Midway through the ride, Upside of Maybe stills...
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Dec 03, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

Midway through the ride, Upside of Maybe stills rocks

Stratford Gazette

Chet Greason cgreason@stratfordgazette.com

Five-piece roots rock band Upside of Maybe have been playing locally for a number of years now. Music lovers may recognize them from any number of gigs at area venues.

But Midway Midway, the band’s first album, is starting to catch the ears of those in other markets.

Singles from the album are now on regular rotation on over 50 radio stations in Canada and the US. That number only stands to grow once more people hear the band’s unique blend of fiddle, accordion, electric guitar, and lyrics that deal with the inevitability of aging.

“We tried to avoid the word ‘mid-life crisis,’ but all the guys are hitting 40,” admits frontman Michael Bannerman.

But that didn’t stop the band, made up of Bannerman (guitar, violin, and vocals), his brother Scott Bannerman (accordion, keyboards, and vocals), Brad Vaughan (drums), John Munroe (bass), Dave Dresser (lead guitar), and Charlie McEvoy (keyboards and guitar), from piling into a van and touring out west last summer, making stops in Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, and Winnipeg.

“It was crazy,” says Bannerman. “We thought, man, it’s great to be 40 and still able to do this.”

The name of the album itself is a play on the idea that the members of Upside of Maybe are all “midway through the ride of life,” as Bannerman puts it. Tunes like The Minivan Song juxtapose a young man dreaming of being a rock star with the reality of being a father with a career, while other tracks like Live It Well (Life Is Short) are fairly self-explanatory, encouraging listeners to do what makes them happy.

“It’s not stuff that rockers typically write about,” admits Bannerman. “The album’s a little more mellower for us. Not sure if that’s something that’s come with age.”

Before forming Upside of Maybe, the two Bannerman brothers spent a number of years fronting the band Last Coin. Michael says the two grew up in a musical family, with a father who drove around in an old hearse playing an organ stored in a coffin. His band, Last Remains, opened for the likes of the Guess Who.

“By the time we came along, though, he was all grown up,” laughs Bannerman.

Now, Michael himself is all grown up with children of his own. Is it possible, then, for a father to balance kids, a career, and still gig as a touring musician?

“Balance is the key,” he answers. “We practice twice a month, play four gigs a month, and maybe a tour in the summer. When it’s all done well, it’s great,” he says.

As proof, Bannerman reveals that he’s conducting the interview for this article from a Beaver Scouts meeting. He’s also just finished a successful stint as a local school board trustee.

“There’s only so many places to split your passions,” he laughs.

Midway Midway is available at Treasures and Gordon’s Men’s Wear in Stratford, as well as online on iTunes and Amazon. The band plans to plays a Valentine’s gig locally in February, and in the meantime will be touring across Southwestern Ontario in places like Windsor and Toronto.

They hope to once again pile in a van and tour, this time to the East Coast, this coming summer.

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