Greystone Music is more than a band. We’re an entertainment solution. We offer a turnkey solution including staging, lighting, PA system. We can even provide a DJ if you want to keep the party going late.
As for the Greystone Band, we’re a nine-piece Rockin’ funkin’ R&B powerhouse. We’re musicians with decades of professional experience who love to entertain, with two guitars, harp, trumpet, bass, drums and three kick ass vocalists up front.
The origins of the band trace back to around the time the Big Ice Storm paralyzed Toronto over Christmas. Initially it was a blues band but as with many projects it was slow gaining traction. Mike Stuart, MIke Patton are the surviving members of that iteration.
Ian “Hammerman” Harvey came in on bass. He had worked with both the lead singer at the time, Eva Ribes and Mike – both professionally and musically.
The band was and is very much south Scarborough-based and when one of the guitarists and the drummer vanished one day the band quickly reformed with Sam on drums and Sam “Sharkey” Sharkaway on guitar.
It was about this time, 2015 on, that the Greystone signature sound started to emerge, moving away from rock and blues, though it’s still there and more into an R&B and vintage soul genre. Mike Stuart is rock driven; Sharkey is more gypsy jazz at heart. Together they are part of the incredible groove that just naturally emerges from the rhythm section combo of Ian on bass and Sam Mc on drums.
Sometimes that groove takes on a life of its own.
Around 2017 Eva pulled the plug for personal reasons. We still love her and we hope she loves us and while we were sad, we knew we had something special going with the Greystone sound and the rest of the band was determined to keep going.
So we started auditioning vocalists, particularly in east end Toronto and south Scarborough.
As it turned out six degrees of separation played the key role in matching us up with the formidable front line vocalists we have today.
After all the auditions with some fabulous singers we asked Louise Elder to be part of our project., There was, however, a request.
We’d heard Andrea Smitko sing twice, once on a call back and we were blown away but she didn’t have any experience fronting a band, though it was her goal to step up and lead.
Over beers at the pub, Mike Patton said: Why not both? It was a crazy idea. We loved both of their voices.
So we asked Louise, could you bring in Andrea and work with her?
Louise is a pro collaborator and without hesitation, said yes.
In fact she went further, suggesting her friend Gregg Loane, whom she’d worked with for 25 years fronting National Slag was also looking for a new project. How about two females and a male vocalist?
Boom. Done deal.
So suddenly we were an eight piece band re-organizing our genre and we kept drifting, drifting to funk, R&B but not wanting to leave our rock and blues roots behind.
And then came Maddy.
Her mum worked with Mike “Ned” Stuart. Madeline Currie was a shy barely 18-year-old, first year music student at Humber College. She wanted experience with a band. It was a great deal. We could add horn to our line up and she would get credits for her course for every hour on stage plus a formula for rehearsal time.
After the first couple of gigs we just made it permanent. She is a treasure and has a great career in front of her and we’re thrilled to support her in her goals.
So now we’re a nine piece Rockin’ Funkin’ R&B Band. We love to take the classics and twist them while still staying true to the original artists, to take traditional tunes like Summertime and seek out the most unusual, high energy arrangements.
It’s all about “Greystone-ing” the tune. Making it ours but still being respectful.
Check us out. You will dance your a** off.
- Friday October 18th
The Augusta House