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Shanneyganock bringing the party to Lethbridge

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Shanneyganock, who is known as Newfoundland’s biggest party band,  is not the next Great Big Sea, though they don’t mind the comparisons.Shanneyganock Photo By Chris Smith
“They’re a completely different band. Great Big Sea is a rock band with traditional influences, we’re a trad band with many different influences,” said Shaneyganock singer/guitarist Chris Andrews from Grande Prairie getting ready to play three sold out shows in the northern Alberta city. They will be making their Lethbridge debut, Nov. 12 at the Blarney Stone.
 The quartet have been playing for 13 years and average 200 days a year on the road in a constant cycle of touring, time off, recording and touring. They have released seven CDs including their latest called “VII” which has been nominated for several Newfoundland music awards.
“The new CD  is really good. We try to make each CD better than the last and I think that we have here,” he said.
“We’re very lucky, but we also work very hard. We play everywhere. We played a little town called Ranier on the southern coast of Newfoundland. There are 300 people in the town but we had 800 people at the show. It was wicked. People all got in their boats and came to the show.  It was Newfoundlanders who brought all of their friends. They made an event of it. We’re hoping we’ll get the same sort of thing happening in Lethbridge,” he continued.
“The days of selling CDs in record stores are over. Now, if you don’t play live, you don’t sell CDs and you better be able to pull it off live because studio magic won’t help anymore if you can’t play it live,” he said.
“It’s no different whether we’re playing for two or 2,000, our main goal is to  turn the energy up to 11, keep everything rolling  and have a great party,” Andrews continued,” adding they have been touring out west for the past eight years, but have never made it down to Lethbridge.
“It usually starts with Newfoundlanders who come and bring their friends and the Prince Edward Islanders and New Brunswickers. The next time they’ll bring more friends and word of mouth will spread,” he said adding they are breaking in a new drummer, Ed Sutherby.
“He played with a  lot of rock bands in Newfoundland in the ’90s. So far he’s been a great fit. Our other drummer founded a business which has just flourished. And that’s difficult to run from the road,” he said noting  steady tour dates is an excellent  reason to keep releasing CDs.
“There’s no reason to be on the  road all of the time if you don’t have something new. It’s just flogging a dead horse then,” he said adding the band will be recording a new CD in early 2010.
“We started a band just to have a bit of fun and it turned into a business that a lot of people really enjoy. We make people happy. And that’s not a bad thing to do,” Andrews said.
Tickets for the show cost $15. It starts at 8 p.m., Nov. 12 at the Blarney Stone.
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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