Nominated for Best New Artists 2007 by Canada's National Maple Blues Awards.
Back in 2001, I went on a mystic, musical pilgrimage to the Land of the Blues with my buddy who had introduced me to the music years before. Down in Memphis, Clarksdale and along the muddy banks and lost towns of the Mississippi, the music comes up out of the ground. It echoes from every store front and brushes by you in the streets. You can’t help but feel it. And pretty much everything I do in music is about feel, so I felt it.
Standing in front of the Lorraine Motel gave me the feeling for the song. Working it up with Johnny at his home, years later, was also mystical given that he lives on a street called Lorraine.
Many of the songs on this album have odd and curious roots. The rhythm of a bus ride and bitter memories of my family’s past inspired “St. Joseph Blvd.” It’s just odd that my wife’s Uncle Jack, who plays the traditional sticks on the track once lived on that street. I had no idea.
"40 Bucks and A Beer” came from Ed’s take on what we once got paid for gigs. The simple, moving guitar lines Crosbie plays on “My Sun is Shinin’ On You” took me back to desperate, lonely times where the lyric was waiting for me. The grooves, the lyrics, even the imagery on this album, came about like that. When Nina saw us live and offered to do a poster for us, she said she felt something about the band that was charming, sexy and a bit mysterious. That sounded pretty good to us, so when she presented the Snake Charmer image, it felt right and looked great.
Above all, making this album has been a journey. Holding the band together, and how we came together, is another mystical story of chance encounters and connections. Very much like the trip taken years ago to that strange and awful place. Lots of times, we would see things that would stop us cold, render us silent. And yet, in that silence, you could hear something.
For me, it was an invitation to embrace the music I love so much and find a way to make it real in this time and place. Not just to mimic it and try to sound authentic. But to find the grooves and stories that are relevant to us now. No doubt, playing and updating classic blues tunes is an enduring pleasure and, as a band, we love to do it live. But for this album, our first statement of who we are, no one else’s songs captured what we felt compelled to say.
And because our music was created in the world’s most multi-influenced city, where just about every groove is being played all the time, it just made sense to try and capture the currency of this setting. We know the heritage of the music and we revere it.
But keeping it current felt like the best way to honour that rich heritage. Like I said, everything I do in music comes down to feel. Having the privilege of being part of making this record felt great. We hope you get a good feeling from listening to it.