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February 25th, 2011
The best rock bands, it could be argued, are the ones that laugh in the face of adversity; the types that refuse to quit after enduring some measure of personal and/or professional hardship. To me, Edmonton’s Tupelo Honey falls into that category.
As a result of going to hundreds of shows around Alberta in the late ‘00s, I saw this band over a dozen times – sharing stages with acts like Hedley, Three Days Grace, and Danko Jones. What consistently impressed me was their commanding stage presence and the soaring vocals of front man Matt Landry.
I always got the impression that Tupelo Honey was headed for big things, albeit on their own terms. They independently released three EPs and managed to score a pair of gigs in their home province opening for Bon Jovi.
Last year, however, the band and Landry mutually agreed to part ways (one of those amicable-yet-irreconcilable sort of cases that you hear about when Hollywood celebs get a divorce.) Rather than call it a day, these prairie boys seem more motivated than ever and are now set to release their first full-length album.
Guitarist Dan Davidson (who helped write the Shiloh single Can’t Hold On) will take over lead vocals, with big shoes to fill. Landry seemed the ideal fit for a band that delivered testosterone-approved rock, but found their mainstream appeal with female-friendly ballads like Make Me Believe and Not Alone.
Tupelo Honey has never been about ‘reinventing the wheel’ in terms of their music, but that’s not a knock. The two new tracks I’ve sampled deliver more of the hard-hitting, arena-ready sound that should satisfy existing fans and propel them higher into the Canadian rock stratosphere.
You can judge the ‘new’ Tupelo Honey for yourself. Their single Pull Me Closer is available for free at www.tupelohoney.ca. The album Caught Up in the Excess drops March 8th and will include will acoustic versions of several previously-released tracks.
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