Last month saw the release of A Few More House At YYZ by singer/songwriter, Billy Raffoul. Produced by Mike Crossey (Arctic Monkeys, The 1975, Barns Courtney), this latest album brings Raffoul’s enchanting sincerity and warm introspection to his most sonically ambitious body of work yet.
Growing up in the small farming town of Leamington, Ontario, Raffoul first discovered his gift for songwriting at age ten, thanks in no small part to the influence of his father – a musician who’s opened for everyone from Joe Cocker to Bon Jovi. After landing his first paying gig – playing to long-haul drivers at a local truck stop – Raffoul began playing at nearby bars and clubs at age 16, often driving into Detroit for shows. He eventually connected with a manager and moved down to Nashville to push forward with his music career, soon after scoring a deal with Interscope Records.
Over the past few years, Raffoul has opened for heavyweights like Kings of Leon, X Ambassadors, and NEEDTOBREATHE, captivating crowds with his understated yet intensely passionate stage presence. He also recently finished his first-ever headlining tour of Europe, before embarking on a co-headline tour with Wrabel, during which he took the stage with just his guitar and drum pedals.
As for his playlist for FMS: “I was around 16 years old when I started to perform live in the bars on either side of The Ambassador Bridge that connects Canada’s most southern city to Detroit, Michigan. Naive and full of misplaced confidence I would perform predominantly original songs without introduction in hopes of honest feedback. That being said, here are some of the songs I would cover…”
1. The Box Tops – ‘The Letter’
“Very few people in the small bars in Southern Ontario recognized this song but when they did we felt like we were in on a secret that no one else knew about.”
2. Led Zeppelin – ‘Ten Years Gone’
“Probably one of the more obscure Led Zeppelin songs you would hear somebody play on an acoustic guitar in a bar, but it is my partner’s favourite Zeppelin song so…”
3. Neil Young – ‘Love In Mind’
“The most influential live album for me is Neil Young: Live at Massey Hall 1971. He plays a version of this song on that album and it has long been one of my favourites.”
4. The White Stripes – ‘Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground’
“One of my heroes and the reason I picked up a guitar, Jack White.”
5. The Beatles – ‘Anna (Go To Him)’
“Although written by Arthur Alexander and covered by many, the version of ‘Anna’ that I grew up with was that by the Beatles. A cover of a cover.”
6. The Beatles – ‘Blackbird’
“The first song I ever performed live in front of an audience. I was 14 and in a 9th grade talent show. In my opinion, this is one of the most beautiful songs ever written.”
7. The Black Keys – ‘10 A.M Automatic’
“Again, another band that inspired me to pursue music.”
8. The Beatles – ‘Dig A Pony’
“It’s hard to call any Beatles song less popular than another… at least for me anyway. Thanks to my parents they were the soundtrack to my childhood. This *hidden gem* has one of my favourite guitar riffs ever.”
9. Jimi Hendrix – ‘Little Wing’
“Speaking of guitar… the master himself. I faked my way through this song an embarrassing amount of times.”
10. Jody Raffoul – ‘30-3-3’
“My biggest influence by far… my father Jody. I don’t think I ever played a gig without one of his songs on the set list. He is and was my bridge to most of the music above.”
Billy Raffoul’s A Few More Hours At YYZ is out now via Polydor/Universal UK. Listen to it HERE.
You can listen to all Ask the DJ playlists on the FMS Magazine Spotify CHANNEL.
Find Billy Raffoul’s playlist below and HERE.