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EYE Weekly Interview

Sugar town - Toronto's kings of reggae-heavy riff rock, Big Sugar, bring it on home at Canadian MusicFest

Before indie-blues duo The Black Keys were winning Grammys, and Jack White's Dead Weather supergroup reclaimed swamp-rock riffs for the iGeneration, a little band from Toronto called Big Sugar conquered grunge and the charts with a Zeppelin-heavy mix of blues and reggae. After 13 years creating a quintessentially Torontonian musical mix—frontman Gordie Johnson hooked up with his Jamaican bandmates while living in a West Indian part of town, and Andrew Whiteman of Broken Social Scene was a frequent collaborator and co-wrote their biggest hit—the band called it quits in 2004. Big Sugar is poised to return with a new album and a number of reunion shows, including their return to Toronto for this week's CMF. Johnson spoke with Eye Weekly from his home in rural Texas.

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Festival shows, including the Harvest Jazz & Blues, prompt rock reggae band to reform Article by Victoria Handysides They're reborn, but don't call them refined - this Big Sugar is as raw as ever. "It