Gord Downie, the Sadies to play Atlin’s music fest

Gord Downie. The Sadies. Punk rock in Atlin, B.C. Let those words ruminate for a minute or two. You might not expect to see all three of those things on stage together.

Gord Downie. The Sadies. Punk rock in Atlin, B.C.

Let those words ruminate for a minute or two. You might not expect to see all three of those things on stage together, especially on the bill of a not-so-huge music festival on the edge of the Yukon, but it’s just one of the offerings on tap for this year’s Atlin Arts and Music Festival.

A long-awaited collaboration album joining the Tragically Hip frontman with Toronto’s country rockers drops on April 15, after almost four years worth of waiting.

They’re calling it Gord Downie, The Sadies and The Conquering Sun. And if the newly-released single “Crater” is any indication, the album will be doing a lot of conquering.

The musicians describe the album as “10 songs of visceral punk rock exultation, a spirited half-hour exploration of the darkness surrounding daylight.”

But just as the Sadies themselves can’t be crammed into one genre, oscillating as they do between country, bluegrass, blues and rock, the album’s sound is equal parts old school rock and psychedelic jangle, swirling in a vortex of punk ethos and Downie’s well-worn baritone voice.

Now Magazine called it “a Canrock nerd’s dream … hardcore, near-metal catharsis – equal parts dorky, loose and awesome.”

All of this sounds like something you’d expect to hear blasting from a stadium stage in New York. And many people will. The group is taking the album on the road this summer hitting the Big Apple, The Windy City and Motor City. They’re only making seven Canadian stops, but Atlin is one of them.

But if Canadian geek-rock isn’t really your thing, fear not: David Francey will also be at the festival to sooth your angst with smoky songs of working class labours and loves.

Born in Scotland, Francey lived most of his life in Canada’s rail yards, steel mills and construction sites. His charming brogue and self-deprecating humour lends itself to easy laughs as he regales audiences with stories of a roughshod life working with his hands.

His poetry is dusty and beautiful, like a rusted-out pickup bathing in shafts of early morning light.

OK, so now your options are either moshing to psych-rock or lounging in the grass as waves of melancholy folk songs wash over you. Enter Danny Michel, Toronto’s “musical chameleon.”

With one foot squarely planted in blues and pop, and the other straddling the border with his adopted home in Belize, Michel blends sounds from around the world with lyrics that question and probe. Whether he’s astride the stage solo, or backed by a band, his witty stage banter and hook-filled guitar riffs will have you on your feet in no time.

Rounding out the Atlin line up are California singer-songwriter Steve Poltz, old-time bluegrass duo Pharis and Jason Romero, Latin Grammy and Juno winner Alex Cuba and a host of other musical offerings.

Then, you’ve got five days to rest up, because the Dawson City Music Festival follows close on Atlin’s heels.

Alex Cuba and Pharis and Jason Romero will reprise their appearances on stage in Dawson, at a festival fronted by transplanted westerners The Rural Alberta Advantage.

Pitchfork called the RAA’s sound a sort of ramshackle folk-rock about hometowns and heartbreak. Three years from their sophomore release of Departing, the band – which struggled in the early 2000s to make a name for themselves – is now squarely situated in the Canadian indie-rock canon next to names like Dan Mangan, Elliott Brood and The Weakerthans.

The Rural Alberta Advantage’s focus on acoustic folk rock

fits with a Dawson City festival that, this year, is heavy on the acoustic at the expense of rocking plugged in.

Evening Hymns is another DCMF act that follows in the same vein. Their latest album, Spectral Dust, was recorded with a host of Canadian indie giants including City and Colour, Timbre Timbre and The Wooden Sky.

For a full list of performers at both festivals, check out www.dcmf.com and www.atlinfestival.ca.

Contact Jesse Winter at

jessew@yukon-news.com

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

Just Posted

In a Feb. 17 statement, the City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology used for emergency response. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Three words could make all the difference in an emergency

City of Whitehorse announced it had adopted the what3words location technology

Jesse Whelen, Blood Ties Four Directions harm reduction councillor, demonstrates how the organization tests for fentanyl in drugs in Whitehorse on May 12, 2020. The Yukon Coroner’s Service has confirmed three drug overdose deaths and one probable overdose death since mid-January. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three overdose deaths caused by “varying levels of cocaine and fentanyl,” coroner says

Heather Jones says overdoses continue to take lives at an “alarming rate”

Wyatt's World for Feb. 24, 2021.
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Feb. 24, 2021.

Approximately 30 Yukoners protest for justice outside the Whitehorse courthouse on Feb. 22, while a preliminary assault hearing takes place inside. The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society, based in Watson Lake, put out a call to action over the weekend. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Courthouse rally denounces violence against Indigenous women

The Whitehorse rally took place after the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society put out a call to action

The now empty lot at 410 Cook Street in Whitehorse on January 19. As developers move forward with plans for a housing development that would feature 16 micro-units, they are asking city council for a zoning change that would reduce the number of required parking spaces. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Parking problems predicted

Zoning amendment would create more on-street parking issues, residents say

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18.	(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

The Yukon government and the Yukon First Nations Chamber of Commerce have signed a letter of understanding under the territory’s new procurement policy. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
First Nation business registry planned under new procurement system

Letter of understanding signals plans to develop registry, boost procurement opportunities

US Consul General Brent Hardt during a wreath-laying ceremony at Peace Arch State Park in September 2020. Hardt said the two federal governments have been working closely on the issue of appropriate border measures during the pandemic. (John Kageorge photo)
New U.S. consul general says countries working closely on COVID-19 border

“I mean, the goal, obviously, is for both countries to get ahead of this pandemic.”

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Start of spring sitting announced

The Yukon legislature is set to resume for the spring sitting on… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

(Submitted)
History Hunter: Kwanlin Dün — a book of history, hardship and hope

Dǎ Kwǎndur Ghày Ghàkwadîndur: Our Story in Our Words is published by… Continue reading

Most Read