There are rockers and more jazzy heartbreakers but it's the campiness of their comedy and approach, which defines Canary Mine.
Songs like “Chips Cashed In” and the resultant new video racking up views on youtube.com can be quite serious in nature but there
is usually a camp that might make hipsters think they're not cool but Canary Mine simply makes the music that makes them happiest.
The new album, Between a Rock and a Heartbreak, is evidence of time well-spent in the studio. Producer and engineer Shawn Davison
(one of three fader-sliders behind the record's production) calls Canary Mine “a fantastic band to work with”, thanks to their
substantial talents, boundless creativity, and fearlessness when tackling their music. The four band members come from vastly
different backgrounds, and none are afraid to follow their disparate influences - leading to a wholly unique sound.
With songs that boast lyrical refrains such as “My balls are blue!” (obviously a comment on the the commoditification of
sexuality in today's society and/or the assassination-through-attrition of the male sexual identity. Probably both), it's clear
this is a dour, no-fun-in-this-life-or-the-next, super serious band, nay, “musical collective”. So, I asked them the tough questions,
expecting hard facts, hard science.
Canary Mine seems to be an amalgamation of a little bit of everything. They are most obviously steeped in
roots and country sound, but there are also elements of hip-hop and gospel and even blues, as well as other
genres which might be more subtle. This is thanks to the diverse musical background of this sprawling band.
The result of this “little bit of everything” approach is an album full of memorable tracks. Rating: Really Good.
This is Canary Mine's 7th release and if you're not familiar with their name, you may nonetheless have heard 'em
without even knowing it. If you caught the 2007 film Weirdsville, their tracks Rock Song
and Cool Breeze
were in it.
The foursome's an eclectic bunch and incorporates hip-hop, rap, and a bit of prog (Get Out of my Head
, which morphs
into what Joni Mitchell did in Twisted
by way of rag and doo-wop, ha!) into folk, rock, country, and a good deal of
humor in the repertoire, ending up with a sound that even embraces jug in Walk my Dog
If you're still crying over the break-up of the Asylum Street Spankers, 'cause I sure as hell am, these guys make a great resort,
satirical, a bit unruly, wise-ass, tuneful, irreverent (any group sporting a song carrying the refrain of “My balls are blue!” and
whose debut CD was titled Bitter, Better, Happy, Horny gets my attention), and minded of a tendency to use a Waring blender as a
writing instrument, tossing all kinds of stuff in just to see what comes out the other end - and how can ya beat that?
Then, just to really bamboozle ya, they do a straight take on Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie, as churchy and hoot 'n hollow
as ya please, redolent of pioneer wagons and sighing breezes rustling through the arbor. Of course it's followed by a short cheezy
satire on weepy soul songs, Ooh Girl just to throw you off, and then the 50s-esque ribald By the Balls, something Wilderness Road
would've done long ago had they the...cojones. So, yep, I think the Spankers are the closest you're going to come to a comparative here,
and, dammit, there just ain't enough good times in music any more, especially not of the kind that would make your mother blush.
Indie Rockers Canary Mine start the holiday season early as they bring X-Mas to Toronto on Friday December 4th.
They will be playing the first of two Friday night shows at Gabby’s on Yonge St that night. The shows are part of
their 4th Annual X-Traordinary X-Mas X-travaganza.
Anyone in the mood for a witty, humorous blend of three-part harmony folk and hip hop should venture downtown
Canary Mine, the popular Ontario “folk-hop” indie quartet is back in Kamloops for a show tonight at The Dirty Jersey.
On their last visit they cited Kamloops as one of the highlights of the tour, particularly when kids got up and danced at
Music in the Park. There should be a few more for the floor tonight. The music starts at 8 p.m.
A Canary Mine show is fun, and funny. This band’s idea of a mash-up is “Eye of the Tiger” vs. “Everybody Dance Now”, including, during last Thursday's show at the Silver Dollar, lines from
Rocky delivered in a passable Stallone by drummer and vocalist Carl Welch.
But, Canary Mine’s much more than retro fluff. Their live show is light-hearted, but it works
because of the quartet’s pitch-perfect stage professionalism and their consummate musicianship.
[Canary Mine has] developed their sound from laid-back folk music into an
eclectic blend of folk, hip-hop, jazz, and head-banging rock without changing their instrument
mix - primarily acoustic guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards played by the lovely and talented
Mim Adams, who also does vocals.
September 8th, 2005: It’s a gas
By Kitchener Record
Sometimes when a band puts out a debut album that is so unexpectedly off-the-wall, it’s hard to imagine that they would
have the ambition to try to top it. I’m sorry
to say that that was my impression the first
time I heard Canary Mine last year when I
got my copy of their first record, Bitter, Better, Happy, Horny.
While Lanbro says that hip-hop is one aspect of their sound,
he’s happy when fans can appreciate their take on it.
“It’s part of our style now to have many styles.
Last month in Guelph, some guy with a G-Unit hat bought
our CD and told us we are his favourite ‘white band,’
whatever that means.”
November 25th, 2004: Rare birds
By Kitchener Record
It’s always important to have a good first impression,
and the opening salvo of Canary Mine’s debut album,
Bitter, Better, Happy, Horny, certainly accomplishes that.
In only one minute-14 seconds, Rock Song throws down the gauntlet
better than any heavy metal band could ever hope to.
Frank Zappa was playing devil’s advocate for many listeners
when he posed his famous question,
“Does humour belong in music?”
For Canary Mine, the answer is a resounding yes,
judging by other songs on the album like Canadian Strip,
and Hell’s Angel.
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“Folk-hop” act Canary Mine began as a solo project for James Lanbro of the Wack MCs. But it didn’t stay that way for long. Lanbro soon invited his old friend (and the other half of the Wack MCs) Carl Welch to add some drums and vocal harmonies. It wasn’t long before Lanbro’s roommate Mim Adams became a permanent part of the act—and then the only logical move left was adding bass player Joe Arnup.