Polished to Play

Story by Alysia Therrien
Photography by Jaden D.

Carefully selected tunes and a squad of good friends equal the perfect combination for a cover band. 

TuneSquad was initiated by Windsor singer/songwriter Christee Palace. She states the idea was to create a cover band that matched her soloist style, which meant selecting tunes from genres such as 80s rock, 90s pop and modern hits. “I had always wanted to start a cover band project based off of music I was raised listening to and where I am at musically,” explained Christee.

After reaching out to Brandon Lefrancois, TuneSquad’s drummer and occasional singer, the two were ready to start their lineup.

Christee and Brandon, the first original members, began playing together back in 2016. A few changes occurred over the years, but the group now features Dylan McCarthy on bass and Will Li on lead guitar and keys.

“We are this cool hybrid,” says Dylan about stemming from Christee’s influences of pop punk, rock and classic rock. “We are a blend of those styles and attitudes.”

TuneSquad are (l-r): Christee Palace, Dylan McCarthy, Brandon Lefrancois and Will Li.

Due to their blended genre, the band draws a crowd from various groups, such as rockers and millennials. Their audience does span a wide range, especially if you love pop, punk and alternative music. 

“We kind of have that nostalgia element to what we play,” says Brandon, “we try to pick songs that people go ‘Oh, I forgot about this one!’”

All members of TuneSquad were active musicians prior to joining together, but they are now more than just coworkers. 

“I would describe us as a group of friends who have come together, who love to share music and who want to share the music that inspired us to be musicians,” explains Christee. 

Any time music and song selections are being discussed, it is the squad who contributes. A collaborative approach, TuneSquad always aims to keep in line with who they are and the music they like. 

The group didn’t always go by the name TuneSquad. One night in 2019, the group was looking to play a Halloween gig. At the time, the group was called Undercover. The particular venue they wanted to book already had a band who went by the name Undercover. 

“We had to change our name if we wanted to play,” explained Brandon. Since costumes were required, the group had decided to dress up as TuneSquad from Space Jam the Movie. They wore the same basketball jerseys worn by Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes. “We changed the name to TuneSquad to get the gig and it stuck from there,” said Brandon. 

Brandon, who refers to himself as a “hired gun”, is quite involved with various music groups and projects throughout the South-Western Ontario area. Some of his most frequent contributions include performing regularly with Buck Twenty, The Jen Knight Band and Indiana Drones. From playing live, recording and teaching, his vast experience and professionalism has directly impacted TuneSquad. 

“I am really proud of the fact that we have a large repertoire, we do the songs justice,” explains Brandon, “We really value playing things note-for-note. We are all about being as polished and professional as possible on stage.”

TuneSquad also focuses on keeping up to date, while featuring some of the classics. One of the newest artists they recently covered is Tate McRae, who Christee references is blowing up on the social media platform TikTok.

If it fits in with a booking, Christee will sprinkle in some of her original material, but she expresses the set list is very versatile. “We’ve developed a song list now that is very cohesive,” adds Christee, “When we are performing, it very much works with different audiences and different age groups.” 

Christee Palace is known in Windsor as an accomplished artist. She has had her music featured on platforms such as USA Network’s “Temptation Island” and has opened for professional acts, such as the Canadian indie band Walk Off the Earth. Streaming now on all major platforms is Christee’s newest single, “Someone I Hate”, which is also now rotating regularly on local radio station 96.7. Although she is an established solo artist, Christee still places great emphasis on her gratitude for her bandmates by saying that they are a “great group of boys”. She references that TuneSquad is truly a group project where everyone has grown immensely in their craft. “They’ve made me better as a performer and musician in general,” Christee boasts. 

“We’re all great friends and it’s just super chill. We are all strong musicians and we all trust each other,” says Dylan.    

Dylan, a Quality Assurance Technician by day, has also been an active member of various local cover bands, such as Stiletto Fire. Will, a multi-instrumentalist, tours with his country duo Aldershot. A Western University graduate, Will utilizes his music degree to take on work as a producer and music director. 

For the group, Christee shares that she hopes they can branch out with their bookings and take on more performing opportunities. “We’re a good fit,” says Christee, “we’re modern and quite polished.” 

Together, the squad is eager to take their tunes on the road. “We definitely want to get over to the states and start booking more things there,” says Christee. The group is fortunate to have played throughout Windsor, Toronto and “everywhere in-between”, so it makes sense they are looking across the border to their closest neighbour.

“We just want to keep building the brand of TuneSquad, because it’s honestly still kind of like hidden” says Brandon. He explains he hopes TuneSquad will become a go-to name in the area for events and will be one of the first bands that comes to mind when booking a wedding band.

To find out where TuneSquad is playing next or how to book them, check out their website at and social media page

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