Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Harlan Pepper - Young And Old

Psychedelic roots music?  Alt-Americana?  What the heck are these kids doing?  And yes, kids for sure, they look like babies, and the Hamilton quartet's ages can't add up to 80.  Yet here they are sounding like old souls, or at least exactly what Greg Keelor wants the music world to sound like.

Their debut disc is perfectly titled, as the band mixes classic roots sounds with a completely new take on where you can go with your imagination.  Some songs are happy hillbilly singalongs, featuring banjo, harmonica and brushed drums, while others are space jam with soaring effects-laden guitars and some synthy keyboards.  Their live show is already providing audience favourites from the album, with the kids up front chanting along to Reefer (I wonder why...) and groovin' to the good-natured humour of Great Lakes, the band's tribute to all five of 'em.  Mentored by Blackie/Junkhouse/Lee Harvey Osmond mainman Tom Wilson (his kid Thompson plays bass in the band), the group has learned if you give them both acoustic and electric, everybody has something to love.  They are all sterling players already (again, this is a group of barely-legal age members) and seem to be learning fast and furious.  Fits in perfectly with the Great Lake Swimmers/Olympic Symphonium fans out there.  Young and Old just won the group two trophies at the Hamilton Music Awards, for New Artist/Group of the Year, and Folk/Roots Recording of the Year.

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