BAYTOWN’s groovin’ island jams bring to life the history and spirit of living on Canada’s East Coast through blending horn-laced dance beats and lush storytelling with a ska-inspired vibe. The band, from St. Johnï¿½s Newfoundland, is comprised of Matt Cooke (vocals, guitar), Greg Bruce (sax, flute, pedals), James Lee Wright (bass) and Jason Howard (drums, vocals).
Recently, Baytown released their sophomore album, Island, described as ï¿½a mix of upbeat, reggae/funk songs that keep your feet taping.ï¿½ (Girraffe Cycle, Moncton NB) that are ï¿½fresh, danceable, infectious and uniqueï¿½ (Fred’s Records, St. John’s NL). The recording was nominated for ECMA 2015 R&B Album of the Year, which got the attention of Nashville based, Grammy-nominated producer Rusty Vandercamp, with whom the band is in talks with for future projects. Baytown received grants from MusicNL and the City of St. John’s for the recording, which allowed them to work with renowned engineer Rick Hollett in Newfoundlandï¿½s premier studio, Stagehouse. Island was their first album to involve sax-man Greg Bruce in the song-writing process.
Baytown first gained music industry momentum in 2011 with the release of their debut album Two Places. This lead to opportunities to open for Wintersleep, the Trews, and Matthew Good, while touring and showcasing across Canadaï¿½s East Coast. These efforts earned them multiple 2012 MusicNL award nominations, national radio play and funding from the NL Arts Council to professionally produce videos for their songs “Death of Us” and “Waited On”, which have been seen nationally on CMT.
Currently, Baytown are performing throughout, having already performed in staple venues such as The Carleton in Halifax, Wakefieldï¿½s Black Sheep and Torontoï¿½s Cameron House, to promote Island. Keep an eye out for tour dates and new video releases by following Baytown on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter under the handle @baytownrock.
Over the past year, Baytown has been quite busy. Since the album release, they have filmed a NLAC music video for their song “Death Of Us” which aired nationally on CMT’s The Show. In May, they rocked large crowds in Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa and Montreal before they returned to their stomping ground to give sweaty, on-your-feet, performances all summer. In between all this, they have found time to record a live video with Heavyweather.ca and BalconyTV and have enjoyed continuous radio play on OZFM and CBC locally. Currently, they are working on new material for a second album and planning a fall tour of Eastern Canada. The group is looking forward to expanding and keeping the good times rolling into 2013.