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Residents offer their porches to host acoustic artist's concert

Scotty James, a Billboard charting acoustic artist, is touring southern Ontario to run front porch concerts in August and September.
Supplied by Lezlie McDermott
Supplied by Lezlie McDermott

Oakville residents were pleasantly surprised when Scotty James, a Billboard charting acoustic pop artist, reached out to the community on a social media platform early this month, asking for locals to lend their porches for a few intimate neighbourhood concerts.

Unsurprisingly, over 100 homeowners reached out to James, offering their porches, reflecting the tradition of generosity among Oakvillians.

Many will remember James' journey in the Canadian music industry, from "serenading people at their front doors to hitting #20 on Canada's AC Billboard Chart with his debut single -Wanna Be Loved." He won a couple of awards and also attracted a steadily rising fanbase since then.

This time, his request was part of his front porch tour that began in August and will run through September in several regions in southern Ontario. He wants people to "just pull up a lawn chair to enjoy an evening of original acoustic tunes!"

"I was overwhelmed with so many offers, and it feels wonderful. But unfortunately, I can host only a couple of them in Oakville because I have to cover all the other areas, too," James shared. He performed in the Lakeshore area in Oakville last Sunday, thanks to the generosity of a resident and realtor. 

James has done eight shows so far, with a schedule of performing in 40 shows across Southern Ontario.

"I got the idea during the pandemic when I started doing porch concerts outside my house in Burlington, and the whole neighbourhood would show up. And neighbours continued showing up every week to these outdoor concerts," the artist recollected.

James, a singer and songwriter, plans to launch a new company called Backyard Music Code and connect with homeowners to use their backyards all across Canada, turning them into concert venues and bringing in local talent.

"When I choose the venue, I ensure it's big enough to host several other neighbours and friends. Something presentable, in a safe neighbourhood and that the owners are connected to the community," James explained.

Lezlie McDermott, who offered her porch for the concert on Sunday, shared that the experience was wonderful, adding, "The music was great. He's got a great sense of humour and told some great stories."

Her house is right beside Coronation Park and has a lot of walking traffic, especially on the weekends because of people going to the park.

"We had about thirty people turn up for the show," she said. She now has a better sense of the concert and plans to promote the concert better next time because "many people didn't really know what was going on and were kind of hesitant to come and sit on my property."