From The Ground Up
By Charelle evelyn on june 25 2014
BRINGING BACK THE
TROUBADOUR SPIRIT, BLACK
SPRUCE BOG IS TELLING THE
STORIES OF THE STORIES OF
THE LAND FROM WHENCE THEY
CAME – AS BAND ANYWAY.
Hailing from parts as far flung as eastern Canada and Minnesota, the five-piece Canadiana outfit is telling the northern story. Spencer Hammond (bass, vocals), Danny Bell (drums), Amy Blanding (mandolin, vocals, harmonica), Jeremy Pahl (banjo, vocals) and Eric Welscher-Bilodeau (guitar, vocals, piano) all had an established musical pedigree, making names for themselves as soloists and in groups such as the Salt Water Brothers, Ivan and Wyn, Canadian Waste and The Bricks.
Jeremy, Eric and Amy met at a 2013 Canada Day house party show and jam sessions soon brought in Danny (who had played on the Salt Water Brothers EP) and Spencer to round out the group. So why join forces? Spencer: You could always play by yourself but you’re always stuck with yourself. Being able to play music with people just adds more elements to it. Amy: Eric and I play as a duo together, but I think a band, for me it forces me to a different comfort zone, vocally and expressively. Being able to perform in that capacity, that’s totally different and I always wanted to do it.
I secretly always wanted to be Stevie Nicks… Eric: We found, quite quickly when we got together, that we’re all a little bit out of our comfort zone but this line up allowed us to expand in areas we weren’t accustomed to. Danny: I need a band. I don’t have a choice. What are the northern B.C. stories Black Spruce Bog are trying to tell? Amy: The songs that Jeremy that Eric have written are about people riding trains to Rupert and working at the mill and that type of thing, but it’s not just industry, it’s people who live here… We all love it here. There are pretty unique people that decide to live in northern British Columbia and their stories are really colourful, so why not write we know, what we’re in contact with on a daily basis? Black Spruce Bog recently completed a successful crowdfunding campaign to raise money to record their debut album.
Visit BlackSpruceBog.com or find the band on Facebook for details on how to get the earpleasing and mouthwatering (the digital downloads come with mixed-herb seed cards) debut release and check them out at various festivals across the region this summer.
REPORTER FOR THE PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN
Journalist, west coast native, music lover. Made in Canada.