Bianca Bernardi: Album Release Concert at Mills Hardware

Bianca Bernardi

Team GDW wrapped up our most recent excursion to Southern Ontario with a stop in The Steel Town – heading to Mills Hardware to enjoy an album release concert from emerging Americana artist, Bianca Bernardi.  Celebrating the official arrival of her stunning debut album, “Wildfire,” this popular music venue was packed to the rafters as Bianca was welcomed to the stage by Graham Greene, the popular stage and screen star, and long-time friend of the ‘local’ Bernardi family.

With the stage set up for a full-band experience, Bianca took center-stage alone for the first pair of tunes, performing acoustically and feeling the love and support from a room full of family and friends. “I’m going to try and talk as little as possible tonight because I feel like I’m going to be a blubbering moron, but thank you so much for coming out,” she announced, following a fabulous version of “Black Coffee.” “I wrote a song a little while ago called Tell You Something, and I saw Donovan Woods play in Hamilton, and he was on stage talking about stuff, and he was like, I don’t even know what day it is … that should really tell you something about how I live. And immediately, … I just took my phone out and started writing the song.”

Bianca Bernardi

Following the performance of “Tell You Something,” Bianca was very appreciative for all of the love and encouragement being sent her way. “Can I get a round of applause for Graham Greene? He asked me tonight if I would call him Uncle Graham, and I was like yes, I don’t mind doing that, absolutely. What a massive, massive honor,” she stated. “I can’t believe that we’ve packed this house and I’m just pumped. I’m gonna shut up now and get my incredible band to come up.” Taking their cue, Bianca was joined by producer Tim Allard (guitars/vocals), “Mister Fingers himself” Chris Altmann (pedal steel), Andrew Marshall (bass) and the legendary Sonnie Bernardi (drums/vocals) – Bianca’s father, who has performed and recorded with The Guess Who, Ronnie Hawkins, and Crowbar.  Yes, Bianca is a second-gen pro musician, and the natural chemistry with both her father and the entire band was evident all evening.

Launching into “Oh Sunshine,” the first track found on this debut album, the band progressed smoothly into “Tennessee Heartache,” a song co-written with Chelsea McWilliams (The Redhill Valleys) – and with origins that date back over a decade, Bianca made it known to all just how happy she was to finally have this one recorded and sent out into the world.  Progressing into “The Way Down (Wild and Free),” Bianca would temporarily unstrap her acoustic guitar, and give her vocal cords a thorough workout during this explosive rock-blues inspired powerhouse of a number. The appreciative crowd let the band know just how much they loved this extra blast of energy, and as Bianca reached for her guitar once more, Tim’s gentle electric guitar rings and some discreet steel from Chris signaled the arrival of “Wildfire,” the album’s title track and Bianca’s popular summer single release.

Bianca Bernardi

Introducing another one of her previous single releases, Bianca would address the room with a tale about “Throwin’ Dust.”  “This is the only song I’ve ever done a music video for, and I killed my boyfriend in it,” she offered.  “Not literally… He’s here somewhere… Or is he???”  We loved hearing the excellent spaghetti western inspired tone fill the room around us, the sonic atmosphere accentuated perfectly by Altmann’s mastery of the pedal steel, and Sonnie’s dominant percussion.  “I remember sitting in Chelsea’s basement and I all I could picture before we wrote that song was just some badness,” Bianca shared at the close of the song. “Driving off in a pink Cadillac, with the big fins, and just spinnin’ dust and dirt.”

Bianca Bernardi

Closing out the show with the remaining pair of new album tracks, Bianca took time to dedicate “The Fire” to her mother, stating that the single was “a healing for me, but an anthem for her to just hold true” – before going all out with an up-tempo performance of “More Than It’s Giving.”  And, as the band bid their farewells and wished us a good night, Bianca’s family and friends stayed loud long enough to encourage the artist to return – solo once more (with her young niece at her side) – and perform a pair of encore tunes to bring the evening to a close. 

Team GDW offer our congratulations to Bianca Bernardi, whose debut album, “Wildfire,” is now officially launched, and is one we strongly encourage everybody take time to seek out, hear, stream, buy, and return to time and time again.  What a fabulous evening of entertainment at Mills Hardware in downtown Hamilton – we sure hope to do this again one day.

Set List:

  1. Black Coffee (solo)
  2. Tell You Something (solo)
  3. Oh Sunshine
  4. Tennessee Heartache
  5. The Way Down (Wild and Free)
  6. Wildfire
  7. Throwin’ Dust
  8. The Fire
  9. More Than It’s Giving


  1. Cemeteries
  2. I Won’t Sing

The British guy that crossed the ocean and crash landed in central Pennsylvania (to quote Greg Keelor, “And I wonder what am I doing here?”). As the youngest of four siblings, exposure to music from a very early age nurtured my passion and appreciation for many musical genres. Continuing to discover some amazingly diverse and talented musicians based in Canada, I gravitate to live music experiences and remain devoted to spreading the word about such a vibrant music scene.

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