The Pocket Co. | Saturday Night at Morley Gibson's

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CANADA - Nova Scotia

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Rock: 70's Rock Country: Country Rock Moods: Mood: Party Music
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Saturday Night at Morley Gibson's

by The Pocket Co.

Recorded in a barn, a church, a studio and a living room.
Genre: Rock: 70's Rock
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Pay For Your Sins
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4:23 $0.99
2. Fine Looking Woman
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5:13 $0.99
3. Willard
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3:57 $0.99
4. Take It For A Ride
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2:53 $0.99
5. Can't Call My Mother
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2:36 $0.99
6. It's True
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4:41 $0.99
7. Local Boy Makes Due
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3:18 $0.99
8. Swear To God
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5:18 $0.99
9. All I'm Doin' (Is You)
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4:13 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
“People used to make records, as in the record of an event — the event of people playing music in a room.”
- Ani DiFranco, “Fuel”

The Pocket Co. is a funky collective known for high-calibre songwriting and musicianship. Descendent from The Band, Van Morrison, Sly & The Family Stone, and Bill Withers, they perform ’60s/’70s rock and soul with a dash of folk-rock and country. Essentially, The Pocket Co. plays real rock and roll music. Good rock and roll music.

Singer/songwriter Jason Chesworth fronts the band, laying down scorching guitar riffs and wry blues-inflected vocals over the heavy groove of Mike Meusel (bass) and Graydon James (drums). Added to this is the funked-up keyboards of Logan Medland and Danny Bucko, the smoking B-3 sounds of Jim Chesworth, and the ethereal backing vocals of the talented Kim Sneath and Leah Oster.

The band’s six-song EP garnered radio play in Canada, Europe, and as far away as Tasmania, but folks are most excited about their upcoming full-length album and film.

Saturday Night at Morley Gibson's (SN@MG), the album, was recorded while the band was holed up in a barn studio for days. The film, by producing team Jason Chesworth and Grahame Wood (Awake Productions) and documentary film-maker Todd Witham, captures The Pocket Co. playing, arguing, finding inspiration, getting lost, and passing out over five days at the barn, culminating in an all-day, all-night concert/party with eight other bands.

The guiding principle for the CD was to record all the bed tracks (bass, drum, guitar, and both keys) live off the floor. Says Jason, “I told [producer] Steve Pitkin I wanted to hear the musicians looking at each other on this album.”

SN@MG is in the vein of great rock and roll albums of the ’60s and ’70s — a time when albums were entities, not padding for one hit single; were about music, not bare midriffs; and were bought from local record stores, not Starbucks.

The Pocket Co. has had many adjectives attached to it, but Jason describes the ‘feel’ rather than the ‘sound’ of the band. “It’s that feel of what I imagine the ’60s and ’70s were like, the circumstances in which they created. I get inspired by listening to music of that era. Today we’re offered music that is about sales, marketing, publicity, personas.

“If I am going to put the time, energy, and money into a project with a band, it’s going to be about making great records.”

* * *

JASON CHESWORTH, singer, songwriter, lead guitarist, and band leader, is also an actor and writer. He cites his dad, who played boogie-woogie and blues on piano, as his first musical influence. His dad also worked in radio and had a “wicked” album collection that is responsible in part for Jason’s unparalleled grasp of rock and roll history. The rest comes from spending days in the music section of the library.

Although Jason has studied music and music theory formally, he is essentially a self-taught guitarist. His performing career began while attending school for music theatre. He took the acting path for about ten years (five of them at Shaw Festival) before finally getting his songs out on an EP produced by Steve Pitkin.

At the EP release, six months after its recording, the band had grown by five and the sound had changed fundamentally. “It was my idea from the beginning to have a big band,” says Jason. “There is a real sound that I’m trying to create. Actually, The Pocket Co. is well on its way to becoming the super group I dreamt up when I was about twelve called Jacob Two-Two, where there would be two of everybody!”

KIM SNEATH, one of the original back-up singers (and Jason’s wife), grew up without a lot of music in the house, but credits Barbara Streisand and Ella Fitzgerald for ‘teaching’ her to sing. “I would sing into a hair brush, trying to match them.” Kim obtained degrees in Education and Classical Voice from Mount Allison University, but didn’t enjoy performing classical and subsequently attended Sheridan College for musical theatre.

LOGAN MEDLAND (keys) met Jason when he was associate music director at Shaw Festival. Aside from being a talented musician, Logan is also a novelist and a great cook. Jason says, “I wanted Logan the improvisational writer/jazz musician, not Logan the classically trained music-theatre pianist. For the solo section in ‘Fine Looking Woman’ I said to him, ‘Just think about the dirty, raw act of sex and put it on the keys.’ And he did.” Currently Logan is music director for the American touring production of Cats.
MIKE MEUSEL (bass) is a Stratford local who started music lessons when he was four and went through violin, clarinet, and saxophone before landing on bass and moving to Toronto to study at Humber College. Proficient on bass violin and bass guitar, he has performed with Stratford Festival, The Stratford Concert Band, and many more quartets and small ensembles. Mike recalls showing up at a rank jam space to rehearse with Jason, whom he’d never met. “But Jason had beer and charts,” he says, “so I was happy.”
JIM CHESWORTH is the B3 player (and Jason’s uncle). As a child Jason and Uncle Jim would ‘jam’, playing the same song over and over, and Jim never tired of it. Born in Scarborough, Jim started playing piano when he was 13. Self-taught, he plays with an impeccable ear, performs in several bands, and making his living from music. Touring North America and abroad has taught Jim many skills, including how to find an AC outlet behind a wall of black curtain and how to ask non-intrusively if beer is in the rider.

LEAH OSTER is the second back-up vocalist and has a similar background to Kim’s: “I also studied Classical in university and have an Education degree, and my parents never played music in our house either.” Leah attended University of Windsor, first for Vocal Performance before switching to Music Theatre. One of Leah’s first gigs was at the Shaw Festival where she met Jason and Kim. “When The Pocket Co. lost their other back-up singers Jason asked if I wanted to join,” she explains. “I said, ‘Yes please!’”

GRAYDON JAMES (drums) joined the band after Jason saw him perform. “He had this wild mop of hair, a hand drum, and a little tambourine in his crotch,” says Jason (Graydon calls it the “crotch-bourine”). Culling his sound from influences Levon Helm (The Band), Darren Jesse (Ben Folds Five), Matt Cameron and Jack Irons (Pearl Jam), and Dennis Wilson (the Beach Boys), Graydon is known from many projects, including Random Piece, The Friendless Youngsters, The 6ixty8ights, Hill, and Clare Love & the Sweethearts. Graydon also performs solo and acts in a musical/comedy improv troupe.

DANNY BUCKO is the third keyboardist in the band, whom Jason met while working in catering. Jason heard Danny tinkling on the piano one night after a wedding and thought, ‘Oh shit, this boy can play!’ When Logan got the opportunity to tour with Cats, Jason asked Danny to join the band. “I told him we’re not looking for a sub; we’re looking for a guy to join. And if it happens that all three keyboardists can make it on the same night, then so be it.” And it did happen, during the studio recording of “Swear to God”.


Reviews


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Elaine Wiltshire

raw, beautiful, intricate, and seriously rock-and-roll.
An organ, mandolin and accordion hardly seem like ingredients for a kick-ass rock album but this band pulled it off. If you’ve tired on every little punk band sounding like carbon copies of each other and long for the days of old school rock and roll, prepare yourselves for Saturday Night at Morley Gibson’s.

The album is actually the soundtrack to the Last Waltz-style documentary about -- you guessed it -- the making of the album. This group of seemingly random musicians locked themselves in a barn somewhere in southern Ontario, turned on the mics and got the cameras rolling. The product is raw, beautiful, intricate, and seriously rock-and-roll.

The opening riff of ‘Pay for Your Sins’ sets the tone of the whole album -- reminiscent of an early Dave Matthews sound but with more of a Zepplin edge. The second song, ‘Fine Looking Women’ has a stunning old-school jam session that lasts over three minutes but really showcases the talent of the artists. ‘Take It For a Ride’ slows things down in the middle of the nine-song album and lets lead singer, Jason Chesworth, show off his smooth, folksy voice.

The lyrics are interesting, the songs are catchy and the sound is so diverse you will hardly believe it’s the same band on every track. If you love classic rock but long of a modern day alt.rock sound, The Pocket Co. is right up your alley.

Patrick French

A big pot of funky rock sound!
SNAMG has a fresh funky sound, I can't get the sweet guitar riffs out of my head.I was lucky enough to see the movie and could not wait to get the CD.If you like funk, soul, blues, rock, or folk there is something here for you.

Penny Smith

Would love to hear it live!
I'd love to be sitting in a small bar with a fresh pint of draft on a Friday night listening to The Pocket Co. play their SNAMG material live. It's become my drive-to-work favourite, replayed so many times I can sing along. There's an overlay of 70's rock that I love (am I giving away my age?! and the female vocal backup really fills out the sound. Jason Chesworth really showcases both his songwriting and singing talent -- well worth a listen.

Jason Jazrawy

Country-funk-folk-pop with tongue in cheek lyrics worth hearing....
Chesworth's second offering with the Pocket Co. brings a fuller sound, catchy hooks and an all-around satisfying musical journey. The listener is taken through a flowing gamut of related yet contrasting moods and styles, with poignant lyrics staying with you from such keepers as Pay For Your Sins and Take It For A Ride, and the purring tones of the Pockettes sneaking in to kiss you on the cheek at all the right moments. A big uplifting finish with Swear to God gets you up on high, and you're left with All I'm Doin' (Is You), feeling like the guest who should have left the party before that last drink but couldn't resist watching everybody make asses of themselves. And the accompanying DVD rocks! Great for anybody who's ever wondered what's it like to be have big talent, vision and imagination, but limited resources. These guys are your friends from the moment you hit play.