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Midnight Vesta: Toronto’s latest musical export

Midnight Vesta will be performing at the Jasper Royal Canadian Legion on Aug 23 at 8 p.m. P. Clarke photo.

For all you cityslickers out there make sure to mark Aug. 23 on your calendar because Jasper is about to get a taste of Toronto.

Fresh off their debut album Seconds, Midnight Vesta offers a distinct change from the country-twang music Jasper is used to hearing.

While the band may define their music as “Canadiana” and draws influences from the likes of Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and James Taylor, one listen to their latest album and you can instantly tell they are from the city.

It was no surprise then to learn that they are also good friends with Birds of Bellwoods, a Toronto-based band that played at the Jasper Folk and Music Festival in 2015 and again in 2016 after being selected as fan favourites.

“We’ve been playing music and supporting each other and going to each others’ shows since we started,” said Peter Jarvis, who happened to be in Jasper last summer to watch the Birds of Bellwoods play at the folk fest.

“The folk fest was great and the Legion was wonderful so I knew I’d like to bring the full band out so almost immediately I was contacting the Legion manager trying to set up a date.”

Unlike the Birds, which is heavily influence by the banjo, Midnight Vesta has transitioned from a banjo driven folk band, to a guitar laden quartet smothered in harmony thanks to Jarvis’s soft voice.

“I’ve been singing my whole life,” said Jarvis, who was put in a children’s choir by his parents at a young age.

“My ears and voice is really just a testament to that growing up. It’s just like language, your ability to be able to sing and hear harmonies is something I learned.”

Beyond the vocals, a lot of the tracks on the new album also have a bit of a rock vibe, something Jarvis credits to the other members of the band, particularly their drummer – Rob Patterson.

“There’s a bit of everything, but we definitely try to play on the strengths of the members of the band,” said Jarvis.

Joining the band during its West Coast tour, which includes 25 shows in the month of August, is Brooklyn Doran, an indie folk songstress, originally from Kenora, Ont., who is now based in Toronto.

The singer-songwriter’s music presents a unique and harmonious blend of traditional folk and contemporary pop.

Both bands will be at the Royal Canadian Legion on Aug 23. The show starts at 8 p.m.

Paul Clarke

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