After two years on the road, Shanneyganock paused long enough to record their seventh and newly-released studio album, Volume VII. David Keating got in touch with vocalist and guitarist Chris Andrews to ask about the record and their upcoming tour.
Twelve years is a long time in the life of any band. For Shanneyganock, much of that time been spent off the island and on the road as representatives of Newfoundland music. In building their reputation and fanbase, the members of the band—Chris Andrews, Bob Pike, Mark Hiscock and Mike Clarke—have criss-crossed the country non-stop and travelled to destinations as far-flung as Qatar and Memphis, Tennessee.
For a band that thrives on live performance, Chris Andrews says Shanneyganock has had to learn over the years how to transfer their sound to the studio.
“I’m not sure that anyone has it down pat,” he says “but it’s certainly getting more interesting, and not nearly as frustrating. The two major things I have learned about the studio are get a good producer and do a lot of pre-production: these two things are essential.”
One of the stand-out tracks on Volume VII getting radio play is a version of Woody Guthrie’s “Way Over Yonder” — not necessarily the song choice you’d expect from a group labelled a ‘trad band’.
“We have had some great opportunities to play with folk musicians from all over the world and it no doubt has rubbed off a bit,” says Andrews. “I think we have been labelled by many as a diddly-dee band—whatever that is. We just feel we are being ourselves and playing the music we love. Lots of other people love it too, and that’s why we’re still at it.”
Shanneyganock’s tour in support of Volume VII officially launches in mid-May in Carbonear, with a show scheduled for the Arts and Culture Centre in St. John’s shortly after that. A near sold-out benefit for the Stella Burry Foundation is also planned for April 9th at The Bella Vista.
Says Andrews, “The Stella Burry Foundation is a great charity. A couple of friends are on the board and had asked if we could help. It has taken almost a year to get our schedules to fit but it ‘s going to be a fun night.”
The upcoming tour also has the band visiting corners of the province they hadn’t covered in their previous twelve years.
“We are really looking forward to Ramea…It’s a part of the province we have never played. We have been as far as Burgeo, but never had an opportunity to go to the island,” says Chris. Of the rest of the tour, he says, “It’s going to be interesting—we have our only St. John’s area performance and the very next evening in Outer Cove so, once again, we have some pretty interesting travel.”
Only a handful of ticket remain for the April 9th Stella Burry fundraiser featuring Shanneyganock at the Bella Vista. Catch Shanneyganock at the Arts and Culture Centre on May 16th. www.shanneyganock.com