Stage: Festival Patio Stage 1 (King St. & Memorial Square St.)
Date: Saturday August 17, 2019
Time: 9:15 pm
Artist Links: Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/JUNKHOUSEHAMILTON/
The Canadian group Junkhouse was formed in 1989 by guitarist
and singer Tom Wilson. Other members of the original formation were drummer Ray
Farrugia, guitarist Dan Achen, and bassist and vocalist Russ Wilson. After
a number of years, keyboardist and guitarist Colin Cripps was brought in to
extend the lineup. Around the same time, bassist Grant Marshall arrived on the
scene to replace Russ Wilson. Throughout the ’90s, Junkhouse recorded several
singles and albums.
In the late ’80s, Tom Wilson was part of a group called the Florida Razors. When things crashed to an end for that band, Wilson moved on, unsure of what he was looking for or of what steps to take next in his life and career. A year later, he found those steps and formed Junkhouse. He also did some solo work, landing a deal with Sony Music. In 1993, his group signed with the same label and a debut album, Strays, hit the market that same year. A few singles were released from the debut, along with a popular music video to “Out of My Head.” Canada’s answer to MTV, MuchMusic, helped Junkhouse expand its fan base and it didn’t take long for Strays to go gold for the group. Some of the other tracks on this first full-length outing are “The Waiting,” “Big Brown Turtle,” “Jesus Sings the Blues,” “Weight on Me Mama,” and “No Way Out of Love.”
It took two years for a sophomore album, Birthday Boy, to show up. It was the last one that Russ Wilson would be a part of. By the time Fuzz was released in 1997, Junkhouse had added two new members, Cripps and Marshall. ~ Charlotte Dillon, All Music Guide
Tom Wilson (lead vocals, acoustic guitar)
Dan Achen (guitar)
Ray Farrugia (drums)
Russ Wilson (bass)
Grant Marshall (bass; replaced R. Wilson 1996)
Colin Cripps (guitar, vocals, keyboards; 1996)
When the Florida Razors broke up in 1988, Tom Wilson felt completely ready to give up music altogether. A visit to his friends, and fellow Hamiltonians, Daniel Lanois and Malcolm Burn in New Orleans convinced him otherwise; while in the Big Easy the trio wrote together and worked with the Neville Brothers. The feedback he received from his time in the south propelled him to return to Ontario and try again.
In 1989 Wilson founded Junkhouse with Dan Achen, Ray Farrugia and Russ Wilson (no relation) – with help from his friend and Crash Vegas member Colin Cripps. To help the band get established and hone their chops, Crash Vegas got Junkhouse to open a few gigs for them, and Cripps produced some of Junkhouse’s recording sessions. By 1992 Wilson was signed to a publishing deal with Sony Music, and in 1993 he released a cassette of music recorded over the past four years called “Here Lies Happiness” that the band sold at their gigs. They were signed to a recording deal with Sony Music in 1993 and while recording their first album, they got opening gigs with the Waltons and Soul Asylum. Their first album, ‘Strays’, released in September 1993, was produced by Malcolm Burn and eventually sold gold in Canada. The video for the first single off the album, “Out Of My Head”, was moved from medium to heavy rotation on MuchMusic within a week of being released. “Prayin’ For Rain” soon followed, making Junkhouse a MuchMusic and Rock Radio staple.
The second album, also produced by Malcolm Burn, ‘Birthday Boy’, was released in September 1995 and featured a duet with Sarah McLachlan on the track “Burned Out Car”. After touring extensively to support the release, the band took a break to pursue individual projects. Meanwhile, their cover version of Crowbar’s “Oh! What A Feeling” was included in the soundtrack to the Paul Gross TV show ‘Due South’.
Wilson continued to stay active musically by playing with Blackie And The Rodeo Kings whose members included Stephen Fearing and Colin Linden. It was also during this time that Russ Wilson decided to leave for his own musical endeavours and Grant Marshall was brought into the fold. Crash Vegas having broken up in the meantime, it seemed only natural that Colin Cripps join Junkhouse as a second guitarist.
The band members reconvened in the fall of 1996 at a converted church studio in Hamilton called Catherine North which was co-owned by Achen. They began writing again, in the studio and in Wilson’s living room, and the results of their efforts was released in early 1997 as ‘Fuzz’ which was effectively a Cripps/Wilson project. Junkhouse dissolved after this.