‘The band that everyone has heard of, but never actually heard’

Beauwater hopes to take its music to new levels with recent ECMA nomination.

Lauren George

As a blues band with a pinch of rock, Beauwater says finding themselves a place in the provincial music scene proved to have its difficulties.

“If you’re not a folk or Irish band, it’s pretty hard to make a splash in Newfoundland,” said Michael Maddox, Beauwater’s drummer. “There was a time when we would play for just the bartender and his girlfriend, and it stayed like that for a while.”

Beauwater is looking forward to their showcase performance at this year’s ECMA’s in April in Saint John, New Brunswick. The trio is made up of Jonathan Reid, left to right, Michael Maddox and Greg Newhook. Lauren George/Kicker


The band has worked hard to make their mark on the music scene here in Newfoundland and Labrador, but their new album, Lovers, Fools and Kings, featuring their hit song Better Off, is anticipated to grow their network of fans across the country. The song can be heard regularly on the local FM station Kixx Country.

The new album was nominated for Blues Album of the Year at this year’s East Coast Music Awards.

Bass player Greg Newhook says they received the news about the nomination via Twitter – it was a surreal moment for the band.

“Getting nominated is a feeling of fulfilment I guess,” said Newhook. “We spent five years writing for this album. Just to have that nomination as recognition of the work that we’ve put into it kind of validates it for me.”

Beauwater started playing together back in 2008 and have become a family over those nine years.

Finding their sound came naturally for Beauwater with major blues rock influences such as John Mayer and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Lead singer and guitarist Jonathan Reid says it’s easier to write a sad song; most of the upbeat tunes end up in the trash.

“We’re pretty happy people,” said Reid. “Probably why we are so happy, we get all the sadness out in our music.”

All three band members collaborate to write their songs.

Newhook says a song starts with someone bringing an idea, then everyone adds a piece of themselves to that idea, and in the end, that’s what makes it a Beauwater song.

Changes in his personal life, he says, have affected him creatively.

“Having kids, for me, has massively changed me as a songwriter,” said Newhook. “Just because of the endless pool of inspiration.”

Beauwater has matured as a band over the years and they have many accomplishments to show for it, such as opening for The Trews, Our Lady Peace and Third Eye Blind. With two albums under their belt, Beauwater is eager for more, and the band is already talking about their next album.

“It seems like we are the band that everyone has heard of, but never actually heard,” Reid said.

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