Casey Comeau and the Centretown Wilderness Club
Gig Seeker Pro

Casey Comeau and the Centretown Wilderness Club

Band Country Folk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Zen and the Art of Songwriting"

Casey Comeau's finely wrought country songs are delivered through a Zen lens. The Ottawa singer-songwriter is a yogi in cowboy boots (when not off on a retreat, she often performs in her trademark green-with-pink-star horse kickers) and her new album -- recorded with backing band The Centretown Wilderness Club and co-written with CWC guitarist/romantic other Richard Jeffrey -- melds her many influences. Taking Routes (Music For Cats Records) is a five-song EP that's fluent in Cash and Dylan and has a girlie cast, thanks to the pretty melodies and many strings and things. Aalya Ahmad plays fiddle and manjo (mandolin/banjo), Marie-Josee Houle is on accordion, Dietrich Sider tends the electric bass guitar and Michael Sheridan is on drums.

"The songs that ended up on the album are the prettiest songs we had," Comeau says. "For me, making music is about sincerity and beauty."

The lyrics reflect that mindset. Dragonfly Funeral Pyre is about life cycles, and was inspired by a trip to the cottage. Comeau and Jeffrey gave a dead dragonfly a fitting end and the comforting campfire call describes it simply as "a question of another kind." The EP is bookended with Routes. Jeffrey takes the mic with his handsome, brogue-y vocal to remind us that "we live in patterns programmed by it all."

So, isn't all this stuff about enlightenment clouding the country in a genre in which songs are championed for their lyrical simplicity? Comeau says it's about having the best of both worlds.

"We love the traditional-sounding music, but it comes out sounding modern because we're in the city. We're not sitting in the haystack, plucking on the banjo." Casey Comeau and the Centretown Wilderness Club's EP release party takes place at Irene's Pub, 885 Bank St., Saturday with The McGillicuddy Sisters.

by Fateema Sayani - Ottawa Citizen

"Allan Wigney's Scene column"

The first voice we hear on the new Casey Comeau CD is not that of Casey Comeau. Rather, it is Richard Jeffrey, co-writer of country siren Comeau's songs and lone survivor of last year's transition to her Centretown Wilderness Club quintet from Comeau's disbanded Halfmilers.

Comeau joins in soon enough, and takes over the lead for the bulk of the melancholy songs on the Wilderness Club's Taking Routes EP. But 18 months into its existence, drummer Michael Sheridan, fiddler Aalya Ahmad, accordionist Marie-Josee Houle and bassist Dietrich Sider--is very much a band. Jennifer 'Casey' Comeau's band.

"I have learned that bands come and go and if you want to build continuity it's best to work under your own name," Comeau says of her separate-but-equal status within the combo. "I suppose really Richard and I are more of a duo -- we even played a duo show earlier this year -- but that evolved after the band started.

The songs of Comeau and Jeffrey (with guest lyricists that include Comeau's mother and her zen teacher) have likewise evolved into poignant dissertations that go beyond girl-loses-boy songs to more universal themes.

"The songs are about life on this planet, really," Comeau explains. "Richard and I are both fascinated by nature. We live in the city but we still live among animals -- human and otherwise."

- Ottawa Sun

"Casey Comeau and the Centretown Wilderness Club w/ MercuryPickup and Tom Glenne 5.5"

Those familiar with the Canadian indie scene will remember Casey Comeau with her band the Halfmilers who released their debut CD Dancing with Bones on the reputable Ottawa label Music for Cats Records back in 2003. Since then Casey has collaborated on many projects of which the Centretown Wilderness Club is her latest.


The evening started picking up when Trevor Alguire took the stage. Since most of the patrons at Irene's Pub were there to hear the country-styling of Trevor and Casey, it was no surprise that the noise level raised as Mercury Pickup started playing. Trevor, with the help of the great pedal steel player Tom Thompson and others, put on a great show covering a bunch of new songs that will be on their new release called As of Yesterday. We reviewed Mercury Pickup's first CD Narrowed Down, and the second CD, if this live version is any indication, should be even better. Songs like: "Through Me," "Blink," and "Misty Morning Light" were highlights.

After a short break, Casey and the Centretown Wilderness Club (that is, Richard Jeffrey - vox, guitar, Aalya Ahmad - vox, fiddle, MJ Houle - vox, accordion, Mike Sheridan - percussion, and Dietrich Sider - bass) took the stage with massive audience approval. As with Tom and Trevor, Casey and the band will be releasing a CD soon and gave everyone an indication of its appeal with live versions on Irene's stage. It was quite impressive to hear both an accordion and fiddle on stage together. Casey was her attractive self in her signature green leather pink-starred cowboy boots and shoulder-to-shoulder tattoo. Highlights of the concert included the songs: "Fredericton Juke," a song written by Casey's mother, "Du Rhum des Femmes," a song showing Casey's abilities in the French language, and "Birthday Song for Casey Comeau" a slower song that allows Casey's voice to come to the fore.

Although Casey is the center of attention anytime she hits the stage, the Centretown Wilderness Club is far from a backup band. They have four vocalists who have the pipes to lead and Richard Jeffries writes the band's songs (with Casey collaborating).



Taking Routes - EP 2006 on Music For Cats Records



The musicians in the Centretown Wilderness Club have played in bands whose genres range from cabaret to experimental to garage rock. They have come together to produce a graceful blend of many influences that leans heavily toward country and acadian folk but also borrows from rock and pop music. There is a strong emphasis on provocative songwriting that refuses to settle for emotional and romantic storylines, chosing instead to pose questions about what we're actually experiencing day to day. This is what sets us apart. We're using both traditional and modern sounds to make a new kind of noise. We're building on that which came before to present a timely form of musical expression.

Our influences include harsh winters, Leonard Cohen, Gillian Welch, baby raccoons, Dead Moon, Johnny Cash, and an awareness of how short our lives can be.

Casey Comeau and The Centretown Wilderness Club have been making appearances in Ottawa since 2005 at a variety of clubs and festivals including the Ottawa Bluesfest and have shared the stage with Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart, Elliott Brood, the Kruger Brothers, Rae Spoon, Meredith Luce and many more.