Matlockes win Dufferin Rising Star Competition

·3 min read

A band of young aspiring musicians are tuning up to take the stage this coming weekend at the Heritage Music Festival Concert Series.

Shelburne-based band, the Matlockes, are the winners of the inaugural Dufferin Rising Star Competition presented by Music in the Hills. The group will be performing live at Bands, Brews and BBQ on Saturday (Aug.6), where they will as be receiving their $1000 winnings.

“It was really exciting to say the least and absolutely amazing news to hear, probably the best news,” said drummer, Dylan Lillie.

The Matlockes features members Steven Thompson, Cole Barber, Dylan Lillie, Colt Fawcett, and Evan Harley; all of who are students of Centre Dufferin District High School (CDDHS).

Recently formed, the band came together as a unit back in April, a mere couple weeks before their submission into the music competition. The five-member band won the music competition with their rendition of ‘No Good’ by Kaleo.

“We all practiced the song until we had it down and we ended up playing it at our school’s talent show. We thought we did really well and were confident in how well we played that song,” explained Lillie.

“It was one we put a lot of energy into and you [can] tell we did,” said Thompson, lead vocalist.

While they all own up to having their own taste in bands, the groups draw much of its sound from classic rock, rock, and metal. Some of their inspirations include Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Greta Van Fleet, AC/DC, Foo Fighters, and Nirvana.

While they’ve found a space performing in the rock genre, the group doesn’t shy away from pushing themselves, having performed a rock rendition of Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ and even venturing into their own song writing.

Their first original song is titled ‘Tired’.

“What we try to do as a group is spread the knowledge of rock and the classic rock style around,” said Lillie. “A lot of our generation are experience a new wave of this genre and that’s really inspiring to see and to be a part of.”

The 2022 Dufferin Rising Star Competition was created around this year’s Music in the Hills initiative to support programs for youth in Dufferin County. The competition ran from April 20 until May 20, with youth aged 5 to 19 eligible to submit a two-minute video of their performance.

“We were looking for more gigs and figured it wasn’t going to hurt us,” said Barber, bass guitarist. “Out teacher also supported us.”

The Shelburne-based band placed first out of 18 bands, duos, and solo acts that entered the competition.

Speaking with the Free Press, Lillie noted the impact the local competition has played in inspiring youth musicians.

“It’s super important to give this opportunity to younger people like us because there’s a lot of people that have talents. There are other people in our school who are absolutely amazing musicians and to present that opportunity to them – it can be life changing,”

The Matlockes will take the stage at Fiddle Park at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday (Aug. 6).

Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press

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