FREEMAN DRE AND THE KITCHEN PARTY have finally bottled the white lightening of their killer live show into a potent new debut album, the independently released Red Door 2nd Floor.
Freeman Dre and The Kitchen Party take their name from the timeless tradition of friends and neighbours gathering together in the kitchen for an evening of laughter, drinks and music. But despite the casual atmosphere in which they create their songs, make no mistake; onstage, The Kitchen Party is tighter than a three-day drunk! The soul of this music comes from Freeman Dre’s apartment in the heart of one of Toronto’s most creatively fertile neighbourhoods, Parkdale. It’s a place where friends hang out in the kitchen most every night, where a raccoon recently tried to give birth in Dre’s vinyl collection, where tales get spun, and where a lot of music gets made.
Dre’s writing style is characterized by highly original lyrics and his signature raspy singing voice. His songs frequently portray strange and seedy situations and characters, although he also has a penchant for more conventional ballads. From the Dylanesque “Oak Tree” to the Tom Waits-style vocal of “Let’s Take The Show On The Road,” to the bittersweet mood of “Saturday Night in Parkdale”, Dre’s songs paint vivid portraits of life in his community. Pete Meades, manager of the Black Dog Pub in Bayfield, ON, once said, “If Dre’s tunes were movies, they’d be closer to Jim Jarmusch than James Cameron.”
Now that packed clubs around Toronto have been under the band’s heady influence for more than a year, Freeman Dre & the Kitchen Party are ready to indeed “take the show on the road” with their new album Red Door 2nd Floor. Produced by John Critchley (Elliott Brood, Dan Mangan) at Green Door Studios, the 12-song album captures the life of the Party – a ragged spirit, a kind heart, an open ear and a very bright future.