St. Marys Journal Argus
Juno Award-nominated children’s entertainment duo Splash N’ Boots, who currently have several songs in daily rotation on the Treehouse television network, will perform a March Break concert at the Pyramid Recreation Centre. As part of a very busy schedule that see them entertaining in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island earlier in the week, the bright-yellow-and-blue-clad musicians will squeeze in a concert Saturday, March 15 at 11 a.m., in between scheduled gigs March 14 in North York and March 16 in Toronto.
Splash N’ Boots is also eagerly awaiting the 2014 Juno Awards ceremonies to honour excellence in Canadian music, to be held at the end of March in Winnipeg. They recently learned they’ve been nominated for the first time, in the Children’s Music Album category.
The Pyramid Centre concert represents a long-awaited opportunity for St. Marys and area music lovers to experience the on-stage creativity of one of Canada’s most popular kids’ music groups — a popularity gained through their CDs and music videos, but equally through their madcap live shows. It also represents an opportunity for Thorndale-area native Nick Adams — the “Splash” half of Splash N’ Boots, along with Taes “Boots” Leavitt — to perform a homecoming show, of sorts.
Adams’ parents still reside on a Thames Centre farm — the pastoral surroundings of which have made starring appearances in past Splash N’ Boots videos. His grandfather resides in St. Marys. The duo’s 2003 debut album, which was originally co-written as a class project in a Drama program at Queen’s University in Kingston, was recorded in a home studio operated by Adams’ uncle in Russeldale.
“I graduated from Plover Mills public school,” Nick Adams related during a recent telephone interview from the home base of the duo — who are now also a married couple — in Toronto. “I went to Medway High School (in Arva) but my two brothers went to St. Marys DCVI.”
The recent Children’s Album of the Year nomination is for the duo’s sixth CD, “Coconuts Don’t Fall Far the Tree.” In the recent interview, Adams explained that, for the album, “we asked our fans to come up with the song titles before we wrote the song.” As a result, he suggests, there’s “a real personal feel” to it.
In addition, they recorded all the songs in their home. “We wanted to have that kitchen party feel,” Adams explained.
When Splash N’ Boots hits the Pyramid Centre stage on March 15, audience members can certainly expect a party — of the kitchen variety, or otherwise. Karen Coddington, who helped the St. Marys Public Library’s programming team land the popular duo for the gig, told the Journal Argus she was “very excited,” when the Library received confirmation.
Several years ago, Adams and Leavitt performed a show, also sponsored by the Library, at the St. James Anglican Parish Hall in St. Marys. “And it was just rockin’,” Coddington recalled.
In recent years, however, “we have tried to get them (to come back to St. Marys) and they were always busy. They were on a cruise, or they were somewhere out of the province.
Nicole (Monteith) Johnston, a Mississauga resident who grew up in St. Marys, was making plans to be back in town with her two year-old son Hunter for the March Break, including next Saturday’s Splash N’ Boots gig. They experienced the Juno-nominated act for the first time a few months ago at a Christmas party at Toronto’s Royal Canadian Yacht Club, and they loved it.
“They were really engaging and interacting with all the kids,” Johnston said. “They did lots of songs about animals, and (Adams) would make animal all these animal noises, which the kids loved . . . Hunter was 21 months at the time, and he was up jumping around most of the time.”
Adams, when asked about the high-energy nature of a Splash N’ Boots concert, laughs and makes a joke about the fact that he and his life partner/performing partner don’t yet have children of their own. “We entertain thousands and then we send them home to their parents,” he said — either to collapse into bed with exhaustion, or to be so energized and adrenalin-fuelled that they keep their parents awake all night.
“I think it was just the time and the day,” Coddington said, when asked how the Library programming team finally managed to secure the return gig. “The stars aligned.”
Anyone hoping to attend the concert, which comes at the low, low admission fee of $5, is advised to get tickets ahead of time at the St. Marys Public Library.