Blackdog Ballroom
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Blackdog Ballroom

Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2012

Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Pop




"Pat Blythe – A Ballroom, Hearts, a Secret and more…."

The club was jam packed and Blackdog Ballroom was ready. Launching their new album, “This Is Blackdog Ballroom”, the four-piece ensemble blew the roof off the club and had the crowd rocking from the get go. The energy was palpable and kept at peak level until the last chord was struck. Stanfield is quite at home on stage and behind the mic. His love of performing is obvious. He easily interacts with the audience, even inviting the photographers to join the band on stage. The music….somewhere between rock, mod, punk and pop….a combination that keeps you moving and, yes, dancing. For the first set, BB performed the entire album. From “Sounds Like Now”, (headbangingly punkish) through to “Controlling Freedom”, the pulsating beat doesn’t stop. I am listening to the album as I type this and my fingers are flying across the keyboard trying to keep up. Don’t look for any ballads here. - Segarini: Don't Believe a Word I say

"Spill Track of the Day: Blackdog Ballroom - Down the Spinney"

It’s finally here! Blackdog Ballroom have finally released their debut album, and it’s a hot one. The Mod-fueled band from Richmond Hill, Ontario, have built quite a reputation into the Toronto live music scene. Finally that energy and superb songwriting talent gets channeled into an album — and here is a small sampling of that just for you. Today’s Track Of The Day is “Down The Spinney”, their first single.

Blackdog Ballroom is led on vocals and guitar by “The Mike” Stanfield, Mat Power on lead guitar (yes the man can play guitar with it behind his head!), Rob De Simone on drums, and has recently added the multi talented Hayley Carro on bass. Catch them live if you can, if you can’t — then get the album. - Spill Magazine

"The Pat & CK Show - Blackdog Ballroom"

Mike and Rob chat with MusicLynk Radio hosts Pat and CK - MusicLynk Radio

"Blackdog Ballroom at Cherry Cola's"

After missing Blackdog Ballroom during Indie Week due to their very late and very delayed set, we made a point of seeing them again this weekend at Cherry Colas. Blackdog Ballroom is one of the most unique bands in the city. Not followers of any particular trend they have their own style inspired in part by early British pop icons like Joe Jackson and Elvis Costello. Frontman Michael Stanfield epitomizes the style best with thin ties, thin lapels on his jacket, a mod haircut and the Union Jack emblazoned on his shoes. We last saw Blackdog Ballroom back in April at Lee’s Palace. This time it was the cramped venue of Cherry Colas and the band put on their usual high energy set. If there’s one song that defines Blackdog Ballroom, it’s the song that kicks off the set - Sounds Like Now. - T-Mak World

"Blackdog Ballroom Live @ Lee's Palace - T-Mak World"

May 3, 2013 – We’re always on the lookout for great indie bands. It’s like scouting the minors for great young talent. So of course we love the CMW and NXNE festivals. They’re like the annual combines where all the athletes report at one event to be evaluated. But rather than cardiovascular tests, the bands get 40 minutes each to perform. There’s way too much going on to see everything, so we generally employ guerilla tactics. Get in, catch a couple songs and get to the next venue fast. Hopefully, it’s just a quick walk away. We’ll scoot from Rancho to Silver Dollar to Comfort Zone to upstairs and downstairs at the El Mo. If on Queen, it’ll be a quick jog between Hideout, Bovine and Cherry Colas. We see a lot, but we also miss a lot. But we do hear some really cool stuff that we want to see more of, like last year when we saw One Bad Son at Cherry Colas or this year, seeing A Place To Bury Strangers (who sound like The Smiths doing acid/surf/noise music) at Garrison.

Blackdog Ballroom
At this year’s CMW, Toronto’s Blackdog Ballroom was on our T-MAK World CMW Recommendation List based on their bio and checking out their music online. But while they were performing at the Hard Rock, we were at Cherry Colas checking out Heaven’s Basement again. So it was great to be able to catch Blackdog Ballroom at Lee’s Palace last Friday night and have the chance to see the whole set without the need to rush off somewhere else.

With a sound that’s definitely Brit pop influenced, Blackdog Ballroom also mixes in some 90s rock (like a Collective Soul or Live) and a little punk attitude. Sporting a decidedly Mod style, Blackdog Ballroom frontman Mike Stanfield (aka TheMike) evokes memories of Joe Jackson’s I’m The Man and Brit pop singers of that ilk. It was no surprise when he jumped off the Lee’s Palace stage to see the Union Jack emblazoned on his shoes. Bassist Ck Armstrong sports a mohawk, kilt and plays a 7 string bass. Mike Spriggs is on lead guitar and a new guy (didn’t catch the name) was on drums. Together they played an energetic show playing some really tight well constructed radio friendly songs. Highlight of the night was Sounds Like New. Have a listen here. Highly recommend seeing this band live. I’m looking forward to seeing them again.

Review and photos by Steve Mallinson - T-Mak World

"Blackdog Ballroom"

"This ain't no symphony. This is a rock n roll epiphany. This IS Blackdog Ballroom!"

Those are pretty big words for a band to use to describe themselves. But never fear, Blackdog Ballroom has the rock n roll cred to back them up... and then some!
Hailing from Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada, Blackdog Ballroom is lead singer Michael Stanfield, lead guitarist Mike Spriggs, Ck Armstrong on bass and Rob DeSimone on drums. Mixing equal parts rock and funk, with some pop and punk influences thrown in, Blackdog Ballroom is 100% edge-of-your-seat rock n roll badassery at its absolute finest!

Do yourself a favor and check this band out now. They quickly became a favorite of mine... they should be one of yours too!
- Support Unsigned Artists

"Blackdog Ballroom studio chat"

MusicLynk Radio chats with Blackdog Ballroom - MusicLynk Radio

"Are You Ready to Rock?!"

Are You Ready To Rock?!
August 7, 2012
I hope so because this band rocks hard and their music is undeniably amazing!!! These gentleman have an awesome way of describing and introducing themselves, which is “This ain’t no symphony, This is a Rock n’ Roll epiphany This IS Blackdog Ballroom! “ Yes the name of this band is Blackdog Ballroom, and they are nothing short of impressive. From the amazing vocals to the strong instrumentals this band will definitely keep you rocking!! With a few awards under their belt this band is for sure a must see!! Below is the link to their Facebook page as well as their ReverbNation profile, if you love rock then Blackdog Ballroom is a band you are going to want to check out. Also visit ReverbNation to listen to some of their music and don’t forget to like,follow, fan,friend, etc. Show your support!!! Let this band know how good they are!! - March To The Beat

"Rock n' Roll Epiphany with Mike Stanfield of Blackdog Ballroom"

An interview with Michael Stanfield lead singer of Blackdog Ballroom
“Blackdog Ballroom knows all the rules which allows them to break them at will”
— Pezmosis Music Radio - Pezmosis Music Productions

"Blackdog Ballroom"

“The immediate riffs had me tapping my toes and
feeling the vibe. You could tell the band was right there
feeling the music and the lyrics.
This is something I would love to hear over and
over again.” - Soundout - Soundout

"Blackdog Ballroom - Indie Week"

Sporting a great new line-up, Blackdog Ballroom sounded better than ever with an edgier performance at the Detour Bar. As always, Blackdog Ballroom is driven by a high energy performance from frontman and leader Michael Stanfield. - T-Mak World

"Blackdog Ballroom"

When is indie-rock rock n roll? When Blackdog Ballroom play it. A throwback to yesteryear who have been winning crowds over with their authenticity and their live show. Not to be missed. - Two Way Monologue

"Spill Album Review - Blackdog Ballroom : This is Blackdog Ballroom"

Some albums don’t translate well into live performance with its complex layered production effects. This isn’t what Richmond Hill quartet Michael Stanfield, Mat Powers, Rob DeSimone and Hayley Carro, a.k.a Blackdog Ballroom, wanted with their debut album. This is an album designed to capture their enthusiasm on stage from the Toronto club circuit. Having been nominated three times for “Best Live Band” at the Toronto Independent Music Awards, why not showcase their love of performing?

This Is Blackdog Ballroom opens with “Sounds Like Now,” containing a Dead Kennedy-like energy and whimsical driving sound. Although they declare being influenced by Brit-Pop bands such Oasis, Arctic Monkeys and The Jam, Blackdog Ballroom strive to make a sound of their own while demonstrating Stanfield’s songwriting prowess.

More Rock-driven as opposed to some of Blackdog Ballroom’s Bluesy earlier works, songs such as “Clearview” and “Bodhi Tree” demonstrate the band’s ability to infuse melody and a hard-hitting sound to make this album an easy and enjoyable listen.

Stanfield reveals that the name Blackdog Ballroom is an indication of the direction the band is heading musically, something for the pub, something with touches of elegance but always bottom-line….Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Have a beer and turn this one up loud. - Spill Magazine

"Blackdog Ballroom - Balls Out at Cherry Cola's"

Last night I popped into Cherry Cola’s Rock ‘n’ Rolla Cabaret and Lounge, legendary Toronto sanctuary of sin. What was going down? Besides the luscious lady in the window dancing with dainty delirium, Jack The Lads opened up a manic Mod Night, full of sweat, stripping, and savage songs of a bygone era, still very much relevant to the apathetic young, and bitter old today. A throwback genre in its re-animation, it’s no wonder why it appeals to both.

I had the privilege to speak to, and receive a whisky from, lead singer of Blackdog Ballroom, Mike Stanfield, before he went on to rock the rollas at Cherry Cola’s. A down-to-earth, and chill Mod chic (which may be a redundant title), he was electric both off and on stage.

Rocking out The Beatles, Stones, The Who, Oasis, and some even more fantastic originals, Blackdog Ballroom killed the night in the best way, and if the decor wasn’t already overwhelmingly red, Mike, and company would have painted Cherry Cola’s the healthy bordello red it already is.

When asked about the band, ears bleeding, avid fan Sean Kennedy called out above the crowd “impeccably dressed, outrageously messed good time”.

Some contentions, as there must always be in review, I found the mix a little lacking, if only because I cared to hear the entire band, and missed most of the backing vocals from bassist Hayley, and lead guitarist Mat. And regarding the rest of the band (perhaps not including drummer Rob for the sheer fact that I could not see him most of the night), I felt they had not the conductor to receive the electricity that coursed through Stanfield. Terrifically tight players all, and certainly in their own grooves, it seemed they did not quite groove on the same wave length as Mike. The closest, perhaps, was Hayley, consistently necking guitars with Stanfield, though one could not help but feel the band was a little too behind their fearless front man.

Regardless of how the band looked though, in playing, they were phenomenal, and got the house roaring for more, and more, as Quadrophenia projected above them, giving a riotous inkling to the fanatic crowd. And if that wasn’t enough, surprise guests, Queens of the Stone Age caught the set, and Jay Macedo, and Cherry Cola’s own Mat Groopie hopped up on stage and blew the eardrums of every ecstatic guest in the place (Iggy Pop was meant to be there, but had to bail).

All in all, whether you’re a Mod fan or not, Blackdog Ballroom is the way to go for a randy rockin’ rolla; especially at Cherry Cola’s. This ain’t no Debutante ballroom. This is the fucking Blackdog Ballroom! - Swept Media


This is Blackdog Ballroom - Blackdog Ballroom - released January 2016 



“This ain’t no symphony,

this is a Rock n’ Roll epiphany,

THIS is Blackdog Ballroom!”

“Blackdog Ballroom is one of the most unique bands in the city. Not followers of any particular trend they have their own style”

— T-Mak World

First and foremost Blackdog Ballroom is a Rock & Roll band that resonates an immediate passion.  Their music exudes personality and charm highlighted by their exhilarating live performance  and evident in their captivating presence.    

“Very tight and well structured, seems like a band who knows what they’re doing!”

— Stuart Epps, Producer - OASIS, Led Zeppelin, George Harrison

With the release of their debut album "This is Blackdog Ballroom", Blackdog Ballroom are primed for an exciting year. The new release is reminiscent of a time when you couldn't wait to hear what the next song would offer. With an eclectic mix of influence ranging from Pop to Punk, Mod to Motown and Rock to Roll, Blackdog Ballroom have cultivated a distinct blend to create their unique sound. 

Featuring powerful vocals, slammin’ guitars and a driving rhythm section Blackdog Ballroom's magnetic energy is fuelled by Michael Stanfield. Michael's provocative lyrics, infectious rhythms and insightful themes are perfectly complimented by Chris O'Heir's inspired lead guitar with Rob DeSimone and Hayley Carro holding down the pulse and backbeat of the band. Since their formation Blackdog Ballroom have experienced such accolades as Michael being named a winner in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest for the Blackdog Ballroom song " Alright ", three times nominated for " Best Live Band " at the Toronto Independent Music Awards ( TIMAS ), an invitation to perform at the TIMAS award show where they received the award for  " Best AC Band ", the song "CLEARVIEW" from their upcoming release receiving a semi-finalist placement award in the International "Song of the Year" contest and most recently securing spots at Canadian Music Week 2013    ( recommended as a must see band by T-Mak World ) Indie Week 2013, Canadian Music Week 2014  and Indie Week 2014 ( recommended as a must see band by T-Mak World ). 

Blackdog Ballroom's performances are high octane celebrations filled with heart and soul delivering an invitation to once again believe in Rock & Roll keeping their ever growing fan base coming back for more!


“They played an energetic show playing some really tight well constructed radio friendly songs. Highly recommend seeing this band live.”

— T-Mak World

“It’s finally here! Blackdog Ballroom have released their debut album, and it’s a hot one. The Mod-fueled band from Richmond Hill, Ontario, have built quite a reputation in the Toronto live music scene. Finally that energy and superb songwriting talent gets channeled into an album!”

- Spill Magazine

The music….somewhere between rock, mod, punk and pop….a combination that keeps you moving and, yes, dancing.

- Pat Blythe, Don't Believe a Word I Say

"Although they declare being influenced by Brit-Pop bands such Oasis, Arctic Monkeys and The Jam, Blackdog Ballroom strive to make a sound of their own while demonstrating Stanfield’s songwriting prowess."

- Spill Magazine

Band Members