The Whispering Pines find music that binds them together in thrift shops and flea markets, in the cardboard boxes of vinyl that spent decades in isolation and are once again coveted items. Bands like Cowboy and The Allman Brothers seeped into their ears, meshing with California-influenced psychedelic folk rock bands to create a new generation of songwriters like Neal Casal, Jonathan Wilson, and The Whispering Pines. The 1970’s bands permeate their influences and recording.
The Whispering Pines are not a “throw back” band, though, as their creative partners and good friends from the band Everest helped with ideas along the way, bringing the recordings from three different studios together into one cohesive album. Their self-titled second record should be hear in its entirety, like most records of the 1970’s. Its beauty is not in any one single, but in the songs together as a vibe and mood–West Coast easy, without getting too heady.
Their next record is already in the works, and given the growth of the band between these two releases, it should prove to be an even clearer reflection of The Whispering Pines and what they want from their records. As they develop their live performances and take their show to new audiences outside Southern California, their sound will emerge as one with a gentle groove that attracts fans.
If you like what you hear in this radio show, please support the bands by buying their music here (Amazon or iTunes):
- The Whispering Pines
- Everest Into the Grey
- The Who The Ultimate Collection
- Jonathan Wilson Gentle Spirit
- Cowboy Reach For The Sky
After an extended run in the US, The Sheepdogs are heading north to their native Canada for a while. Their music fits my missing 1970’s 8-track collection, while still sounding fresh and not as derivative as some of the seventies-influenced folk rock that seems to be coming from California right now. Ewan Curry readily shares his love for Humble Pie with a dark-haired Peter Frampton and The Allman Brothers, and I hear touches of Edgar Winter Group merged with them (listen to “Javelina!” and then think if “Frankenstein” morphed with “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”). Personally, I like to hear a band that is happy to make good rock and roll and is not afraid to honor their influences.
The Sheepdogs are not musically stuck in a decade that happened before they were even born, though. Their appreciation of the Black Keys merged with a fantastic opportunity to work with Pat Carney of the band as their producer for their most recent album. That influence is most obvious in the effects on “Feeling Good.” (Tell me that you hear a bit of Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky” in that song, too?) For a band that did not have a massive grassroots following in Canada, their fortunes were exponentially improved when they won a Rolling Stone contest, catapulting them into relentless international touring and the chance to make a major label album with one of their heroes.
While the logistics of such an insane tour schedule have not always been ideal–like flying to Australia for two days–the Sheepdogs decided that they were going to take every opportunity presented to them and make the most of it. This intentional decision to make these chances work for them have led to a successful US tour that saw packed clubs and appreciative crowds, even in notoriously tough music towns, like Chicago. As the Sheepdogs return to Canada for the next bit of their tour, they also return to familiar territory with a renewed appreciation for the fans who knew them “back when.”
Songs in this radio show include: The Sheepdogs Humble Pie Black Keys Charles Bradley Yukon Blonde Buffalo Killers The Allman Brothers