The Johnny McCuaig Band is a Canadian band. Now, you’re probably wondering, “What the hell does that mean?” Well, for starters, they don’t say ‘about’ as ‘aboot’ and they definitely don’t sound like Nickelback, Justin Bieber, Arcade Fire or Drake. Instead, they draw on Canada’s rich, cultural mosaic to create an original mix of musical genres that stands out in the crowd. We’re talking a super fun blend of hard rock, pop, new wave, folk, and blues combined with their not-so-secret weapon: bagpipes!
Johnny McCuaig and his musical cohorts exemplify the honest, hard working, and proud (yet humble) spirit of Canada. According to Johnny, “I look back at what Canadians have accomplished over the past 100 years and I keep seeing that we are known for our politeness, our hard working groups of immigrants that really had nothing and were able to accomplish everything. There is a real sense of pride when you are able to show something from all of your hard work.”
Offstage, The Johnny McCuaig Band is your neighbour who shovels the driveway and mows the lawn while you’re away on vacation, the guy that pulls over to give you a boost when your car won’t start on a cold winter night, and that bartender at your local pub who knows what your favourite beer is. And when they’re onstage, they work their butts off to consistently thrill fans with their one-of-a-kind live show that bursts with energy and positive vibes. If you don’t leave a TJMB show without a perma-grin then there’s just no hope for you.
After spending a few years recording and performing under the moniker ‘McCuaig’, Johnny decided to take a hiatus from the music scene in order to devote more time to his family. Eventually, the itch to dust off the bagpipes and get back onstage to do what he does best was too much too ignore, so in 2013 he started rounding up some old friends and began playing shows across Canada as The Johnny McCuaig Band.
With a renewed drive and determination, TJMB released their stunning 2015 album Hold Fast, produced by Juno Award winner Jason Plumb (The Waltons) at Studio One Recording in their home base of Regina, Saskatchewan. Johnny is still ecstatic about the recording sessions. He says, “What an eye opener. To work with a guy of that caliber was truly amazing from start to finish. I learned a lot about putting songs together and flowing lyrical content. Getting to know him as a musician and a person was very cool. Definitely a learning experience!”
For TJMB, the album is just a taste of what they have to offer. To truly get the full Johnny McCuaig Band experience, you HAVE to see them live onstage. Live, their brand of melodic ear candy becomes a feast for the senses. Bagpipes, a kilt, crunching guitars, a hip-shaking rhythm section, and boundless energy makes for one hell of a show. With high profile gigs at the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas and the 2013 Grey Cup Festival under their belt, TJMB is set on expanding the McCuaig Brigade around the world.
It’s not Celtic. It’s not Pop. It’s not Alternative. It’s everything. It’s TJMB. The McCuaig Brigade is a party and you’re invited!