Steph MacPherson. Photo by Tyson Elder

Steph Macpherson. Photo by Tyson Elder

Steph MacPherson. Photo by Tyson Elder

Steph Macpherson. Photo by Tyson Elder

Steph MacPherson. Photo by Tyson Elder

Steph Macpherson. Photo by Tyson Elder

Noah Edwards. Photo by Tyson Elder

Noah Edwards. Photo by Tyson Elder

Noah Edwards. Photo by Tyson Elder

Noah Edwards. Photo by Tyson Elder

Noah Edwards. Photo by Tyson Elder

Noah Edwards. Photo by Tyson Elder

After returning home from a successful tour, Steph Macpherson debuted her latest album with a launch party at Victoria’s Lucky Bar, along with guests Noah Edwards and Dirty Mountain.

The air inside Lucky Bar was sticky and humid when I arrived late to the show; a contrast from the cool night outside that threatened rain. It seemed that it was going to be one of those nights where it finally decided to be fall. Although that rain never really did show up.

Having missed the five song set by Victoria’s latest country rock band, Dirty Mountain, I was quickly filled in on their set by fellow concert photographers Adam Lee, Darren Ho, and Michelle Edwards. Their account of the show was that it was similar to the band’s debut performance earlier this summer at Anián, but a substantially shorter set.

It seemed that, as soon as they finished telling me about Dirty Mountain’s set, Noah Edwards and his band took the stage.

Recently, Noah Edwards has been on a western Canadian tour with Steph Macpherson as a supporting act. They sold out their show in Calgary and had decent attendance throughout the rest of the tour. It was clear that Noah was still energized by his time on the road, adding more enthusiasm and smiles to his already fantastic live performance.

The most recent configuration of Noah Edwards’ live band is arguably his best. The four-piece brought a new life to songs of his which I’ve only seen performed acoustically. Toward the close of the band’s set, they played an energetic rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark.” Noah’s version is certainly giving Vince Vaccaro’s cover of the song a run for my favourite cover right now.

As I said, Steph Macpherson and Noah Edwards have been on a tour through western Canada to support the release of her new record, Stones; a fantastic album which she recently recorded over a few weeks in Nashville, Tennessee. The album follows up to where Bells & Whistles left off, but with a more raw sense of emotion, maturity, and relatability. This is Steph songwriting at her finest.

It was fantastic to see a house nearly packed with friends and family at Lucky Bar to support Steph and the release of her new album. I don’t think a smile left her face all evening while she performed a set of primarily new songs off Stones, and the sultry backing vocals of Dirty Mountain’s lead singer, Ellisa Hart, gave new depth to Steph Macpherson’s voice.

At the end of the show, it was clear that the audience wanted more. Cheering, chanting, clapping, stomping, and calling for a second encore. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, but I’m sure it filled Steph with confidence for departure to Ontario a day or two later for a solo tour in support of Stones.