Saturday, May 17, 2008

Lake of who?! Lake of Stew!

I was hosting the singular Ralph Bronner of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps in Montreal one week last Fall (we were premiering the Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox doc at Film Pop) and he was invited to a local bi-weekly 'hootenanny' at the Mile-End café Le Cagibi featuring a band called Lake of Stew. So we went, hoping for the best.

It WAS the best. What a band! Loads of twangy old instruments, beards flying, feat stomping and a seemingly endless slew of incredibly catchy original tunes that the hoootin' and hollerin' crowd seemed to know by heart. Oh, and a few of the guys in the band appear to be seven feet tall. Quite an unforgettable spectacle. And all played without mics or amps. The nine-or-so women and men up there just belted everything out in some powerful, primordial folksy kinda way.

(photo by Roger Aziz)

After they took their bows, Ralph jumped out of his seat and up onto stage and proceeded to rave about them. I was so moved by what he said that I scrawled his words down on the proverbial crumpled napkin and handed it to Rick Rigby (one of the 3 (?!) lead singers from the band) for posterity.

Lake of Stew recently posted Ralph's words on their site as part of a push to spread the word for what was a packed and boisterous CD launch last night at Sala Rossa on Montreal's famed St. Laurent Blvd...

Ez Sez the band's CD Ain't Tired Of Lovin' is nothing short of a new Canadian classic. One of the strongest debut albums I've ever heard, it lands somewhere between the very best material by The Band and "Honky Tonk Women" by the Stones. It got 4 stars in the Montreal Gazette and 8 on 10 from The Montreal Mirror.

See you out at the Lake this summer for some good times. This is a big band you'll be hearing big things about if you haven't already.

As they sing on the stunning last song* on the CD... "Unhuh, unhuuuuuuuuuuuuuh...",


Visit the official Lake of Stew site and hear song samples

* The last song on the CD, "Free Medicine" is one of the most beautiful tunes I have heard ever. Yes, ever. For real: ever. A la prochaine post...
(Lake of Stew at the CD launch, 5/16/08, by Ezra S.)

UPDATE: Lake of Stew has announced their first Canadian East Coast summer tour! Check them out in your town. Dates here at their MySpace page and Facebook page.