Local artists getting moment in spotlight - Metro US

Local artists getting moment in spotlight

Local talent will again be heavily featured when Halifax Rocks in July.

Five of the 12 bands playing the two-day concert on the Halifax Common on July 23 and 24 are from Nova Scotia.

“We’re all very excited about it,” said Jon Landry of the Stanfields. “There are a lot of high-profile people on the bill and we’re really pleased to be a part of that.”

The Stanfields and the Jimmy Swift Band will play on July 23, opening for Kid Rock. Classified, Rich Aucoin and Chad Hatcher are scheduled for the Saturday show, opening for headliner Black Eyed Peas.

Landry said it’s absolutely vital for local bands to play in a concert of this size. Last summer’s Paul McCartney concert drew more than 50,000 people.

“To have local artists on the bill like Jimmy Swift and Rich Aucoin, all these people (are) trying to break through to show your own town what you’ve got,” he said.

Landry is crossing his fingers that this kind of exposure will launch his nearly two-year-old band onto another level. They were signed to this gig just a few days ago.

“There are a lot of people coming out and anything helps. This is a pretty good step forward for us.”

Plus it’s exciting to share a stage with big names like Kid Rock. Landry said he’s a fan.

“You see these names growing up … you don’t really associate yourself with them, so it’s pretty cool.”

Called “the bastard children of AC/DC and Stan Rogers” by Q104, the Stanfields are a high-energy mix of rock, Celtic and bluegrass.

The Jimmy Swift Band is an ECMA award-winning group from Halifax. According to their website, they are a fusion of the best of rock and electronic music.

Rich Aucoin is a Halifax pop singer whose performances CBC Radio describes as “crowd karaoke meets an eight-year-old’s ideal birthday party.”

Acoustic soul singer Chad Hatcher toured with well-known rapper Classified.

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