Reviews for Joe Nolan’s new album, “Tornado,” continue to roll in and he is getting ready to blow your minds at his hometown album launch concerts in Alberta this month. I am very much looking forward to this, since I made the mistake of watching the Oscars and I haven’t been able to get that stupid song from the movie Frozen out of my head ever since. I could really stand to have my mind blown by Joe Nolan at this point, so I can finally let it go. In addition to a bunch of other Alberta shows, Joe and his band are playing March 13 at the Ironwood in Calgary and the Roxy Theatre on March 28 in Edmonton. See tour dates for more dates.
Headbanger meets heartbreaker in Joe Nolan, the rising young songwriter whose new album, Tornado, was just released by Six Shooter Records. On stage, Joe’s intense, intimate performances are at once guttural and ethereal, and of no time or place whatsoever. But when he turns his baseball hat backwards and tells stories of trapping raccoons in cardboard boxes, it’s clear that the other side of this sensitive songwriter is a kid from Fort Saskatchewan who kept his guitar playing a secret from his high school friends. In Joe Nolan, you see a fascinating contrast between the rough edges of small town life and the poetic refinement of his song craft.
In “Hangin’ at the Garagemahal,” Joe Nolan talks about growing up on the “good side” of the river in Fort Saskatchewan, AB, which records he listened to through the floor while his parents played bridge until 2am, and all the money he made busking:
Tornado hit the streets on January 28, 2014, and Six Shooter marked the occasion at The Cameron House with a short and sweet set from Joe, a room packed full of industry, friends & fans, and, in honour of Joe’s prairie roots, all the pierogies we could eat. Now the reviews are coming in, and Tornado is making a strong impression, with high marks from the Globe & Mail, Exclaim, No Depression and others.
Tornado is a collection of songs about women (older women, mostly) and love (break-ups, mostly). Did Somebody Call The Cops, “one of the album’s showstoppers,” (Edmonton Journal) is a slow-burning song about a ‘relationship hitting the bottom,’ says Nolan. See a new lyric video for Did Somebody Call The Cops, directed by Jeth Weinrich, here:
Like a hurricane, Tornado has hit the streets, and we celebrated in style at The Cameron House on release day (Jan 28) with a short and sweet set from Joe (not that he’s short, but he IS very sweet. Awwww), a room packed full of industry, friends & fans, and, in honour of Joe’s prairie roots, all the pierogies we could eat (I only ate two, because I am a dainty little bird… JK, I had like two dozen, buuurp). I had originally suggested that we honour his prairie roots by cramming everyone into the back of a giant pickup truck and drinking a buncha Pilsner (aka Alberta Champagne), but hey, you can’t win ‘em all, and I like me some ‘rogies too, so I’ll live (thanks for your concern).
Now the reviews are coming in, and Joe’s album is making the fantastic impression we knew it would. That’s why we signed him, duh. The Calgary Herald likens listening to Tornado to “Viewing the world from a battered heart and through beautifully bloodshot, half-mast eyes,” which actually sounds like a pretty unpleasant experience, but they mean it as a good thing (weirdos). No Depression recognizes that “Nolan is raw talent through and through.” And Exclaim Magazine raves on, calling the album “A remarkable collection of slow-burning melancholia.”
For those of you who missed the Toronto debut, or if you want (neeeed) more Joe Nolan, you can catch him at the Cameron House next Monday and the week after that. He is pretty much living there, I imagine because he read in multiple previous editions of this newsletter about how hard I vouch for their crantinis. His Alberta album launch party dates have also been announced — see tour dates below.
Aaaaaalso, check out this interview, “Hangin’ at the Garagemahal,” in which Joe Nolan talks about growing up on the “good side” of the river in Fort Saskatchewan, AB, which records he listened to through the floor while his parents played bridge until 2am, and all the money he made busking:
Oh, and alsooooooo, we also have a lyric video for “Tightrope Dancer”
Six Shooter Records loves songwriters. The label is the proud home to artists who brave the darkness alone, who offer haunting artifacts of their solitary takes on life’s big ideas and minute details. Alberta singer-songwriter Joe Nolan now joins the likes of Martin Tielli, Amelia Curran and others on Six Shooter’s roster as an artist who mines the melancholic and mournful.
Joe Nolan is a rising star on the roots/folk scene. His debut, self-released album Goodbye Cinderella, netted a Canadian Folk Music Award for Best/New Emerging Artist in 2011. The album showcased his vapourous, shivering vocals and wise-beyond-his-years lyrical insight, introduced Joe’s graceful yet commanding presence.
The man of “cigarettes and sad songs” (Edmonton Journal) went to Nashville for the follow-up recording, and worked with ex-pat producer Colin Linden. The result, an album titled Tornado, will be released in January, 2014 on Six Shooter Records. Watch an album preview here:
Joe returns to Music City to perform at the Americana Music Conference and Festival, then it’s back to Calgary for multiple Breakout West shows and over to Scandinavia for tour dates in Sweden and Norway. 2014 Canadian album release tour dates will be announced later this fall.
NASHVILLE, TN: Americana Music Festival, The Basement, September 19
CALGARY, AB: Breakout West, October 4-5