By Mike Dunn
Skinny Dyck & Friends
Skinny Dyck’s been making music and playing steel and guitar in Alberta country bars (and across the country with Shaela Miller and Treeline) for years. On his first production, Skinny cuts singles with 20 of his best pals from home and the road, featuring Western Canadian roots veterans like Carolyn Mark, Leeroy Stagger, John Wort Hannam, and Dave McCann, as well as rising artists like Mariel Buckley, Carter Felker and Amy Nelson.
Nanton’s Lance Loree kicks off the album with the good-natured two-step “Watching Daddy Dance,” into the highway companion of Sean Brewer’s “House of Cards,” where electric twelve-string hangs with a baritone guitar underneath, like the drive across fields to mountains on a half grey sunny day.
Michael Granzow’s “My Baby’s Gone” is well-placed for a mournful major-key waltz; a well-written and produced, straightforward on the emotion alt-country song. Good songs bring out the best in the band, and the instrumental break has a couple changes that provide some extra harmonic colour. A pool hall neon light shines on “Lonesome Again” by Winnipeg’s Sean Burns, with a swinging bassline driving the shuffle. It’s the kind of tune that begs for and receives some hip classic riffs on Skinny’s steel, with a Roy Orbison/ Phil Everly-esque melody from Burns.
Skinny Dyck’s been working a long time in Alberta country music, as his group of friends demonstrates, and adding production to his skill set is going to provide the west with another smart, artistic voice among country and roots artists.Independent, Record Review, Skinny Dyck & Friends, Twenty One-Nighters