Laying down the tracks 

Chad Oliver and Ian Cameron (finally) release their first EP

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For someone who writes modern country and bluegrass songs, Chad Oliver doesn't quite fit the stereotype. He finishes his words ending in "ing" with the actual "g" sound, and in an entire 20-minute interview didn't say "shucks" or "hoowee" even once.

But it's hardly surprising to find that the man behind the music is a wordly, articulate artist. He likes all types of music, and in his career as a musician he's written and played everything from hard rock to '80s tunes to electronica. It's just that when he sits and writes songs with partner Ian Cameron, it's modern country, sometimes with a touch of bluegrass that comes out.

It's a sound he came by honestly, writing and playing in Nashville, Tennessee, a.k.a. Music City USA where even blues music is a little bit country. It's also the genre he has the most fun with, both as a musician and as a writer.

"They're great songs, great choruses and great melodies," he said.

"I would encourage anyone who wants to be a professional musician or writer to take a trip to (Nashville) one day, and to walk along music row. From three in the afternoon to three in the morning every club has an amazing band just ripping it up — and they're playing for free, for tips and the chance to network. It was a real eye-opening experience."

And the crowds love it.

Oliver and Cameron collaborate as Ruckus Deluxe, regulars to the local scene and especially the Dubh Linn Gate Pub. They're also locally known for their original song "Top of the World," which was named Whistler's official anthem after a contest held by the Whistler Museum and Mountain FM.

In between cover songs, Ruckus Deluxe started to sneak in a few of their own tunes and after every show it was inevitable that someone would approach them and ask if they have a CD or a Facebook page or some way to get a hold of their music, but all they could do was shrug. It didn't take long to figure out that they were missing an opportunity by not recording their songs.

"It got to the point where it would be foolish if we didn't do something," said Oliver. "A lot of it has to do with the ridiculousness of how good Ian is as a player. People see him live and they can't believe he's shredding on every instrument he's shredding on. It's like you could give him two pencils and a rubber band and he'd make that sound like Van Halen."

And so the recording process began in earnest. Both musicians had home studios and a collection of instruments, and by the sound of their songs — you can hear them at www.ruckusdeluxe.com — they have a professional touch as well.

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