Canadian Music Week with Ox

The Horseshoe Tavern
March 5, 2004
When Ox left Sudbury to play Canadian Music Week, it had just dumped snow. In Toronto, it was an unseasonably balmy 14 degrees, which is perhaps why we were all dreaming of opening up the cottage and drinking beers on the dock. Being fully convinced that the laid-back spirit of cottage country can be captured through music, Ox immediately set my mind at ease and made me forget about the city for an hour.

Sporting big fun mesh hats (were they Von Dutch? I have no idea÷) and iconic lumberjack plaid jackets, Ox's alt-country-esque sound opened another day of Canadian Music Week beautifully. Rock without the brain-rattling drum lines or screamo vocals; kinda folky, kinda artsy, kinda rootsy÷kinda like their latest album "Dust Bowl Revival" from which most of their set was taken from.

Frontman/Ox music brainchild Mark Browning painted tales of love, loss and an endless stretch of highway, wearing the pains and pleasures of his mind-numbing tour schedule on his sleeve. With that, Ox brought an extra touch of reverie to the Horseshoe as more than a few minds wandered onto the open road before the set was over. The mental escape would have been complete and total if only I hadn't been so worried about the still-developing ears of the tiny baby just about ready to pop out of pianist Ruby Loves U...

Writer: Erica Basnicki

Photo:Oz Jenab

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