Welding alt-country, blues, and rock, Steeltown’s Harlan Pepper construct their debut Young and Old in the likeness of Hamilton industry; culled from the richest of roots tradition, and refined with a refreshing lyricism. Enforced by hook-laden melodies the aptly named Young and Old evokes a notion of the “old soul” as the four young men, clever in their molding of folk conventions, are barely out of high school.
Vocalist Dan Edmonds slides effortlessly between instruments, weaving steady banjo and swelling harmonica through the band’s mutual collaboration of well-crafted lyrics. Guitarist Jimmy Hayes couples the electric with an early knack for pedal steel, while Thompson Wilson (bass) and Marlon Nicolle (drums) round out a driving rhythm section. Like a firm handshake, Young and Old is a proper introduction to the talents and confidence of these four musicians; shared vocal duties and fluid on-stage instrument swapping confirm that together, Harlan Pepper is seasoned beyond both years and catalogue.
Young though they may be, Harlan Pepper boast an established resume, already having shared stages with The Sadies, Feist, Two Hours Traffic, Lee Harvey Osmond, the Arkells, Born Ruffians, and Huron. Young and Old reached #7 on the CBC 3 national charts, and the acclaimed debut bagged a trio of Hamilton Music Awards (2010) for Folk/Roots Recording of the Year, New Artist/Group of the Year, and People’s Choice Music Event of the Year.