LEAMINGTON – The Bank Theatre will present Leamington’s favourite rocker, Canada’s best-kept secret, Jody Raffoul live in concert for three CD release shows on Friday, November 30, Saturday, December 1 and Sunday, December 2. Opening the show is rising star Billy Raffoul. Tickets are available for the Sunday show. Friday and Saturday shows are SOLD OUT.
The oldest son of first-generation immigrants, Jody Raffoul grew up in Leamington, bought his first guitar at age 15 and stepped onto the Village Inn stage at age 17. Bars began competing to book his band, The Bad Apples, which Raffoul helped form, and in which he played alongside his cousin and fellow musician Ron Raffoul. Often referred to as The Apples, the band dominated the local music scene in the late ’80s and early ’90s, and soon Jody set off to record his debut self-titled release, selling the album out of the trunk of his car.
In 1999, Raffoul debuted his follow-up effort “Simple Life,” a collection of mostly one-take acoustic songs. Raffoul wrote and recorded a third release, “Like a Star”, in 2004. This recording would bring Raffoul international attention with the track “Light of Day”. Unbeknownst to Raffoul, a fan-submitted that track to Bon Jovi's Have a Nice Gig contest. Though Raffoul was one of 17,500 entrants, he went on to win that contest locally and was ultimately selected by Jon Bon Jovi as the national winner, resulting in Raffoul and his band opening for Bon Jovi in front of a sold-out crowd at Giants Stadium in New Jersey.
With nearly 10 years elapsed since his last studio album, Raffoul is set to release his fifth, and what most who have heard the record say is his best LP of all – “9 Wigle Street Leamington Ontario.”
9 Wigle is a collection of true stories of love, loss, trials and triumphs with an emphasis on family, all backed by solid music, pure and refined, timeless vocals. Always known for his power, Raffoul shows us that age hasn’t hindered, it has only enhanced his music and stage presence!
Billy Raffoul is opening act
Opening the shows is Jody’s son Billy Raffoul whose debut single “Driver” serves as a calling card for the 22-year-old singer, songwriter and musician. His signature sound is a rough-hewn, low-timbered rock and roll that nods to the likes of Jeff Buckley, Neil Young and Joe Cocker, and is powered by Raffoul’s gravelly, soulful voice and deeply felt lyrics.
Billy Raffoul has been fairly certain of what he wanted to do with his life from a young age, having grown up in a creative family in the Tomato Capital of Canada, as he puts it. His mother Bridget is an artist, writer and teacher, and his father Jody Raffoul is a solo artist and hometown hero who has opened for everyone from Joe Cocker to Bon Jovi.
“One day I went into the studio to sing on some Kid Rock demos. The guys heard my voice in the booth and asked if I had any original stuff. I played them two acoustic songs. They shot an iPhone video and sent it to my now-manager, who used to work with Kid Rock. The next day we drove down to Nashville,” said Billy Raffoul.
Billy Raffoul now splits his time between Nashville and Los Angeles. In between playing shows he has been collaborating with other songwriters, and slowly but surely assembling his debut album.
“The theatre itself has new signage, new sidewalk, and multiple improvements going on inside and that’s special enough,” said John Moran, Vice President of The Bank Theatre. “But this though, Jody’s new record is about his love of music, love for Leamington, and his love for friends and family. We watched Billy grow up on this stage at Dale’s Friday Coffee House too, and now look at where he’s going,” said Moran,
Tickets are $35 per show and include the CD. Doors open on Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. (7:30 show) and Sunday at 6 p.m. (7 p.m. show). Tickets are available at Wharram’s Jewellery, 28 Talbot St. W. in Leamington or online at www.banktheatre.com