Despite their four-eyed appearance, a show with The Spectacles is far from myopic. The myriad of instruments played by Jaxon Haldane, Grant Simpson, and Tim Osmond applied through a lens of Ragtime jazz, country, bluegrass, folk and swing results in a set list as wide as the Manitoba horizon.
Grant Simpson is a musical force who can play absolutely anything. Although his forte is ragtime and stride piano, which he plays masterfully, he also plays musical saw, mandolin, tenor banjo, and amongst others picks a mean rhythm guitar.
Jaxon Haldane reveres tradition, but he’s no purist. His punk rock roots sprouted a love for the muscial styles that branched off to rock and roll: Bluegrass, Swing, Blues, Rockabilly, Bebop, it’s all in the recipe. The result is a gumbo – rich and spicy. Earthy, yet sweet. Rustic, but refined enough that you know a real chef is in the kitchen… one who cooks with love.
Tim Osmond does his absolute darnedest to surround himself with music at all times. He takes his inspiration from the very roots of bluegrass and old‐time Appalachian music all the way to the variations on those themes he hears from his contemporaries, and brings them to the table each time he plays with the Manitoba bluegrass quintet The Stanley County Cut Ups, or as a solo performer.
Here’s some banjo pickin’ and rhythm guitar from Grant and Tim –
Columbus Stockade Blues
And here’s a little banjo/piano ragtime…