Country music takes over Lanspeary Park with the return of Chaps and Spurs (Day 1)

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chaps-and-spurs-stageAfter a successful inaugural single day festival last year, Chaps and Spurs returned to south-western Ontario with two days full of games, a patio full of vendors with delicious food and drinks, and more country music than you could imagine.

Day One

The first day of Chaps and Spurs started with a bang as Windsor native Steve Oriet took the stage around 530pm. It was humid and the skies were threatening rain, but that didn’t stop dedicated country music fans from showing up early to support this local artist. After playing his radio single, “Diggin On You”, Oriet announced that his newest single would be called “Stomp” so keep an ear open for him on Windsor’s Country in the near future.

The next act to perform was Jesse Slack. Some of you may remember him as a finalist on the CBC show Searchlight with his song “Where This Is Going” back in 2016. Dividing his time between his home in Ontario and trips down to Nashville TN, Slack wrote the impactful “What’s Best For You” with fellow Canadian Aaron Goodvin which he performed that day. Slack had a good sense of humour during his set and showed his respect for fellow upcoming songwriters as he sang a cover of Travis Denning’s “David Ashley Parker From Powder Springs”.

The power of the female artist was exemplified Day 1 in the talented Genevieve Fisher. I had the privilege early in the afternoon to meet Genevieve backstage where we chatted about the weather and how to plan outfits when you don’t know what the summer will bring. Here is what she said about her personality, her return to south-western Ontario, and her career as a Canadian country music artist.

Can you describe who you are as a person and as an artist in just two sentences?
Ooo that’s a tough one. Well, how about this…sassy but sweet. Does that work?

Have you played in Windsor-Essex before? What’s your experience with smaller festivals like this where the community is still relatively new to having a country music festival available?
Yes, I have played in the Windsor area before. Last year I actually played at the Harrow Fair and back a couple of years ago I opened for Dean Brody when he played in Kingsville. This is awesome that there is now a festival in this city as well.

Can you talk a little bit about your most recent single and if you have any upcoming projects for new music that fans are eager to hear?
Umm my most recent single that was on the radio was “Between You and Me” and the first time I heard it I was in my car and I screamed because it took me a moment to realize it was really me and it’s just a really cool feeling. I just got back from Nashville in july and I recorded two new songs, one of which will be my new single coming out to radio in next 6-8 weeks so that’s super exciting as well.

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Eric Ethridge (photo by Dan Savoie)

As the final opening act of Day 1, Eric Ethridge took the stage as the crowd rose to their feet. Singing his well-known Canadian country radio hits “Liquor’s Calling The Shots” and “Makin’ Me Crazy”, Ethridge beamed as the crowd sang back to him. With the recent release of his debut EP, the accolades are quickly piling up for the native from Sarnia, ON.  His newest radio single “California” has been added to many nationwide streaming playlists on Spotify and Apple Music and he was just crowned the winner of the “Unsigned Only” competition based in Nashville, TN.  I had a good friend tell me recently if they were to compare Eric Ethridge to anyone in the country music scene right now he would be the Canadian Dylan Scott. That’s not a bad compliment at all.

JoJo Mason – Sadly I had to retire from the festival early on Day 1 and missed most of JoJo Mason’s set but from everything I heard about him a day later, he was truly worthy of a headlining spot at Chaps and Spurs. While driving in to the festival earlier in the day, I heard Windsor’s Country Phat Matt on 95.9 interviewing Mason and my favourite part was hearing the simply joy and happiness that this artist has when he talks about his work. I think everyone should be able to have that in their life. Of course his latest single “Edge of the Night” was played at that moment while he was in studio. I also learned from 95.9’s Cordell Green that JoJo Mason is a very personable guy. He love to give hugs over handshakes and that’s my kind of person.

For more check out Kristen’s Day Two Story