|Photos by Wally Norton|
Automan.ca rolled into Toronto Friday night (June 22) delivering up a helping of some southern deep fried Rock n Roll Canadian style. Kicking off a summer jaunt in support of the new “Backseat Surprise” album, Darrell “Dwarf” Millar announced that we were all in for one hell of a show as they launched into Bona Fide from the aforementioned album.
If you are unaware of this band, “Automan.ca” is a Canadian rock band fronted by Darrell “Dwarf” Millar (former drummer for the Killer Dwarfs). Rounding out the line up is Carleton Lockhart (guitar), John Fenton (bass) and Adrian Cavan (drums). A high energy rock and roll band, I would describe their sound as 1 part ZZ Top, 1 part Bon Scott era AC DC, 1 part Molson Canadian.
Darrell makes the jump from drummer to hard rock frontman with ease and style. He is truly a born entertainer and has a really solid set of pipes to boot. Mixing up songs from all three releases, the band faithfully recreate the sound of their records.
A while back, I wrote about “3 guitarists to see before you die”. Now after watching Carleton Lockhart tear up the fretboard, I think I will have to add in a 4th guitarist to this list. Carleton’s
unique style brings out a tone from his guitar that quite honestly I have never, ever heard. Very warm and funky yet it fits with the band.
Apparantly as a child he picked up a family members guitar and started to play. He was a lefty so was holding the guitar upside down. Unlike other lefty’s who reversed the strings, Carleton still plays with his strings reversed and without a pick. It is both unique and quite mesmerizing to watch his fingers dance along the fretboard.
This band is tight without being rigid and they seem to truly enjoy being onstage. From the rockin “45”, the bluesy “Milldog Blues” to the crunchy “Back in the Sun” the band played a really solid set.
If your looking for a good time this summer, I suggest grab some Automan.ca tickets as Darrell announced at the start, they gave us one hell of a show!