The Dugout, located at 300 Ouellette Avenue, is one of the stranger venues in the city. Previously The Whisky, it is located next to the Honest Lawyer, and as the name might suggest, is a sports bar. But that’s only until 11:00. After that the TV’s above the stage are shut off, and local and touring musicians come out to play.
This weekend nineteen-year-old local musician Sean Antaya started off the night, just him and his acoustic. A newer name to the scene, Sean’s music shines through with sincerity and passion, and there’s just something about the guy that’s so damn adorable. Sure, there were bits here and there where musically the set wasn’t perfect, but that was easily overlooked due to the fact that he was just so honest about his playing. The set was a bit eclectic, changing between Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks”, Johnny Cash’s “Fulsom Prison Blues” and Marcy Playground’s “Sex and Candy”. During his hour-long set, Sean clearly became more comfortable with being on stage, and his playing smoothed itself out. It will be interesting to watch the progression of this performer.
The night culminated in Thunderbay’s Jean Paul De Roover, who F.A.M. Festians might remember as having played for that a few weeks back. Turns out that he made such an impression of the venue’s proprietor during his last visit that he was asked to come back, and luckily had a free day on his tour in which to squeeze us in.
Jean Paul’s style of music is rather unlike most other acts you’ll see coming through Windsor, or anywhere else for that matter. Somewhere between indie rock, a capella, and electronic (if there really is an in-between of all those genres) is where you’ll find him.
Using an interesting setup of effect pedals, recording equipment, and drum machines, Jean Paul will record himself beat boxing, loop it back, build it up in layers, record some acoustic guitar playing, loop that back, and sing and play over top of it all. And this entire process he does live on the spot. Sometimes he’ll throw in beats from his drum machine, record a loop of his shakers, or add claps into the mix, but whatever he does, it’s all executed perfectly to build the song up in a way that feels natural.
Watching him perform, it’s clear that there is real emotion behind the songs, and that Jean Paul truly enjoys performing. Not only does he talk to and connect with his audience, but his facial expression and body language during a song convey his feelings and the relationship he has with his music.
The roughly fifteen-hour drive between Jean Paul’s hometown and Windsor make it unlikely that he’ll pop into a local venue again next weekend, but keep an eye-out for his name to appear on a poster or Facebook event sometime in the future, and then make sure you’re at that show. You won’t be disappointed.