Led by vocalist/writer and guitarist Floyd Anderson, Saltwater Roses is a fluid quintet of experienced musicians who have mastered the fine art of constructing and delivering a brisk, punchy and pliant acoustic/electric sound that references enduring artists such as Graham Parker and John Hiatt without sounding slavishly derivative.The rest of the band--Tom Loane on bass, Bob Mahar on keyboards, Don Macdonald on drums and Steve Brown on lead guitar--play with a responsive, organic feel that easily pre-dates synthesizers and drum machines.
The result is remarkably crisp and direct, exactly the kind of music that you'd expect to come out of your AM radio in the early seventies when the likes of Van Morrison, Janis Joplin and Kris Kristofferson could somehow co-exist on the public airwaves. Anderson's marvelous voice consistently sounds youthful and joyous, and Brown's snappy guitar leads crackle and spit with a tart energy.
This is a band that sounds like they've just discovered the secret of playing together, more than ten years on down the line. They've got an ensemble spit-and-polish that puts most of Halifax's vaunted indie scene to shame. Saltwater Roses are also a group that couldn't care a whit about attitude or image. Consequently, their new album--entitled Move Over Twice after a line from the tune One After 909 on the Beatles' sad swansong Let It Be Album--sounds timelessly contemporary.
Here Comes the Night- "Boy , do Saltwater Roses ever make my job easy. Right here in their press release they describe their sound as "accessible radio friendly great pop music.' However, to leave it at that would sell these guys short, since their music is neither top 40 fodder nor cloying light rock. Saltwater Roses' songs are pieces of mature craftsmanship, well payed and heartfelt. The band keeps a few rough edges, to avoid sounding slick and have a firm grasp on their musical direction and personality."
Here Comes The Night -"Gritty pop. reminescent of John Hiatt and Van Morrison. The debut single, 'Little Red Rocket' has actually cracked Q104's play list."
Here Comes the Night..."Here comes an album full of punchy pop, rhythm and blues and rock that could have easily fit into the great days of English pre-punk pub rock"..."Maybe it's even better than that. Saltwater Roses have put together an album that is remarkably assured and accessible, catchy, carefully crafted and yet fulsomely content- driven. After just one listen, I can't get some of these songs out of my head."...."the most polished and compelling local debut" this year.
Here Comes the Night- "transcends the boundaries of musical styles. The songs and performances have a timeless feel and should be appreciated by anybody who likes good pop music."
Here Comes the Night- "The album can be appreciated by anyone who loved pop music, but particularly by those who love the 1960's sound and found themselves looking to the likes of Bob Dylan, Beatles,Van Morrison and the solo works of John Lennon....has been the best selling independent label at Sam the Record Man location in Halifax"
The whole thing started on the marshes of Tantramar in 1981 as the Beatless , doing note for note renditions of nearly all ( even the obscure) Fab Four tunes.
Floyd Anderson was alternately Paul or John ( a fanciful existence for a young lad). Tom Loane played bass. David Chambers played a lovely Gretsch Country Gentleman and had the perfect garage for a summer night's dance. Jamie Wright played drums.
In1982, Tom left for Halifax for more book -larnin' and shortly after, Bob Mahar started making the trips with him to Sackville , NB. He played keyboards and tried to fit them into Beatles tunes where they didn't belong.
The Beatless thrived but had a series of drummers, somewhat akin to the "exploded on stage" metaphor put forward in " Spinal Tap". We remember Jamie, Philip and Dave P fondly. Bob even had to fill in one night for Dave P on drums when Dave ate some bad chicken at "S......ies" and lost it on stage. Bob was a game lad but unfortunately couldn't play drums at all.
We needed a drummer with a strong stomach - Don MacDonald filled that bill in 1990. The "Basement Tapes" were carved at his place that year.
In the spring of 1993, we met Terry Pulliam (producer of Sloan's breakout album and other great bands like Eric's Trip and Jale).
SWR had a great period of several months hunkered down recording and mixing at Terry's funky SoundMarket studio finshing Here Comes the Night" .
The CD was picked up for distribution by Groundswell Records thanks to the support and interest of Ian MacKinnon (Rawlins Cross). It is notable when someone supports local musicians by "putting their money where their mouth is".
Floyd won first place in Music West Songwriting Contest (national) for the Maritimes and got a free trip to Vancouver to do a songwriting workshop with Murray McLachlan, Eddie Schwarz and Thomas Dolby.
SWR was featured on CBC Atlantic Airwaves, CBC Mainstreet, and national radio on Richardson's Roundup and Vickie Gabereau.