Andre Pettipas and the Giants (from left, Travis Pettipas, Andre Pettipas, and Marcus Cosh) are seen here following their winning the Q104 Homegrown Challenge.

HALIFAX: The Home of Rock ‘N Roll maintains our local guys are the best of the best.

“It helps us to hop a couple of hurdles in one giant leap,” said Andre Pettipas, front man of Andre Pettipas and The Giants, the band that was named the top performer of the Q104 Homegrown Challenge.

“This is a huge boost to our musical careers, being placed into the hands of some of the best in the business. We can’t wait to get to work and come out with a solid product. It’s nice to see the hard work we’ve been putting in being noticed.”

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The Halifax radio station, known as “The Home of Rock ‘N Roll,” had well-over 100 bands take part in its Homegrown Challenge. That number was whittled down to 18 semi-finalists and then three finalists. The finalists attended the final round of the challenge on July 2, where each band performed three songs for judges. The criteria the judges ruled on were song-writing ability, stage performance, and playability.

Pettipas’ band was named the winner. As a result, they receive $5,000 in recording, production and mastering from Codapop Studios, $5,000 in artist development from Groundswell Music, and $5,000 in equipment and instruments. That is in addition to having Q104 put the band’s music into regular rotation, exposing 1,000s of new listeners to Andre Pettipas and The Giants.

“It was surreal,” Pettipas said. “It was 120 bands that entered – something like that – and we were really excited to be there at the end.

“There was a cast of people listening to the music, and they picked what they thought were the most listenable artists. At the show [on July 2] there were four judges, and apparently they came to a unanimous decision.

“We just went up, played hard and did what we did,” he said. “We’ve been playing together for two years now, but we’ve all been playing for half of our lives. We’re no strangers to the stage.”

Pettipas and his brother, Travis, have been playing music together for over half a decade. Completing the trio is drummer Marcus Cosh, who is also an Antigonish County guy and veteran to the local music scene. Their debut album is entitled Stay Gold, and it can be found on iTunes.

“The chemistry started with me and my brother, and Marcus clicked instantly,” Andre said. “We really have a good thing going. It’s nice to get paid back for the work we’re putting into it. We have a bunch of songs ready to be recorded.”

On July 2, the band headed to Halifax following their other weekend appearance, a Canada Day gig at Piper’s Pub. Once in front of the Q104 judges, the guys performed “Smile,” “Richelieu,” and their favourite closer, “Rubber Arm.”

Local music fans will have a chance to catch Pettipas and his band mates this summer at the following venues: The Groundswell Pub (D’Escousse, July 21), The Dundee Resort (Dundee, July 27 and 28), the New Glasgow Riverfront Jubilee (August 4), and Lobstrosity (Tracadie, August 18).

The band’s corner of the World Wide Web can be found at andrepettipasandthegiants.com.

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Adam Cooke has been a staff writer and columnist for The Reporter since 1999. A native of L’Ardoise, Adam lives in Port Hawkesbury with his wife Cathy.