A high-energy rock band fronted by a powerhouse female vocalist returns tonight to Pogue Mahone in Brocklehurst.
The past year has been a hard-driving one for The Joys since their last performance here. This time they're going to ease back on the throttle a bit, said singer Sarah Smith as the band returned to Canada Monday from a string of gigs down south.
"We're going to do something a little different since it is a Tuesday," she said. "We'll be doing an acoustic set.
Based out of southern Ontario, The Joys started out as Popjoy, a cover band replaying '80s hits by artists such as Cyndi Lauper and AC/DC. The band includes vocalist Sarah Smith, known for her theatrical stage presence, Mike Mckyes on lead guitar, Ken Ross on bass and Kevin Komatsu on drums.
Five years ago they decided to switch to original rock and parsed their moniker to make the leap, a leap that began to reap rewards with their 2008 release, Unfold.
The single was certified gold as the top-selling album in Canada two summers ago. Since then they've picked up a couple of honours at the Toronto Indie Music Awards and their music has been used to score film and TV projects (including a licensing agreement for a Sony PS2 commercial).
"It's like new classic rock," Smith said, paraphrasing a description from Sunday's gig in Seattle. "That's pretty much exactly right - old-school rock but Janis Joplin kind of vocals."
Adventures In the group's latest release, is produced by Dale Penner, known for his studio work with other hard-rock bands such as Nickleback, Econoline Crush and Holly McNarland.
"It's all about our adventures on the road and our adventures in life," Smith said. "Mike and I have been playing together for 10 years now and the band is a tight unit."
The Joys are now playing about 200 shows a year across the continent. They have just returned from a tour to California and Texas that included a performance at the South by Southwest Festival in the music capital of Austin.