A local band’s big break

Jaclyn Reinhart (Derek McLaughlin Photography/Submitted)
Jaclyn Reinhart (Derek McLaughlin Photography/Submitted)

The Jaclyn Reinhart Band is going to war.

“You go up and just give it your all,” said Jaclyn Reinhart, the band’s leader. “You take everything you’ve learned, everything that you’ve rehearsed and you just put it together and put on the best show you can. That’s what we’ll do in Toronto.”

The infamous Hard Rock Café conducted a poll.

The four-member, Fredericton-based group gathered the most votes in Canada to perform in the Hard Rock Rising contest, sponsored by Hard Rock Café.

Between Jan. 28 and Feb. 11 people cast their votes by downloading the Jaclyn Reinhart Band’s track, “Oil and Water.”

They gathered the most votes out of any other band – just bragging rights said Reinhart, but still.

The Jaclyn Reinhart Band will battle against 11 other bands in one of Canada’s three contests tomorrow night, all three being held in Toronto at different dates.

Grant Carson is the band’s lead guitarist and is majoring in music at St. Thomas University.

“I’m super excited,” he said. “When she first told us about it, I was like, whatever. Then she started pushing it super hard on Facebook and got a bunch of votes and then I found out we were going.”

Carson is from Miramichi, New Brunswick. He has been playing for about 10 years. His father liked to play bluegrass, so he grew up around instruments – couldn’t use them though, because he was left-handed. His father had to buy him a lefty guitar. He plays a Gretsch.

Carson also balances the band and school with his part time job working at the Fredericton Inn.

Reinhart started as a vocalist and learned guitar at 19. She also balances her music career, but with motherhood.

“I have two kids,” said a hopeful Reinhart. “I’ve been married. I’m separated. I’m getting a divorce. I find it really challenging to balance it all. It’s still happening, but I have to do it on life’s terms. I’m okay with that.”

Reinhart completes the rock star look with a thick blue streak in her otherwise black hair, propped up with purple-rimmed sunglasses.

Fredericton has been a great place to grow as a musician said Reinhart. She’s from Crabbe Mountain, near Fredericton. She has been playing her music seriously for the last eight years.

The band has undergone many transformations over the years, but the group as it stands now has won the hearts of many Frederictonians in this contest.

Hard Rock Cafés all over the world are qualifying bands for the ultimate showdown. The prizes are $10,000 in band gear, filming a music video with Hard Rock Records, recording an album with them and a chance to perform at the Hard Rock Calling Festival this summer in London, England.

Reinhart’s not sure what will come out of this, even if they win. For one, she’s not sure what the rest of her group will do.

She describes herself as a soloist technically, but has the added benefit of three trusty musicians. Members include Tony Patterson on bass, Grant Carson playing lead guitar and Jeff DiPaolo with the drums – can’t forget her guitar, Samantha.

While she’s willing to uproot if things work out, she understands that the others won’t necessarily be able to do the same.

“If there’s any chance for them too, I’d absolutely take them along with me because they’re fantastic,” she said.

Carson is excited for the competition but he’s looking beyond Toronto.

“Going to London would be exceptional,” said Carson. “It would be awesome.”

Reinhart and her band are driving up to Toronto today. She has high hopes but regardless of the outcome, nothing will change.

“We’re just going to enjoy that ride – take it all in,” she said. “Of course I have goals, but it’s the whole journey that makes it worthwhile. Winning is wonderful, but some of the biggest bands in the world never won a thing.”

The final battle before the global round will be held on Mar. 14. The grand-prize winner and runners up will be announced on May. 6.

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