Together for over a decade, the Bushpilots formed in 2002 in Ottawa, ON and have been tearing up stages in Eastern Ontario and West Quebec ever since.
These five veterans of Ottawa's vibrant indie music scene are bent on their mission of keeping the music pure and honest; bottom line: the Bushpilots' have developed an innate understanding of what makes a rock n roll song work. Write a great song and the rest shall follow.
The band has a chemistry that has kept it on track and focused with a sense of unifying purpose through all their years of being together, with the same lineup (plus one, keyboardist Tom was added in 2008) through all four of their albums, recorded with Juno nominated producer Dave Draves. Many festival appearances, including three at the world renowned Ottawa Bluesfest, have honed the band into one helluva rock show that transcends demographics.
The band has given much to their community and have been instrumental in rallying other bands to come together to help various community and international causes. People give to the music, the band gives back.
The Bushpilots' fourth album SWERVE is out now.
Rob Bennett - Vocals, Guitar, and Harmonica.
Tom Gillon - Guitar, Mandolin & backing Vocals
Jeff Monette - Bass
Tom Pechloff - Keyboards & Backing Vocals
Kevin Smith - Drums
Sonic Scenery (May 2005)
Fourteen Dollar Motel (May 2007)
Seven Ways to Broadway (November 2009)
Swerve (June 2012)
The Bushpilots Seven Ways to Broadway
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By Daniel Sylvester Throughout the '80s, the Canadian alternative scene was deeply rooted in trad...By Daniel Sylvester
Throughout the '80s, the Canadian alternative scene was deeply rooted in traditional rock'n'roll, as bands like 54-40, the Tragically Hip and the Pursuit of Happiness represented the Great White North on college radio. Ottawa, ON's the Bushpilots (five veteran musicians who travel down the same dusty road in the same ripped jeans as our famed alt-pioneers) continue their M.O. of driving roots rock on Seven Ways to Broadway, their third LP. With the help of prominent Ottawa producer Dave Draves (Kathleen Edwards, Jim Bryson, Howe Gelb), Seven Ways to Broadway benefits greatly from the amount of unbridled personality vocalist/guitarist Rob Bennett injects into songs such the Neil Young-esque "Rock 'n Roll Radio" and the grainy "Dead Surfer." Although Seven Ways to Broadway demonstrates the Bushpilots as exceedingly focused and hardworking, the majority of the material is noticeably conservative and clichéd next to more modern rock'n'roll flag-bearers such as Jay Reatard and King Khan.
Bushpilots mine retro sounds for gold
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By Peter Simpson Rob Bennett wanted his band’s third disc, Seven Ways to Broadway, to sound like ...By Peter Simpson
Rob Bennett wanted his band’s third disc, Seven Ways to Broadway, to sound like the great rock records of the early 1970s. He gets admirably close to it on the fifth track, Cadillac Dave’s Midnight Run. It has an Exile-on-Main-Street-era Stones’ vibe, with a lazy, burly guitar riff, and a wonderfully ragged cowbell- played, the credits say, by “Doppler Radar”, who, Bennett later hints, is “kind of like Bernard Shakey.” (Google it.)
Cadillac Dave’s Midnight Run also has a punchy piano line from Tom Pechloff, whose recruitment give the band’s sound more depth and character. This is evident on the opening, title track where Pechloff tosses off a barrelhouse piano break. It’s as if Bennett and perhaps co-producer Dave Draves wanted to immediately demonstrate a fuller, riper version of the Bushpilots.
It’s not a version that is entirely beholden to the early ‘70s. the music brings to mind that transient blast of twangy southern rock heard a decade or so later , from bands like the Georgia Satellites and Jason and the Scorchers, a torch now held by the Drive-By Truckers (although with less twang and more range).
Range is at times an issue for the Bushpilots, as the energetic rock thing can instill a sense of sameness. By the time you get to the more moderate tempo of the seventh track, “I Know You Got Nowhere to Go”, it’s a bit of a relief. That said, they do what they do well, and better all the time.
Bushpilots stay the course
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By Fateema Sayani The Bushpilots' third album, Seven Ways to Broadway, shows off the talents of t...By Fateema Sayani
The Bushpilots' third album, Seven Ways to Broadway, shows off the talents of the Ottawa roots-rockers newest member, Tom Pechloff.
The keys man is a much-in-demand session player, bouncing from gig to gig to support a number of projects from folk to rock, including his newest project called The Big Bend.
His influence on the BP's new record is undeniable, giving a stalwart band more feel and a groovier undertone. Jerusha Lewis and Christine Mathenge helped too. They are singer with the Voices of Praise Choir, who have appeared on countless Ottawa-made records including those by Jeff Meleras, Howe Gelb and Jill Zmud.
They are producer Dave Draves' favourite studio tricks of late, rounding out folkies' vocals with their rich range.
It works well on Seven Ways to Broadway too, an album that heavily references the touchstones of rock through tracks like 'Rock 'n Roll Radio'. "That song is a little piece of whimsy," front man Rob Bennett says. "It taps into that youthful energy that inspires you to create in the first place." There's a lot of looking back on the album through its lyrical content and sound.
For Bennett, there's no point in striving for something new, "What we're doing is staying true to what I think is a dying art form, which is a good roots rock 'n roll record."
Cadillac Dave’s Midnight Run
Everybody Wants What We Got
Everything Falls Apart
Heart Don’t Break Like it Used To
Hi Desert Cabaret
I Know You Got Nowhere to Go
I’m a Goner
Last Night on a Mission
Let it Go, Amy
Lost in Paradise
Mama Don’t Go Downtown
Money Changes Hands
Neopunk Postapocalyptic Girl
New Levels of Truth
Nobody Like You
One Last Shot at Redemption
Rock ‘n Roll Radio
Sailing Away From Disaster
Seven Ways to Broadway
Something’s Got to Give
Ten of Everything
The Last Bombardier
Two Days Ago