New Seasons of songwriting 

Toronto’s The Sadies return to Whistler with new album that’s more narrative than instrumental

click to enlarge Cosmic Cowboys Return After their sold-out show last year, The Sadies return to Whistler with new music from their recently-released album, New Seasons, on Sunday, Oct. 14 at the Garibaldi Lift Company (GLC).
  • Cosmic Cowboys Return After their sold-out show last year, The Sadies return to Whistler with new music from their recently-released album, New Seasons, on Sunday, Oct. 14 at the Garibaldi Lift Company (GLC).

Who: The Sadies

When: Sunday, Oct. 14

Where: Garibaldi Lift Company (GLC)

Tickets: $20

After 40-odd shows with the Tragically Hip in eastern Canada, Dallas Good of The Sadies is happy to return to his hometown of Toronto for a quick breather before heading to Canada’s West Coast to launch The Sadies new album, New Seasons . The tour will include a stopover in Whistler on Sunday, Oct. 14 at the Garibaldi Lift Company.

New Seasons , the first studio album from The Sadies since their acclaimed 2005 release Favourite Colours , carries on The Sadies’ tradition of mastering a hybrid of honky tonk, surf, punk and ’60s country rock and psychedelia. But instead of a largely instrumental showing of cosmic American music, lyrics and narrative play a larger role on this new Yep Roc Records recording.

“Our record shifted more to lyrics,” Good said. “That is only because we have more experience doing what we do. With experience, comes a certain confidence, or arrogance,” he laughs. “The Storytelling process has always been important when borrowing from one of the old traditional songs. Those are stories of love and death told from such an eloquent perspective. Even though it is done through simple text, those stories are inspiring.”

Tales filled with foreboding and lessons learned the hard way are shared among layers of harmonizing vocal tracks executed as masterfully as the instrumentals. Brothers Dallas and Travis Good lead the cosmic cowboys, with drummer Mike Belitsky and upright bassist Sean Dean in the live shows. But recording studio time always grows into a family affair. Dallas and Travis’ father and uncles, more famously known as Canadian Country Hall of Famers The Good Brothers, as well as their mother Margaret Good, join the family track of New Seasons .

“Usually they are appearing on the blue grass portions of the albums, but with this record, we used them as individuals,” Dallas said.

Growing up with a Canadian Country Hall of Fame legend always kept the record player turning at the Good home. The Ramones, the Beatles and of course the Good Brothers were always on regular rotation. The boys listened to anything and everything — as long as it wasn’t country music.

“We avoided it like the plague as boys, which wasn’t an easy thing to do in our family,” Dallas said. “It’s more like we caught country like the plague.”

The plague never sounded so good with the band’s signature spaghetti western-style instrumentals continuing to weave their way into what has been described as “the purest Sadies’ album to date”, with the recording amalgamating a distillation of all the albums they grew up listening to, resulting in a sound entirely their own.

Longtime friend Rick White of Elevator and Eric’s Trip is almost family by now and carries on in his role of helping pen Sadies’ albums. He is listed as co-writer of the 13 tracks on New Seasons .

The Sadies are no strangers to collaboration. They are as renowned for collaborative albums as they are for their own. The group recorded albums with Neko Case ( The Tigers Have Spoken ), The Mekons’ Jon Langford ( The Mayor of the Moon ), and cult soul legend Andre Williams ( Red Dirt ), just to name a few. They also worked with Rick White and Blue Rodeo’s Greg Keelor on The Unintended .

Whatever album or lyrics The Sadies shapeshift their talents for, the Toronto boys deliver a one-of-a-kind show with their reckless punk energy tailored in rich vocal harmonies and suites.

Advance $20 tickets are now on sale at the GLC. Last year’s show sold out well in advance. Pick up your tickets early.

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