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banded stilts

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | SELF

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | SELF
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Quick Hitters:: Banded Stilts By The Back Stair"

It’s almost too easy to hear a band like Banded Stilts and dismiss them with a lazy list of sonic comparisons. The Amherst outfit earns their keep with picked acoustic roots melodies bulked up with keep time drums, harmonies, mandolin, and banjo. Fans of the Great Lake Swimmers could embrace their sound openly, but the more interesting comparison is how easily Stephen’s deep (and at times surprisingly gritty) voice could front the fantastic West Coast collective, The Great Outdoors.

But the thing is, it’s the story not the familiar sounds that accompany it. By the Back Stair tells Canadian stories driven by honesty, broken hearts, and the freedom of youth. Haley doesn’t turn clever phrases, force metaphors or rely on stock imagery. He writes what he sees and that authenticity shines through. It might not be a reinvention of sound, but it’s an EP of enjoyable songs you can sing along too. Most times, that’s all you need. - Herohill

"Banded Stilts: By the Back Stair"

With a strong Canadian spirit behind the songwriting and earnest vocals from lead singer Steve Haley, Nova Scotia’s up and coming Banded Stilts deliver a variety of melodic Folk songs on their debut EP, By The Back Stair.

Complete with a full-sounding Folk ensemble that includes: guitars, banjos, drums, pianos and mandolins. The only thing setting Banded Stilts apart from other similar sounding Folk bands is Haley’s vivid, story-like quality to his songwriting.

The EP’s highlight, “Forest, oh Forest, Protect Me,” can earn comparisons to Great Lake Swimmers or Dan Mangan (see “Leaves, Trees, Forest” from Mangan’s new album). Beginning with quiet guitar picking and evolving into a well-orchestrated Folk track, “Forest, oh Forest, Protect Me” harnesses the strength of the band’s vocal harmonies.

It’s easy to compare a lot of Folk music to the likes of Neil Young, but with the incorporation of the harmonica and the vocal alikeness, the upbeat, gold rush storytelling “Full Swing” will please most Neil Young fans.

By The Back Stair ends with two sombre sounding tracks, “Anything with Legs” and “Flee Into the Autumn Dark,” for what ends up being a great debut EP. - The Spill Magazine

"Banded Stilts Make Folk New Again"

The six very different songs on the debut EP by Nova Scotia-based newcomers Banded Stilts reach back to the grand old folk traditions within a contemporary alt-roots sound. Singer-songwriter Steve Haley's the mastermind, taking care of much of the vocals and acoustic guitar duty, accompanied by Brad Lannon, Marc Fagan, Reid Shepherd and Travis Hatcher. This is at times exuberant, at times soulful musical fun. Top track: “Full Swing,” a gold-rush tale that could've come from Neil Young's early days.

John Terauds -

"From the Rocky Barrens to the Deep Dark Woods"

Sometimes when things don’t go as planned they go better. This is the case for Placentia-native and songwriter Steve Haley who, in 2009, relocated to Nova Scotia with his friends and band mates in St. John’s rock band The Human Soundtrack.
They thought the move would afford them better opportunity to travel and tour their music to more cities and towns.
But for various reasons they couldn’t keep the band together, says Haley.
So he and his wife settled in Amherst and bassist Brad Lannon, also from Placentia, landed a job in Halifax.
The withdraw from Eastern Newfoundland’s rugged barrens and submersion in Amherst’s “lush country life,” says Haley, inspired a change of course for his songwriting and music.
“The water’s different, the trees are different, and I spent a lot of time in the woods,” he recalls.
“There’s a bird sanctuary here in town and I was getting totally into the nature side of things and, as opposed to writing about ghosts and witches and stuff (like) I did the year before, I decided to explore the human-nature relationship that exists all over.”
“Two Steps in the Dark” and “Birdsong,” recorded and released independently in 2009 and 2010, reveal qualities of Haley’s singing and writing that being and playing in a rock band didn’t.
Songs like “Forest, Oh Forest, Protect Me,” “Flee Into The Autumn Dark” and “The Woods Look Different At Night,” for instance, are elegantly dark and conjure fantasies of mysterious beings and possibilities of unchartered subconscious territory.
Last fall Haley began to sense a latency in some of his new material, so he and Lannon recruited fellow Placentian Marc Fagan to play guitar and banjo and, from Nova Scotia, drummer Reid Shepherd and bassist Travis Hatcher so that Fagan could focus on mandolin.
Under the name “Banded Stilts” Haley and his new crew debuted at the In The Dead of Winter music festival in Wakefield, Que., last February, showcased at the East Coast Music Awards in P.E.I. in the spring, and opened for B.C. songwriter Pat LePoidevin in Sackville, N.B.
“We went into the studio in March and just took two weekends to record the EP,” says Haley.
“We just did it live off the floor and ... tried to capture a live feel because we’d been practising together for the winter.”
The result, an EP called “By The Back Stair,” is the band’s first recording and, says Haley, will be followed up with a full-length album this winter.
Having just returned from a Halifax-to-Vancouver VIA Rail tour that included stops in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, plus two shows a day for passengers aboard the train, Haley is returning to St. John’s for shows Aug. 4-6.
And he is bringing LePoidevin with him. LePoidevin is known for incorporating a variety of instruments in his music and has released and toured three albums across the country, but has never been to Newfoundland.
The two, joined by local guests, perform at The Levee Thursday, The Rose & Thistle Friday and the Inn of Olde in Quidi Vidi Saturday.
For more information visit
- The Telegram

"Fantasy inspires The Banded Stilts"

If you ask Steve Haley where music lives in his mind, he'd reply that it lingers somewhere near the rear.


The Banded Stilts may be sci-fi fans, but they haven't figured out a way to teleport yet. Instead, the alt-folk group has to resort to driving around the Maritimes to promote their new album.
"I read a book about music and the brain. One person says that music is an innate part of us that enters and stays there by the back stair," he said of his group, Banded Stilts' new album. "It's how I explain these songs, they don't all tie together and just kind of came from nowhere by the back stair."

The Back Stair is the first EP from the new alt-folk band. Haley (the band's lead singer/songwriter) is a Placentia, Newfoundland singer/songwriter who recently moved from The Rock to Amherst, Nova Scotia.

Haley is no stranger to the Maritime music scene, having formerly played with Newfoundland's alt-rock foursome, The Human Soundtrack (who gigged with the likes of Hey Rosetta!, Trailer Camp and Down With the Butterfly).

However, when home base is a town of 9,000 near the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border, building momentum for a new band means a crap-load of travelling.

"I spent a lot of late fall and early winter driving back and forth to Halifax networking," he said. "It's not the easiest place, but at the same time, this area of Amherst/Sackville is a great hub for touring."

Haley and the band are pointing wagons east tonight for their second ever Moncton show. With their new EP in tow, they'll be bringing stories of witches, woods, dreams and ghosts to the Plan B stage.

"I'm engorged in science fiction, comic books and fantasy. A lot of my inspiration comes from the more fantastical fictional side of literature."
- Here NB

"Forest, Oh Forest, Protect Me” by Steve Haley"

“Forest, Oh Forest, Protect Me” by Steve Haley

May 5, 2011Damian Lethbridge

Another one of my favorite local bands from the not so distant past is The Human Soundtrack. Although the group’s members geographically parted ways circa 2009, lead vocalist and rhythm guitar player Steve Haley has continued on as a vital singer/song-writer in his own right. Originally from Placentia, Haley currently resides in Nova Scotia where he remains as creatively productive as ever. In 2009 he recorded the beautiful, stripped-down Two Steps in the Dark as part of that February’s RPM Challenge. In 2010 Steve released his follow-up solo album Birdsong, which retains the same folk pathos as its predecessor but is more sonically developed with layer upon layer of dreamy vocal harmonies, gently brushed snare patterns, jaunty banjo rhythms and somber, warm piano tones. The lyrical subject matter of Birdsong seems to have been inspired by equal parts fairy-tale, folklore tradition and the rugged beauty of maritime shores and forests. Haley describes his own songs as “dark and sometimes strange songs that tell of the woods, witches, winged creatures, wars, dreams and ghosts”. Steve has recently assembled a backing group of friends under the name Banded Stilts as a vehicle for the live interpretation and performance of his music and will be playing several shows across the country during the coming summer months. Birdsong is a must for any alt-folk enthusiast’s record collection. You can download a digital copy for $5 at the Bandcamp link below or if you’re like me and would prefer the physical album, there are a couple copies left at Fred’s Records. Well worth checking out. - The Scope

"Banded Stilts release By The Back Stair July 5"

Amherst, NS – July 4, 2011 Banded Stilts is on tour now promoting the release of “By The Back Stair” They’re taking the train for the tour of Canada. Backed by an ensemble of mandolin, banjo, violin, keys, guitars and drums, Banded Stilts' frontman Steve Haley's songs embody a distinct aspect of Canadiana. He regales narratives about the woods, wars, dreams, and ghosts set against the backdrop of his home of Amherst, NS.

Two of the members of Banded Stilts are from Newfoundland. (Steve Haley & Brad Lannon were part of The Human Soundtrack.)

The EP's opener "Forest, Oh Forest, Protect Me" holds a steady pace as it builds to a choir of vocals singing the refrain over delicate piano and guitars. This welcoming introduction to the EP showcases Haley's gift for crafting warm, direct, and restrained songs. While "Full Swing" covers more weighty emotional territory, it never wallows. The song's crisp delivery is centered on a bouncing beat and intermittent mandolin and harmonica flourishes.

1. Forest, Oh Forest, Protect Me
2. Full Swing
3. You Tried To Give Your Heart Away
4. The Owls
5. Anything With Legs
6. Flee Into The Autumn Dark
- East Coast Kitchen Party


Is there such a genre as Canadiana? Like the Canadian version of Americana? If there was than I think Banded Stilts would be the perfect example. What can get more “roots” sounding than a song about forests? The following comes off their upcoming July 15th EP release By The Back Stair . It’s a warm and inviting track that also serves as the opening track for the EP. What I like most about the track is that it’s an acoustic track with what seems like simple instrumentation but when you listen carefully, you can hear the build-up and thought put into each element. It’s not just some simple track over an ever repeating guitar. - Ride The Tempo

"Banded Stilts get set for Cross Canada jaunt"

Banded Stilts get set for Cross Canada jaunt
Posted by kenkelley on 6/24/11 • Categorized as Music Features

Although there is no specific “Canadian” sound when it comes to music, some bands and artists embody a sound that the people of our nation could readily identify with. Both The Tragically Hip and Stompin’ Tom Connors could be some of those people with a “Canadian” sound and whether they will cop to it or not, Amherst roots-rock band Banded Stilts could be bound for the exact same fate.

In the very short time since forming this past January, the band has cut their debut EP, By The Back Stair (set for release on July 5) and is currently getting ready to send off band members Steve Haley and Brad Lannon on tour across Canada via train. Before traversing Canada however, Banded Stilts will be performing a show at Moncton’s Plan B Lounge on Thursday June 30.

Banded Stilts is not the first band for either Lannon or Haley. The duo had previously played together in Newfoundland band The Human Soundtrack before choosing to relocate to Nova Scotia approximately two and a half years ago. Shortly after arriving in Nova Scotia, the duo set about finding the remaining band members to help round out their sound.

Haley notes that the tracks appearing on By The Back Stair were specifically chosen to highlight the band’s variety in their sound which includes mandolin, banjo, violin and more. Influenced by Neil Young, Fleet Foxes and more, Haley says the songs shift from pop fare like “You Tried to Give Your Heart Away” to a more straight-forward folk sound on tracks “The Owls” and “Full Swing.”

Recorded over the span of two weekends this past March, Haley is enthusiastic about the results of making their EP with engineer Don Mackay who has also worked with Amelia Curran and Aces & Acres.

“Don was awesome to work with,” Haley begins. “We really wanted to capture a live sound, so we just set up and played each track through two or three times and then took the best take of the bunch. We ended overdubbing a couple of harmonies and banjo parts but were glad that we were able to get the core of the tracks sounding live.”

When talk turns to the upcoming tour that he and Lannon will be undertaking by train, Haley expresses a great deal of excitement at what the tour will offer the duo.

“It is something that I have always wanted to do and have had it in the works for a few months now. Leading up to the tour though, we had to keep our fingers crossed that the album was going to get recorded, mixed, mastered and pressed before we left.”

In addition to providing Haley and Lannon their transportation across the country, VIA Rail will also be feeding the duo their meals and giving them lodging for the duration of their journey.

“We will be playing in the evening during and after the mealtime,” Haley explains. “VIA ask you to be prepared to cater to paying customers and recommended us learning a few Canadian covers to throw in the sets so we have been brushing up on some Neil Young and Band songs to include in our set. We can’t wait to see the country and meet some characters along the way.”
- The MusicNerd Chronicles

"Review- “By the Back Stair”- Banded Stilts"

Review- “By the Back Stair”- Banded Stilts

Posted on June 29, 2011 by glasspaperweight
reviewed by Michael

Here’s yet another band to add to your “pretty folk band” list. And just because they’re another band to add to your list it doesn’t mean they’re not worth listening to.

Banded Stilts excel at the mellow and beautiful folk that conjures up comparisons sometimes to Dan Mangan and Bon Iver. Lead singer Steve Haley has a perfect voice for the genre- soft yet powerful, and with a small bit of country twang.

The EP gets off to a great start with likely the strongest track, “Forest, Oh Forest, Protect Me.” The song starts out with some simple acoustic picking and strums before Healey brings in some soft “ooh’s.” It’s a great nature-filled track.

Next up is “Full Swing” which starts off with a bunch of harmonica and shows off some great vocal harmonies. It’s a fun song about a gold rush, and the song is at its most powerful when Healey sings “Please come home.”

“The Owls” is a song that showcases the power of just guitars and has some great imagery of flying. It seems to be about flying away from one’s troubles, as shown through these lyrics: “I will try to fly/Before my days are over/I will leave this all behind.”

There are more instruments to take note of in “Anything With Legs” and it takes on a tone that could almost be country. The song makes many mentions of a city and its warmth.

The final song “Flee Into the Autumn Dark” is another very pretty song with an emphasis on keys over guitar, a refreshing change. There’s also a lot of audible mandolin, also very refreshing.

This soft collection of songs makes great music to play after a long day. It’s comforting and warm, kind of like curling up with a blanket and a good book.

By the Back Stair officially releases July 5 but you can hear it over at the Banded Stilts Bandcamp page.

Top Track: “Forest, Oh Forest, Protect Me”

Rating: Strong Hoot (Good) - Grayowl Point

"Banded Stilts - "By The Back Stair" Disc Review."

Banded Stilts - By The Back Stair
(Independent) BY CARLA GILLIS

It’s not often you hear of bands hailing from Amherst, a town barely on the Nova Scotia side of the New Brunswick border and close to Springhill, aka Anne Murray country. Steve Haley lives there now, but it’s actually his Newfoundland roots that seem to inform his five-piece Banded Stilts.

On this six-song EP, Haley employs the robust melodic baritone, full-band energy and folk instrumentation – mandolin, banjo, violin, etc – of Great Big Sea. But he combines it with an introspective edge, Neil Young straightforwardness (and harp) and woodsy imagery that indicates time spent with Bon Iver and Great Lake Swimmers albums.

It’s an effective sound that adds muscle – and great songs – to the genre without ever spinning off into a mindless, drunken kitchen party.

Top track: Flee Into The Autumn Dark - NOW Magazine

"Review of "two steps in the dark""

"It took me awhile to realize this Steve Haley is same one from local Indie Rockers The Human Soundtrack. To be honest I could never really get into The Human Soundtrack, they had a couple good tunes but something about their delivery always grated me a bit. I have to say I friggin' love "Two Steps in the Dark" this style of dark, down tempo folk is a much better fit for Steve's voice. The songs are lonesome as all hell and are delicately and smartly arranged with subtly roomy acoustic ambiance. The songs ebb and flow with an easy going grace that heightens the unforced dramatic nature of the tunes. Ack! I'm getting all pitchforky here. just give it a listen." -

"Steve Haley - Birdsong (Steve Haley sings for Mother Nature and Humanity) by Debby Winters"

In his second independent album, Birdsong, Newfoundland born singer/song writer Steve Haley blends his melodic voice with his harmonic music to produce an album of music that communes with nature and interacts with
humanity. Haley was a part of the St. John’s music scene prior to his journey to Nova Scotia in the form of The Human Soundtrack as well as performing solo.
The album self-recorded by Haley while living in Amherst, Nova Scotia returns to the true roots of folk music with the almost narrative tone of the lyrics; truly poetry put to music. It is reminiscent of early Neil Young tones of music with a bit of Valdy-type story telling lyrics. Haley takes his listeners on a musical journey from the forest in autumn through winter and into the mountains with his descriptive lyrics.
Birdsong is a follow-up to Two Steps in the Dark both albums highlight Steve’s folk leanings and knack for beautiful melodies, harmonies and naturalistic, narrative lyrics. Even the album art, designed by Susie Vokey, reflects the joining of nature of Haley’s music with a musician sitting in the forest with the
head of a bird with the neck of his guitar joining with the branches of a nearby tree.
The album tracks includes the title song, which offers the forests protection, King of Stone, a song of celebration and ultimate payment; Flee Into the Autumn Dark, a song of changing seasons and there is also The Woods Look Different at Night, Take Heat and Mountain Retreat.
Haley will be performing these songs as well as songs from his debut album; Two Steps in the Dark at a show co-headlined by Pilot to Bombardier at The Rose and Thistle, Wednesday, September 8 at 10pm. For more information on Steve Haley and to listen to a sampling of his music go to http://www. bandedstilts. - The Current


two steps in the dark (2009)

Two steps in the dark was recorded in a snow covered town in an echoey dining room and is a dark blend of song and stories about ghosts, witches, wars, dolls and dreams.

Brad Lannon played mandolin and bass on this album and recorded it easily and wonderfully.

birdsong (2010)

Birdsong is an observation of nature. If we could decipher the unique and astonishing calls of songbirds, if we could translate their melodic language into words, what stories would they tell? People have been wandering beyond tree lines and into the depths of the woods for a long time. Workers working, watchers watching, runners running and waiters waiting. These songs are the snippets and stories of the people and creatures who exist in the forests around us.

"By the Back Stair" EP (2011)

By The Back Stair" was recorded with Don Mackay at Spaces Between Studios in Halifax, NS, March 2011.

released 09 June 2011

Steve Haley - guitar, piano, harmonica, vocals
Brad Lannon - mandolin, piano, vocals
Marc Fagan - guitar, banjo, vocals
Travis Hatcher - bass and vocals
Reid Shepherd - percussion and vocals



Banded Stilts' are a alternative-folk band that play unique singer-songwriter tunes backed by a folk ensemble of man- dolin, banjo, violin, keys, guitars and drums. The sometimes odd lyrics, beautiful melodies, folk styling and storytelling narratives of lead singer/songwriter Steve Haley appeal to young and old alike. Banded Stilts made their live performance debut at Halifax's "In the Dead of Winter" Music Festival, followed shortly thereafter by an ECMA showcase, a 6 song EP release, a subsequent Canadian tour and showcases at Halifax POP Explosion, Stereophonic Music Festival and the 2012 ECMA's. The band is currently back in the studio recording their debut LP.

"By the Back Stair tells Canadian stories driven by honesty, broken hearts, and the freedom of youth… authenticity shines through" - Herohill

"Banded Stilts reach back to the grand old folk traditions within a contemporary alt-roots sound" -

[Banded Stilts have] "an introspective edge, Neil Young straightforwardness (and harp) and woodsy imagery that indicates time spent with Bon Iver and Great Lake Swimmers albums". -NOW Magazine

"Great music to play after a long day. It’s comforting and warm, kind of like curling up with a blanket and a good book". - Grayowl Point