The Maladies of Adam Stokes Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto ON, June 12

The Maladies of Adam Stokes Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto ON, June 12
Photo: Matthew Ritchie
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Visually, roots rock six-piece the Maladies of Adam Stokes are nothing to write home about. Advertised as being the plaid-rocking, wool cap wearing types, most of tonight's guitar pedals were being stepped on by boots and wide boot cut jeans, more bar band than urban woodsmen. What the band had going for them was a handful of good tunes, which, judging by all the boys holding arms and singing along in the crowd, is best enjoyed after a few too many brews. Rootsier than Hey Rosetta! but with a similar on-stage level of camaraderie, the Toronto-based ensemble raced quickly through tracks off their debut, 2011's City of Trees, providing a near-perfect rendition of the album's title track. Surprisingly, the most exciting part of the performance wasn't watching the band's lead singer croon his emotional folk songs (also, surprise, his name isn't Adam Stokes, nor is it the name of anyone else in the band), but watching the dual lead guitar work of Kohji Nagata and Josh Awerbuck, who delivered lightning fast tremolo picking and heavily-reverbed wails to round out the group's Blue Rodeo-esque country rock. Too bad an overabundance of bass drowned out their otherwise stellar plucking.