"'Is This What You Want?!' (album stream)"

By Sarah Murphy
Published May 27, 2016

Bringing together a whopping ensemble of 14 musicians from Toronto and Niagara, "brass-hop" unit My Son the Hurricane are firm believers in doing things big. That translates to the sound on their latest album Is This What You Want?!, and you can hear it for yourself right now.

The new album follows up the group's sophomore effort Cashing a Deadman's Cheque and continues to hear them weaving together elements of funk, jazz and hip-hop. It was laid down in a Toronto studio with engineer Jeff Pelletier, who captured the big band's two trombones, two trumpets, two saxophones, a sousaphone, percussion, guitar and more to tape. Above the raucous instrumentals, Sylvie Kindree makes her debut with the group on vocals.

Is This What You Want?! is due out on June 3, but you can give the exuberant set of songs an early listen right now in the player below. - Exclaim!

"My Son The Hurricane - Bovine Sex Club - Gid's Reviews"

Having been to many live shows I am no stranger to being drenched in other peoples sweat, clawing through bodies, tearing shirts and the whole sardine-can concert experience. Usually this variety of anonymous unavoidable 'intimate' contact occurs at giant clubs or stadium floor pits involving shows with artists of international acclaim. My Son The Hurricane is one of the elite local bands that can consistently create this sort of raw and captivating music. To be explicit, they simply spray music all over the place.

As I stood trying to photograph their overly kinetic frontman, a special thing about this music suddenly struck me. My Son The Hurricane is actually one of very few Canadian bands who create both versatile, complex music and coincide with popular trends to make very catchy and accessible tunes at the same time. Waves of complex layers of funk, rock rap, metal and jazz washed over me and I suddenly and simply needed to be at the front. It is not often that I truly feel the need to hear and see every little detail, but these guys are worth it. Not only are MSTH capable of tight and complex compositions, they give sweaty, sticky passionate life to their music. MSTH are a very much a '14 piece brass beast', a perfect image of the band spouted by their delightful frontman and Emcee Jacob Bergsma.

Overall this show was mind blowing! Do not miss them if you have the opportunity. MSTH is both one of Toronto's ultimate live hip-hop and funk-rock bands. Their live show is a fully immersive experience. Creating an aura of adrenaline and euphoria, putting My Son The Hurricane in a similar category as skydiving or psychedelic drugs. Did I mention the penis gun!!? - Round Table Radio


By Francine Lapointe Urban Hero Thu, May 19, 2016 - Urban Hero Magazine

"Picks for Bluesfest - and some other treats"

My Son the Hurricane, a 14-piece, Toronto-based band best described as hip hop via funk , with an exuberant horn section who seriously enjoy performing. They’ve just released a new album (June 3) called “Is This What You Want,” and yes, yes, it is. (Scroll down to see them cover The BackStreet Boys ‘Everybody.’)
The band will probably only go on after Bluesfest shows let out, but get your tickets first for they will probably sell out. With Atherton, DJ Dusty, 10 p.m., House of Targ. $8. - Ottawa Citizen

"5 Questions with...Danno O'Shea of My Son the Hurricane"

The mere idea of a band like My Son The Hurricane seems hard to fathom these days: A 14-piece, brass-loaded behemoth that blends funk, jazz and hip-hop with a New Orleans flair. It’s not that such an approach is impossible to pull off successfully—which My Son The Hurricane certainly does—it’s just the sheer practically of running such an operation seems impossibly daunting, as almost everyone else in the music business continues to downsize.

But drummer Danno O’Shea’s dream of having the biggest and baddest band in Canada continues to evolve, as evidenced by My Son The Hurricane’s new album Is This What You Want?!, their third and most accomplished independent release to date. Recorded at Toronto’s Phase One Studios with engineer Jeff Pelletier (Big Sugar, Ludacris), the album captures the band’s live wall of sound in all its glory, with new vocalist Sylvie Kindree adding an intriguing new dynamic to complement the group’s longtime charismatic front man Jacob Bergsma.

What makes the rise of My Son The Hurricane so remarkable is that it’s based on their dedication to touring. From the group’s beginnings in Niagara Falls, Ontario, their emphasis was on putting together an unforgettable live experience and taking it across the country. Now firmly established as a festival favourite, My Son The Hurricane has another busy summer lined up, which you can find out more about at

Danno O’Shea took a few minutes to explain how things have gotten to this point.

What makes Is This What You Want?! different from anything you’ve previously done?

Myself and [trumpet player] Ewan Divitt did the bulk of the writing on this album. As well, the addition of Sylvie Kindree to the band has added much more melody vocally than we’ve had previously.

What is the writing process like within the band, and what songs do you feel best capture your musical vision for the new album?

The process is different than most bands I’ve worked with. We write in sheet music and hand it out, with the lyrics being the last piece of the puzzle. I think the tunes “Birthday Cake” and “Smoke And Mirrors” really grab what we were going for—a true sense of what the live show is like, caught on tape.

What are the biggest challenges in managing a band with so many members?

I think it’s figuring out how to replace the hair I tear out! It's actually better than you might imagine. I’m an organizer by nature so it works out for us. It’s also something I’ve wanted to do ever since I performed in public for the first time at my high school, playing “Golden Boy” by Primus. The roar of the crowd forever sent me chasing the musical dragon.

What has been your most memorable experience while touring in Canada?

After we wrote “Pushin’ Up Daisies” [on their previous album You Can’t Do This] it started getting requested a lot. People started telling us what it meant to them and just being in new cities with people singing your lyrics back to you is pretty special stuff.

If there is anything you’d changeabout the music industry, what would it be?

I wouldn’t. Each generation had its own challenges to face within a changing business model. I’m not an older musician crying foul of the industry. That doesn’t benefit me to do so. Would I rather get big bucks from Spotify? Sure. But instead, we choose to be fortunate that a gang of us can get out on the road and do what love. - FYI Music News

"Interview: My Son the Hurricane"

My Son The Hurricane is a little different. And they like it.

They play music you're not likely to encounter anywhere else. They're also 14 members strong. They're going to play something you've never heard before. Likely songs from their upcoming album, Is This What You Want, which drops on June 3rd. And on the same night, they'll be performing at Club Absinthe.

I had a chance to chat with band leader and drummer Danno O'Shea over the phone to get a better idea of the album and what to expect at the show. Enjoy!

Neil: Where does the name My Son The Hurricane come from

Danno: The band, in its original incarnation was supposed to sound very New Orleans-y, so we wanted something that had to do with New Orleans. So we wanted something about the hurricane (Katrina) and My Son The Hurricane was one of the names that got pitched. I also defy anyone that picks a band name just because they think it sounds cool!

N: Of course! You normally come up with stupid band names, and think of some ridiculous ones, and eventually one of them rises to the top, right?

D: Yea. And, you know, when people are thinking of band names, I always say the same thing, ‘Hey, if one of the biggest bands in the universe is called The Foo Fighters, just go with what you like’. (Laughs)

N: Well you been at this for how long now? Seven years?

D: Has it been that long? Yea, just about that. That sounds long (laughs).

N: Well it’s been working for you guys, so might as well stick with it. So with the obvious New Orleans influence in the name and music. Was that the goal from the beginning? To get a 14 musicians together and make some awesome tunes?

D: I played drums for a living, backing up people. And one of the horn players and myself decided we wanted to put together a sound we’ve never touched. And we were both really into New Orleans music. And (the band) wasn’t supposed to be that big, but we called and left message for people and they all said they were in.

N: So you guys are playing Club Absinthe on Friday (June 3). Have you played there before?

D: We’ve played there once before, yes.

N: It’s not the biggest stage in the world. Because you are in such a big band, what kind of issues do you normally encounter when you are playing live?

D: Oh man, we’ve seen it all (laughs). We’ve had keyboard players hanging over the stage. We’ve had guys on the floor. We’ve had venues build bigger stages for us. But thankfully we’re pretty easy to roll with.

N: And you’re promoting your new album, which drops the same night. Congrats on the album because man, it is different.

D: Oh yeah. I like it (laughs).

N: Are there any tracks that stand out for you (on the album)?
D: There’s a couple that I really like. The very first tune off that record called “Smoke and Mirrors”, it just totally does not sound like us, and we really like that. And the second tune, which is one that I wrote most of, called “Birthday Cake”. It was really hard to match that New Orleans-type feel, and that Beastie Boys-type feel. And the last track (“Grapes”), I just love the last track! It’s just dumb as shit and it’s great (laughs).

N: Honestly “Grapes” is my favourite track. It’s just so weird and out there. What inspired you guys to try something so bold?

D: (Laughing) Honestly, a lot of people told me not to put that song on there, and I said, ‘you guys are fucking insane, I love this jam’. “Grapes” was inspired by the fact that the rhythm section, and the rapper (Jacob Bergsma) are huge Primus fans. And it’s totally hard to sound like someone you admire without totally biting on their style. We did our best, and we let the engineer make sound as filthy as possible. You’ll also notice there’s no horns on the track. But there’s a horn that sounds like a theremin, and me hitting a trash can.

N: You said in a previous interview that you run the band like a dictatorship. So is it basically you and a partner writing music and coming up with charts for the band?

D: This one is actually a little bit different. Nelson Beattie, who started the band with me, he moved away. When Nelson left, he left a bit of a void, so I asked one or two of the other guys if they wanted to do some writing. They came up with “Smoke and Mirrors” and “Roll with the Punches”. Those are two that Ewan (Divitt) wrote. And this is the first album with Sylvie (Annette Kindree) on it. She was kind of like our live singer before, but now she’s a full-time member. I was kind of curious as to what people think having this female voice they weren’t used to hearing. But as it turns out, everyone seems to love her.

N: Yea, I think she ties everything together quite nicely.

D: Yea, and you can only take Jacob screaming at you for so long (laughs) - Hamilton ON Music

"My Son the Hurricane: Cashing a Dead Man's Cheque REVIEW"

If complacency is the death of a band, then My Son The Hurricane is the antithesis of complacency.

Cashing A Dead Man's Cheque, the bands' new EP defies anything you've heard before from them. It is a scant three tracks but those songs pack a wallop worthy of brass knuckles.

If it's possible, emcee Jacob Bergsma has even more vocal swagger in "Call Me Mister". He triggers a strong response either way. Before you pass judgement you should try fronting a fourteen-piece brass band at full velocity. The band is tight and those horns do not back down.

"Pigeon Park" could very well be the perfect storm. The song has an outstanding balance of sung chorus and spoken verse between the voices of U.S.S.'s Ash Buchholz, multiple Juno nominee D-Sisive and a well-behaved Bergsma. This balance is echoed by the rhythm and brass section of MSTH - the song just rolls. Someone should give these guys an award for collaboration.

The previous two songs in no way prepare you for what's coming next.

"Poison In The Water" shreds your senses. What business does a brass band have playing that? My Son The Hurricane has effectively smashed whatever perception we may have had of them in the past with this song. It grabs your guts from the beginning with searing guitar, the pummeling that drummer Danno O'Shea gives, and the build up of horns. There is no let-up until you are released by Jacob's primal scream. You feel like you've been looking at something you shouldn't be, and you just can't help it.

Cashing A Dead Man's Cheque by My Son The Hurricane is a spectacle of sound.

By Shelley Gummeson
Mar 14, 2013 - Ear Shot

"My Son the Hurricane Might Be the Best Live Band You've Never Heard Of"

I feel as if I need to get this out of the way at the outset. As trite as it sounds, it's unmistakable and I don't see anyway to get around it. I'm sure it will be incredibly frustrating for the band in question, My Son the Hurricane, to read and my heart does go out to them, it really does. It's an easy statement, perhaps even lazy, but I can't deny it and still address you with a straight face (fingers?).


The fact of the matter is that My Son the Hurricane sounds like Rage Against the Machine with horns.

There are many ways they're different then Rage Against the Machine. For instance, they're more upbeat. They get funkier. They're not as heavy. They don't make a lot of allusions to politics. They get into ska territory. And they seem to be enjoying themselves a great deal more.

And, of course, the fact that there's a seven piece horn section.

It's just that the rapper, who seems like an extraordinarily nice fellow, has cadence and voice that is eerily similar to Zack de la Rocha. And the music relies on similar patterns of energy, breaks, and interplay between funk and rock. Of course, once these superficial congruities are out of the way, they remain two very different bands.

But, hey, I'm a superficial person.

I first encountered My Son the Hurricane a few summers ago in Bayfield, Ontario, of all places. I was living off the Blue Water Highway at the time and preferred the watering holes of Bayfield to the low rent Gomorrah that is Grand Bend. Imagine my surprise walking into a bar in this sleepy cottage town to find a 13 piece brass band that sounded like Rage Against the Machine. It was a great set and a testament to the wonders of chance and human enterprise. It was a band I wouldn't have minded to see again.

And all of these years later I had the pleasure of seeing them again Thursday night at Sneaky Dee's. Their arrangements were better, they played better in general and their sound was demonstrably bigger. And yes, they still sounded like Rage Against the Machine. But here's the thing, as much as this comparison sticks in your head before or after a My Son the Hurricane show or even when you're listening to them, when they're actually playing, it's a different story.

They're a superb live outfit. I love me a horn section, but it's rare to get the pleasure of hearing one, particularly a seven piece one, on an intimate stage like Sneaky Dee's. It's powerful, palpable even. The rest of the band is tight, and it's refreshing to see a talented guitar player at the back of the stage, holding it down as opposed to hotdogging at the front. The rapper/lead vocalist is very engaging and a fine showman, a rambunctious fellow who put the audience first and his vocal chords second. Excellent show.

So yes, My Son the Hurricane sounds like Rage Against the Machine to some extent, but it really doesn't matter that much because they put on a really fun live show and that should be more than enough. On the plus side it should be very easy to determine whether or not they sound appealing.

If so, seek them out... - blogTO

"SHOW REVIEW: My Son the Hurricane"

Posted May 16, 2012 by Aaron

What happens when you cross R&B, a Marching Band, a little Ska and a pile of Hip-hop? St. Catherines’ My Son The Hurricane happens. Thanks to Fortnight Music I was able to see this great band live, for the second time at eBar, Guelph, May 10th, 2012.

Some of you might be familiar with MSTH from Hillside 2010. I first saw them open for U.S.S. last summer courtesy of GAIN Music. They were slightly (members of U.S.S. were body surfing two songs in) upstaged by the headliner so I couldn’t give them a fair revue then. Now I can say that MSTH are anything but just fair. In fact, I think that FANTASTIC should be the only “F” word associated with the act. I know how hard it is for most bands, being three to five pieces, to co-ordinate themselves in the process of writing music, recording it and performing it live. I can’t fathom what MSTH must go through, playing with a ten to a staggering fourteen person line up, on any given night. Your standard rock band instruments are there. Bass, Drums, Guitar, but add to that, extra percussion, Trombone, Sax(es), Trumpet(s), Tuba and not a singer, but an MC. Maybe I confused you. I was confused the first time someone tried to explain to me what MSTH were like. Are they Hip Hop? Not really. Are they R&B, Soul or Motown? A little. Here’s a taste of what My Son The Hurricane do so well. CAUTION: INDUCES DANCING!

I usually try to pick a highlight of the night or favourite part of a performance but in this case it’s biased. From start to finish My Son The Hurricane were high energy, great sounding and most of all fun. During their performance the whole band engages the audience, with Jacob Bergsma, the MC, sharing the spotlight with whichever horn or stringed instrument is being showcased during any given song. The crowd, which should have been sold out for a band of the calibre, started dancing within the first song and didn’t stop until the show was over. Even the rhythmically challenged in the back were tapping their toes and bobbing their heads in perfect time. As I said however, my highlight is biased. About halfway through the set they dropped a cover of Metallica‘s “For Whom The Bell Tolls”. One of my favourite Metal songs. Most the crowd didn’t know this.

My Son The Hurricane have a sound that is full, fun and most importantly original. Their subtle fusion of so many styles and their engaging and in-your-face live show should have you coming back every time they play in your area. Just remember your dancing shoes. - Music Lives

"Monsters vs Me Interview: My Son The Hurricane"

I recently got a chance to catch up with this force known as 12 Piece Hip-Hop/Funk band My Son the Hurricane and chat about the inception of the band, future plans and more.

MvM -- Please introduce yourself, and your position in the band.

Andrew from My Son the Hurricane - I’m Andrew, and I play Alto Sax.

MvM -- How did the band come about?

Andrew - It all started just over a year ago, our drummer and sax player have been playing together for a while, but always in other projects. Then one day while discussing music they thought it would be cool to combine the New Orleans style music with hip-hop. They let it simmer for awhile, then started making calls to see who might be interested in being apart of the band, and a little while later, we’re a giant brass band.

MvM -- What’s in the name My Son The Hurricane?

Andrew -- When Danno and Nelson were talking about the band, they were showing each other CD’s they liked and one of them was a Charlie Hunter CD. He’s a jazz guy who has a tune called “My Son The Hurricane.” They both thought it would be would be a great name, especially for a band like this with musical ties to New Orleans and instruments that need air to be played.

MvM -- So a lot of your influences are drawn from New Orleans style and jazz?

Andrew -- Yeah Definitely. We look at this band as a kind of new take on those styles. It fits well with the “My Son” part of our name, kind of that next progression of the music. Most of the band went to either college or university for music, many taking jazz programs, and we are that next generation of musician, putting our spin on the music.

MvM -- What was the search for a frontman like?

Andrew - Jacob has been a friend of ours for years. Danno, Jacob and myself were actually in a 3 piece hip-hop project for a while before this, but for this band, Danno had to have him involved. Jacob has the stage presence to captivate an audience even with 11 other people behind him, he loves hip-hop and being on stage, and he’s a great dude.

MvM -- Could you give us a bit of an idea of some of the musical backgrounds of the members?

Andrew - The band is really diverse. Being in a car together is always a great time, because everyone is into something different. There’s always something different you’ve never heard of on the speakers. For my musical background, I grew up in a totally non-musical family. No one played anything, but when grade nine came and I was picking courses, I figured music was better then drama or art, so I went with it, picked up the sax, and have been playing ever since. Nelson, our baritone sax player, his mom is a music teacher, and was surrounded by music growing up. Jacob was into metal as a teenager. Abe, our guitarist grew up listening to grunge and metal, but went on to take classical guitar at Mohawk. Danno has been touring since high school in all sorts of bands, then went on to Humber for Jazz.

MvM -- Didn’t you mean a van?

Andrew - I wish I meant van. We are a multiple car-touring band, with a trailer.

MvM -- So what is it like with 12 members and large equipment such as your sousaphone?

Andrew - It’s not easy, that’s for sure. Lots of planning before packing, and packing light. It’s like a game of Tetris every time we pack our stuff up. It’s a tight squeeze, but we manage to do it. Good tunes and a good attitude have got us where we want to go.

MvM -- With 12 members it must be a challenge to coordinate shows and tour and such.

Andrew - It’s been a bit of a mixed bag. Certain things are easy for us to do, while others aren’t. We’ve had to pass up shows before because of schedules, but not as many as you’d expect. We are going to be touring around Ontario and Quebec this fall, and when I approached everyone about it, and gave a week, they said it wasn’t a problem. People booked time off work, and some will miss a bit of university for it. It’s wicked to be in a band where everyone just does their best to be able to play as many shows as we can. Everyone just gives what they can and does their best. There’s always a great vibe with us. This band runs with Danno, Nelson, Jacob and myself working to organize everything, and everyone else does what they can, whether it is giving time, extra money, good spirits, whatever. It is all appreciated.

MvM -- Every band has played on a small stage or two in their time, being such a large band, do you have any of these stories?

Andrew - There have been a few, and they’ve been awesome. We love cramming into places we probably won’t fit. One of the most memorable experiences has been when we opened for Down With Webster on the small stage at L3 in St Catharines. About 300 people were downstairs, we marched through the crowd, then crammed on stage and just had a blast. We were all rubbing elbows and stepping on toes, but it was awesome. It was so crammed that Jacob spent most of the set in the crowd rapping right in people’s faces. The crowd was into it, and so were we.

MvM -- You perform this march through the crowd at every show, what is the history behind it?

Andrew - It’s a New Orleans tradition for funerals. They do a slow, solemn tune going to the grave and a big, lively one on the way out after the funeral. We’ve kind of put our own spin on it and it kind of works as an introduction to the band. It’s something you don’t normally see at a concert, so people start paying attention.

MvM -- What are the crowd’s reactions?

Andrew - People have been stoked on it. When we played Hillside, there were people shouting “are they marching in?… I think they are marching in..” It really gets peoples attention, and they start to play attention because they know something is coming. So far it’s been nothing but cheers and applause when we finally get on stage.

MvM -- What can one expect from a MSTH show?

Andrew - People can expect to have a good time. That’s what we want anyway. We love to have fun on stage, and off. Jacob will challenge you to a game of rock, paper scissors, or bust out one of those fortuneteller things. Just expect to have a good time and a smile on your face.

MvM -- What kinds of things are usually written on these “fortunetellers?”

Andrew - I never know with Jacob, he’s put everything on them before from “turn to your neighbor” to “check out My Son The Hurricane tonight at (insert place/time here), and everything else you can imagine. I think he even put knock knock jokes on there one time.

MvM -- Shad K joined you and other acts on stage during Hillside Festival and just jammed it out for a while. Was that planned out ahead of time, or more of an impromptu thing?

Andrew - First off, Shad is wicked and TSOL ruled my summer hard. We’ve supported Shad on a bunch of shows before and they were awesome. The festival coordinated us all getting together, but didn’t tell any of us about what was going on. We talked to the other bands before hand, but no one knew what was going on. It was a blast though, one of the bands highlight moments for sure. At one point we had about 18 people on stage, it was this giant reggae jam with Shad, The Tabla Guy, The Easy All Stars and us. When we all got off the stage someone from the festival informed us we broke the cinderblock supports under the stage. Luckily the jam was the last act on that stage for the festival.

MvM -- Recently there was a video released for your song Aint My Style, tell us a bit about it.

Andrew - We shot it a couple months ago with a director named Peter Guzda, who’s done work for Street Pharmacy and some other bands. We liked his work so we approached him, and he was down to make it happen. He’s a great guy, and helped us figure out the concept for the video, as well as got everything lined up, we just showed up and started filming. We shot the video in a day, and it was a long day, but we got some killer shots. We are all really happy with how it turned out. It received over 3.700 views in the first 2 weeks online, and picked up by a bunch of bloggers, which has helped us get our name out there on the web, as well as get noticed by some industry folks.

MvM -- Could you explain for us the line “take Bluetooth and autotune with you because crap always comes in piles”

Andrew - I can’ really speak for Jacob, but I figure he’s talking about those people with the ear-piece phone things who walk around on the street giving everyone that self important look on their face. You know the type. Jacob keeps it simple; he makes his own wine, loves to cook at home, and likes his record player, all that sort of stuff. As for the autotune, It’s just more of a musical example. Just keeping it simple and organic. Keeping things real, and honest, you know?

MvM -- You played a handful of festivals this past summer, how were they as your first festival shows together as a band?

Andrew - As a band it was a new experience, and it was a great. There are so many people to meet and talk to. It’s definitely different than a club show. A different vibe, almost more relaxed in a sense. All you have to worry about is having your stuff in the right spot at the right time. The rest of it is up to you. We love walking around and meeting people, checking out other bands, eating food, etc. It’s all good. Special thanks to SCENE Music Festival, Sauble Beach, and Hillside Festival for having us play.

MvM -- Who writes the majority of the songs?

Andrew - It’s a weird thing being in a band like this because of our size we have certain things that work really well, and some that don’t. Writing is an example of one of those things that doesn’t work. So to avoid the problem of 12 people trying to write one song, we’ve established our own way of doing it. Nelson writes the music for the horns and the cords for the guitar/bass and keys and sends it to Danno and Jacob. They then look at it, Danno sees if it will work, and Jacob looks to see if he can write for it. If both those things happen we bring it to jam, everyone gets a say, gives ideas and thoughts, then we go back and make changes and try again, and repeat until we get something we’re happy with.

MvM -- Currently there are no physical copies of your EP, what is the reason behind that choice?

Andrew - The Same reason there are no copies of it on 8-track. The CD is going the way of the dinosaur. But seriously we’re not opposed to CD’s, if someone ever offered us money to put out a CD we’d do it for sure, but most people are going to go home and rip it to put on their IPods anyway.

MvM -- Could you give us a bit of insight into what the future holds for MSTH?

Andrew - Sure. We are hitting the road this November, touring around Ontario and Quebec. We’ve also been in the studio working on recording our first full-length album. It’s looking like it’s going to be about 10 songs with some other cool stuff thrown in there, but those cool things are going to be a surprise. Then probably touring a bit to support the new record, and see what comes up. We also recently signed with Copperspine Records in September.

MvM -- Any final statements?

Andrew - Come say hello while we’re out on tour, play some Rock, Paper, Scissors, see what our live show is all about.

Check out My Son The Hurricane on tour this November: - Monsters vs. Me

"My Son The Hurricane Forms Over St. Catharines"

When a hurricane is formed, you know trouble is coming.
When this hurricane is birthed by saxophones, sousaphones, guitars, bass, drums, trumpets, trombones, keyboards and stellar vocal styling, this storm is something fierce.
My Son the Hurricane [MSTH] is the 14-piece jazz, funk, rock, New Orleans-style, hip-hop infused St. Catharines group that has taken these genres, broken them down into a science, and reconstructed them to form a style all their own.
For a year-and-a-half, these musical entrepreneurs have been shaking up the conventional norms, and presenting the masses something a little different.
"We originally wanted to keep it traditional New Orleans [style], but as we kept adding members, we realized we wanted to make it a little more modern," said drummer, Danno O'Shea.
Also, as O'Shea adds, with the addition of vocalist Jacob Bergsma, they knew their music was going to be completely different than their original idea. Once the members had all taken their respective positions, it was time to develop the sound.
"We just went down to the basement and started hashing it out," said O'Shea. "We all got together and we really just love hanging out," said alto sax player and Brock University Graduate, Andrew Harwood.
Being in a band with many members can have its drawbacks, but for this band, the amount of talented and unique individuals has developed the band's music.
Influences can be drawn from some of MSTH's favourite artists ranging from Tom Waits and Buck 65, to Pantera and the band's beloved pastime of backyard wrestling.
"I don't think we ever go out with the idea of writing a song in a specific style. The song writing in this band is a lot different than any other band that I think most of us have ever played in," said O'Shea.
"We never set out to write a jazz tune, we never set out to write a rock tune," said Harwood.
With the music being written and a repertoire being formed, it was time to hit the local show circuit, although, a new challenge presented itself - the size of the band.
"We don't [fit on stage]. At our last show, four of us were on the stage, and the horns were on the floor," said O'Shea.
"The shows are going great. The size of the band makes it tricky for travelling and booking, but everyone is super dedicated. There are definitely times when I piss and moan about how we don't have a three-piece band, but at the same point, even if you take away one of our members, we'd feel it."
MSTH has recently signed with Copperspine Records based out of Vancouver, BC, and they are releasing their first full-length album under Copperspine in April 2011.
"The album's being produced by Bob Deutsch, who's produced some records for legends like Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and U2. But, we're just going in and he's letting us do our thing, and giving us a little guidance," said O'Shea.
This upcoming month is a busy one for MSTH. The band is playing a string of shows starting at L3 Nightclub in St. Catharines on Nov. 14, heading up to Ottawa, ON, and then out to Montreal, QC, while playing an assortment of cities along the way until the band's final show on Nov. 20 in Sault Ste. Marie, ON.
For more info, news, tour schedule and song listening, visit - The Brock Press

"My Son The Hurricane is Breaking New Ground"

My Son the Hurricane Band Blacksheep Inn

My Son the Hurricane

In an era when being innovative seems to mean putting your baseball cap on sideways instead of backwards, it is always a pleasure to come upon someone doing something really unique. I, at least, had never seen anything like the show My Son the Hurricane put on at the Blacksheep Inn last Friday. Their raw urban energy reminded me of the first time I saw STOMP on stage many years ago. It made me sit up and pay attention.

If you took a New Orleans krewe and turned into a hip hop party band, you might get something close to this project. The band features a dozen members, a wide variety of brass instruments including a tuba and a hip hop MC whose smooth rhymes don’t try to evoke the faux-ghetto of the white middle class wannabes we hear so often these days. Instead the words are clever, heartfelt and even fun, keeping with the playful nature of the music. References to bitches and guns are pleasantly absent.

My Son was playing an opening set for Ember Swift but (with no disrespect intended to Ember), I would have loved to hear another hour of them. If they are playing somewhere near you, I give them my highest possible recommendation – get out and see these folks. Recently signed to Coppertone Records, I look forward to their debut album.

Here is a small taste:
EMBEDDED VIDEO - Wakefield Notes

"Aint My Style - Video Posting"

After the debut ‘Check The Barometer’, My Son The Hurricane is back with its first official music video! MC Jacob Bergsma brings playful rhymes over the funky vibes by the eleven headed brass band.

I think we can all agree that you just cannot hate on this. If you’re on the same page, then you can check out their debut EP on iTunes, including the track ‘Ain’t My Style’. - The Find Mag

""Aint My Style" Video Posting"

After I heard this song and watched the video I just had to share it with you.

My Son The Hurricane is a 12-piece brass and hip hop act from St. Catharines, ON. The end result is a unique sound, that almost defies comparison, the closest probably being some of Fishbone's smoother stuff.


Look for the band to hit Toronto and area in the fall. - T.O. Snobs Music

"Aint My Style - Video Posting"

I don’t know how I missed this one. This 12-strong brass band from Canada (like we would feature anyone else) released a five track EP late last year. “Ain’t My Style” was one of the choice tracks from it and deserves a video. Now, if you don’t mind I have some catching up to do.

- Lesson Six

"Saturday Morning Bieber Fever"

I have to give a shout-out to some local boys and girls who play by the name My Son The Hurricane and hail from St. Catharines, Ontario. They’ve just finished shooting a video for the song “Ain’t My Style” and have come off the Canadian festival circuit, where their hip-hop infused big brass band sound garnered them a lot of attention. I think some of you may dig it, So instead of a link to the video, I thought I’d just embed the whole thing for you here: - Quick Before It Melts

"3 More To Explore"

So the summer's unofficially over this weekend. Bummer. Maybe these bands can help cheer you up:

My Son The Hurricane
For those who like: Fishbone, Digable Planets

Take hip hop, add in a dozen members and some brass and you'll end up with this diabolically infectious St Catharines group. - T.O Snobs Music

"Review of 'Ain't My Style' Video"

There are few things better than a little light and funky hip hop. You can walk to it, you can run to it, you can skip to it, you can laugh to it, you can dance to it. There are a short number of things you can’t do with it, but I’ll probably end up posting this before I think of any worth writing. Though the classic formula for hip hop acts consists of two turntables and a mic, few things supercede this combination other than a Fruity Loops beat made by a 14 year old combined with a completely unidentifiable auto-tuned voice.

To be more precise, the only thing that arguably matches (or is arguably better) than that original turntable and mic combination is when a live band composes the beat for the track. We have seen it a number of times over the last while, with notable mentions including the Roots and the Pharcyde. Possessing the versatility to convert recorded albums into a fully instrumented live production is not seen very often nor is it widely accepted, but it is greatly entertaining when pulled off properly. And needless to say, it seems as though for now with the album Check the Barometer, the band My Son the Hurricane has achieved just that.

Now the first thing that came to mind when listening to these guys was of course the obvious: They have that New Orleans big band feel, fused with a little funk, and a couple jazz breakdowns, laid down properly over top of a song constructed in hip hop fashion. And to be perfectly honest with you, the obvious kind of sums it up. Not that this is a bad thing, in fact this is nothing other than a great thing. As for any relative comparisons the first thing that came to mind was the Youngblood Brass Band, probably best known in the hip hop community as having collaborated with Talib Kweli and Mike Ladd on the year 2000 album ‘Unlearn’ with the tracks ‘Y’all Stay Up’ and ‘Peace’, respectively. Yes, of course, the Youngblood Brass Band and My Son the Hurricane share that New Orleans brass band sound, being from Oregon and St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada (respectively).

These guys (and girl) play the type of music that would be great to stumble into at any concert festival. And judging by the few live videos they have posted around, this is nothing other than the case. With the range of instrumentation and musical talent on the roster, they can appeal to a wide variety of crowds. That being said, they are playing at a concert festival this weekend in Cambridge, Ontario at Rock the Mill on Saturday, August 21st. They also have a video posted from a live recording at Hillside Music Festival in Guelph. If I could, I would check them out, but most certainly hope to in the near future. I suggest- nay, recommend- nay, demand that you follow suit. Unless you hate music, I doubt you’d have a bad time. - Around In Sound

""Check The Barometer EP" Review"

Finally and in keeping with Beehive Candy's obsession with different musical styles, genres, or whatever (provided we like it), we have My Son The Hurricane.

The promo said: With their roots deeply planted in the big brass sounds of New Orleans, and an indie spirit that refuses to be pigeonholed or defined, Ontario’s My Son The Hurricane is ready to hit the road with their own original 11-piece take on brass, and a debut album that will blow away your pre-conceived notions of the genre.

Combining catchy horn lines and a thumping, driving bass with uniquely phrased, hip-hop inspired vocals that drive the album, My Son The Hurricane will appeal to Hip-Hop and Indie fans alike, while paying homage to the big brass bands that came before them.

Well that was enough to gain our attention and as we are in a cut and paste mood they also added: Celebratory and fun, but balanced by well thought-out, solid musicianship, CHECK THE BAROMETER is party music at its best. With strongly crafted grooves and driving vocals unifying the album, My Son the Hurricane’s debut release is a piece of art that works best when listened to from start to finish.

A perfect introduction to the band and to their unique approach to brass, listeners will not want to miss them in a live setting. Transformed by the audience and by the energy in the room, My Son The Hurricane puts on a live show that will captivate and excite, and always leave you wanting more. With tour dates in Ontario scheduled throughout April, don’t miss your chance to see how this band works live, pushing the envelope a bit more with each performance.

As it happens, having given this a play through, I fear my car stereo will be booming out some eleven piece brass arrangements real soon. -

"Humber College Interview - Feb 2009"

To hear the interview please click/download the following file here. - Humber College

""Check The Barometer EP" Review"

"Hip Hop + Horns – Hate = My Son The Hurricane"

Two turntables and a microphone this is NOT.

My Son The Hurricane is an aptly named force of nature — a real horn section playing real instruments over real drums — This is eleven guys creating solid music that brings to mind the best of ’70s funk, but without sounding dated. Yes, there are echoes of KC and the Sunshine Band, or even Earth Wind & Fire, but there’s also a modern coolness to it, and it’s not just in MC Jacob Bergsma’s vocal delivery, which is much more John McCrea from CAKE than Marshall Mathers. My Son The Hurricane has obviously worked hard to create musical lines that sound familiar without sounding cliche, and have their singer dropping rhymes that don’t sound ridiculous, and that pay homage to enjoying life and having fun rather than killing cops or slapping their collective bitches up.

This is a band of skilled musicians, showcasing what they each do best, and in that, there’s no room for false machismo or bullshit posturing. Just listen to a song like “Big Red” in which each section gets to offer up a little solo in between the horn section’s infectious chorus, and you’ll see that every one of these guys is the real deal. This is a tight and exciting band, and I look forward to hearing more from them. - Oblique Quarterly

"Hurricane Warning"

"Hurricane Warning"
St. Catharines Standard - HANS NIEDERMAIR

After less than a year together, the winds are already approaching hurricane force for this St. Catharines-based 12-piece band.

Within "seven or eight months," My Son the Hurricane has recorded an EP and will open for Juno Award-nominated London, Ont., rapper Shad at L3 on Thursday.

The band was formed by baritone sax player Nelson Beattie and drummer Danno O'Shea.

"When we first got this together, the idea was to do a modern touch on the traditional New Orleans brass band," O'Shea said. "That's why we chose the name, My Son the Hurricane. It's sort of the next generation.

"Nelson and I wanted to put together our dream team of musicians and started making some calls. It came together very quickly."

Those calls helped create what the band refers to as a 12-headed "brass beast," that also features Ewan Divitt on sousaphone and trumpet, Brad Gaudreau and Elvurz Sorkhabi on trombone, Boichuk on tenor sax, bassist Frasier Gauthier, Andrew Harwood on alto sax, Andrew Rosario on guitar, Jeremy Shute on trumpet, keyboardist Andrew Samitz, and Jacob Bergsma on the mic.

"A lot of people in this group are jobber musicians, sidemen," explained O'Shea. "We wanted to contact all the sidemen and put together a unique act. We went from being sidemen to bandleaders."

He said the backgrounds of the band members are "so across the board.

"Some are jazz-schooled, some are army-schooled, some are street-schooled musicians," O'Shea said.

"Some come from metal bands, Celtic bands, funk bands, you name it," added sax player Harwood.

A mixture of fresh blood and grizzled music biz vets further diversifies the band's composition.

"The breadth of the age is so different," O'Shea said. "We have some people who are in their teens, to people who have kids or are in their 30s."

The majority of the band's music is written by Beattie, whose musical roots lie firmly in old-school brass and rhythm, according to O'Shea, and "just started listening to Soundgarden."

"The music comes from Nelson, about 95% of it," O'Shea said.

"He creates it in sheet music first, and then we all put our own spin on it."

Frontman Bergsma writes the band's lyrics and adds a decidedly hip-hop flavour.

"He has a wild imagination," O'Shea said. "I love a great frontman. He has an amazing stage presence. We can think of no one else to front the band than Jacob."

Harwood said Bergsma is a true entertainer with a flair for the unpredictable.

"We did a show at the Sean O'Sullivan Theatre (at Brock) and he was running around throwing CDs to the blue-hairs," Harwood said, adding that Bergsma's lyrics tend to stick to the light side of things.

"This band's generally about having a good time."

But with 12 members, getting everyone together for a jam session can be challenging, Harwood said.

"There are as many pros as cons about having a 12-piece band," he said. "The pro is that it is always going to sound epic. The con is that you're always going to be running at about 90 per cent. Anyone who's even been part of a four-piece band knows how hard it is to get organized.

"One of the ways we get around that is by having sheet music and making sure everyone has a copy."

The show at L3 represents just the band's fourth gig.

"We have been very fortunate that our shows so far have been so well-attended," Harwood said, explaining the buzz surrounding the newly formed band.

While My Son the Hurricane considers its live act its bread and butter, the band has recently released its first recording, a four-song EP, aptly entitled Check the Barometer.

"We wanted to have something to show for our effort, to see what the reaction would be," Harwood said. "It gives us a product to get out to everybody, because we're mainly a live show."

"Right now, it's about keepi

ng the big shows going," added O'Shea. "We have some festivals booked (including the Collingwood Jazz and Blues Festival). We want to get on bigger stages, in front of more eyes. As good as it is to hear this band, it's something else to see it."

He said My Son the Hurricane is honoured to be opening up for Shad, the Kenyan-born hip-hop artist whose album, The Old Prince, earned a Juno nomination in 2008.

"It's a super thrill to open for Shad. He's a serious talent and he's a nice dude," O'Shea said.

- - -

WHAT:Shad, with My Son the Hurricane

WHERE:L3, 6 James St., St. Catharines

WHEN:Feb. 18

CALL:905-688-8888, or visit - St. Catharines Standard - HANS NIEDERMAIR

"Hurricane Hits Hillside 2010"

Once before have I seen a gaggle of musicians parade through a Hillside crowd. Unlike that internationally acclaimed band who were already in their heyday, My Son the Hurricane are an emerging group with something to prove. Without warning they began playing single-file, looping around the edge of the Island Tent during a break in the Saturday afternoon rain. Quite a stir was made even before their lead sing-/rapp-er reached the stage, blazing yellow banner bearing the bands name in hand.

Eventually all twelve members clamoured up there behind him with their assortment of instruments and large brass contingent (complete with massive tuba). For the size of the band they were astonishingly in unison while playing some fun, upbeat music. Overtop of this, their beaming, charismatic frontman spit hip hop rhymes and did all in his power to get the party going. He was somewhat successful as a brave soul attempted to body surf, and even people just ducking under the tent for its rain protection seemed to be nodding along in approval. A playful version of Pantera's Walk medleyed into Rage's Bombtrack, the latter being an appropriate way to showcase their skills. If it's some high energy fun you're after, consider giving these guys a shout. - Vernacular

"HIllside 2010 Review"

...[S]ome of my other Saturday highlights were My Son the Hurricane, Michou and Grand Analog. My Son the Hurricane sounds like what you’d get if Dancehall Free For All were the backing band for Rage Against the Machine’s Zach de la Rocha, if de la Rocha were from Guelph. I think that’s kind of the idea. Lots of horns, lots of volume, and lots of fun. - The Panic Manual

"My Son The Hurricane Hillside 2010 Review"

My Son the Hurricane, [is] a fourteen-piece New Orleans jazz/hip hop hybrid from St. Catherines. Before their set, we chatted with Jacob (MC), Danno (drums) and Andrew (alto/tenor saxophone) about cootie catchers, the Canadian music scene and what qualifies as a “square” in the tricky world of baking (this interview will be up on in the not-too-distant future). The guys were super friendly and excited about Hillside which got us curious about what was to come from their performance.

I must say, their set was nothing less than funky fresh. The entire band marched into the tent single file, through the rain. This was a well-played bad-ass move, and as a result, My Son the Hurricane had all eyes on them from start to finish. Although the band is fairly new, and they still have some fine-tuning to do , their soon-to-be-perfected fusion of Beastie-style raps backed by saxophones, a trumpet and a sousaphone (!?) already had the audience loving every minute. It was also a real treat to see a band who, while performing, looked like they were having the best time they’d ever had. No nonchalant shoe-gazing from this crew, just huge smiles and much appreciation at being given the opportunity to show their stuff. And show their stuff they did! See what My Son the Hurricane is all about here (and keep in mind, this is a band you NEED to see live in order to get a real feel for their sound): - Radio Laurier

"Hillside 2010 Awards - Hurricane = Best Entrance"

After the sound check, My Son the Hurricane left the stage, went around the back, and came in the audience entrance with a big banner and playing and walking like they were some kind of Louisiana funeral procession. After the twelve of them managed to squeeze on stage, they unleashed a set of tunes led by the eight-piece horn section and featuring a Zach de la Rocha-style vocalist. It might sound a bit odd, but it works. They seemed a little overwhelmed at first, particularly MC Jacob Bergsma, but once they settled in they fed off the typically strong Hillside crowd energy (there’s a reason why bands love to play this festival) and finished strongly, to the point that Bergsma declared it the best show they’d ever done. A band worth keeping an eye on, to be sure. - The Panic Manual

"The Eye Of The Hurricane"

“Anything worth doing is worth over-doing,” says Danno O’Shea.

With that in mind, musical collaborators Danno O’Shea and Nelson Beattie, concocted a project that in their vision grew to gargantuan size, and then finally broke through the banks of imagination to become the real deal. The pair called together a dream team of top caliber musicians, who wield saxophones, trumpets and trombones. Throw in a sousaphone for good measure, and add a funky rhythm section. Top it off with an MC that has some serious swagger and you’ve got My Son The Hurricane, the next generation of a New Orleans style brass band. “Think Professor Longhair and Dr. John meet A Tribe Called Quest.” says Danno. “I call it brasshop funk, the hip hop, if only because of our MC Jacob Bergsma,” he adds.

Danno O’Shea, self described ‘built like a hockey stick with giant hair’ is the band leader and drummer for My Son The Hurricane. He calls himself a jobber musician and over the years has played on countless other projects.

O’Shea met Nelson Beattie, a baritone sax player, and also a jobber musician on the scene in St. Catherine’s, Ontario. “He and I had been talking about how great it would be to create a project of our own. He [Beattie] began exposing me to this New Orleans music, Stanton Moore, Longhair, Youngblood Brass Band. As I was hearing this music, it was like someone had just turned on the lights,” recalls O’Shea. “It was like I was hearing the music I was meant to…” he trails off as he remembers. “I equate it to like seeing that girl in high school that just opens your eyes.” O’Shea and Beattie began to assemble their perfect musical storm.

Not one to bend to conformity, Danno prefers to explore new possibilities. “I’m all about the crazies,” he smilingly says, “people who do it their way.” Wanting to put a modern twist to this music that had captured him, rapper Jacob Bergsma was the first call. “When Jacob said yes, I said well let’s just make this crazy,” recalls Danno. “Let’s find a sousaphone, let’s get a guitarist for sure, these things have made a difference. As far as the rapping goes, it would have been easy to have an awesome female singer front this band, but I think there’s already one Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings or one Bettye Lavette. I met Jacob 3 or 4 years ago and as soon as I heard him I thought I have to play behind this fella.”

By not putting limits on their creative vision, the two musicians ended up with a thirteen piece group that was ready to take on something different. “Sonically there’s a lot of stuff going on,” explains Danno. “It’s been a challenge, and everyone has had to find their place to make this thing work. It’s really important for us to live up to the size of this band. It is its glory and its detriment.”
My Son the Hurricane

When the pieces were brought together, was there an idea of the unique outcome that would be conjured up? Danno responds, “You know all of our music is created in sheet music form before a note is played. We were listening to this on midi files on Nelson’s computer and it was sounding like elevator music and he and I were both starting to get really nervous. Here we were bringing in really high caliber players and, you know…But when the first notes were played, and Jacob got going the smiles came out. Afterwards everyone’s kind of looking around at each other, kind of like wow, this is really good. It was almost like a nervous excitement and we thought now what.”

“Now what”, ended up being in famed Grant Avenue Studios with producer/engineer Paul Riemens to record My Son The Hurricanes’ EP, Check the Barometer. Danno O’Shea says of the outcome, “Oh yeah, we love it. It’s not the most polished thing I’ve ever done but you know New Orleans style brass is kind of dirty and we wanted some of that to come across. We wanted the horns to be kind of mean sounding. I mean we didn’t want to over produce it. The idea was not to make it a Britney Spears album. I’m jacked on it right now; it’s great to hear the tunes coming back at us.”

Danno says that My Son The Hurricane’s music is available in digital download only. “We don’t create physical CD’s. It’s an old medium. I’m under a lot of pressure to make CD’s for people, maybe I’ll buckle, but I think for now it’s easier to get my music clicking your space bar than it is to go to the mall and get it. It’s more accessible through ITunes.”

What does Danno O’Shea want you to tell you about My Son The Hurricane? “You know, only that it’s worth the listen. It’s worth trying something new. You know my old man would never listen to hip hop music but I think he’s starting to appreciate the tongue in cheek lyrics. I think it’s really cool for people to be checking out something new.”

When it was commented that My Son The Hurricane certainly pushes people out of their comfort zone, Danno simply says, “Get out of the box. Just get out of the box, that’s my life.”

Log on to to download the music and find out where they will be playing. You can go to their Face Book page for information and also to hear the audio portion of this interview

There is a storm brewing here, and it’s called My Son The Hurricane. - Ear-Shot Online

"Rock You Like A Hurricane"

I'm not sure how enthusiastic I should be about Check The Barometer, the debut EP from My Son The Hurricane. I mean, on the one hand, it sounds like nothing I've ever heard before. It's hip-hop, to be sure, but only identifiably so because it features rapping. Once you get beyond that, and you get into the soulful back-up singers and the rock guitar solos and, above all else, the jazzy instrumentation of songs like "Ain't My Style" and "Back Pocket"...well, you're into uncharted territory, at least for me.

Of course, that's a pretty monumentally huge qualifier. My knowledge of hip-hop is shoddy at best, so for all I know there's a whole subgenre of hip-hop that features brassy horns and soulful saxophones and Santana-esque guitar solos. Heck, for that matter, not only may the subgenre exist, My Son The Hurricane may be the worst of the lot.

If that's the case, though, then that must mean it's a pretty exciting subgenre, since Check The Barometer is a pretty fun album. My Son The Hurricane play with all the tightness of a particularly solid New Orleans band, and it's all so infectious that it's hard not to get swept up in it all. Again, I don't know what their competition is like, but if jazzy hip-hop at all appeals to you, then you're going to want to check these guys out. - I (heart) Music

""Local musicians form a Hurricane""

With only a single show under their belt, the St. Catharines-founded band, My Son the Hurricane, has already built up enough hype to land them a prestigious opening spot for alternative radio rockers USS.
The 11-piece band, who describe themselves as a modern version of a "New Orleans style brass band with a hip-hop twist", were the sole opener for Toronto's Down With Webster on Sept. 17, and blew the packed house away with their unique blend of funk, jazz and hip-hop.
"Our first show was with Down With Webster and there was about 350-400 people there, it was crazy. People were really digging what we were doing," said Brock graduate and saxophonist Andrew Harwood.
"It's kind of crazy with something this big. You aren't sure if people are going to look past the fact that there are a lot of bodies on the stage and start getting into the tunes. But, by the end, people were really getting down into it," added drummer Danno O'Shea.
The band's formation began a few months ago and played out like the development of a super-group. After working hard to find the right combination of members, O'Shea and band mate Nelson Beattie were able to find several popular local musicians that helped create the project.
O'Shea not only drums in My Son the Hurricane, but also performs with two local house bands, McKenna and The Marantz Project, as well as the trash metal group Skull Krusher. Harwood performs in the L3 Wednesday night band Funk It!, as well as one of Niagara's premier funk bands, James Doolin and the Mob, and MC Jacob Bergsma has been making waves over the last couple years with his acoustic hip-hop act, Hospitals.
The group, once they have gotten their feet wet gigging around Ontario, plan to head into the studio in attempt to get their music out to all the people that haven't had the opportunity to witness their unique performances, intending to record at Hamilton's Grant Avenue Studios.
Producers Bob Doidge and Paul Riemens, co-owners of the studio, have produced or engineered several albums, most notably U2's The Joshua Tree. O'Shea and Harwood couldn't be more ecstatic about working in an environment that helped shape such influencal albums. "It's just exciting to be in the rooms that people have been making amazing music in, hoping that it rubs off. Hopefully some of the greatness has been left on the walls, or in the keys and we can punk it," said O'Shea.
After they record their debut album, My Son the Hurricane has big plans on the table, as they attempt to bring their music to as many different venues and locales as possible. As O'Shea jokes, their next plan is for "nothing more than complete domination".
While the band is able to maintain a sense of humour about their current situation - having only performed one gig - they seem adamant that their band's live show will speak for itself.
"I like to think that our band is something different than what you'd see in most places. When was the last time you saw 10 dudes and a chick up on stage? We are not just a funk band, and we are not solely a hip-hop band. We are a fusion of all the things that we like, and we basically throw it all together," said O'Shea.
"My Son the Hurricane are pretty much like your high school jazz band, only cooler," added Harwood. "We are always about the party - the good times - and the Hurricane definitely brings it."
My Son the Hurricane performs with USS at L3 in St. Catharines on Oct. 20.

-Chris Illich - Brock Press - Chris Illich

"102.1 The Edge Artist Testimonial"

Testimonial by Jason Parsons of 102.1 The Edge, and Casby arward winning artist USS

"I checked out the tunes and I love them. Can't wait to see what's cookin' upon your guys release. Man, can't believe there's 50 million of you in your band. Sounds amazing! Seriously. Instrumentally your music is amazing on its own and then Jacob shows up and gives it a witty,interesting and original voice. The brass is unbelievable!!! ...

Talk to you soon Andrew,

J" - Jason Parsons of U.S.S

"My Son The Hurricane - Interview with Jordy Yack Feb 2009"

When it comes to music, a good band should be different; A great band unique. Every band needs to have something so they can leap out from beyond the pack and take the music industry by the throat. Enter My Son the Hurricane, an 11–piece hip–hop meets brass band meets funk giant. Since their inception in late 2009, they’ve stood out like a sore, yet extremely talented thumb at every show they’ve played. “The real issue is living up to as many people as we have in the band,” explains Danno O’Shea. “We always march in like a traditional New Orleans funeral dirge. Nobody’s miked, it’s really eerie in a really interesting way. We’re trying to do things that few people are doing. Sometimes it goes great, sometimes we shit the bed, but we always learn.”

My Son the Hurricane is made up Nelson Beattie on Baritone Saxophone, Ewan Divitt on sousaphone and trumpet, Brad Gaudreau on trombone, Boichuk on tenor saxophone, Andrew Harwood on alto saxophone, Jeremy Shute on trumpet, Frasier Gauthier on bass, Danno O’Shea on drums, Andrew Rosario on guitar, Andrew Samitz on keyboard and Jacob Bergsma is the MC. “Nelson and I had been batting around he idea for sometime – being jobber musicians, we’re always playing other people’s music and we wanted to create music that was our own,” remarks O’Shea. “The idea was – let me use a Super Bowl reference. We wanted to make a fantasy team of players. We made our list, and much to our shock and amazement, everyone said yes.”

Despite the idea of power in numbers, the band’s size can also be their disadvantage. “Everything we do requires extreme thought, a rehearsal may only be four hours long, but I’ve spent 40 hours thinking about it. Given the calibre of players, they take direction very very well, and we had to learn how to give it. It’s a big departure going from sidemen to band leaders,” maintains O’Shea. “We run this not as a democracy, but a strict communism. It’s not that we don’t value everyone’s opinions – but someone has to make the decisions regarding touring, merchandise, etc. Too many great bands do nothing because of infighting.” “We pride ourselves in knowing what we do, and do it. Someone wants to do a great job, they do it. We know when to swallow our pride,” adds Andrew Harwood.
My Son the Hurricane’s debut EP is called Check the Barometer, and just like the title suggests, it has the band dipping their toes (110 in total) into the local scene. Not only has Niagara never seen a band of this size, we’ve never heard a band combining hip–hop and funk and getting away with it. “Glass Joe” not only shows Bergsma’s range from his tongue–in–cheek humour to his signature swagger, but also the horn section’s wall of sound is both thunderous and velvety smooth. On the EP’s opening track, “Ain’t My Style” Bergsma verbally tosses around some of the band’s influences like some kind of delicious pizza dough. Toppings include Deltron, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Dizzy Gillespie and The Wu Tang Clan. The horn section shows off their sauciness and their love affair with New Orleans, bake at 400º F. It’s remarkable, and it’s happening in our own backyard.

The band’s already thinking globally and at the moment, has no interest in releasing physical copies of Check the Barometer. It’s only available as MP3s and can be found on iTunes. “The CD is a dead format. At least for now, we’re doing things online. Personally, I want people to go out and seek it. It’s just one google search away from being on your ipod,” announces O’Shea.
Currently, O’Shea is eyeing up a 15–person passenger van, so the Hurricane can travel from town to town and spread their warmth with hip–hop and funk lovers. And because of the band’s combination of professionals, students and as Harwood puts it, “people with kids and people with important jobs,” Long–term touring isn’t a reasonable goal for the band. “The real goal is to get onto some festival stages. Every show needs to be worthwhile,” says O’Shea.
“Quality over quantity,” chimes Nelson Beattie.
“You horn players and your fucking cliches!” laughs O’Shea. - Pulse Niagara

""Introducing… My Son The Hurricane""

"Introducing… My Son The Hurricane"

Featured in
Written by Kamir Esperanza

An eleven headed brass leviathan spewing flames of funk and hip hop emerges from the bowels of Southern Ontario. Named after an obscure Charlie Hunter Trio song, My Son The Hurricane embodies the party spirit of New Orleans, always ready to get down and have a good time, even in the face of disaster.

The band, barely six months old, is the brainchild of drummer Danno O’Shea and Saxaphonist Nelson Beattie. Much like Ocean’s Eleven (O’Shea’s Eleven if you will), they compiled a dream team list of musicians to create a brand new funky sound. Surprisingly everyone they wanted said yes (or recommended a capable replacement), and the band was born. The band is made up of “jazz schooled, army schooled, and street schooled musicians” with a horn section boasting three saxophones (alto, tenor, baritone), trumpet, trombone, and a sousaphone, inevitably oozing brass funk on every track. That funk is backed up by guitar, drums, keyboard, and bass… then exposed to the playful rhymes of MC Jacob Bergsma.

It was essential for the band to acquire the lyrical services of Bergsma to complete the Hurricane steeze. Danno O’Shea said, “It would be too easy to front this band with an amazing female vocalist… There’s already one Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings.” And the collective sound is indeed unlike anything in the hip hop, jazz, or funk scene. The closest comparison would be the Galactic album ‘From the Corner to the Block‘, but that still doesn’t really compare to the grooves emanating from the Hurricane. My Son The Hurricane’s ‘beats’ can stand alone as funk breaks and probably wouldn’t be considered hip hop without the MC. This creates a more unusual type of sound for hip hop to explore. Bergsma’s rapping is definitely unique as he bounces around the funk beats dropping hilarious pop culture references and clever wordplay…

“And its just like in that Cool Runnings movie, cause right now you see a bad ass mother who don’t take no crap from nobody” – from ‘Back Pocket’

” All the shirts in your closet couldn’t cover my body of work.. Hand stitch the gitch so you can cut the crap.. Cause cats these days ain’t said nothing new since Suckerin’ Suckatash” – from ‘Big Red’

In its infancy the band has played with acts like Shad K, Grand Analog and Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker (USS). At a Hurricane live show the band erupts into a volcano of funk, fusing original material with groovy covers to bring the house down. So if you feel like a good time, don’t miss My Son The Hurricane if they come through your town and check out the iTunes EP, recorded at the prestigious Grant Avenue Studio in Hamilton. As Bergsma described, the recording was “just like carpet installation, everyone just laid it down”.

So check out a new unique force in the world of hip hop bands, this is not The Roots or Stetsasonic, this is not Heiruspecs, ArtOfficial, or Crown City Rockers, this is a monstrous eleven headed funky beast of progressive hip hop.

“Go funk yourself brasshole”

Words by: Kamir Esperanza
More info: My Son The Hurricane
Buy: ‘Check The Barometer EP‘ (Itunes) - The Find Mag/Kamir Esperanza

""LISTOMANIA: Radom awesome things of 2009""

My Son the Hurricane
This local super group - although only playing a mere three shows - has already displayed that they are the real deal. MC Jacob Bergsma is able to captivate audiences with his high-energy performance, while the eleven-piece band ensures that there's a party up on stage. This band can only get better and better. ... My Son the Hurricane is a band to watch out for in 2010. - Brock Press - Matthew Hadley & Chris Illich

""Check The Barometer EP" Review"

My Son The Hurricane: Check The Barometer (ep)

11 piece funk/blues/hip hop collective My Son The Hurricane are a strange beast. Imagine Fishbone jamming with De La Soul and you get close to what these guys are about. ... Like they are having a hell of a lot of fun. This is music with a smile on. ... Of the four tracks on offer here it is Back Pocket that has its groove on. This is a sexy slab of funk with a slow groove that could easily fill a dance floor. -


Is This What You Want?! (2016)

Cashing a Deadman's Cheque (2013)

You Can't Do This (2011)



My Son the Hurricane is a brass infused funk beast. No dance floor is safe.
Hailing from Niagara/Toronto, the perennial festival closers and dance floor inciters mix New Orleans style grooves with funk, jazz and hip hop.  Bolstered by a giant horn section and the well-oiled rhythm players, charismatic emcee Jacob Bergsma and charmingly sassy vocalist Sylvie Kindree drive the show, creating a spectacle of sound, and challenging the crowd to keep up to their collective energy.  My Son the Hurricane has “stood out like a sore, yet extremely talented thumb at every show they’ve played” (Pulse Niagara), and become revered for their live performances.

Riding the success of their sophomore release “Cashing a Deadman’s Cheque” (feat. U.S.S. frontman Ash Buchholtz and three-time Juno/Polaris nominee D-Sisive), the Hurricane was featured on the CBC and Much More Music.  Their blending of styles, penchant for inciting dance parties, and penning of introspective ballads (Pushin’ Up Daisies) has garnered them high praise on the Canadian festival circuit from BC to PEI, with breakout performances at Hillside, Evolve, Riverfest, Kispiox Valley, Follyfest, Beaches Jazz, Summerfolk, Peterborough Folk Fest, and many more.   

Juno nominee Danno O’Shea acts as the drummer and ringleader for the mammoth project, spurring the group to weave through different styles on the latest album Is This What You Want?!, recorded at Phase One Studios with engineer Jeff Pelletier (Big Sugar, Ludacris).  Leading up to the album’s 2016 release, it was a featured stream on Exclaim!, and found its way to Canadian airwaves, including CBC Radio One, Edge 102.1, and 97.7 Hitz FM, which spotlighted the Hurricane as a “Band on the Verge”.  Is This What You Want?! brings a new flavour to the Hurricane repertoire, building on their stellar reputation as one of Canada's most amazing live shows; "a fusion that one simply needs to experience live” (Buying Shots for Bands). 

Band Members