The Boo Radley Project
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The Boo Radley Project

Guelph, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | AFM

Guelph, Canada | AFM
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Alternative Funk




"Hillside highlight for young local band"

Some of the members of young Guelph band The Boo Radley Project got to experience Hillside Festival in a completely different light this year.

After several years volunteering at the festival, which celebrated its 30th anniversary at Guelph Lake Conservation Area on the weekend, they found themselves on the Main Stage kicking off Saturday's music offerings.

"I've been volunteering here for the last four years. This year they said, 'Take the year off and enjoy it,'" said Boo Radley Project's Haydn Watters after a funky, fun and well-received 30-minute set, their reward for winning the local Battle of the High School Bands competition earlier this year.

"Personally, it was the event of the summer," said bass guitarist Scott Rippon. "As a band, it was the event of our career."

Formed in 2011 by six friends who attend, or until recently attended, Our Lady of Lourdes high school, they are joined by several other members as the moment and schedules allow.

And how can you not love a funky group of kids whose onstage instrumental collection includes a didgeridoo, who list Paul Simon and Duran Duran among their musical influences and whose name was inspired by a character from the novel To Kill a Mockingbird.

"We just had fun. All the stress was behind us," said Watters, who plays drums. "We all have full-time jobs, but we practiced this week more than ever. Nobody wants to screw up at Hillside."

Core members include Watters, Rippon, lead singer and guitarist Emmett Watters, Leon Obrascovs on violin and keyboards and drummer Daley O'Keefe. Saturday's performance brought in the cavalry with brass players Daniel Cigolea, Xavier Guaca, Max Mernagh and Tristan Walton, Dylan Paczay on didgeridoo and Dustin Piccinetti on guitar.

The Guelph band has a big day coming up Sat., Aug. 10, when they will be playing out of the back of a rented U-Haul truck at several locations throughout Wellington County, including Elora and the Fergus Scottish Festival.

The "Boo-Haul" one-day tour ends in downtown Guelph's St. George's Square with a full-length concert at 9 p.m. - Guelph Mercury

"Adventures in grooving with The Boo Radley Project"

Adventures in Moving used to be a U-Haul slogan. On Saturday, Adventures in Grooving would have been appropriate.

Building on the momentum of their crowd-pleasing, dance-inducing performance at Guelph's Hillside Festival, The Boo Radley Project packed up five members of the group and all their equipment, and played a half dozen gigs in one frantic Saturday.

The group, which can swell to 10 members, is noted for jazzy funk-fusion numbers and ambitious, marathon gigs. Last summer they walked and played from Guelph to Elora to raise money for Hawaii's Wild Dolphin Foundation.

Saturday's "Boo-Haul Tour" was both a self-promotion and a shout-out for next weekend's Riverfest Elora. The band will play the Aug. 17 event along with Ashley MacIsaac, Born Ruffians, Rich Aucoin and Kevin Breit.

The Boo Radley Project — Boo Radley is a character in the Harper Lee novel To Kill a Mockingbird — will put out its debut studio album later this year.

Haydn Watters, a percussionist and drummer with the band, said he was gazing out the window of his workplace one day and saw a U-Haul van in the parking lot. That's about all it took to inspire the idea of a daylong, multi-gig tour of the band members' hometowns of Elora and Guelph. The group was formed at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic High School in Guelph.

"I just thought, 'Oh, wouldn't that be fun just to drive around to a bunch of places in Elora and Guelph playing out of a U-Haul?' " said Watters, whose brother Emmett plays guitar and sings with the group. The brothers are heading back to Halifax in the fall to continue their university education.

On Saturday, the band played the Elora Farmers Market at 10 a.m., St. Andrew Street in downtown Fergus at 11 a.m., and the Fergus Scottish Festival at noon before heading into Guelph to play in St. George's Square. They played a private gig after that, and backed their U-Haul rig up to Market Square for an evening session on Carden Street.

Bass player Scott Rippon said setting up and being ready to play a gig in 15 minutes, as opposed to the normal 45-minute setup time was a challenge.

"But we're doing it," he said, moments before the St. George's Square gig, where the band played on the concrete instead inside the U-Haul. Rippon.

Like many other members of the group, is returning to university once summer ends.

"I would love to do this for the rest of my life, and I want to keep doing it for the rest of my life maybe as a sideline," he said. "It's just a great feeling to see other people take so much enjoyment from our music — to dance, bop their heads, and smile." - Guelph Mercury

"Sam Roberts Band, Sharon Jones, Alan Doyle to play Riverfest Elora 2015"

Riverfest Elora has announced part of their 2015 line-up tonight, with a full line-up expected to be announced on April 15.

With last year’s festival featuring Blue Rodeo, Serena Ryder, Charles Bradley, and Arkells, this year’s festival will again be held in the scenic Elora, ON from August 14-16, and will feature Montreal indie rockers Sam Roberts Band, Grammy-nominated soul-funk band Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Great Big Sea frontman Alan Doyle, Burlington-based folk-rock singer-songwriter Sarah Harmer, and more.

Update: Metric, Bruce Cockburn, Lighthouse, The New Pornographers, Zeus, Shakey Graves, Operators, Tokyo Police Club, The Planet Smashers, The Wooden Sky, The Both (Amiee Mann and Ted Leo), Amelia Curran, The Acorn, Stretch Orchestra, Groenland, The Elwins, Donovan Woods, Jordan Klassen, The Burning Hell, The River and The Road, Bass Lions, Safe As Milk, The Boo Radley Project, The Lay Awakes, and Bruce Cassidy’s Hotfoot Orchestra have been added to the line-up. - Aesthetic Magazine Toronto


"All The Best Men" EP, 2014



The Boo Radley Project was founded in February 2011 on a mutual obsession for the literary character, Boo Radley. The 5 piece, Elora/Guelph based band fuses jazz, funk, and alternative music with a quirky and dynamic stage presence. Their live shows are energetic, multimedia productions featuring homemade projections and vibrant lighting. They’ve toured across Southern Ontario and the East Coast. The band staged a 36 kilometer walking concert for Hawaii’s dolphins and has played on festival stages at Hillside and Riverfest Elora. The band is currently in the process recording and mixing its first full length LP. The album is set to be released in early summer 2016.

Band Members