Home Jason's Jukebox The Chat Room: The Denim Daddies

The Chat Room: The Denim Daddies

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When a lifestyle creates a musical style, that’s pretty much the definition of authenticity. So when Edmonton’s the Denim Daddies say they are creating their own form of authentic country music based on their fondness for beer drinking and breaking hearts, you’d best believe them. It’s all there on the band’s new seven-song release Northern Goods, available now on vinyl and all digital platforms.

As the follow-up to The Denim Daddies’ 2019 companion EPs, Drinkin’ and Thinkin’, Northern Goods was recorded at various points during 2023, mostly with Scott Franchuk (Corb Lund, Del Barber, The Goddamsels) at Edmonton’s Riverdale Recorders, and captures the band’s growth as both songwriters and performers. Since releasing their debut single, “Road Runner,” in 2018, the Denim Daddies have become well-established across western Canada, winning Edmonton’s Select Songwriting Contest and appearing at major festivals such as Big Valley Jamboree and Dauphin’s Countryfest. They’ve also shared stages with Cheap Trick, The Dead South and The Sadies, gaining ground within the Canadian scene with each appearance.

Guitarist/vocalist Andrew Bostrom and bassist/vocalist Kurtis Cockerill took some time out from the Denim Daddies’ current swing through western Canada to share some more insights about Northern Goods. Stay on top of their movements at thedenimdaddies.com and buy their music from Bandcamp.

Northern Goods is the band’s first release since 2018. What kinds of things took place during that time?

Andrew: Reincarnation, isolation, loneliness, life, and rebirth! We added our drummer, Matt King, along with Booker Diduck on pedal steel and Sahil Chugh on keyboards to round out the five-piece after those 2019 releases, and we had some serious gas in the engine until we hit March 2020. As with every band, the pandemic hit us hard but we took it in stride as best we could. Once it was safe to get back together, we started hitting the shed to work on our songwriting and harmonies. We wanted to get a sound that was polished enough to have people take notice while still having the edge and grittiness that we had become known for. In between lockdowns, we recorded a handful of singles in our basement studio to keep up the momentum and were getting close to having a totally different album ready but scrapped it — at least for now — to work on these tunes. Personally, I got married and had a baby boy, which took up a little bit of time as well.

Do you feel you captured the sound you were going for on Northern Goods?

Kurtis: Yes, we wanted the album to sound as close to a live experience as possible. The instrumental tracks were all recorded together live off the floor. We then added minimal overdubs, mostly just for solo sections or recording the piano. We took a break for about four months after the beds were done, and in that time we got all of the vocal parts dialled in. I think it came together really nicely, in a way that we were all picturing, which I find to be pretty rare in creating albums.

The first single, “Livin’ On The Road,” really rips. What goes into creating a song with that much energy?

Andrew: That song has gone through a few iterations with a few different versions of the band since we began, but really took off once Booker and Sahil joined. “Livin’ On The Road” has always been a crowd-pleaser since we introduced it and has either opened or closed the set. I got the inspiration for the song by listening to classic country songs while hauling meat and potatoes throughout Alberta and skipping the weigh stations. The RCMP only caught me once! I wanted to write a song that would keep the pedal down during those long drives. The extra energy could have also come from my days playing in the punk band SNAKE LEGS.

What made you decide to cover John Prine’s “Grandpa Was a Carpenter”?

Andrew: We all love John Prine, the original Denim Daddy, and have a rule that each set we play has to have at least one John Prine song. So it was a no-brainer that we had to record at least one of his songs. He was without a doubt the greatest storyteller in music and knew how to take a relatable, even mundane aspect of life and turn it on itself to bring you into the story. I think this song resonates so much with me because my grandpa was a carpenter who also smoked a pack back in the day. Although he was a Marlboro man and never took me to church, the sentiment still reminds me of him.

How has the tour been going so far, and what are some of the band’s other plans for this year?

Kurtis: The tour has been a blast so far. Lots of full rooms with great people. We’ve only had one sketchy snowstorm drive with minimal vehicle issues. We’re hoping to do another Western Canada tour in the fall with some sort of new release, be it a single or EP, so in between festival appearances this summer we’ll be recording some new material.

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