Trio on road to fame

BLAIR S. WATSON

, Last Updated: 9:23 AM ET

and, thanks to some aggressive touring and self-promotion, the eclectic, roots-oriented trio signed a record deal with Warner Music Canada last year.The band plays at Megatunes today at 4 p.m. and at the Republik this evening.

"Let (the major labels) come to you. And I don't mean just wait for the record companies to notice you -- go about your business and play as much as you can.

"You have to get people to notice you live ... and go on the road and really get your butts kicked. You have to get to a point that, even on a bad night, your show is still pretty good because you have been playing so often," says lead vocalist/guitarist Shaun Verreault of his band's strategy.

"We toured a lot just because playing live is the fun part of it."

Even when the group was just playing other acts' material.

"Playing in a cover band brings with it many gifts," Verreault says.

"It gives you the chance to really learn how to play together; from playing together every night sometimes for months on end. It teaches you how to live on the road. How to get by on whatever it is you're making and still hopefully eat every day. And it teaches you how to get across to the audience. That's priceless education."

This education is put to good use on Wide Mouth Mason's self-titled debut CD.

Co-produced by the band, the record defies simple description, fusing elements of hard rock, R&B, folk, funk and soul with its ever-present blues element. The trio serves up a dozen rootsy rock tracks that are distinctive and diverse.

As for their curious moniker, Verreault, bassist Earl Pereira and drummer Safwan Javed named themselves after a wide-mouth mason jar.

"To be blatantly honest, we just really needed a name. A name that conjured up rootsy images in our head," said Verreault. "Our approach was just to figure out a name for our band, so we can get on to writing some songs and stop wasting time.

"Wide Mouth Mason was just the first thing that came up that we all could eventually agree on."


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