From Toronto to Nashville, and back. It has been a whirlwind tour for The Stellas since their appearance on the second season of CMT’s, Can You Duet in 2009. From sharing stages with country music acts such as Zac Brown Band and Johnny Reid, Brad and Marylynne Stella are the perfect example of how a “husband and wife duo” can be one of the most special collaborations in country music. Recorded live in Toronto’s famed Massey Hall, their self titled debut,The Stellas was released in 2012 on EMI Music Canada. On the verge of the release of their second album, It Wouldn’t Be This and their 20th anniversary as a happy couple, the talented duo still find time to get out on the road and perform live. Stopping by Hugh’s Room in Toronto on Friday, March 27th, The Stellas showed the sold out, big city audience what country music is all about.
Though Hugh’s Room is not the grandest of stages when compared to those of Madison Square Garden or the Grand Ole Opry, what it does allow for is complete intimacy when it comes to listening to live music. When you sit that close to live music played with such passion, you almost feel as if you’re imposing. Entertaining, humble, funny, and full of spirit, Brad and Marylynne took the stage and shared their gift of music from the first meticulously harmonized note to the last. Their stage presence has just the right amount of passion, love, and silliness. Brad and Marylynne are both gifted vocalists and musicians. Marylynne can craft notes and enunciate in a way that makes the little hairs on the back of your neck stand up straight.
The night was a great combination of songs from their self titled debut, upcoming toe tappers from It Wouldn’t Be This, and some classic, mega hits thrown into a crowd pleasing medley. Their selected set list included; “In This House,” “Perfect,” “Gravy,” “Stay A While,” “Riding in the Back Seat,” “It Wouldn’t Be This,” “The Man Upstairs,” and “Everytime You Go Away / Baba O’Reilly / Waterfalls / Fishin’ in the Dark / Callin’ Baton Rouge / Wasn’t That A Party / Mercedes.” Their encore was a completely acoustic performance of the Peter, Paul, and Mary song, “No Choice.” The duo even took to sitting completely submersed in the crowd to perform the song, and encouraged the entire audience to sing with them.
Joking around with the audience, Brad and Marylynne took the time between songs to tell some of the stories that inspired their most creative songs. In addition to their musical talents, the duo knows how to tell a story. Everything from collecting treasures that others leave on the side of the curb to the emotional tale behind “The Man Upstairs,” which was written as a tribute to parents and their impact on their children’s lives. Their upcoming album promises to include a little something for everyone. The duo expressed throughout the night that this record has “been a long time coming” and a lot of “hard work and effort” went into every single note.
The Stellas second album, It Wouldn’t Be This is set to hit shelves and music retailers 4 May 2015. You can pre-order their album and stay current on all of their musical adventures here.