The Sadies, The Wooden Sky

spectrasonic and the NAC's Ontario Scene present

The Sadies

The Wooden Sky

Kalle Mattson

Friday, May 8, 2015

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Bronson Centre Theatre

Ottawa, ON

$25.00

tickets also available at the NAC box office and Vertigo Records

lineup, date, venue, times and ticket price subject to change without notice.

The Sadies
The Sadies
The essence of The Sadies’ story is in many summed up with the powerful image of the aurora borealis adorning the cover of their latest album, Northern Passages. Ever since the quartet comprised of singer/guitarists Dallas and Travis Good, bassist Sean Dean and drummer Mike Belitsky first arrived on the North American scene 20 years ago, their music has never been less than awe-inspiring, with no further embellishment necessary.

As the light swirled with each album The Sadies have made, the overall picture took on more defined colours. On top of that was the incredible list of collaborations—Neko Case, R&B legend Andre Williams, The Mekons’ Jon Langford, Jon Spencer, Robyn Hitchcock, John Doe, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Gord Downie, Neil Young for fuck’s sake!—each one pushing The Sadies’ own sound into new, unmapped territory. Eventually, more time was taken in between albums as focus shifted to their original songwriting, and what was once the best live band in Canada became the best band in Canada, period.

Is it fair then to call Northern Passages their masterpiece? Yes, at least until the next album comes along. Recorded in the basement of Dallas and Travis’ parents’ home north of Toronto over the winter of 2015, the familiar surroundings and lack of distractions resulted in a consistent feel, despite the eclecticism at the heart of The Sadies’ sound. The psych-folk flourishes on tracks such as “Riverview Fog” are no mere homage; this is the sound of our inscrutable world, and how we manage to survive in it.

The Sadies are a band that fans cling to like a closely guarded secret, with each new release fulfilling the promise to reach further, for all of our sakes, not just their own. With Northern Passages, the time has come to make room for more on this wild acid-folk-country-punk trip, and trust me, we’ll be better off because of it.
The Wooden Sky
The Wooden Sky
Now entering its 7th year The Wooden Sky's Annual Holiday Show is a unique opportunity to see one of Canada's most dynamic bands in an intimate setting. Over the course of its half decade long stand the band has raised over $10,000 for various charities. This year marks the second time this event will happen outside of the bands hometown of Toronto. Partial proceeds from the Ottawa concert will go to Carty House, a communal residence in Ottawa that provides transitional housing for female refugee claimants.

More than a show this is an event that celebrates community and culture, something that has been important and instrumental to the band from its inception.

***

Since the release of The Wooden Sky’s last LP in 2012, Every Child a Daughter, Every Moon a Sun, the intervening world has grabbed hold of the band, twisting and shaping the production of what will be their fourth album: Let’s Be Ready.

Navigating the strife and uncertainty of evolving friendships, lost loves, death and the ever-shifting challenges of the music industry, Gavin Gardiner (vocals/guitar), Andrew Kekewich (drums) and Simon Walker (multi-instrumentalist) found themselves in a new place: holed up in Toronto’s west-end—in Gardiner’s garage-turned-studio to be exact. With the help of familiar collaborators Edwin Huizinga (violin) and Andrew Wyatt (bass and vocals), the band spent grueling hours together digging deeper into their sound, looking both for answers to their doubts, and a way to quiet them.

The results, you could say, are loud.

The album was conceived amidst many changes for the band—saying goodbye to both a founding member and their longtime record label. In the process of putting the pieces back together, The Wooden Sky looked to the talent and brawn of friend and producer Chris Stringer. Together they worked and reworked the songs, studio-hopping around Toronto in order to give each track a unique shape and space on the record.

With Let’s Be Ready, The Wooden Sky draws on nostalgia to capture the warmth of the tunes that inspired them to make music in the first place. This warmth—coupled with a freshness that looks to the future—serves up a new sound and new hope for the band. Let’s Be Ready acknowledges the pains of the past but with a gentle optimism and acceptance.

Let’s Be Ready also marks the first release from the bands new record label, Chelsea Records. Chelsea grew out of the rubble in which the band found itself in early 2014, but has nonetheless come as a welcome change with exciting new possibilities in tow. In the future, the band hopes Chelsea will be able to provide this for other committed artists as they too grow and develop, providing them with the resources and freedom they need to forge ahead in their careers.

Thanks to a devoted and ever-growing international fan base, (the result of a strong history of touring-success in Canada and abroad), and with a string of awards and nominations under the belt (including a 2012 Juno nod), the band is set to leave any remaining doubts behind. Letting their hair grow long and armed with perhaps their most confident record to date The Wooden Sky is poised to cross the world reaching new heights on the back of its latest album, Let’s Be Ready.
Kalle Mattson
Kalle Mattson
Kalle Mattson is a Juno & Polaris Music Prize nominated singer/songwriter based in Canada.
Venue Information:
Bronson Centre Theatre
211 Bronson Avenue
Ottawa, ON, K1R 6H4
http://www.bronsoncentre.ca/