June 05, 2013

Sunparlour Players: "Green Thumb" Live Video

The Sunparlour Players are all about dynamics, just listen to how they jump off the little vimeo screen! Great band to see live, right up there with fellow Canadian 'crowd rousing' troubadours, Elliott Brood. The band is currently working on their new record and will announce summer dates soon. Below is what I wrote about the guys a few years ago for this blog. Get to know the band and their music, it will not disappoint, or leave you alone... you're bound to find some part of your body moving to their music. This is "Green Thumb" off their October 2011 album, Us Little Devils.

Special thanks to Mitch Filion of southernsouls.ca for the video! Visit the site for hours of music watchin' pleasure!

green thumb mp3
pacifist's anthem mp3

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The 'sunparlour' is an area of southern Ontario that is renowned for it's farming and tomato production and this is where Andrew Penner, the main force behind the Sunparlour Players is from, Leamington, Ontario, the 'Tomato Capital of Canada'. In fact, Penner grew up on a Mennonite tomato farm outside the small city of Leamington. This is where he befriended Mark Schakowshky, the other Sunparlour Player, when they were both five years old. Life pulled them apart as they grew older, as it often does, but they met up again in Toronto in 2005 and began, once more, to play music together. The years apart had matured their respective tastes and the music now, although it still bore the energy of the hard rock they admired, was springing from the soulful energy of the soil of their hometown and the migrant workers who worked the land each harvest. A year after forming the Sunparlour Players the duo self-released their debut album, Hymns for The Happy, in the summer of 2006 through their website and iTunes, a record that stomped and wailed, that crackled with resonator guitar, dual kick drums, plucky banjo, and Penner's unrestrained vocals. Throw in tent revival shouts, New Orleans horns, and heart felt lyrics and this is truly a record, and band, that deserves a second chance at life and at re-release. . That record will finally get a proper release on a label this fall when award winning Toronto indie Baudelaire Records issues a remastered version that will feature a beefed up sound according to Penner:

 "I'm recording some stuff. One entire track is being replaced with a stronger version, cause I feel like we didn't get it the first time round. And lots of other little things are being added. All subtle changes that I think are really neat and important. Nicer vocals, better banjo sounds, heavier drums, bigger bass. Basically, beefing up the sound of the album. Then I'm re-mixing the album at the House of Miracles (London, Ontario) again, and re-mastering the whole thing." 

 Penner is an interesting character. He writes music for theatre, works as a part-time shoe shiner, and is now working on some songs for the upcoming film "This Beautiful City". And 'he' was what turned my head a little over a week ago after I walked in on Penner and his new band mates, Dennis Van Dine and Michael 'Rosie' Rosenthal, at the El Mocambo where I had gone to see The Veils. What luck! What luck that The Veils touring partners, The Comas, had van trouble and didn't make it. What luck that I arrived early enough to hear this trio. I have to admit, at first I didn't pay much attention, but it's hard to ignore the sheer force and energy of Penner's music and the man himself. Penner puts all his soul into the songs when he's performing, and this is what tells me these guys should catch, you can hear that energy and soul on the recorded output as well. But at the time I said to the lucky person there to witness the performance with me, "I bet these are the kind of guys that grab you by the throat (and heart) live, but fall flat on record." Wrong. They come very close to capturing the energy and fury of a Sunparlour Players live show.

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