Hamilton Rocks: The Dinner Belles

The alt-country act is the latest to be featured alongside the new CBC Music: Hamilton Rocks stream.
The Dinner Belles are a seven-piece alt-country outfit, currently working on their new album. (Steve Marck)

On August 20 2011, at 4:47 a.m., William Schwendiman of the Casbah sent an email to the Dinner Belles after they played there.

It read as follows.

"One broken nose customer, one peeing-in-public ticket for a customer, one passed out and revived by paramedics customer, one stomach-pumped customer, 250 crazed Dinner Belles fans, and one over-the-top outstanding band tonight. Success."

Not exactly commonplace for a folk band, but the group seems to enjoy it.

"There were people making out in the front row, right in front of us," said guitarist and vocalist Terra Lightfoot.

The mark of a successful evening?

"Moreso, It was the mark of an insane evening."

The group started out three years ago under the guise of being an Allman Brothers cover band.

Strangely, they have never played any Allman Brothers songs.

"We started as a barroom brawl," said drummer Jonathan Cass, tongue firmly planted in cheek.

The band plays a mix of rootsy alt-country, full of harmonies and strings.

Lightfoot said her favourite Steeltown venue is the Army & Navy hall.

"Because if I say This Ain't Hollywood or the Casbah, one of them is going to shoot me," she laughs.

She said most people outside the city don't understand how exciting the Hamilton music scene really is.

"There's a common misconception about Hamilton until you live here," the former Waterdown resident said.

"It's vibrant. You just can't know that until you get here."

Cass agrees. "People really don't know how good it is," he said. "If they did, more people would be moving to Hamilton."

Check out the Dinner Belles on Bandcamp here, and follow them on Twitter @DinnerBelles_.

You can listen to loads of other great Hamilton acts on the new CBC Music Hamilton Rocks stream here.