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The Barr Brothers Embark On Collective Search For Sound

The Barr Brothers Embark On Collective Search For Sound

By Stephanie Nazywalskyj VANCOUVER – When BeatRoute catches up with the Barr Brothers they are cruising through Switzerland, touring in…


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Monday 14th, October 2013 / 15:12


Canada’s favourite touring band The Sadies are dropping a new record! Internal Sounds is a record infused with psychedelics, garage, a country lineage, Detroit RNR undertone and the geography of their native Ontario runs through its veins.

The autumn hued gold-orange cover of this 2013 release is actually an image of guitarist Dallas Good’s shattered leg. “An accident [happened] before a show in Saskatoon a couple of years back. So, that was the inspiration for the title. I remember right after, he wanted to call the next record, Internal Sounds referring to the noise his leg made when it popped,” explains sibling, guitarist Travis Good as he chats from his Ontario farmhouse.

The contrast and harmony between the brothers, Dallas and Travis Good, a pairing of guitars and vocals, is consistently paced by the backbone of Sean Dean on upright bass and drummer Mike Belitsky. The original four-piece is still intact. “It’s really rare for a band like us,” he says, “to continue on with the same line-up this long. No members have ever changed, no one has ever dropped out as we move along.”

The accomplished catalogue from Favourite Colours, New Seasons and 2010’s Darker Circles segues seamlessly into Internal Sounds and the narrative and musicality of the recent recording unfolds from the inside out with tracks from “The Very Beginning” to “Leave This World Behind.” Dallas Good produced this album, which afforded the band space to work within their own timeline. “He’s learned a lot of tricks from a lot of people,” says Travis Good of his brother Dallas. “He always had [producer] Gary Louris’ voice ringing in his ear.” These experiences have guided their process. “He always knew what Gary was going to say,” he adds.

Travis Good wrote “So Much Blood,” with an acoustic guitar in mind, something folks could play at a campfire. “All my songs are just weird. Something you can’t play without The Sadies,” he says. “So I consciously made a decision to make it a real simple song.”

The lyrics of the second last song, “Story 19,” are written by Mike Stacks of The Loons along with Dallas. “It became our tribute to Ronnie Splinter, as opposed to a collaboration,” says Travis. It’s a song about the guitarist from ’60s Dutch garage group, The Outsiders, who passed away during the recording of this album.

This band has been blessed with stellar associations. “I just have to pinch myself for our luck,” says bassist Sean Dean. One track, and quite possibly the biggest surprise on the album, includes a guest appearance by Buffy Sainte-Marie.

“It was a sonic experiment that turned into my favourite song on the record,” echoes Travis. They met in Winnipeg, where she joined them onstage for a few songs and Dallas stayed in touch. “We heard that in the old days that standard tuning was a different,” explains Travis, which led to a noise experiment with the tuning. “We had had two, three minutes of this droning psychedelic music. So we sent it to Buffy to see if she would play, maybe her mouth harp,” he says. “She had lyrics for it that [went], way, way, way beyond our expectations and hopes. We just hoped she would contribute anything, strum a guitar and then she gave us that!”

This well-humoured four-piece hits the road once more, this time extending their show. “We are going to do two sets,” Travis explains, as he considers the pacing of their live shows, working this time without an opener. A spirit reflective upon the days when a band would play all night, as it was with his father’s group, The Good Brothers. To add, these dates are rumored to bring along a light show of projections.

“We don’t take ourselves seriously, but we take our rock ‘n’ roll very seriously,” says Sean Dean.  If you haven’t ‘experienced a Sadies event, be prepared and if you don’t normally dance, you probably will here.

Join the Sadies for an evening at West End Cultural Centre (Winnipeg) on October 15th and at Commonwealth (Calgary) on October 18th and the Rickshaw Theatre (Vancouver) on October 24th.

By tiina liimu
Photo: Don Pyle

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