We are thrilled to welcome Jon Brooks this Thursday-- this must-see performance is by a musician that is world class in his skills; his lists of accomplishments include being named 'New Folk' artist of the year at the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas; as well as 3 nominations for Songwriter of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards! Those kinds of accolades don't go to many-- don't miss a chance to share an evening with one of the few and truly great! Even the Ottawa Citizen’s head music writer, Lynn Saxburg, thinks you should come: read about it here.
Song-writing fans might want to come back Friday night as well for an evening with three up-and-comers; Ali McCormick, Rae Corcoran and Dom DeLuca… You are in excellent hands with these talented folks, and the showcase is very reasonably priced as a pay-what-you-can ‘tip jar’ show…
Or, perhaps, you want a little more grit in your weekend? Peterborough’s Mayhemingways will join us on Saturday with their somewhat dirtier, somewhat edgier alt-country, Cajun and bluegrass meets roots-rock swagger—members of this excellently named band have been passing our way for over half a decade; the ‘Hemingway behind the Mayhem’ is Branch favourite, Benj Rowland, of the slightly-more-acoustic County Boys, as well as the country rock outlaw gang, The Avenues.
Read more about all these shows in the 'Music' section below...
Shop Local Showcase:
We are at the Shop Local Showcase this Saturday at the North Grenville Municipal Centre, 9am-3pm. "Local businesses & services together, to spread the "Shop Local" message, to the North Grenville Community! Come to the Shop Local Showcase on Saturday April 18th, 2015 from 9am til 3pm. Bring your family, tell your friends. One lucky person is going to win a trip for two to Vegas! Free admission and lots to see, do, drink and eat! Vendor booths and marketplace tables still available. Call for more info: 613-447-2172 or 613-853-8308."
Also, it would seem that my own (aka Bruce Enloe and The Burning Sensations) long journey on the road to a new musical release is finally in its home stretch-- Rumour has it that seats are filling up quickly for my official CD release show on April 23rd for my new album, Unseasonably Cool. Feel free to come on out that night-- especially if your idea of a good time is watching 9 fellas have the time of their lives...
Please note, our in-house menu may change without notice depending on market pricing and seasonal availability...
STARTERS & SALADS:
Chips & Dips: house tortilla chips, fresh guacamole, salsa, and sour cream.
Perfect for sharing! 8.99
Branch Caesar: bacon, parmesan, house garlic–tomato dressing, crisp romaine, croutons 7.99
Add chicken 2.99 Add beef brisket 3.60
Soups of the Day: made from scratch using fresh ingredients; cup, 2.99; bowl, 5.99
Green Salad: greens, shredded carrots, tomato, onion, seeds
choice of house dressings: creamy yoghurt-dill ‘Branch’ or Apple Cider Vinaigrette
small 2.99; regular 5.99; dinner sized 11.99
Spinach Salad: it's back! local organic hothouse spinach from Bluegrass Farms, Fleur-en-Lait sheep’s milk cheese (Glengarry), smoked portobello mushrooms, red onions and warm maple-cider vinaigrette 8.99
Taco Salad: choice of smoked beef brisket, house-roasted chicken, or smoked tofu, with greens, cheese, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, beans, and corn chips 16.99
ENTREES: include house cornbread as well as a small soup or small salad to start OR substitute a small Caesar salad to start 99¢
Steak & Potatoes: ask your server about today’s fresh cut…
Texas BBQ Plate: our signature house-smoked beef brisket served with Branch bbq sauce, mashed potatoes (substitute roasted potatoes for 1.50), slaw, beans, onions, & pickles 23.99
Chicken BBQ Plate: choice of bone breast with wing or 2 legs; served with Branch bbq sauce, mashed potatoes & gravy (substitute roasted potatoes for 1.50), slaw, beans, onions, & a pickle 19.99
Very Veggie BBQ Plate: house-smoked tofu, sautéed onions, peppers, & Portobello mushrooms, served with Branch bbq sauce, mashed potatoes (substitute roasted potatoes for 1.50), slaw, beans, onions, & pickles 18.99
Catfish and Chips: farm raised catfish, Cajun spiced cornmeal batter, remoulade, roasted potatoes and slaw 21.99
'Grown Up' Mac n' Cheese: whole wheat macaroni, 3 cheeses, house-smoked beef brisket, caramelized onions, heavy cream & garlic toast 19.49
Enchiladas Verde: choice of roast chicken or 'wild' tofu, mushrooms, onions and peppers baked in corn tortillas with chile-tomatillo salsa verde, served with beans, rice, salsa, sour cream and guacamole 23.99
100% local, naturally raised beef, thick & juicy, on a toasted Kaiser with rémoulade, grainy mustard, lettuce, onion, tomato; with roasted potato wedges, rémoulade for dipping, and a pickle 13.99
how about some:
sautéed onions: .99
sautéed Portobello mushrooms: .99
blue cheese: 2.99
fried egg: 1.99
please note: our famous burgers are fresh ground locally, in a small facility; as such, we are comfortable serving them medium, a.k.a. ‘a little pink’. If you have another preference, please let us know and we will prepare it to your liking.
Paleobranchburger as above, but served on a housemade paleo Kaiser with Caesar salad (with no croutons) 13.99
Housemade Veggie Burger: black bean and brown rice patty, served as above, but served with bbq sauce (vegan) 13.99
substitute housemade gluten-free Kaiser 1.
Gluten-Free or Vegan? Treat yourself! Ask your server…
Nicole’s Magic Mousse (GF, V): rich chocolate mousse cake, cookie crust, fruit coulis 5.99
Warm Apple Crisp (GF): served with caramel sauce & whipped cream 5.99
Sticky Toffee Cake (GF): served warm with caramel sauce & whipped cream 5.99
What’s The Scoop? house-made vanilla bean ice cream a la mode add 1.50
5.99 includes a small drink and ice cream
Macaroni and Cheese with garlic toast
Open Faced Grilled Cheese with ketchup, carrots & a pickle
7.99 includes a small drink and ice cream
Chicken Melt: toasted bun, roasted chicken, mayo, melted cheese, & carrot sticks
Chicken Leg: roasted chicken drumstick & thigh, carrot sticks & branch dip
KidBurger: toasted bun, ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomato, carrot sticks & a pickle
Wednesday, Thursday (5-8pm) and now SUNDAY, 2-8pm!:
BBQ Bonanza!! Come check out our Wednesday, Thursday and SUNDAY special! The meal includes a choice of our famous house-smoked beef brisket or roast chicken from Lyon’s Family Farm in Spencerville (choice of white or dark meat), mashed potatoes, BBQ sauce and slaw… it is available every Wednesday and Thursday, from 5pm to 8pm, and now on SUNDAYS FROM 2-8PM, it is hot and ready when you are, and either plate is only $15.99. That's right, just freakin' $15.99! (Dine in or take home…)
Friday and Saturday:
Burger Bonanza!! Join us this and every Friday and Saturday between 5 and 7pm for a Burg-o-rama! We chargrill a big pile of burgers over real hardwood on the Big Black Smoker, serve them (with all the usual fixings, including lettuce, tomatoes, onions, roasted potato wedges and housemade pickles, mustard and tomato-garlic aioli...) It's all for just $10.99, with any of our add-ons (cheese, bacon, blue cheese, onions, mushrooms, even a fried egg!) for just 99 cents each! Dine in or take it home, but remember, the special price is only on Fridays and Saturdays between 5 and 7pm… (as always, gluten free, paleo and vegetarian versions are also available…).
Family Takeout Dinner, $49.99: (please note the slight price increase, recent changes in our beef prices have made this unfortunately necessary...) Designed to feed a family of four, our takeout dinner now comes with a roasted 1/2 chicken (from Lyon's Family Farm), 3/4 pound of our famous 100% hardwood smoked beef brisket, a side of seasonal veggies, a tub each of black beans, mashed potatoes and coleslaw, our own zippy BBQ sauce and cornbread… The full dinner is hot and ready for pickup between 4 and 6pm, Wednesday through SUNDAY, if you call before 3pm. Add some Mac n’ Cheese for the kiddos for just $4.99.
Weeknight Music-- Chef Bruce and friends (hey, that's me!) will be playing every Wednesday for a while, 8pm start... Here's some samples from the new (upcoming) album: link. Thursday: (not every week... call to check) come hear the dulcet instrumental slide and lap steel guitar tones of the mysterious and wonderful Frank Western, 7pm... (Wednesday and Thursday are tip jar shows).
Thursday 16 ~ Jon Brooks, 9pm, $20. “I write songs to calm those who’ve looked into, and seen, what is in their hearts. I also write songs to terrify those who have not.” -- Jon Brooks
It was in 1997, at 28 years old, and at the end of a year of travelling throughout Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and particularly, throughout war ruined Bosnia-Herzegovina – it was during this time Jon discovered what kind of song he wanted to write. In 2006 he began singing that song. In 2014 Borealis Records released his 5th album, The Smiling and Beautiful Countryside. Jon is Kerrville New Folk Winner and a three-time “Songwriter of the Year” nominee at the Canadian Folk Music Awards.
The Smiling and Beautiful Countryside crashes the folk/roots party in late 2014 with a death count of 75. It’s an album of rural Canadian murder ballads and was recorded in Toronto by well-awarded and oft-acclaimed producer/engineer, David Travers-Smith. Jon’s 5th full length release is an intrepid solo set that defies categorization and resists any ‘folk,’ ‘singer-songwriter,’ or ‘solo acoustic’ description. Equal parts local Canadiana and universal horror, this is a collection that has buried all the trademark Jon Brooks social commentary in a shallow, roadside grave. Philosophical paradox, gallows humour, impossible love, titillating gore, adulterous sex, serial killers, gun dealers, rampage killing, missing women, First Nations catastrophe, necrophilia, Shakespeare, and John Milton: The Smiling and Beautiful Countryside is neither an album for casual fans nor is it music that will ever be heard in your dentist’s waiting room. Why record such a violent set of songs? In Jon’s words, “because: a) I wanted to write an album from which nobody indifferently escapes, an album that can only be loved or hated; b) if courage is a muscle, it needs to be exercised with a healthy dose of fear today; and c) I’ve already done four albums that inspire: it’s now time to offend.”
“(Brooks) speaks and sings words that need to be spoken and sung and he does it beautifully, perfectly, and with absolute finesse.” - Rod Kennedy, Founder and Producer of The Kerrville Folk Festival, Kerrville, TX
“Brooks stands among an exalted few in the enduring Canadian song tradition – Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Fred Eaglesmith, Bruce Cockburn – as a lyricist, composer and performer with a fierce commitment to his craft and his vision.” - Greg Quill, The Toronto Star
“He is by turns metaphorical and metaphysical; at times he examines the small details of life, at others, he soars above human struggles seeking something higher; his gritty voice is infinitely kind and gentle. Mature, wise, and intrepid – somehow Jon Brooks sings a path to the mysterious and complex essence of the human condition.” - Julie Miller, CFLX 95,5 Sherbrooke, PQ
“Political songwriting’ is all too often assumed to be shouty simplistic protest, and all too often it is and therefore tends to be ignored…Brooks knows this and his songs are songs first and messages second…a powerful and at times brutally clear-sighted vision armed only with an acoustic guitar, a harmonica, and a gritty ragged voice…Brooks is a star in the making.” – Maverick Magazine, UK
Friday 17 ~ Ali McCormick, Dom DeLuca, Rae Corcoran, 8pm, tip jar show ($10 suggested). Three Canadian voices share a night; Ali McCormick was born and raised in the Lanark Highlands deep within the Ottawa Valley, this Canadian songstress got her start in music around the kitchen table at a very young age. Ali McCormick's songs are a reflection of her rural upbringing; songs about dad selling the tractor, bears on bicycles and motorcycles that won’t start unless you roll them down a hill in gear. About to embark on a tour of the Western Provinces, Ali will be playing one of her favorite listening rooms on April 17th @ the Branch w/ her new found friend Matty McKechnie of GRAVEN.
You can check out what Ali gets up to here:
"I'm just a little person
One person in a sea
Of many little people
Who are not aware of me"
Rae is AMAZING! Ali met Rae last year at a show in Kingston. They've since become great ole pals. You just gotta hear this girl, she has quite the sound!
Dom De Luca
Diving into singer-songwriter waters back in 2008, Dom De Luca has worked hard and, as a result, has enjoyed a fair bit of success along the way. His first record, “Birds of Worry”, nabbed him an invite to the In the Dead of Winter Music Festival in Halifax in 2009. His 2nd record, “A Bell I Gotta Ring”, earned him more radio play and a place on a few Canadian College charts. Now, with his 3rd record, “Hosers and Bad Bad Beer”, ready to drop in the fall of 2014, De Luca has already earned another feather for his cap as the catchy/goofy first single, “(He Thinks He's the) Only True Canadian” recently won Folk Music Ontario's Songs From the Heart competition in the sub category of humour. Introspective, romantic, with a lighter side too, Dom De Luca let's it all shine through on songs that range from blunt yet witty put downs of backward thinkers to heart on his sleeve offerings. More on Dom can be found here: http://www.domdeluca.com/
Saturday 18 ~ Mayhemingways, 9pm, $7. Mayhemingways are an alt-country, bluegrass, and Cajun music duo from the musical hotbed of Peterborough, Ontario. Their music drifts timelessly between traditional music and something brand new. Benj Rowland sings lead vocals and plays numerous instruments including accordion, banjo, guitar, and foot pedal bass. Josh Fewings adds back-up vocals and percussion. Their sound is full and so is their touring resume, having toured as far west as Dawson City, Yukon twice and numerous times to the Maritimes and Newfoundland. The duo recently released their first self-titled EP, recorded by James McKenty who has worked with great Canadian acts like Blue Rodeo, The Sadies, Cuff the Duke, Gordon Pinsent, and many more. Their music fits in many settings, from quiet house concerts to big festivals.
Mayhemingways are ‘give it to ya straight’ type of dudes. They play music of long-established country foundation at times infused with heavier psychedelic vibes and obvious visions of a rock n roll horizon. Appealing to any age, this music is fun, danceable, deep and thoughtful. This music tells a story of heartache, travel and landscape, and the turmoil of being simple men in a computer age. Playing country music is their business, and they toe the line. Mayhemingways all currently reside in Peterborough Ontario. MAYHEMINGWAYS are: Josh Fewings: Drums. A solid member of the band, was a member of The Avenues, a roots/country band that toured Canada from 09-12. He knows where it’s at. Benj Rowland: Lead Vocals/Rhythm guitar/Accordion/Banjo. Previously, a member of The County Boys, The Kindness Killers and The Avenues, Mayhemingways is Benj’s brainchild. He walks the walk, with heavy boots.
Sunday 19 ~ Amanda's Slip Open Stage Anniversary hosted by John and Terry Brewer, 2pm, open 2-8pm. For those of you new to the Branch, Sundays are our 'Rubber Boots', or, our 'casual' day... On the food front, things have changed a little this year, instead the full buffet we are offering a smaller version with a selection of soups and salads, all you can eat, for just $9.99. We are also now offering our popular BBQ Bonanza Special all afternoon and evening--here's how that works: for just $15.99, you can choose between 6 oz. of our signature house-smoked BBQ beef brisket or a choice of light or dark meat roasted chicken (with even more choices from time to time), or any combination of the above, it comes with coleslaw, mashed potatoes and BBQ sauce! If you try the BBQ, the soup and salad buffet is only $4.99. We are also offering a pared down version of our regular menu as well as a kid's menu & a selection of our house-made desserts! In the same way that the open mic welcomes all types of musicians, the atmosphere is casual and fun and welcomes all types of everyone, whether you come to listen or to perform; it's a great day to meet new folks, come in for a $6 Beau's on draft (or two!) a pot of tea, some munchies and BBQ, make some friends, enjoy your downtown on a Sunday afternoon. We'd love to see you this Sunday!
The Open Mic this Sunday is a classic-- John and Terry Brewer practically invented it, locally anyway, in April some 13 years ago(!)... Back then, the couple hosted the Open Stage on one Sunday a month at the predecessor in our location (Amanda's Slip) for years; and then for many more years here at the Branch-- Although semi-retired from the the hosting gig, the two still make a few appearances a year and at this one, the anniversary, lots of the old gang gets together for what usually ends up being quite an event-- Many local musicians (including me!) got their start locally sharing John and Terry's famous Open Stage, and the tradition continues with lots of new faces joining the fold every year... Come be one of them!
Thursday, April 23 ~ Bruce Enloe and The Burning Sensations, 'Unseasonably Cool' CD Release show, 8pm, $8. (written by Matty McKechnie)
Ever heard of a rock n’ roll chef?
You might not know it, but when he’s not designing delectably local and organic dishes at The Branch, Bruce Enloe is one of the most prolific, poignant and ponderous songwriters going. A man of many troubadour stories, Bruce has traveled a long way to get to North Grenville - and whether he’s spinning vivid memory yarns of California or Texas, his new record Unseasonably Cool paints many pictures of humourous and heart-rending lessons of lost youth, growing pains and revelatory truth.
Doubling the efforts of his first live-off-the-floor Bonfire album, Unseasonably Cool is a studio-born baby that was raised at the caring hands of many talented friends and musicians of the Kemptville area. The song styles are as varied as Bruce’s life journey, as tracks like Don’t Burn Your Bible head to a plucky, open-range of Bluegrassy twang, while Chance To Explain sounds like it could be a lost jangle-rock Wilco or Dinosaur Jr. b-side. In the same breath, Peter Murphy plays like a synth-pop, new wave nod to Depeche Mode, and the stark, melodic Mother Earth-griever God Particle blasts off out of the sound atmosphere in a very David Bowie-esque manner. Righteous and rocking at times, but soulful and subdued at others, this is an album that never stops moving and working – much like Bruce, himself.
“Our experiments ending up taking my songs as a guide and using them to test the waters of everything from power pop, acid rock, old time, blues driven soul, to indie rock, cosmic country, folk rock and even a tip of the hat to new wave pop...”
Unseasonably Cool is Bruce’s most rich and daring release to date, as the songs represent pins on a map of his life – almost as if he’s taking you on a journey through his record collection from childhood to manhood. But when he’s not hand-leading us through the mosaic of his musical mind, he’s also letting the listener into his soft core with heartstring-tugging, home-hitting love ballads like Me And Nicole. With eight (and sometimes nine) people that make up the sprawling sound of the Burning Sensations, Bruce’s full-band live performances are a stunning sensory experience for everyone in attendance. Featuring members of Fiddlehead Soup, Brad Sucks, Graven, Uncle Sean And The Shifty Drifters and many more locally flavoured acts, Bruce’s sonic support system is fairly epic. If there’s a show you don’t want to miss at the Branch this year, this is the one.
“For this showcase, on the evening of Thursday, April 23, we will perform the new album live from beginning to end for the first time as a full band; with the first hard copies of the CD on sale as well... Tickets for the show are $8 and the CD will be $15, but for the night of the show, $20 will buy both the ticket and a CD!! Reservations, as always, are recommended, and, naturally, I can personally vouch for the food if you'd like to grab a bite before the show as well ;) - call the restaurant, 613-258-3737 to reserve your spot today!” - Bruce
May 8 ~ Ariana Gillis, 9pm, $15. She's back! Book ahead for what is sure to be a fantastic show...
"Ariana Gillis may be the best new emerging
artist anywhere, PERIOD!"
– Dave Marsh, best selling author, former music critic of __
Rolling Stone Magazine & Creem Magazine.
That's all for now, thanks for reading!
June 4 ~ Oh Susanna and Jim Bryson, 8pm, $25. Holy Moly!
June 5 ~ Craig Cardiff, 9pm, $20.
Bruce & Nicole
ONE LAST THING: like great food and music? The Branch is always looking for the best of the best folks to come and join our team... consider dropping off your resume today!