Rural Alberta country combo Tin and the Toad are excited to have the official Cd release party for their sophomore CD “Out of the Wind” at this month’s Windy City Opry, March 15 at the Slice.
The show will begin early at 8 p.m. with Calgary roots songwriter Brooke Wylie.
“Things are going good,” said Tin and the Toad mandolinist/ guitarist and singer Justin (Tin) Smith,who is joined by guitarist/vocalist Cody (Toad) Shearer, bassist/ Vocalist Pete Loughlin, guitarist/steel guitarist Steve Loree and drummer Ryan Shearer.
“We had a big sold out CD release party in Calgary at and sold out the big room, the Ironwood and we sold a lot of merch,” he added.
“We were gearing up to do a CD release party in Lethbridge when Shaela (Miller) called us about playing the Windy City Opry. It’s a pretty cool thing she’s doing, setting up a night for country music at the Slice,” he said.
They were originally going to release Out of the Wind on vinyl for this tour, but they suffered from the closure of Calgary vinyl pressing plant Canada Boy.
“We were going to release it in December and then Canada Boy went under,” Smith said.
“We focussed more on songwriting. There are more serious songs which comes from us maturing as songwriters,” he said, adding the songs were inspired by the band members’ rural roots.
They are pleased with their second CD.
“It’s our second album so we wanted to capture the feel of what it’s like when we‘re all sitting around the kitchen table singing with each other,” he said, adding that resulted in a mellower sounding Cd which was recorded live off the floor.
“We had enough songs for two CDs, but we chose the ones we felt worked best together,” he said.
As they band members are scattered all over Southern Alberta, they have to make their time together really count.
“We worked out the arrangements in Steve (Loree)’s studio in Nanton and worked out the arrangements. Then we recorded everything in five days,“ he said, adding they chose the songs that worked best together.
“ We recorded all of the instruments around one microphone and most of the vocals. And it sounds fantastic. Steve always does a wicked job,” he enthused.
“It‘s definitely more acoustic sounding. It‘s a little more mellow than usual. But we added electric instruments. Some of the songs we hadn’t played live before. The songs on the last album were seven or eight years old,” he said.
They took a very hands on approach to every aspect of the album right down to the cover art from southern Alberta artist Steve Coffey.
“Steve’s a really good friend of ours so he knows what we‘re about. We sat down with him an for an hour and talked about the feel of the album. he already had six pieces of art picked out,” he said, noting Dave McCann, another Southern Albertan artist and musician did the graphic design for the CD.
“We’re involved with farming and ranching, so we‘re used to being hands on,” he said, noting the band won[t be doing a cross Canadian tour for the CD any time soon, as most of the band members are involved with farming and ranching duties, but they are playing several Southern Alberta dates including a St. Patrick‘s gig in Calgary followed by a show in Turner Valley the next night.
“ So this week will be busy,” he said.
Brooke Wylie will open the Lethbridge show around 8:30 p.m followed by Tin and the Toad at 9:30 p.m.. Admission is $10.