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Calgary Beat: River Jacks

Thursday 18th, May 2017 / 19:15
By Jackie Klapak

Photo by Spencer Jo

CALGARY – On a five hour drive to their next show, through a muffled speaker phone conversation, five amiable River Jacks touch base with BeatRoute. The band is driving coast to coast playing and promoting their newest album, Strange Adventures, while no doubt having some new ones of their own. Driven by the love in their heart, new-song excitement, and minimal sleep, the band is excited to show of their latest creation.

Since the release of their first album in the winter of 2014, multiple changes and essential growing patches have pushed and inspired the newest Calgarian born folk-punk collection. With the addition of a new bass player and extension of another electric guitar, the original folk-punk sounds of River Jacks have grown into a street raised and folk inspired punk-rock, sure to engage and excite audiences country-wide. Creating a stronger sound and fuller representation of who they are as a band, the guys have upped the ante on their punk-rock dial, but kept the authentic accordion-Celtic rumble unique to them.

Though the album was put together quickly, it doesn’t fail to bring a punch of energy and create a spirited atmosphere in any bar. “We had the mentality that we had to release something,” says guitarist, Spencer Jo Burgess. “It started as a five song EP but snowballed into a full length. We just wanted to take something with us on the road.”

Now aiming to release something new every two to three years, River Jacks have learned, and continue to learn, about everything that will go into the creation of their next audible masterpiece. By taking on a lot, and almost everything in only a short period of time, the band claims it’s still an album they’re proud of and represents not only the energy of the band, but also who they are as individuals.

Continuously growing as a band and as musicians, River Jacks have built on their in-band communication and the how-to on creating the perfect mixture of talent each member possesses. Evident through every two-minute blast of dynamic force carried in each song, the growing sound of the River Jacks hold your heart and warm your surroundings; even if it is while walking the cold winter streets of Calgary.

Mixed with powerful melodies and earnest instrumentals, Strange Adventures keeps the crowd’s toes tapping and hearts warm night after night. Each catchy verse is driven by charismatic drumming, magnetic riffs and topped with accordion adrenaline. It’s kind of like your favourite home-cooked meal with a kick of spice: homey, exciting and all around easily adored.

Now prepared to create new material, follow the roads, play more shows, and promote, the River Jacks are just doing what they love to do for the people and places they love. “We’re playing it by ear,” laughs the band. “And we’ll see where it takes us.”

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