The group is made up of Carleton Stone, Breagh MacKinnon, and Dylan Guthro, who combine their voices and their guitar and piano work to perform what they describe as “roots pop” music.
The group is currently in the midst of a tour across Canada in support of Steven Page, formerly of Barenaked Ladies fame. Page and Port Cities share an agent, as well as a connection within Page’s group that worked with Port Cities early on.
Following the Steven Page tour wrap-up at the end of the month, Port Cities will begin to make a pass through New England, including a performance in Lancaster. This will be the band’s first substantial tour in the U.S., having performed only once before at the tree lighting in Boston Common in November two years ago.
The trio of Carleton, Breagh, and Dylan met at the Gordie Sampson songwriting camp in Cape Breton several years ago, each pursuing solo careers of their own work at the time. “We were playing in each other’s bands,” said Breagh, “and with the East Coast music scene being pretty small, we would often share the same bills at concerts. So, once we met and started writing together through this songwriting camp, we just slowly started to create this bond of cowriting, and making music together, and singing together. After three or four years of that, we just said, why don’t we just combine forces and start one band, and that’s how Port Cities got started.”
The band grew up in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and today is based out of Halifax. Since its debut, the band has swept up a number of nominations and awards, including several Music Nova Scotia wins for their self-titled debut album in 2017. The album covers an impressive variety of music that seems to cross from soul to blues to danceable rock, defying genre, which Breagh says is always a tricky thing. “For the first record, especially, I think we were all kind of coming together, and figuring out what each of us brought to the table and how to best combine that. I think when you see us live, you get a really good sense of what world we’re in. I think what we always try to get across is that the singing and the songs are the most important part, so like, there’s something so special about harmonies, combining voices, people singing together, and that puts in a roots-pop kind of world.” Band member Breagh MacKinnon, added, “That being said, we come from that sort of folky singer-songwriter kind of tradition, but we all are big fans of the craft of pop songwriting, so there’s elements of more modern pop music as well.”
Tickets for Port Cities’ Rialto Theatre show on Wednesday, June 12 are $15 and now on sale at Fiddleheads, 110 Main St. in Colebrook, at the Rialto Theatre, 80 Main St. in Lancaster and at the door on the night of the show. Information on the band can be found on all of the major music services online, as well as on Facebook, Twitter and on their website, www.portcities.ca.
For more information on this and other GNWCA shows, visit www.gnwca.org, find the GNWCA on Facebook or call 246-8998.