“Canadian folk rock band Whitehorse takes on 12-bar-blues with “Nadine,” a reimagined cover of Chuck Berry’s 1964 hit of the same name. The song is off their upcoming EP, The Northern South Vol. 1, which features a collection of rock ‘n’ roll chart-toppers by the likes of Berry, Little Walter and other Chess and Checker recording artists.” Read the full article and interview with Whitehorse here.
Whitehorse is set to release The Northern South Vol. 1 on May 6th, but you can pre-order the album on iTunes and Google Play on April 15, 2016.
On The Northern South, Vol. 1, coming May 6, 2016, Whitehorse inhabits the kitchens and Cadillacs of Jimmy Reed, Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf and others in their homage to one of the most important addresses in music, 2120 S. Michigan Avenue circa 1960, and the astonishing catalogues of Chess and Checker Records.
“Pretty Thing,” the second song to be revealed from Whitehorse’s new collection, was originally written by Willie Dixon in 1955, made famous by Bo Diddley (the ‘Bo Diddley beat’ was the backbone of the song “Downtown” from Leave No Bridge Unburned).
On “Pretty Thing,” Whitehorse plays the guitar solo in unison but in different octaves. Melissa McClelland is playing the light and snappy Shyboy Telecaster (made by Toronto builder Brad Keogan) though a GA18. The guitar is blend of 1950’s stye pickups and electronics, with a rosewood fretboard that started to appear on Fenders in 1959 and was ubiquitous through the 1960s. Harmonica pass by Luke Doucet.
The Northern South Vol. 1 will be available on May 6, 2016 worldwide.
Whitehorse gathers no moss, rolling forward with a brand new EP called The Northern South Vol. 1, a project that takes the band deep into the Chess and Checker electric blues of the 1950s. With a pink Jazzmaster and a ‘new’ 1952 Martin guitar, Whitehorse takes a twelve-bar trip through a collection of chart-toppers that built rock n’ roll one sneakin’ cheatin’ no good man at a time.
The first song out of the gate is “My Babe,” a spiritual-turned-secular standard made famous by Little Walter, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s only harmonica player, and written by bass player and hit-maker Willie Dixon. In Whitehorse fashion, Melissa brings the heat on bass while Luke lays jagged edged riffs over the duo’s signature step-by-step build-up, turning the ‘ain’t gonna take it’ tune into a meal.
The Northern South isn’t simply a history lesson. Whitehorse aims to speak the blues in their own language; the project is about mining the grooves and paying homage to songwriters, great melodies and songs that lend themselves to Whitehorse’s distinctive approach and talents.
See Exclaim premiere the blistering “My Babe” below.
Songs from the new EP will be rolled out one at a time with videos filmed in the studio. The Northern South Vol. 1 will be available digitally and on CD in early 2016.
Videos directed by Light Echo Productions at Revolution Recording in Toronto, ON.
TORONTO, ON: Danforth Music Hall, Dec 2
BUFFALO, NY: The Tralf, December 6 w/ Jadea Kelly
NEW YORK, NY: Mercury Lounge, December 8 w/ Jadea Kelly
WILMINGTON, DE: Baby Grant, December 9 w/ Aaron Lee Tasjin
RICHMOND, VA: Capital Ale House, Dec 10 w/ Aaron Lee Tasjin
CHARLOTTE, NC: Evening Muse, Dec 12 w/ Aaron Lee Tasjin
TAMPA, FL: Club Jaeb @ Starz Centre, Dec 14 w/ Aaron Lee Tasjin
FT. LAUDERDALE, FL: Mary Porter Ballroom @ Broward Centre, Dec 15 w/ Aaron Lee Tasjin
ATLANTA, GA: Eddie’s Attic, Dec 17
NASHVILLE, TN: High Watt, Dec 19 w/ Phoebe Bridgers
JORDAN, ON: Niagara Winter Wine Festival, Jan 15
SASKATOON, SK: Broadway Theatre, Jan 21
REGINA, SK: Darke Hall, Jan 22
MEDICINE HAT, AB: Esplanade Main Theatre, Jan 23
Whitehorse will bring The Sweet Disaster Tour to the Danforth Music Hall on December 2 for a special bonus hometown Toronto performance. The band has sold out Massey Hall twice since they burst onto the scene a few short years ago, and so this upcoming gig presents the chance to cap off an incredibly busy year, from the release of Leave No Bridge Unburned to non-stop touring across Canada and the USA. Expect special guests to join the duo on stage. This announcement is a sneak peak at what’s to come with the 102.1 The Edge’s annual Jingle Bell Concert Series.
From the go-for-broke Bo-Diddley beat of “Downtown” to the epic intergalactic drama of “Sweet Disaster,” for which the tour has been named, Whitehorse is known for their riff-heavy harmonies and intense chemistry. Leave No Bridge Unburned has also provided their live show with some blistering additions to the set list, from the cutthroat “The One I Hurt” to the gentler barbs of “Fake Your Death (And I’ll Fake Mine).” With eight months of touring behind this album already in the books, the potency and impact of Whitehorse’s performances continues to amplify.
The Sweet Disaster Tour has included a run of shows in the USA with Noah Gundersen, stops across Canada’s East Coast, and a December jaunt from Buffalo to Nashville.
Watch Whitehorse perform “You Get Older” from the album Leave No Bridge Unburned with a mariachi band.
Whitehorse and Leave No Bridge Unburned were recently nominated for 3 Canadian Folk Music Awards, including the Pushing The Boundaries Award, English Songwriter of the Year (Luke Doucet + Melissa McClelland) and Ensemble of the Year.
SWEET DISASTER TOUR
HALIFAX, NS: Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, Oct 8
SAINT JOHN, NB: Imperial Theatre, Oct 9
WINDSOR, NS: Mermaid Imperial Performing Arts Centre, Oct 10
MONCTON, NB: Capitol Theatre, Oct 14
FREDERICTON, NB: The Playhouse, Oct 15
GEORGETOWN, PE: King’s Playhouse, Oct 16
CHESTER, NS: Chester Playhouse, Oct 17
*BIRMINGHAM, AL: The Saturn Room, Oct 20
*AUSTIN, TX: Parish, Oct 22
*HOUSTON, TX: Walter’s On Washington, Oct 23
*DALLAS, TX: The Loft, Oct 24
*PHOENIX, AZ: Valley Bar, Oct 27
*LOS ANGELES, CA: The Fonda Theatre, Oct 29
*SAN FRANCISCO, CA: Great American Music Hall, Oct 30
*SACRAMENTO, CA: Harlow’s, Oct 31
*PORTLAND, OR: Aladdin Theatre, Nov 3
QUEBEC, QC: Theatre Petit Champlain, Nov 13
LAVAL, QC: Salle André-Mathieu, Nov 14
KITCHENER, ON: Centre In The Square, Nov 21
TORONTO, ON: Ladybird Soiree, Nov 24
BUFFALO, NY: The Tralf, December 6
NEW YORK, NY: Mercury Room, December 8
WILMINGTON, DE: Baby Grant, December 9
RICHMOND, VA: Capital Ale House, December 10
CHARLOTTE, NC: Evening Muse, December 12
TAMPA, FL: Club Jaeb @ Starz Centre, December 14
FT. LAUDERDALE, FL: Mary Porter Ballroom @ Broward Centre, December 15
ATLANTA, GA: Eddie’s Attic, December 17
NASHVILLE, TN: High Watt, December 19
This fall, Whitehorse sets out on The Sweet Disaster Tour, a music marathon that starts where it all began, in Hamilton, ON. Fittingly, Six Shooter has released a new backyard version of “Sweet Disaster” that showcases the beautiful basics, the “Gram and Emmylou” magic at the heart of Whitehorse. See Luke and Melissa strip away the bells and whistles here.
September brings a fistful of shows with Corb Lund and a return to Nashville, TN for the 2015 AmericanaFest.
In October, The Sweet Disaster Tour will cross into the Maritimes for Whitehorse’s first theatre shows in the region since the album’s release in early 2015. On this run, the duo will make stops in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Whitehorse’s previous visit to Nova Scotia was for two sold out shows with the Halifax Symphony Orchestra in 2014.
Leave No Bridge Unburned received praise far and wide, from Rolling Stone, NPR, Toronto Star, Guitar Player and other major publications. On only their second full-length collection, Whitehorse exploded into a full-blown rock and roll outfit, made an impressive run in the Top 5 on the Alternative Radio Chart and played to their largest crowds yet, including a return to another packed Massey Hall in the spring.
Whitehorse also reunites with Canadian tour opener Noah Gundersen for shows in the American south and up the west coast. The itinerary includes a show at the historic Fonda Theatre in LA.
Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland give Guitar Player Magazine an inside look at their on-stage and studio gear, how Whitehorse came to be, and how they continue to pull off their live show. Read the full interview here.