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Big Sugar returns to Sudbury on Thursday

Canadian rockers will be joined by Attica Riots at Caruso Club 
Big Sugar will play the Caruso Club on July 21. This will be the band's first visit to Sudbury since summer 2014. Supplied photo.

It's been nearly two years since Big Sugar played a show in Sudbury, and the band will take the stage at the Caruso Club on July 21 for the Mid-Summer Bash.

The band has frequented the Nickel City numerous times, but the opportunities to play a show here have been few and far between, according to the band's harmonica and saxophone player, Kelly Hoppe.

“In the late 90's and early 2000's we played there at clubs and at the (Laurentian) University,” said Hoppe.

The band was arguably at its most popular during that stretch, before a hiaitus in 2004. Big Sugar reunited in 2010, but since then have only played Sudbury once, at Summer Fest in 2014.

“When we're touring and heading west Sudbury is always one of the stops along the way to spend a night and I've always enjoyed the city,” said Hoppe. “We just haven't had many shows there in the last little while from what I remember. It's nice to be playing here again.”

An ensemble of seasoned musicians, the band doesn't spend much time rehearsing now, but rather use their sound check time for rehearsal.

“Big Sugar is the main musical day job for everyone in the band, but we all have side projects and other things on the go,” said Hoppe, who lives in Windsor.

“Gordie (Johnson - the band's lead singer) lives in Austin, Texas and the other three members of the band live in the Toronto area so we pretty much use sound check as our rehearsal time.”

A portion of the proceeds from the Caruso Club show will go to the Sudbury Food Bank. When Hoppe found out about this he was pleasantly surprised, as he has been an avid supporter of food banks in the past.

“I'm in Christmas-style band with Jeff Burrows (drummer from The Tea Party), he's also from Windson and him and I have been supporting the Windsor Food Bank for years now and we've raised about $90,000 for them,” said Hoppe.

“It's awesome that this show will be benefitting the Sudbury Food Bank, I think it's important for not just musicians, but everyone to give back to the community.”

Fans can expect an eclectic mix of songs from Big Sugar on July 21, as Hoppe says the band likes to play a mix of new and old songs along with covers of old songs while transitioning between their own songs.

“Often times we want to do something different so it's pretty much Gordie will say 'ok, does everyone know this one? We're going to play it here' and we rehearse it at sound check and make sure everyone knows what we're doing,” said Hoppe.

“I'm really looking forward to playing Sudbury and hope to see lots of people out at the show on Thursday.”

For more info, check out the Facebook event page and for ticket information visit