International collective of songwriters forge lasting bond at Folk Road Show

Monday 15th, August 2016 / 16:19
By Heather Adamson
The spirit of the true Folk show is alive and well with these four strumming souls with dirt on their boots.

The spirit of the true Folk show is alive and well with these four strumming souls with dirt on their boots.

VANCOUVER — After two Canadian tours and one jaunt around Europe, Dominique Fricot, Benjamin James Caldwell, Pieter Van Vliet, and Olaf Caarls are finally referring to themselves as a band, although somewhat reluctantly. “When we started our first tour, we didn’t think it was going to be how it is,” explains Caldwell from his home in Australia. “Our original plan was to perform our songs individually and only play a few together. That got thrown right out the window pretty quick and we started playing every song together.”

Ready to embark on their third Canadian tour this summer, Folk Road Show are legitimizing their band status as they release their first self titled studio album which will be available at every live show and digitally online as of August 23. “The album happened organically during our last Canadian tour,” shared Caldwell. “My friend John Paul Smith is a producer with a studio in Lethbridge. We stayed with him and his family for three days, recording 15-16 hours a day, taking breaks to walk across the street and play baseball in the park and then head back in and record some more. It was intense, but also magical.”

The album is as close to their live show as you can get, although it was not recorded live off the floor. It is a testament to Smith’s ability to hone their individual strengths and showcase their talents in the studio to produce songs that resemble the true connection the four of them have on stage. There are no drums, no bass, only some electric guitar added by Smith after the fact, but on the whole the album is a reflection of their acoustic harmonies and unplugged folk songs. “We wanted to make something true to what we sounded like at the time,” shared Caldwell. The track list is compiled of songs selected from each of their own personal anthologies, along with a co-write between Caldwell and Fricot called “Helena.” It is their mutual respect for each other’s music that fused them instantly and led to their own songs being re-interpreted with one another’s input.

“Lyrics and melody structures get changed,” explains Caldwell. “It is the collaboration that I love the most. The outcome is always a surprise.”

The evolution of their collaborative sound and live performance will include touring with drummer Nick Pertrowich (Bend Sinister) this summer and recording a second album with JP Maurice at Blue Light Studio in Vancouver. If history continues to repeat itself, we are sure to see more of these troubadours as they set their sights to tour on every continent. “We have two down,” muses Caldwell, “quite a few more to go.”

Not bad for four respective songwriters and musicians, each from different countries with individual music careers, who decided to tour together a few years ago and have just kept going.

The Folk Road Show perform at the Fox Cabaret on August 25, the self-titled album will be released through Classic Waxxx Records on August 23.

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