Mrs. Johnston will be playing a long awaited reunion show in downtown St. Catharines to raise funds for Free the Children
Niagara rock band, Mrs. Johnston will be playing a much anticipated reunion show at Detour Music Hall at the end of the month.
The band consists of Graham Morley (drums), Jay Baty (bass), Danny Lamb (vocal), Ky Lamb (guitar/vocals) and Jason Ashcroft (guitar/vocals).
Mrs. Johnston has grown up together both as friends and as bandmates, having all lived in Niagara-on-the- Lake and even having some members playing in rival high school bands and going to elementary school together. Brothers, Ky and Danny Lamb, linked up with their cousin, Baty after he was finishing his degree at Metalworks Institute. Graham and Ashcroft came along shortly after, and Mrs. Johnston was formed.
Mrs. Johnston has had the opportunity to play with acts such as IllScarlett, Hollerado, Fefe Dobson, Marianas Trench, Trooper, and Mother Mother, and have played in a number of different cities within Southern Ontario. In the matter of only a couple of years the band pumped out two albums, their debut Late Night Sessions, in 2010, and Handshakes When We Win in 2012. Both were written together and recorded in Toronto, the first album by Baty himself and the second by Doug Romanow.
The band’s major influences include the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bob Marley, U2 and Kings of Leon who among others have helped to shape their own indie pop/rock sound, one that draws on a number of genres that make up their lively original repertoire.
“I would write a song differently than my brother would, differently than my cousin would, differently than Jay Baty would and differently than Graham Morley would,” said Lamb. “So when we come together it’s what I call ‘Bittersweet Love’. The songs we write, we think, are pretty cool with a lot of vocal harmony, energy, and creativity. The songs always take different shape because each of us have different takes on the same ideas.”
“Over the past few years, the structure of our songs has been refined and improved,” said Lamb. “The quality, and pride we’ve grown to take in how precise our vocal melodies/harmonies, are all product of the many different experiences that we’ve had together that have pushed us to be the best possible band we can be.”
Mrs. Johnston is also known for using this same harmony, energy and creativity for doing covers with their own spin and including them into their set lists.
“Unfortunately we don’t play with each other much anymore. We all love each other like brothers, but that “bittersweet love” element to the band drove us to try new things and expand our own horizons,” said Lamb. “The one constant in us playing with each other on stage is that we can always agree on is that it’s one of the best feelings we’ve come across in any musical setting. We each have little quirks that drive each other up the wall, but the energy we get from writing a great new song together, or the feeling that we can mutually agree upon when we’re killing it on stage together is an experience that I can only hope every musician is lucky enough to feel at least once in their lifetime.”
The band is excited to rekindle that experience for both themselves and the audience at their reunion show at Detour Music Hall where Lamb will also be playing with his new band, Danny Lamb and the Association as well as with local artist, KAYD.
Lamb and Baty co-recorded KAYD’s debut album, Pivotal, in November of 2014 at Freshly Squeezed Records in Niagara Falls. Both have been a huge influence in helping her to get on her own feet as a young. emerging artist and are excited to share the Detour stage with her.
“Frankly, she has no idea how good she actually is,” said Lamb. “I’ve only known her for about a year and I’m so excited to see where she could potentially be in another couple years.”
Aside from being very active musicians, Mrs. Johnston has done a lot for advocacy for the Hydrocephalus/Spina Bifida Foundation of Ontario, being that frontman Lamb was diagnosed with the condition at the age of three. He is now working as the foundation’s Young Ambassador and is constantly interacting with kids and other young adults with the same condition. The band has remained constant advocates of the organization because of the importance it has to Lamb.
Lamb has also recently been employed as an Inspirational Speaker for the company Me to We/Free the Children which is an international charity that works both domestically and internationally to empower and enable youth to be agents of change in society. Along with their show, Mrs. Johnston will be hosting a bake sale, so you won’t be leaving the venue hungry. The proceeds from the sale will support the We Bake for Change campaign that will go to supporting Alternative Income and Livelihood in one of the seven countries the company works for. Lamb is hoping that he will be able to hand deliver the funds himself.
Though Mrs. Johnston has not played a show together in a couple of years, they could not be more excited to play a hometown show in an intimate venue doing what they love most: playing music and advocating for change.
“Quite simply, we want to put on a good show but our ‘Mrs. Johnston’ relationship, to the world, is not so different than any other relationship. It’s give and take,” said Lamb. “The more fun you have, the more fun we have so we kind of help each other out, kind of help each other to create the best night that we can possibly create.”
The band is looking forward to seeing their old fanbase come out to see them play this reunion show and are hoping to see new faces out supporting the cause.
“We honestly can’t thank our friends/fans and family enough for being so cool to us over the years. Whether it be Mrs. Johnston related, or another side project/group that we are part of. We constantly see fans of Mrs. J showing up to love and support the many different things that each of us are involved in. That love, inspires us and resonates loudly. It’s something that really has led us to believe that ‘maybe we’re doing something right’”.
Mrs. Johnston will be playing at Detour Music Hall on Feb. 28. The show starts at 7:00 p.m. and tickets are $10 in advance at ticketfly.com or can be purchased at the door. For more about Free the Children visit freethechildren.com and for more information about upcoming shows right in downtown St. Catharines visit IndoorShoes on Facebook.