I know it’s not really fair, but every time I hear about a new band made up of young whippersnappers, the first thing that comes to mind is Old Skull, the punk band of yore whose members were 9 years old. Considering that such “hits” as Old Skull’s ‘Homeless’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch) were recorded before Hamilton’s Harlan Pepper were even born, I really need to re-evaluate my curmudgeon-y “kids today” attitude. Clearly, youngsters have evolved at a rapid rate since the dark era of 1989. I am listening to Harlan Pepper’s debut Young and Old right now, and lemme tell ya, it’s a burner! These dudes have crafted a beautifully mature record, effortlessly blending a variety of folk and roots styles. It’s almost like they are the musical equivalent of Brad Pitt at the end of that movie where he is an old dude trapped in a baby’s body or whatever (although, probably closer to the character at the end of the short story that the movie was based on, since I heard a kid on the bus say it was waaaay better, and these guys are damn good).
Anyway, the boys in Harlan Pepper grew up together sharing classrooms and hockey teams. With prize money won from a local jam contest the band recorded Young and Old , Produced by Aaron Goldstein (Huron, Espanola) at Hamilton’s Vibewrangler studio, and began touring throughout Ontario and Quebec. The independent release went on to hit the Top 10 on the CBC Radio 3 national chart, and landed them on stages with a number of renowned Canadian acts. Not bad for a group simultaneously focused on graduating high school. We are proud to be re-releasing this most excellent debut album on Six Shooter Records on October 18th! Yay!
Check out Harlan Pepper performing This Aint The Country and Little Miss Sunshine on Southern Souls:
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.
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The Deep Dark Woods’ excellent new record, The Place I Left Behind is about to hit the streets of America on October 18 via Nashville-based Sugar Hill Records. They celebrate the release first with a show at the Americana Music conference on Oct 15 at the Basement, and then with a Sugar Hill-hosted bash at the Third & Lindsley on Oct 17, both in Nashville. I’m gonna need a toothpaste hill to brush away shows that sweet! Hardy har! A slew of dates have been announced in the USA (see below), including a bunch with Americana master Robert Earl Keen. In the middle of all this exciting hooha, the boys fit in their long-awaited hometown Album Release show in Saskatoon (the place they left behind) at the Broadway Theatre on October 29.
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We’ll be in Nashville, too, toasting the new Deep Dark Woods‘ release with tequila shots all over town (I’m actually going to be drinking corn syrup from a tequila bottle, ‘cause I’m a lightweight but I still want to paaaartaaay). Not only will we be soaking up Deep Dark Woods-related goodness, we’ll also be cheersing with our Ozzy buddy Henry Wagons, who will be performing a couple of times during Americana Music week, representing his excellent band, Wagons (hence the name).
Check tour dates for his Nashville appearance. Plus, if any of you are going to be in Nashville this week, then please stop by our booth at Exhibit Hall TODAY between 2 and 5 pm, where we will serve you a smuggled in cocktail and prime you with new music and awesome new posters.
( <-- click the poster to check the art )
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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?).
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From acclaimed musician and author Dave Bidini comes a brilliantly original look at a folk-rock legend and the momentous week in 1972 that culminated in the Mariposa Folk Festival: Writing Gordon Lightfoot, The Man, the Music, and the World in 1972.
The story takes place in July, 1972. As musicians across Canada prepare for the nation’s biggest folk festival, held on Toronto Island, a series of events unfold that will transform the country politically, psychologically–and musically. As Bidini explores the remarkable week leading up to Mariposa, he also explores the life and times of one of the most enigmatic figures in Canadian music: Gordon Lightfoot, the reigning king of folk at the height of his career. Through a series of letters, Bidini addresses Lightfoot directly, questioning him, imagining his life, and weaving together a fascinating, highly original look at a musician at the top of his game. By the end of the week, the country is on the verge of massive change and the ’72 Mariposa folk fest–complete with surprise appearances by Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and yes, Lightfoot–is on its way to becoming legendary.
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In other book-related news, Justin Rutledge heads to Banff this weekend for Wordfest. On Saturday @ 7 pm at the Banff Centre, Justin will appear on a panel with two-time Governal General’s Literary Award winner Guy Vandergaeghe, who will present his latest novel about the end of the Wild West. Stony Plain wonder Holger Peterson is the host.
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SHOUT OUT OUT OUT OUT: The designated synth contingent of our management roster are taking a brief break from the studio (we have been assured that a new record is coming soon!) to head back to NYC for the CMJ music marathon, followed by a MTL show, and a smattering of Ontario dates! A few Alberta and BC dates have been announced too! Remember to check www.shoutoutoutoutout.com for daily video tour blog posts!
AMELIA CURRAN: As part of the Halifax Pop Explosion, Amelia performs with Symphony Nova Scotia on Oct 21. Next month, she returns to the UK, where she plays London, Winchester, Arlington, Nottingham, Sheffield, Liverpool, Gateshead, and even a date in Wales. One of my favorite meals as a kid was Welsh rarebit, which is basically toast with cheese sauce on it. I do hope Amelia would be so kind as to indulge in such delicacies whilst in Wales, so I might live vicariously through her, and vicariously reclaim my youth.
JENN GRANT: Hot off her FIVE Music Nova Scotia Awards nominations and also her recent nuptials, Jenn Grant announces November shows in Halifax, Wakefield, and more. See below for deets and stay tuned for a few more dates, and probably another half dozen or so awards nominations!
GOOD LOVELIES: If you live in the Boston/Cambridge area, make sure you catch their show at Johnny D’s in Somerville, this Thursday (tonight!). In other news, the girls are about to embark on a couple more tours, including Northern Ontario, Alberta, and an upcoming Christmas tour, with two Toronto performances at The Great Hall on Dec 17 – all ages matinee (bring your kids/grandma) and 19+ evening (bring your grouchy teen who still lives in your basement).
TRAMPLED BY TURTLES: Our friends from Duluth are coming back to Canada! This time, they play shows in Toronto, Ottawa, and London. Music that is good for your soul and your soles, and for showing that pesky Shredder and his army of foot soldiers who is boss. Don’t miss ‘em!
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 email@example.com.
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’!
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Melbourne’s Wagons rumble, shake and tumble into Canada with the Canadian debut of their new album, Rumble, Shake and Tumble, out now on Six Shooter Records! The album got a rave review from Now Magazine (Disc of the Week, bro), who had the guts to use the word “swaggerific” in this entirely agreeable summary: “Wagons’ poppy, soulful cow-punk is as clever as it is swaggerific. NNNN.”
You can also read an entertaining Q&A with frontman Henry Wagons in the Globe and Mail (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/music/). This article in the Globe was entirely massive, both in girth and in deserved praise. We are pretty damn happy to be on the Wagon right about now! Torontonians can see what the fuss is about TONIGHT at the Horseshoe Tavern for a free show at 11 pm. Ottawa peeps can catch them at Zaphod’s tomorrow night. They then head down south for more shows, and probably won’t be back in these parts until next summer. So catch them now!
ANOTHER CONTEST ALERT:
“I Blew It”, a song from the new Wagons record, is a classic tale of break-up woe (not a classic tale about my nose, although both induce sniffles). To win the Welcome Wagons prize pack, send us your best break-up story about mistakes, regrets, dramas and anything else you did that made you think “I Blew It.” One lucky winner’s heartache and misfortune will be rewarded with the prize pack that includes a copy of Rumble, Shake and Tumble and… a pair of Blundstone boots! Holy moly! You can stomp your regrets into a pile of autumnal leaves with those suckers! Hopefully you don’t depress the pants off of us too badly!
Enter to win at firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline to enter: September 6. That’s today.
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Six Shooter is excited to welcome Hamilton’s Harlan Pepper to the fold. Their album, Young and Old, will be re-released by Six Shooter Records on October 18, 2011. These young whippersnappers are killin’ it these days, and we are really looking forward to having them on our team until they get old! Just like the album title! Did any of you ever hear the interview Nardwuar The Human Serviette did with Jean Chretien? Man, what I wouldn’t give to hear ol’ Jean say “For me, Harlan Pepper, I put it on my plate” right now. The Pepps are already gathering a lot of fantastic press, from the likes of View magazine, FYI Music Weekly, and Now Magazine whose NNNN review summed things up nicely with this quote:
“After just a few songs, you forget how odd it is to see such young musicians successfully channel 60s and 70s folk rock sounds. Once over the initial shock, though, it’s obvious that they’ve got the chops to pull it off better than many bands who’ve spent decades trying for the same vibe.”
– Harlan Pepper joins The Beauties + The Deep Dark Woods on September 24 @ Lee’s Palace in Toronto. They also play the Rivoli this Thursday, September 8.
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What great news to wake up to this morning and learn that the lovely Jenn Grant has been nominated for a slew of Music Nova Scotia Awards, including Female Recording Artist of the Year, SOCAN Songwriter of the Year (for the song, “How I Met You”), Recording of the Year for the album, “Honeymoon Punch”, Video of the year for the song, “Getcha Good”, and Bell Alliant Entertainer of the Year. This last one is a fan choice award…we’d love you to show your support for Jenn, just head right on to the front page of: http://www.musicnovascotia.ca/ and cast your vote.
We’d also like to send a shout out to Danny Ledwell, Jenn’s producer and husband-to-be, who is nominated both for Producer of the Year and Graphic Artist of the Year. And to Heather Gibson, our friend and partner in our work with Amelia Curran…Heather is nominated for Manager of the Year.
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