A decade in the making

It's been over a decade since Dave Haddock went solo. Now, the Whitehorse singer-songwriter is back with a new release that he'll showcase tonight at the Yukon Arts Centre. Talk To Me is his latest collection of songs, with upbeat and jangly folk tunes.

It’s been over a decade since Dave Haddock went solo.

Now, the Whitehorse singer-songwriter is back with a new release that he’ll showcase tonight at the Yukon Arts Centre.

Talk To Me is his latest collection of songs, with upbeat and jangly folk tunes alongside more introspective blues and roots numbers.

“Why the gap? Just life, I guess,” said Haddock. “It just took that long for the songs to gather,”

While Haddock didn’t intend to wait 11 years between releases (Keep It Simple came out in 2002), it’s also not unusual. The Yukon musician wears many hats: he’s a bandleader for multiple acts, a musical director for theatre productions, and he occasionally moonlights as an actor.

His first record dropped in 1996. Haddock says he just likes to let the songs come as they may, rather than churning them out at a certain pace.

“I’ve always been sort of ambivalent about the music industry, the music business,” he said.

“My ambitions have never really been focused on making a product and having stuff to sell or being on the road.”

But time has changed Haddock’s perspective on some things. For starters, he’s not so wary of the road anymore.

“I’m not a huge fan of being on the road, but my perspective is shifting a little bit now that I’m older and a little more independent. But now I’m feeling like I can take a few steps and maybe get out there with this one, maybe do a (local) tour or something,” he said.

Time has influenced his writing as well.

One of the most interesting songs on the record is John’s River, the tale of two rough characters, a murderer and a thief, and a misbegotten adventure. It’s a story song, which Haddock, now in his 50s, isn’t accustomed to writing. But it’s also about moving on in life and having to look at aging and death straight in the face.

“At some point you have to come to terms with that, whatever that means. And there’s also an obscure, sort of funny, little story in there,” he said.

He didn’t set out to write a narrative piece, Haddock said. It just sort of came from nowhere.

“It seems to hold together well, even if you don’t know exactly what it’s about. It sort of evolves, in terms of what it means to you, when I’m singing it,” he said.

The album title track is a jaunty, almost poppy number reminiscent of Jimmy Buffet, with just a little bit of rock-and-roll crunch.

From there it moves into a funky, halting blues song called Goin’ Back to Church. It feels a lot like the stuff Haddock does with his band, the Working Dogs.

Haddock’s musical personality is split. The Working Dogs is his serious folk-roots world. His other band, Big Soul, is an expression of rhythm and blues, soul and funk. The idea, he said, is to get as many people on their feet as possible.

His solo work is a bit more personal and thoughtful, though it still has plenty of fun, playful rhythms and bass walks to enjoy.

Haddock grew up in Vancouver, spending a lot of time on the city’s beaches and in the endowment lands forest near the University of British Columbia. But he’s also a northerner through and through. He moved to Whitehorse when he was 18 and has remained here most of his life.

The music scene here has been incredibly supportive, Haddock said, which is part of why he stayed.

While his music doesn’t have an overtly Yukon sound, he said he loves the idea of spaces and geography influencing the music he produces.

“If I’d written this same record with the same songs in a different place, it would sound totally different,” he said.

That theme is something he hopes to explore further in an ongoing workshop series that he’s been part of.

All The Way In is a collection of 16 singers and vocalists who gather at different, sometimes exotic, locales to work with music singer Rhiannon (not to be confused with pop sensation Rihanna, Haddock jokes).

“We get together and work on things like vocal games and round singing. It’s all about spontaneous music creation,” Haddock said.

The group has already been to Hawaii and California, and will be off to Montreal next. Haddock said he loves travelling for the workshops, because it allows him to see and explore how a sense of place influences what he comes up with.

Haddock will present Talk To Me tonight at 8 p.m. at the Yukon Arts Centre. For a full band sound, he’ll be backed up by Jordy Walker, Lonnie Powell, Micah Smith and Andrea McColeman. Tickets are available at the box office or at Arts Underground for $20.

Contact Jesse Winter at


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dawson the dog sits next to the Chariot Patrick Jackson has loaded and rigged up to walk the Dempster Highway from where it begins, off the North Klondike Highway, to the Arctic Circle. (Submitted)
Walking the Dempster

Patrick Jackson gets set for 405-kilometre journey

Liberal leader Sandy Silver speaks outside his campaign headquarters in Dawson City following early poll results on April 12. (Robin Sharp/Yukon News)
BREAKING: Minority government results will wait on tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin

The Yukon Party and the Liberal Party currently have secured the same amount of seats

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Exposure notice issued for April 3 Air North flight

Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has issued another… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Most Read