JJ Shiplett & Kelly Prescott-The Burdock, Toronto-February 8 2017

By: Robyn Crosby


What do you get when you take a popular country music festival and you add Canadiana roots rockin’ red head JJ Shiplett and third generation country/roots singer songwriter Kelly Prescott?

Well, outside of Canadian musical magic among the biggest country stars, you get a great teaser show called Road to Boots.  Newly announced on the Boots and Hearts ticket August 10-13th in Oro Medonte, Shiplett and Prescott took to the intimate stage at The Burdock in Toronto to give some of us a taste of what we can expect to see from them later this year.

Calgary, Alberta born and Whitby, Ontario raised, JJ Shiplett has opened for Dwight Yoakam and Johnny Reid.  If you like pure, genuine, sentimental songs from a rugged and reserved performer, Shiplett’s your man.  If you’re a lady, you just may want him to write a song about you.  His song, Let’s Go Out Tonight makes you remember a time when couples would go out dancing rather than just drinking.

His set list has “highs and lows” as he described at the intimate Burdock.  The singer reminisced about how kitchen parties used to be popular and no one does that anymore.  But he threw his own kitchen party when everyone sang along to Louis Armstrong‘s Wonderful World.  Shiplett’s newly released album, Something to Believe In served as a great soundtrack for the evening but the crowd was also treated to his covers of Springsteen and Our Lady Peace.

Hailing from Ottawa, Kelly Prescott is a force to be reckoned with given her combination of talent and bubbling personality.  She makes you feel like her friend by just being herself, sharing stories about relationships and embarrassing moments.  Just like the subject matter of her songs, her voice is versatile, and smooth and smoky when it needs to be.

Listening to her newly released EP Hillbilly Jewels is a must.  Jim Cuddy appears on the title track, an ode to her family and roots. However if you’re looking to hear some special songs such as, Heels Over Head, a modern day Tinder love song, or her auctioneering song that will make you want to bring back square dancing, you’ll need to catch a live show.

If you’re in Toronto you have a chance to catch her a few times before Boots and Hearts.  On April 26th she opens for Shooter Jennings at The Horseshoe Tavern.

Both Shiplett and Prescott’s music is available on Apple Music and Spotify, so there’s no excuse to not know all the words to their tunes before you hit up Boots and Hearts this summer and catch our domestic talent on stage!


Robyn Crosby is a Toronto based freelance music writer with a background in the radio industry. She can be reached at robyn@robyncrosby.com

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