Lotus Shaker rocks The Toucan

Band talks unexpected formation

Lotus Shaker at The Toucan on Oct. 21.

Lotus Shakerbrought live entertainment to the Toucan every Monday night of the month of October, playing a mix of originals and covers as part of a tradition the band started in 2018 they dubbed “Roctober.”

On Nov. 15, they’ll be playing at the Merchant Tap House at 10 p.m. 

Guitarist Dan Chisholm and singer Britt Blanche, the original two members of Lotus Shaker, have been playing together for nearly a decade. The group’s transformation into a four-piece band, adding bassist Tim Archibald and drummer Jeff Salmon, happened by accident.

At the Public House about two years ago, Chisholm and Blanche were meant to open for another band featuring bassist Tim Archibald, who is also the general manager of the bar. When Archibald’s guitarist suddenly couldn’t make it, he approached the duo and asked them to fill in.

The pair joined Archibald and their former drummer Jeff Salmon to save the night by putting on an impromptu show. 

“We played a blues song for 30 minutes. We were like, ‘Go, go, go, just do it,’” Blanche said. At the spur of the moment, Lotus Shaker became the full four-piece band it is today.

Roughly a year ago, new drummer Daniel Chalmers joined the group following Salmon’s exit. The four of them get along very well, which translates to how much fun they have while on stage. 

The band’s blues influence can be heard in Britt’s rich, soulful voice and Dan’s extended and unpredictable guitar solos, which create a funky back-and-forth with one another. 

Dan draws influence from Philip Sayce, another blues guitarist who’s played with greats like Melissa Etheridge and Jeff Healey.

Lotus Shaker’s sound is best described as a fusion of rock, blues, funk, and progressive rock.

“We want to bring that all together and do punch-in-your-face rock at the same time,” Blanche said.

This idea is best expressed by their band’s name, which refers to the lotus flower, a symbol of calm, mixed with the idea of shaking things up. Still, Blanche is the first to recommend not looking too deeply into their name.

“We just put the two and two together and thought it was cool,” she said.

While Lotus Shakerhas yet to release their first album, they promise it’s coming soon. They’ve written six original songs, and have more on the way.

Although they’ve become familiar faces in downtown Kingston, playing bars like the Merchant, Blu Martini, and the Mansion, they have their sights set on becoming a touring band and playing shows on the east and west coasts, along with locations in Toronto.

Once their album is out, they want to start playing bigger shows with shorter sets of originals rather than focusing on covers.

For now, they’ve been spoiling Kingston’s bar-goers with wild, high-energy performances.

Although the group came together completely by chance, they meshed together instantly and have been grooving ever since.

With a steady stream of gigs and an album on the way, Lotus Shaker won’t be slowing down anytime soon.


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