Toronto Soundscapes: Union Duke

I may be using this as opportunity to brag about my school, but the truth is that going to Ryerson University, which is located at the heart of downtown Toronto, has exposed me and a ton of my peers to some of the most talented artists out there (musicians or not). Such is the case with the Toronto-based band Union Duke, whom I discovered in classroom  when they performed as part of a group presentation.


Did you catch our last week’s Toronto Soundscapes featuring the band The Strumbellas? Well, if you liked that kind of stuff, I’m sure you’ll really dig the sound of Union Duke. Much like The Strumbellas, whom are uniquely all their own at the same time, Union Duke  is “five ninths city, four ninths country” (as they describe themselves on their official Facebook page). The foundation of their music is folk but on top are layers of bluegrass, rock, and country, which all combine to create the stomping folk rock vibe they’ve got going on.


Specially equipped with banjos, harmonicas, steel-stringed guitars, and powerful vocals courtesy of the band’s frontman Ethan Smith, the band is earning themselves a growing fan base in Canada. Having already spent time in the studio and playing shows across the nation (from classrooms in Toronto to homecoming celebrations in the nation’s Maritime provinces), fans and new listeners can only except a lot more from this promising group.


If you dig the sound of all that and think it’s about time I just get to some music already, no worries because right below you’ve linked you to a video of them performing at the 2012 Sound of Music Festival Streetfest which took place in Burlington, ON. Halfway through the video they perform their own fun rendition of Haddaway‘s “What Is Love (Baby Don’t Hurt Me)” that’s sure to get you up on your feet.



Also make sure to check our their official website here at to check out more from the band.

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