Saved By Saskatoon
As both a solo artist and a founding member of Edmonton-based country-rockers Old Reliable, Shuyler Jansen’s journey has taken him down many roads. Time and again, his travels introduced him to great musicians in all corners of North America. So when he and his young family traded in the whirlwind of oil-mad Alberta for the dynamic energy of Saskatoon, Shuyler wasn’t at all surprised to find himself in the middle of a diverse and thriving musical community. What did surprise him, though, was how few people outside of The Bridge City knew about its artistic treasures. And when he mentioned this to his friends at Saved By Radio, the proverbial light bulb came on: It was time for a Saved By Saskatoon compilation album.
The nine bands whose work is represented here span a wide Prairie landscape of music. The Deep Dark Woods mix traditional folk music with rock and roll, alt-country and psychedelia. Psychedelia is also an element of holzkopf’s work, mashed up with jungle, hip-hop, and eardrum-bursting feedback. Dumb Angel (Shaun Mason) centres spectral compositions around ethereal vocals and melodic, droning guitar. Pearson play intimate folk-core inspired by Grant Fuhr, Soren Kierkegaard and one-speed bikes; when their lovely lady strikes out on her own, she’s called A Gentle Forest. The practically orchestra-sized Carbon Dating Service make a joyful noise with voices, hearts and horns. These Hands (Michael Hanson) is deceptively understated and idiosyncratically catchy, in the vein of Lennon, Bowie and Drake. The Junior Pantherz have been a guitar-powered, cymbal-kicking, indie-rock machine since 1999. And the Western Canadian Music Award-winning The Blood Lines’ pop-rock is equal to any from Montreal or Toronto.
Yet as different as they are, they all share a love and passion not only for music, but for the small-town city with the big heart in which they make it.
Rock (and folk, and psych, and pop) on, Saskatoon.
Curated by Shuyler Jansen. CD Artwork by Cate Francis. Vinyl Artwork by Dean Bartsch. Mastering by Golden Mastering, Ventura, CA.
Special thanks to Tommy Douglas.
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