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Reaching out music

Sadies and Keelor deliver old-time revue

By Nicole Fitzgerald

Who: The Sadies and Greg Keelor

When: Wednesday, Oct. 25

Where: Garibaldi Lift Company

Tickets: $15/$20

I share my enthusiasm for The Sadies’ Down Your Arms track found on with guitarist/keyboardist Dallas Good of The Sadies.

The instrumental track is like something off of Bonanza — a sort of western set in a George Jetson time line. You can almost hear the cowboys hollering in a mad horse chase in the rumble of guitars with a psychedelic undertone zipping along underneath. This Toronto foursome really masters its instruments.

Good laughs.

“It’s always interesting to hear what people think,” he says on his way to a show in Boulder, Colorado.

He preferred my likening of the Why Be So Curious track to the layered, straightforward vocal harmonies of the Beatles. Simple and straight up, the same as the band.

The songs have totally different feels, from cosmic country to folk rock, but unite under The Sadies’ banner of solid musicianship and crafty songwriting. Their music covers the gamut, with rock, surf, country, psychedelic and R & B influences woven in; some subtlety, others not. Good condenses that mix into what he describes as an old-time revue with country, rock and roll and R & B. The revue comes to the GLC Oct. 25.

“We put everything on the table, putting out a live record with 40 tracks. There is no mystery left,” he said. “If people are really willing to see if this music is for them, I am confident they are not going to be disappointed coming to see us live. We would love to reach more people. It’s not about stardom, but reaching people. There is no way we can have a commercial vehicle to success because of the type of music we play. But that’s fine by me. I am really happy with that.”

The people he hopes to reach out to in Whistler are those who are willing to come out and play, to dance and drink — that doesn’t sound too far reaching for the shoulder season crowd.

Blue Rodeo’s Greg Keelor will join the Sadies in Whistler. Guest musicians are nothing new for The Sadies, although the band doesn’t actively seek them out. Good musicians always seem to cross their path, or at least a Toronto music store counter, as was the case with Keelor. Other guest musicians who have joined The Sadies over the years include The Good Brothers, Neko Case, Garth Hudson, Heavy Trash, John Spencer and Max Danger.

Good likes how guest musicians continue to help the band evolve.

“Every single person we’ve worked with brought something new out of the band,” Good says. “It keeps it vital for us, to give us a chance to do everything we want.”

Guests give the band permission to explore new genres, tap into different sound shades and look for the subtleties in their sets.

The Sadies most recently collaborated with Keelor and Blue Rodeo on a 40-track live album this year, entitled In Concert . The recording brings The Sadies’ full-length album collection to nine: five on Bloodshot Records and four on Yep Rock. However, these are only the albums with The Sadie’s name on the CD spine. The band’s talents exercise themselves on countless other artist albums and singles.

The Sadies also released a soundtrack CD for Tales of the Rat Fink, a look at the life of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, narrated by Hollywood stars such as John Goodman and Jay Leno. High Times Magazine nominated the film for Best Documentary and Soundtrack.

“It was a great vehicle to make a record we like,” Good says of the soundtrack. “We’ve always done lots of instrumental and with (the documentary) catering to hot rods and surfing, it was no left turn at all for us.”

When the boys aren’t recording, they are hard at work keeping up a rigorous tour schedule. The group just wrapped up a three-week U.S. tour with Neko Case. Then after The Sadies Canada tour, the group heads straight into the recording studio to work with Jayhawk Gary Louris, who just finished co-writing the Dixie Chick’s latest album.

Tickets range from $15 to $20 depending on how far in advance you buy them. Tickets are now on sale at the GLC.