The dawning of Charlotte Day Wilson

Plus the top 10 spring concerts in T.O., from indie popsters the Born Ruffians and Canadian icon Bruce Cockburn to Britain’s King Krule and Depeche Mode

Born Ruffians
This indie pop band led by Luke Lalonde has slowly but surely set the groundwork to move from “next big thing” to simply “the big thing” with their latest album. Anyone that had a chance to preview some of their new material at their recent Massey Hall gig will attest to its rather groovy quality. This is a band that is chockablock with enough intoxicating melodies to charm even the most jaded shoegazer. They play five nights at Lee’s Palace, April 4 to 8, each one surely jam-packed and a guaranteed good time. Check them out on a smaller stage while you still can.

Charlotte Day Wilson
First the Weeknd and then Daniel Caesar showed just how deep and diverse the R & B scene in Toronto has become. Now, Charlotte Day Wilson is ready for her moment. Wilson is launching her new EP, Stone Woman, with a show at the Danforth Music Hall on April 6. Some of the best music on the planet is coming from Wilson and her contemporaries right here in Toronto. Go, bask in the glory and tell your kids you were there when it all started.

Margo Price
If one musician could save country music from the saccharine tide of big red cups and short denim shorts and return it to the outlaws, our money is on Nashville’s Margo Price. She is equal parts Waylon Jennings and Loretta Lynn, and she is fantastic. We first had a chance to watch this talented country singer at the now-defunct Toronto Urban Roots Festival in 2016 on the heels of her brilliant debut album, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter. She’s back with a new record and a show at Danforth Music Hall on April 18.

George Thorogood
Sometimes, it’s good to sit back and let classic rock wash over you. And there are few performers more classic and more rock than George Thorogood, who brings his aptly named band the Destroyers to Massey Hall on April 26.

King Krule
With a pinch of Joe Strummer and a dash of free jazz, U.K. artist Archie Marshall takes listeners to a weird and wonderful musical place somewhere in the cracks between punk and jazz and hip hop. We caught his first somewhat clumsy appearance as a youngster in a trio at a small club. With each subsequent show, he’s gotten more comfortable, his sound fuller, and he’s only getting better. Now, King Krule tackles the Rebel on April 29.

Bruce Cockburn
Bona fide Canadian treasure, breathtaking musician and lyricist and folkie from way way back, Bruce Cockburn returns to Massey Hall for a concert on May 5 on the heels of his first new album in seven years, Bone On Bone.

The Breeders
One of those very influential bands from the ’90s, founded by Kim Deal of the Pixies and Tanya Donelly of Throwing Muses, the Breeders made a big splash with their seminal album, Last Splash. The band is back, and they hit the Phoenix on May 6, so dust off your favourite concert T and get down there.

Broken Social Scene
Local legends and all-around groovy tunesmiths, Broken Social Scene kick off the summer concert season at Budweiser Stage on May 24, and they bring along Portugal. The Man, making for a very cool double bill that appeals to fans both young of age and those whose hipster beards have long since turned grey.

Charlie Musselwhite and Ben Harper
Blues harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite teams up with dynamic musician Ben Harper for three nights of auditory bliss at the Mod Club, May 28 to 30.

Depeche Mode
Just because it’s all warm outside doesn’t mean big arena shows are finished. And Depeche Mode is a big arena show that should not be missed when the groundbreaking band checks into the ACC on June 11.