By Trevor Morelli
CALGARY – Damn near everyone can croon the iconic Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers line: “The way—eh—ting is the hardest part” (emphasis on the waiting… and waiting). The adage runs true in the classic rock track as it does in life. Just ask The Sheepdogs’ front man Ewan Currie. Their new record ‘Changing Colours’ finally dropped on February 2, and according to him, it’s about time.
“Truthfully, it’s like ‘Get the damn thing out already.’ It’s been done for a while and we just want people to hear it,” he says. Although it’s only been three years since their previous offering ‘Future Nostalgia,’ he’s excited for the changes the band implemented.
“It’s because we’re excited about it. I always loved when a band would make a big, sort of sprawling album with all kinds of stuff you can sink your teeth into, so that’s kind of what we did. I hope people dig it and I think they will.”
‘Changing Colours’ isn’t so much a departure from the band’s pleasant brand of bluesy rock ‘n’ roll as it is an addition, incorporating smooth pedal steel hooks, groovy horns, funky bass lines, and other unique sounds. Did BROS (Currie’s side project with his brother and Sheepdogs keyboardist Shamus) influence the sound of ‘Changing Colours’?
“I think it did to some degree. We made it in the same place where we made our BROS. record,” Currie responds.
“And I think what that BROS. project did was expand our palette and open our minds a little more to different sounds and different ways of doing things.”
Another layer on ‘Changing Colours’ is the addition of multi-instrumentalist Jim Bowkill, who joined the band in 2015. Currie believes Bowskill adds a texture to The Sheepdogs’ sound that elevates them to another level.
“He actually helped me write a couple of songs straight up so that was pretty huge,” Currie remarks.
“He’s a crazy talented, amazing guitar player. He’s also a very good singer. He sings a lot of backups and stuff. He’s also a really tremendous pedal steel player. He’s a fiddle player and plays mandolin. We really wanted to take advantage of those instruments.”
Bowskill’s luscious pedal steel playing can be heard on mellower tracks like “Let it Roll”, while Currie and the boys crank up the guitars for a rollicking good time on first single “I’ve Got a Hole Where My Heart Should Be”.
Without question, Currie and The Sheepdogs’ hearts will be into every show on the band’s upcoming Canadian tour. They’re glad to be out touring the country even though the weather was less than favorable for the first month of the year.
“It’s a great time to tour Canada. Summertime is the time when everyone’s taking off. I think it’s actually the best time. It helps that we’ve got a tour bus we’ll be on.”
Catch the Sheepdogs performing Tuesday, Feb. 20 at Union Hall (Edmonton), Wednesday, Feb. 21 at The Palace Theatre (Calgary), Thursday, Feb. 22 at Cadillac Hall (Cadillac), Friday, Feb. 23 at O’Brian’s Even Centre (Saskatoon) and Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Burton Cumming’s Theatre (Winnipeg).Burton Cummings Theatre, Cadillac Hall, Changing Colors, Changing Colours, O’Brian’s Even Centre, Rock 'n' roll, The Palace Theatre, The Sheepdogs, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Union Hall