Bandwagon: Melissa Payne and James McKenty perform “Shake Me”

Watch the latest episode of Bandwagon, the local video series featuring intimate performances from excellent bands. Today, Bandwagon comes live from the Peterborough Folk Fest with local musicians Melissa Payne and James McKenty.

Melissa PayneWith a gravelly sweet voice and a winning stage presence, Melissa Payne is one of the rising stars to come out of Peterborough’s folk/country scene (well, Ennismore).

She’s really come into her own in the past couple years. Her 2014 sophomore album, High And Dry, which was co-produced by Blue Rodeo’s Greg Keelor, had a warm, laid-back 70s vibe to it and a number of standout tracks (read our interview with her about it). Since then, she’s played Boots and Hearts and Havelock Jambo, toured the country, and she just came back from her first mini-tour of Ireland.

James McKenty is her other co-producer and occasional band member. James first came to local attention in the mid-2000s fronting Peterborough powerhouse rock trio The Spades. Since then, he’s mostly moved to the other side of the recording booth, engineering albums for Cuff The Duke, Blue Rodeo, Devin Cuddy, and, with Seven Fire Records, a whole bunch of local bands. Most recently, he was behind the boards for “Christmas Must Be Tonight,” a collaboration between two adorable old men, specifically Gordon Lightfoot and Ronnie Hawkins.

This past summer, Bandwagon caught up with Melissa and James at the Peterborough Folk Festival. They climbed into the back of the Patch Bus, the old VW bus owned by Ken Elrick a.k.a. The Wolf’s Dr Patchbeard, and played “Shake Me.”

Check it out:

High And Dry, Melissa Payne’s latest album, is available on iTunes. Ronnie Hawkins’ “Christmas Must Be Tonight” is also available on iTunes.

Watch for upcoming episodes of Bandwagon premiering on Electric City Live. Check out previous episodes on Bandwagon’s YouTube channel.


Images courtesy Mexican Cheesus Productions and Melissa Payne.

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