Making Folk-Rock Cool Again

Category: music 1,315

Rosewood Groove credits local promoter for opportunity and inspiration.

Photo: Jessica Peters

Newcomers, Rosewood Groove, got started playing music together less than a year ago and have since become a regular fixture on city stages thanks to the encouragement of friends new and old.

“The band came together kind of spontaneously actually,” said guitarist and vocalist Johnny Cullen. “We all jammed together throughout the summer and had played at Wilser’s Room open mic night a few times but hadn’t thought of actually forming a band. Our friend Sarah Breau was working at Grimross Brewery one day and Eddie Young from Roots and Soul Music Promotions asked her if she had any musical friends. She gave him our names and next thing I knew, Eddie was messaging me asking if we wanted to do a set at Ringo’s.”

The band’s laid back mix of folk and rock music channels the lighter side of The Tragically Hip and Neil Young with Cullen’s Downie-esque voice providing a solid grounding for the group’s acoustic delivery alongside fellow musicians Austin Comeau on vocals and mandolin, Colin Matheson on bass and vocals and Ryan Merritt on piano and drums.

The band credits Eddie Young and Roots and Soul Music Promotions for helping them get started and giving them a stage to develop their sound before a welcoming audience.

“Eddie’s Ringo’s shows were what got us off the ground,” said Cullen. “We were pretty nervous for our first one, we were all new to playing live. There’s a difference between playing a song and performing it live. The Ringo’s shows helped us get used to interacting with an audience and showing them how a song is supposed to make you feel. It also made us realize how important it is to write your own original material.”

In addition to playing uptown, the band has found welcoming audiences at The Capital, The Sour Grape in Oromocto and on campus at the College Hill Social Club.

“We’ve been drawing some pretty good crowds,” said Cullen, “but I would say the main challenge is convincing other students that going to see live music is an absolute blast and there’s nothing like it!”

Rosewood Groove recently released a five-song self-titled EP and have been working to build their repertoire. Follow them on Facebook.

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