Jamie has been fortunate enough to have had some airplay on CMT with his song “Livin’ The Blues”.
And his song “The Lightning Is Here”, was featured in the Movie: “Red Green: Duct Tape Forever”.
The band is now a three-piece and named “DEEPLy FLAWED”
Tyler Beckles Bass Player | James Treuer Drummer | Jamie Watling Vocals & Guitar
COUNTRY SINGER/SONG WRITER
Different Trails, Grassy Hills Nevada
Classic Country Reunion ’96 in Trenton, Ont.
The Simcoe Hotel: Barrie
Chumley’s Hotel: Huntsville
The Maple Leaf: Timmons
The New Bloor Hotel: Bloor St. T.O.
Sprucedale Hotel: Sprucedale
Central Tavern: Cambridge
The New Moon Café: Beaches, T.O.
Broncos (The Gladstone Hotel): Queen St., T.O.
The Hanover Hotel: Hanover
The Matador: Dovercourt, T.O.
C’est What: Front St., T.O.
CNE Exhibition Place, T.O.
The El Mocambo: Spadina, T.O.
Spinnakers: Harbourfront, T.O.
Who’s On First: Queen St., T.O.
The V.O.X.: Ontario St., T.O.
Buck Owens, Winfield Watling,Hank Williams,Tanita Tickeram, George Strait, The Beatles, Johnny Cash,Mearle Haggard, Hank Snow, James Taylor.
International Television exposure, followed by producing a live family showcase music show.
Guitar, Vocals, Banjo.
The Story Of Country Singer: Jamie Watling
The story of Jamie Watling would probably begin with his father’s historic move from New Brunswick to Ontario. Lawrence Watling was one of sixteen children, and the hard working son of a fiddle playing mad- man. It’s hard to be noticed in a family of 16, so Lawrence insisted that life was too short not to be a ham-bone.
He claims that he only went to school on one occasion and he met the teacher on the road going the other way. We’ve all heard the maritimer’s story; With nothing more than ten dollars and his own fiddle, Lawrence set out to get himself one of them there factory workin’ jobs up there near “Tranna”.
Quite the fighter, Lawrence was a wild hero to Jamie’s mother Marie. She had lost her father when she was only eight years old and this macho maritimer was the apple of her eye. His back wood ways were a refreshing shock to a lady raised in an all-girl tea-tottling family. Tea meant nothing to Lawrence other than the first letter in the word trouble, but somehow destiny had its way and after a time… or a few times anyway, ** Lawrence soon loved Marie in a way that would last his lifetime.
Jamie was born October 18, 1964 in Woodstock, Ontario. He was the third of four boys. Since Lawrence was running a small farm of cattle, pork, and poultry, the boys definitely came in handy. In fact, Jamie was paid in pigs not money for his efforts around the farm. This isn’t a bad deal really if you know anything about farming.
The eldest brother, took piano and guitar lessons and taught Jamie how to play the guitar. Eventually three of the boys played guitar which was again, very beneficial to Lawrence because he had the much needed accompaniment required for having a good ol’ down-home hoe-down to showcase his fiddling talents.
Jamie was just lovin’ the great responses he’d get from drunks in his fathers basement, so he pursued the music diligently. He was writing songs in grade seven, and in grade eight, he stood before his graduating class with his father accompanying him on the fiddle and played an original graduation song.
Now six of Lawrence’s brothers had moved to Ontario as well. One was a guitar player/singer, and one was a fiddle player. These uncles were a definite influence on Jamie.
His uncle”Win”, the guitar player, played in a country band for thirteen years in the area and kept Jamie in touch with the traditional country favorites. Jamie’s uncle: Ossie, the fiddle player, encouraged Jamie to enter the Canadian Open Country Singing Contest. This provided Jamie with an introduction to the sharp competition ahead and a third-place trophy in two separate years.
Jamie played and sang on for anybody who’d listen. Aside from various performances in front of his high-school student body, one jam session proved historic for Jamie; While having a small bon-fire party down near the barn, one young lady seemed particularly captivated by his little songs around the fire. That lady (Leslee) would eventually become his wife and inspiration; not to mention, a co-writer on a very beautiful love song: “You Are My Life, You Are My Love”. This song has been performed at many weddings since and was also performed at Jamie and Leslee’s own wedding by Jamie’s younger brother.
When high school was over, one look at the television to see Tommy Hunter or The Family Brown, indicated that making a living from music wasn’t ever a serious option. So it was either work in the factories in Oxford County like his brothers or hit the books, so Jamie worked the summers in factories and paid his own way through college.
Due to the fact that Jamie’s roommate in college hated country music and would not stand for it, Jamie’s talents were put on hold. It was time for a poor-boy country hick to study and try to make some kind of a living for himself, and he got by without being a burden to anyone.
When he was finally able to live together with Leslee, she was blessed with Jamie’s decision to… oh no!… not that…anything but that…learn the banjo. A small consolation was that he actually took lessons and didn’t just “learn from scratch”, but nonetheless, there were plenty of plinkity plunkity nightmares for Leslee.
As soon as finances seemed bare-able, Jamie began his search for musicians. At first it seemed hopeless trying to find Hillbilly Hootin-Annies in the Toronto area so Jamie would constantly head back to the sticks to jam the night away with the family.
Eventually though, he broke into the circuit underground of the Toronto country scene. Jamie is proud to acknowledge that he apprenticed with “The Jack Diamond Band” or “Open Road” as they’re sometimes called. He also insists that the barn-parties at his uncle’s farm were fundamental to his musical education.
Resulting from an ad in the newspaper, he worked as a back-up singer/guitar player for “Renegade Road” featuring Rob Butterworth. But problems erupted; the bass player in this band would constantly resort to a funk-type swack, which conflicted heavily with Rob’s adamant desire for traditional country discipline. After thousands of dollars of investment were wasted, Rob pulled the plug on the Renegade Road Project.
The lead guitar player: John McKeegan (alias Jumpin’ Johnny Mac) was flabbergasted at the sudden abandonment of the group and immediately convinced Jamie to start another band. Johnny was sure that Jamie would be able to attract a following on his own as a lead singer. Ironically, the bass player eventually lost faith in the new project but the band played on. Under the name “Jamie Watling and The Hix” Jamie and Johnny auditioned other bass players and drummers. Steve Wong played with the band for a while and is still on the roster of three back up drummers. Steve was with “The Hix” when they woke up the neighborhood in an outdoor street performance on Queen Street East in the beaches.
Terry Burke had been hanging with “Open Road” in the Bloor Tavern as a fill-in bass player back around the same time that Jamie was trying to apprentice with that band. It could, however, also be true that Terry is just always in bars all the time.
It seemed any time Jamie would pop into “The Matador” after clubbing it, Terry Burke would be there in his usual state. Jamie would often get up to play at the Matador and one night he asked Terry and a guitar player sitting with Terry at the time to come up with him. Now “The Matador” is quite a place, soaked with tradition and hype, so anyone who has climbed on stage and played, knows the pressure that haunts any cowboy-hat that dares to brave it’s tell tale band-strand. Well the boys agreed to come up with Jamie, but when that eerie intro came, only Terry would get up with Jamie cold. The guitar player whimped out. He must have figured that Jamie and his big ol’ corny cowboy hat was “goin’ down big time”. Anyway the house-band guitar player and drummer remained on stage, Jamie and Terry hopped up and blew the crowd away with a blast from the past: “The Ways of A Woman in Love”- Johnny Cash and kept ‘em comin’. Apparently it was quite a magical night that night and the energy level was very high in the club; probably due to the fact that the band “Prarie Oyster” was in the crowd that night. But that’s just the kind of place The Matador is; Open from 2 a.m. till 5 a.m., it gets the strangest after- hours country crowd that have nowhere else to go.
Back to the history of the band personnel we come to a young guitar player named Cameron Miln. Now Cam might just be the most amazing guitar player in the world. Even though he plays it upside down as Jamie puts it. A friend of Jamie’s: Dale Richardson who has been producing and directing Jamie’s music videos, introduced Cam to Jamie. Cam’s acoustic leads were just the dramatic flare that “The Hix” needed to get the band noticed in the Toronto area. Cameron could be described as having been hiding his talents away in a barn near Trafalgar and 401.
At the same time as “The Hix” were coming together, Jamie has been writing and producing his own albums. Jamie has his studio set up at King and Bathurst with a beautiful 16th floor view of the city.
It has been a long tough road for Jamie Watling & the Hix. But having gone as far North as Timmons and as far South as Nashville, Jamie has decided to change the band name. He is trying to work every Thursday at one of the three Mullin’s Pubs, While taking other pubs and gigs in the Toronto area. The band name is now “DEEPLy FLAWED”. Jamie is performing with. Bass player Tyler Beckles, and Drummer James Treuer. Its getting less like country and more like pop/rok. Jamie describes it as Classic AM Camp-fire, good-time music. “From Bowie to Haggard”.
So it seems that from Student Council President, to Captain of his hockey team, Jamie has felt a certain comfort in leadership. His is leading his band onward and upward and is confident that someday they will earn more money then they are spending to play. They have played The New Moon Café in the beaches, The New Bloor Tavern (at Bloor and Lansdowne), Dirk Gently’s on Adelaide, Broncos at Queen and Dufferin, The Wembley Tavern on The Danforth, and The Hanover Inn, Hanover. Jamie has performed without The Hix at The El Mocambo, Spinnaker’s Bar and Grill, C’est What, and The Matador.
The band is focused around the novelty of Jamie Watling, a campfire country singer. Jamie is often hired to play solo at a dude ranch located about an hour and a half south of the U.S. border. This is a weekend getaway horse ranch with 300 acres of trails. Jamie is a special feature there solo and adds the special cowboy feeling to the experience for the guests.
Its not often that a sincere talent that grew into the genre naturally, finds his way to his awaiting public. But Jamie has no problems with the recent hype surrounding country music in the Toronto area. He was playing music when country music wasn’t cool and he knows how fickle Eastern Canadians are, so he doesn’t feel that his magic carpet has arrived either. Its just going to be interesting to see if Torontonians can accept the reality of a local country boy, who is willing to pick up where Hank Williams left off and try to live at least a couple of years longer than Hank did.
**Footnote: This is from the Monty Python Skit: “Happy Valley”.