They aren’t attending confession or atoning for their sins (though maybe past musical ones). Nor are they celebrating Thanksgiving. What are they doing is making music. While their acclaimed album “Hope & Ruin” was released in 2011, their latest project – the EP “Thank You and I’m Sorry” came out in November 2012 on Bumstead Records. It is a 7-song output, which is quite lengthy for an EP, of tracks that were left over or “didn’t fit” on the “Hope & Ruin” album. Yet the sound is still very much classic Trews and classically Haligonian. Although, they no longer reside in the capital of Eastern Canada, their acoustic-rock sound is still very much tinged with that East Coast/Nova Scotia flare.
Given their original band name was inspired by a Monty Python line – One I’d Trouser – and that their first single off of “Thank You and I’m Sorry” is entitled “Power of Positive Drinking” (not to be confused with the Lou Reed song of the same name), it is clear that The Trews are a band with a sense of humour who don’t take themselves too seriously. Yet at the same time they can also be quite poignant.
Ever since their first album “House of Ill Fame“, Colin MacDonald and Co. have been writing songs with meaning. The aforementioned album includes the song “Hollis and Morris”, which is the name of an intersection in Halifax that is well known for prostitution. But perhaps their most heart-wrenching story comes in the form of the single “Highway of Heroes“. It was inspired by the death of their friend and former schoolmate Captain Nichola Goddard, who was stationed at CFB Trenton and was the first female Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan (bring the troops home already). The actual title comes from a stretch of highway 401 between CFB Trenton and downtown Toronto, where hundreds go to mourn fallen soldiers. It is truly an emotional tale. It is a testament to the band’s ability as songwriters that they pull off the emotion of “Highway of Heroes”, yet also create a little lighthearted fare as well.
They have also played with big boys as well. Many of their albums have been produced by Big Sugar’s Gordie Johnson and their EP features guest appearances by The Black Crowes’ Rich Robinson, ex-Crowes member Eddie Harsch and Small Faces’ Ian McLagan. Did I mention they have also played and toured with Bruce Springsteen? While on tour with The Boss, they were invited to take part in a ten minute rendition of “Twist & Shout” as part of Springsteen’s encore. What a ride that must have been.
“Thank You and I’m Sorry” was released November 6th, 2012 on Bumstead Recording. It was co-produced by band member John-Angus MacDonald along with Gordie Johnson. “The Power of Positive Drinking” reached #12 on the Canadian Rock Charts.