Melissa McClelland and her pals would like to invite you to the Ladybird Soiree 2014, on April 23 in Toronto, a fundraiser to raise money for the Ladybird Animal Sanctuary, a volunteer-run animal rescue charity they founded. As a massive animal lover myself, I wholeheartedly hope you attend and throw giant buckets of money at them! I actually have a somewhat relevant story for you here. I just took a little break from writing this newsletter to take my dog for a walk. At the dog park, there was a dude there who was taking his parrot for a walk too, which was pretty sweet. At one point he put the bird (not sure if the bird was a lady, but let’s make that assumption for increased relevance) up on a tree branch, and when he reached up to get her back down, she totally pooped all over his arm! Ha ha ha!
So, you know about this whole Sleepwalk Guitar Festival thingy right? The only festival where Six Shooter (that’s us) enlists supreme face melter Luke Doucet to hand pick other face melters to melt your face on the official dates of shred (Nov. 4-6)? Ohhh yeah, it’s goin’ down!!! I’ve gone undercover as super sleuth T. Elecaster (aka Kark Mnopfler) to get you the exclusive details on this most excellent widdly fest.
In addition to the Friday night concert featuring Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis and Luke Doucet and the White Falcon, and the Saturday night concert featuring The Sadies, and the Richard Lloyd Trio (from Television), here are a few of the events that we’ve got planned for the festival:
SIDE AND CENTRE – SONGWRITERS + GUITARISTS. We’ve confirmed the line up for the Side and Centre Workshop (Sat Nov 5 @ 5 pm), which will feature songwriters Andy Maize, Danny Michel, Justin Rutledge and Melissa McClelland. Guitarists are Afie Jurvanen, Christine Bougie, James Robertson and Kurt Swinghammer. Each songwriter will provide acoustic demos to two of the guitarists, who will write guitar parts to be performed live for the first time at Sleepwalk. The purpose of this event is to convey what a guitarist brings to a piece of music, and how different the results can be. Stay tuned for info on other great workshops happening the same Saturday.
SUNDAY COUNTRY + BLUES JAMS CONFIRMED. Sleepwalk Guitar Festival announces two impressive lineups of guitar-slinging talent for the Sunday afternoon Jam Sessions. The Sleepwalk Country Jam features Telecaster masters Brent Mason (Nashville, TN) and Redd Volkaert (Austin, TX) alongside Hurtin’ Albertan Grant Siemens. The Blues Jam welcomes Les Paul player Duke Robillard, Stony Plain stalwart Amos Garrett, Winnipeg Perpetrator Jay Nowicki and Multi-Platinum Juno Award winning Colin James. Both jams will be backed by the Sleepwalk rhythm section, John Dymond on bass and Derek Downham of The Beauties on drums.
Sleepwalk’s Sunday programming also includes a clinic (guitars welcome) by Amos Garett on how to play the iconic Billboard-topping “Sleep Walk” instrumental guitar composition. The tune is instantly familiar, and one of my personal all time faves – see the original Santo and Johnny performance here: http://youtube.com
SLEEPWALK GUITAR FESTIVAL OFFERS EMERGING ARTIST SCHOLARSHIP. The inaugural Sleepwalk Guitar Festival extends an open invitation to the next generation of six-string slingers to apply for the Emerging Artist Scholarship. The winning artist will take home a $1000 cash prize (donated by Six Shooter Records) and a Traynor QuarterHorse amp (donated by Traynor). The Scholarship is open to anyone 19 and under. Entrants should post a link to their performance of an original composition or an interpretation of an existing work on the Sleepwalk Guitar Festival facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/sleepwalkguitar. Entries will be judged on innovation, artistry and technique.
SLEEPWALK SPECIAL PARKING LOT SHOWCASE. Sleepwalk’s unofficial parking lot programing will feature ME trying to hack my way through the chords to Tom Petty’s ‘Free Falling’ on one of those cool guitars with a handle cut out of the body (Ibanez JEM, for those of you that speak-a da language). I may also try to make up some new jams based around the same chords as Tom Petty’s ‘Free Falling’, possibly capped off with an epic tapping solo, if I can figure out how to do that. It’ll be a heartbreaker fo’ sho.
Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet continue to blow away audiences on both sides of the border with their new band, Whitehorse, and their self-titled debut, Whitehorse. Our American friends can check out their local indie record store for a copy of the new album starting Oct 18 (which, in case you haven’t been keeping score, is the same release date as Harlan Pepper, and the American release date for The Deep Dark Woods! Big day!). Many thanks to all the USA radio stations who have added Whitehorse to their playlists. New Yorkers can, and should, catch a Whitehorse set at the Rockwood Music Hall on November 9. If you need some official vouch-age, Toronto’s Now Magazine was one of the many publications who recently gave Whitehorse a slam dunk NNNN review, awarding Luke and Melissa the apt title of “space cowboy lovebirds”. Don’t miss it NY! More USA dates to be announced soon!
Meanwhile, Ontario fans of heartwarming tales can catch Whitehorse on any of the multitude of Vinyl Café dates throughout the province this month. Check below for deets.
Whitehorse, the album by the group Whitehorse, comes out digitally in Europe, and everywhere else in the world where not currently available, on Oct 26. Physical street date is set for Nov in the Netherlands (or, as I like to call them, the Nether Regions) and January 30 in the UK (or as I like to call them… uh, the UK?).
So, by now you MUST have heard about Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland joining musical forces to form the unstoppable force of Whitehorse, right?! It’s kind of like the janky stereo I am listening to right now, where the radio never really turns off, so even though I have switched over to listen to a Pete Shelley LP that I picked up at a thrift store, I can still hear Bono crooning away in the back ground. Actually, it’s not like that at all, aside from maybe in an abstract conceptual way (Melissa being Pete Shelley, and Luke being Bono, because he likes to talk about politics and stuff), since my current listening experience is kind of annoying as all hell, whereas Whitehorse is a glorious earhole massage, like a fresh q-tip dipped in good-tune balm (available soon in our webstore). The Whitehorse album is now out and available, garnering some serious slam dunk accolades. If the reviews and our good word aren’t enough for ya, you freeloadin’ hippies can head over to the iTunes store to preview the album and cop a free download of ‘Emerald Isle’, which is, conveniently, the Free Single Of The Week!
Luke and Melissa have been working hard on their live show, including a number of ram-jammed live rehearsals in Waterloo and Hamilton (I mean of course, that the shows were well attended… all Whitehorse, no Black Betty). The new show is, frankly, soooo awesoooooome!!! Whitehorse is not your typical folk duo…they’ve got all kinds of crazy technological stuff going on with loops, keyboards, stomp box boards and more. It boggles my mind, and my feet, but not my ears or the musical enjoyment pleasure center in my brain. Here, check out this link of the pair playing on Canada AM:
Whitehorse kicks things off officially with a set at the Festival Music House during the Toronto International Film Festival. It’s not open to the public since we are for sure expecting Brangelina, but enterprising souls might be able to figure out a way to win tickets. For instance, if anyone can convince Jim Carrey to recite an awkward and inappropriate video love letter to Whitehorse, we will totally find a way to score you tix. Hell, we might even score you tickets if you make your own awkward and inappropriate video love letter to Melissa and Luke and post it on youtube for millions to see. Whitehorse plays Tuesday at 8 pm.
After TIFF, Whitehorse jet off to their new digs in NYC, where they start a tour with Frazey Ford of Be Good Tanyas fame. Ticket information for these shows are available on the six shooter site, as well as the new Whitehorse site: http://www.whitehorsemusic.ca
Oh, and speaking of the website…and for that matter, all the fabulous art direction on this project was done by Tyler Clark Burke.
Please note: We had previously announced that the Sept 30 show in Hamilton was sold out, but there are in fact some tickets still available. Their Glenn Gould Theatre show, however, is long sold out, but there are still tickets available for their upcoming concert at the Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto on Feb 24. We realize that you are probably still trying to squeeze a bit of life out of summer at this point, and the word Winter coupled with a date in February probably sends a chill up your spine, so we want to reward those of you who are cool early-adopters with a little contest!
Here is how this contest works:
1. Buy tickets to the Winter Garden Theatre show.
2. Prove it by sending your ticket confirmation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Answer this skill testing question:
How many of Melissa McClelland’s solo albums has Luke Doucet produced?
4. Win a t-shirt of Luke or Melissa’s, plus a copy of Luke’s EP ‘Fokestar’!
Six Shooter Records’ Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet tie the musical knot with the debut of their new band, Whitehorse, marrying their talent and chemistry on stage as a smoldering duo. They already tied the knot in the smoochy way in real life, so this makes perfect sense! This kind of touring-musical-lovebirds dealio definitely reminds me of a classic Johnny and June type scenario, but without all the stuff in the movie where you are like “wow, Johnny is being such a dick to that other girl”… maybe Luke and Melissa are actually closer to the duo Laid Back and their hit song ‘White Horse’, although I do realize two German dudes making proto-techno might be a little off the mark for this project. WhitehorseÕs debut recording will be released on August 30. See a fun preview for Whitehorse here:
Whitehorse are givin’ ‘er straight outta the gates, and will be playing a bunch of dates in the fall in Ontario, Quebec, and the USA. Also just announced is their Feb 24 concert at Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto. The last time we put a show on sale via the peeps at Massey Hall, it sold out almost instantly, so get your tickets right away. The public on-sale date is Aug 15 at http://roythomson.com.
The live show is really going to trample your turtle. Luke and Melissa have been working hard at it, and if you live in (or are willing to travel to Hamilton or Waterloo), you can participate in the process. They will be performing five “live rehearsals” at the Jane Bond and the Casbah. No cover charge, renegade punk stylez.
Pre-orders for the new Whitehorse recording are up for sale now.
Melissa McClelland is majorly hella thrilled to be playing the Winnipeg Folk Festival, kicking things off on a bill with Blue Rodeo and the Jayhawks. Maybe after the show, they can go to that bar where you throw a rubber chicken into a bucket – does that place still exist? Winnipeggers? For the remainder of the summer, Melissa will balance her time between Sarah McLachlan and Friends shows, Luke Doucet & the White Falcon shows, her own festival slots (Canmore Folk Festival, Eaglewood Folk Festival), running through sprinklers while eating a creamsicle, and eating half of a watermelon, then wearing the empty rind as a hat while she eats the second half. Yay summer!
News flash! Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland will also be playing a duo show at the Glenn “don’t rename me WestJet” Gould Theatre on September 21. Frazey Ford of the Be Good Tanyas rounds out the bill, and choreography will be non-existent (a plus in my mind). It’s going to be an amazing show – tickets go on sale on Thursday at www.roythomson.com