Chris Picco
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Chris Picco

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2004 | SELF | AFM

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2004
Solo Rock Folk


This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Chris Picco @ The Garrick Theatre

Bonavista, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Bonavista, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Chris Picco @ fat cat blues bar

Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Chris Picco @ fat cat blues bar

Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada



By Chad Pelley on September 28, 2015 Music
You don’t make a quality Thanksgiving turkey without a lot of patience and attention to detail. The same goes for an album, and the Long Distance Runners prove it with their carefully crafted October release, Elements. It knocks the socks off their 2010 debut, and that’s arguably the point of a new rock and roll album.
What stands out the most is the patience and execution in the moulding of song structures on the album. Elements is a carefully crafted and sophisticated exploration of rock and roll. Flourishes of everything from flutes to brass fill and build the songs to create a solid, satisfying album displaying noteworthy diversity track to track.
There’s even thought gone into the cover art: inside the album, a panel of film-looking plastic awaits you – it you run it across the album art, the album art comes to life.
A press release from their publicist at Pigeon Row draws comparison to the “breathiness of Tame Impala and the rootsiness of Wilco,” and they’re not bad comparisons. The album sounds elemental, big, and bold.
It kicks off with “The One,” a song so huge and orchestral it demands you give the album the careful, engaged listen it deserves. Track 2 – the album’s 1st single, “You Gotta Remind Me” – lives up to the big, full sound of its predecessor, sharing its controlled intensity and adding an effective dose of accessible psych-tinged rock.
Track 3, “Pulling It Together,” is another great spin on rock, with the pounding drums cranked to the fore, and a truly killer grade-A chorus.
The production value on this record elevates the music to heights many local releases fail to reach, as the sheer quality of these recordings demand your attention take note of how utterly un-lazy the band’s compositions are on these tracks.
Keeping things fresh, track 4, “Wolves,” softens things up a little with phased-out vocal tracks and boasts some inventive lead work that really ties the ambitious song together. Even a simple acoustic song gets the sophisticated, orchestral treatment of the album’s rockier songs.
The band chemistry is through the roof. It can’t hurt that, for this album, they’ve picked up a new bandmate in local musical wonder Ilia Nicoll. She and the band’s frontman Chris Picco had been playing music together for years when Chris asked her to be a guest on the new album.
“We had such a blast in the studio,” she says, “that when they asked me to join the band, and told me they wanted me to play electric guitar, I said yes!” The two toured together in 2013 to promote Chris’s solo album, The Beach.
“From that experience I knew that Ilia was a great musician who always brought creativity and positivity to the table,” Picco says. “Although she may have started as a guest on Elements, it wasn’t long until her sound helped shape the album into what we feel is our most adventurous and fully realized work yet.”
Fittingly, the two come together quite wonderfully in a country duet to close the album with “Walk Straight.” No two bones about it: Elements is a serious contender for local album of the year to date. - The Overcast

Trois ans après un premier album bien remarqué sur la côte est, Long Distance Runners débarque de nulle part avec un deuxième album qui propulse le groupe au-delà de ses plates-bandes rock et de ses influences.
Photo de couverture : pochette de l'album Elements.
La bible du rock
Avec Tracks, un premier album complet, le groupe terre-neuvien Long Distance Runners tenait entre ses mains une intéressante proposition rock aux intonations psychédéliques.
Toutefois, au-delà des flashs, il manquait à la formation une ligne directrice et un brin de folie pour faire rayonner ses inspirations issues des années 1960, les deux pieds ancrés dans le 21e siècle.
Dans cette optique, la maturité atteinte sur Elements représente un bond de géant, comme la distance qui sépare Terre-Neuve du reste du Canada.
D'abord, Long Distance Runners bénéficie pleinement d'une nouvelle approche sonore maximaliste en s'appropriant autant les clins d'oeil régionaux (Walk Straight) que le rock teinté de soul (When You Took The Sun). À ce niveau, Elements se dévoile comme un voyage à l'intérieur de la bible du rock, sans pour autant dénaturer la proposition du groupe.
Cela s'explique par la présence du chanteur Chris Picco, qui met de l'avant une nouvelle forme de confiance, permettant au reste de la formation de s'évader parmi les espaces et les ambiances.
L'équilibre demeure précaire au long des onze chansons de Elements, mais les riffs de guitares saturés demeurent bien dosés avec la sensibilité sonore de Long Distance Runners. D'ailleurs, le groupe affiche ouvertement son amour de l'esthétique et des structures du folk rock sans perdre en profondeur.
Grosse toune 101
Une chanson ressort du lot parmi Elements. Le premier extrait, You Gotta Remind Me, sert de point culminant à la proposition de Long Distance Runners. En planant en contexte pop, le groupe offre ici un petit chef-d'oeuvre où chaque élément (scusez là) occupe parfaitement sa place.
Picco profite de l'occasion pour livrer un édifiant hymne à l'amitié, en y incorporant un côté tordu dont il possède la recette, en mentionnant au passage ces chiens qui s'occupent d'enterrer nos os. You Gotta Remind Me a le potentiel de devenir le vers d'oreille pas-si-feel-good-que-ça de l'automne.
Si ce titre donne le ton à Elements, il impose également un handicap au disque. You Gotta Remind Me est tellement fort qu'il jette de l'ombre aux dix autres chansons. Cela ne signifie pas que Long Distance Runners soit le groupe d'une seule chanson, mais plutôt qu'il possède un solide potentiel en matière de pop psychédélique.
Coureurs de fond
Le délire musical de la pièce d'ouverture, The One, offre un condensé de l'efficacité de la démarche de Long Distance Runners. Les plates-bandes s'ouvrent de manière instinctive pour permettre au groupe de groover, quelque part entre Lou Reed et les Rolling Stones, tout en demeurant bel et bien Canadien.
Au final, Elements possède assez de bons moments pour se distinguer parmi l'offre de rock anglophone au Canada. En alliant poésie et mélodies avec un sens des espaces et des couleurs, Long Distance Runners aboutissent au bout de cette course d'endurance plus forts et avec une étonnante offrande entre les mains.
Sortie : le 9 octobre 2015. - 500 khz

This St. John's six-piece have been kicking around the east coast scene since 2009. Billing themselves as one of the hardest-working bands out there, Long Distance Runners have thus far issued an EP and two full-lengths (including 2012's Tracks), have played with the likes of Wintersleep, Rich Aucoin, the Jim Cuddy Band and the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra to name a few and have had their songs featured on CBC's Republic of Doyle and CBS's Golden Boy.

The band's second full set of music, the 11-track Elements, is perhaps their best yet, a competent collection of sweeping anthems, laconic ballads and straight-up rock that seems to straddle a path somewhere between mid-seventies Bowie or the Stones and their reverential offspring twenty years later in Britain. The retro opener 'The One' and its woozier sibling, the lead single 'You Gotta Remind Me', will no doubt serve as musical wallpaper for many a bar and pub across the Maritimes. But it's the excellent 'High Tide', with its perfectly placed guitars, soaring vocals and sludgy tempo, that will no doubt give fans of Hunky Dory or ...Ziggy Stardust a thrill or two. - Canukistan

Since the release of their debut EP in 2011, the band has gone through a few different member changes, but some life changes (and more than a few diaper changes) as well: three members are now fitting in performances and recording sessions around parenting duties.
Watch the video
It may have mellowed them out in terms of sticking to a schedule, but not at all when it comes to their sound, evident with their latest album, “Elements,” set to be officially released tonight at the Rock House in St. John’s.
“I feel like we’re all grown-ups playing music now,” says guitarist Dicky Strickland, who became a dad when his son, Bowie, was born just last month.
The original version of the band got together around 2009 and hit the ground running with their first EP, earning MusicNL and East Coast Music Award nominations and tons of airplay with just five tracks. “Black and Blue,” the first single from the recording, went on to feature on the “Republic of Doyle” soundtrack.
The Runners’ first full-length recording, “Tracks,” followed up where the EP left off, earning more award nominations and offering 11 very hummable tracks in what has become their signature retro rock style.
With “Elements,” that late-1960s sound carries on; a result, Strickland says, not of conscious effort, but of influences that range from Velvet Underground to David Bowie to the Beatles. The music this time has more depth and fullness, thanks to the addition of two female voices: Ilia Nicoll (who is also releasing a solo CD this month) and Natasha Blackwood.
“We used to be a boys’ club, I know,” Strickland says. “Now, there’s a whole new dynamic. There are six voices —Tyler sings while he’s playing drums. We’re able to perform songs from the first album that we weren’t able to do before.”
“Elements” comes from way things lined up for the Runners in the creation of this album. There was a lot more collaboration this time around, Strickland says, with more of the writing happening in the studio. Strickland wrote the recording’s opening track, “The One,” in one go at the piano. It’s one of hundreds of songs he has recorded solo as demos which have not yet seen the light of day.
“As soon as I had recorded it, I knew it was something I didn’t want to do by myself,” he explains.
Picco and Nicoll finish the album with “Walk Straight,” the country-influenced duet on which Nicoll was originally brought in to sing, but ended up a full-time permanent member of the band.
Flute, strings, brass and synth round out the carefully curated tracks on “Elements,” which also features some cool album art. A piece of lined transparency tucked inside the album can be laid on top of the cover and moved back and forth to make the four elements — fire, water, earth and air — come to life.
The “Elements” CD release show will also include the Pathological Lovers and The Stogies. Cover is $10 and doors open at 10p.m.
Long Distance Runners have a tour in support of the album in the works for the spring. - The Evening Telegram

Posted on September 15, 2015 by Kane Wilkinson
St.John’s indie psych-folk rock group Long Distance Runners are no strangers to the East Coast music scene. Formed in 2009, the six-piece have been nominated a number of times for local music awards, performing with East Coast musicians such as Wintersleep, Rich Aucoin, and the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, and even had their music featured on fellow Newfoundland television show Republic of Doyle. Continuing their success, Long Distance Runners have announced the October 9th release for the their studio album Elements.
Re-igniting their country/rock n’ roll/psychedelic influences, the band has shared the music video for the lead single “You Gotta Remind Me”. Misty guitar rhythms and rugged, fuzz-filled production come together for the mellow, groovy folk rock track as the band stands before a low-budget orange swirl. - Dusty Organ

Long Distance Runners – Tracks (Independent)

Posted by kenkelley on 4/26/12 • Categorized as Music Reviews

Remember the exhilaration that you felt one of the first time you heard Exile On Main Street? The feeling that you had stumbled on something truly special? Don’t be surprised if you experience those very same feelings when listening to this debut full-length effort from Newfoundland band Long Distance Runners. Though the record starts out unassumingly enough, before long, you’re drawn in by a combination of catchy Velvet Undergound-Stones rock n roll melodies and clever word play courtesy of vocalist Chris Picco. If these guys don’t become absolutely huge, there is something wrong with the world. - Here Weekly (Moncton, NB.)

They don’t call Newfoundland and Labrador “The Rock” for nothing: St. John’s band Long Distance Runners know a thing or five about making rugged, meaty music that’s as solid as stone and as fluid as the sea. Elements, their third full-length independent release finds the sextet soaking their blend of rock and country influences in smoky psychedelia, while punching the hooks and melodies for maximum impact. “You Gotta Remind Me” gives you a teaser on what to expect when Elements is officially released on October 9. Long Distance Runners plan on hitting the road for a support tour in the spring of next year. - Quick Before It Melts

What’s better than a free show? A free show by a kick-ass band who are about to release a phenomenal new album.

All of these criteria will be met at 2pm this Saturday (May 5th) when St. John’s Long Distance Runners will perform a free show at Fred’s Records in anticipation of the release of their new album, Tracks. Fresh off their recent tour in support of the new record you can be sure Chris Picco (vocals, guitar), Dicky Strickland (guitar, vocals), Adam Cardwell (drums) and Matt Hender (bass, vocals) will be in top form for the show. I received a copy of Tracks a couple weeks ago. I was already familiar with the band via their 2012 debut EP but I was not expecting what was waiting for me on the new album…

Tracks exhibits a maturity and quality of song-writing that is rare to find on a band first full length. From the irresistible groove of the organ-drenched, Wilco-esque opener “Election Day” to the triumphant mandolin and acoustic guitar gospel of “A Short History of America”, Tracks holds the listener’s attention. Every song on the record stands strong on its own, and the track order choice creates a flow of emotional peaks and troughs making for a compelling listen, to say the least.

Tracks also find The Long Distance Runners exploring some new territory on songs like their jazz-inflected “Treading Water”, the Beach Boy style harmonies of the atmospheric ballad “You Don’t Answer Anymore” and the uniquely-timed waltz of “The Island”. But the group holds onto the straight ahead rock elements it used well on the debut EP; songs like the bluesy jaunt of “Credit’s Roll” and “Sally Ann”, a gritty romp about watching a beautiful woman from behind a stack of old records in a Salvation Army thrift store and resisting the urge to punch her boyfriend’s lights out. Tracks also abounds with nods to the Fab Four, especially in their choice of vocal harmonies, lyrical phrasing and chord changes — check out “He Doesn’t Stare Into The Sun No More” for evidence.

The Long Distance Runners have outdone themselves on Tracks. The album is extremely fresh, but has a reverence and respect for the classic influences that paved the road the band travels on. Be sure to drop by Fred’s Records at 2pm this Saturday (May 5th) to catch The Long Distance Runners live free show. The band will also be playing an album release at The Rock House on Friday, May 11th. - The Scope

Album Review: Long Distance Runners hit all the right notes on Tracks

Many people have the three strikes rule for dates— c’mon, admit it. If someone flaked out on me up three times, they’re not getting another chance. I think it’s time the flip side of that coin was instituted, as in, if someone does three things incredibly right, they’re good as gold.

If Newfoundland’s Long Distance Runners were my date, we’d be solid. Firstly, “Election Day,” the single from their debut LP Tracks, piqued my attention the second it landed in my inbox. Check. I then saw them play at the Cedar Tree Cafe in Fredericton last week, where the band put a perpetual smile on my face and caused my date to proclaim that they reminded him of the Beatles and Kinks… “but more progressive sounding.” Check number 2. Lastly, I just threw a housewarming this past weekend, and several Tracks tracks (“Election Day,” “If I Forget To Say I Love You,” “Credits Roll”) landed on the dinner party playlist. High praise for an album I hadn’t even had time to review yet!

In short, let this catchy, completely enjoyable and excellent album woo you. I see myself listening to this one a lot as the weather gets warmer. Grab Tracks over on Long Distance Runners’ website.
- Earbuds & Ticket Stubs

500khz – Tounes, musique et tout le reste
Long Distance Runners – Tracks

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Cela m’a pris quelques instants pour apprivoiser le groupe terre-neuvien Long Distance Runners, sur la scène du Breakout Stage, lors de la dernière édition des ECMAs. Leur musique ne détonnait pas particulièrement, mais leur présence contrastait avec celle des auteurs-compositeurs qui jouaient ça safe ou cute. Il leur a fallu quelques chansons pour être à l’aise devant l’immensité de la salle, composée d’une foule éparpillée et assise à l’une ou l’autre des tables de banquet. Je retiens une bonne première impression de Long Distance Runners, surtout dans ce contexte, pas tout à fait accueillant pour un groupe du genre.

« Tracks », leur premier album complet, donne beaucoup plus de profondeur à leur rock à la Rolling Stones, au-delà de ce que le groupe semblait pouvoir offrir en spectacle. Les membres ont saisi l’occasion de l’enregistrement en studio pour construire et déconstruire leurs chansons. Le résultat est spontané et franc, entre les paroles du ténébreux Chris Picco et la solidité des arrangements du groupe. Le vrai bijou de « Tracks » est « If I forget to say I love you », brillante progression, aux allures de chanson d’amour tordue, marquée par l’arrivée soudaine des autres Long Distance Runners, poursuivant l’intensité déjà bien amorcée. Contournant nos appréhensions, le pont final vient solidifier le caractère unique de cette pièce.

On sent les Long Distance Runners s’amuser parmi leurs influences, que ce soit lors de moments plus roots ou jazz. Autant efficace dans leurs intentions rock que dans leur esthétique rétro, le groupe vient de livrer un des disques les plus intéressants des provinces de l’Atlantique en 2012.

Site officiel : - 500KHZ

Apr 20, 2012

Horror, shakes, track and field. The usual.

• Long Distance Runners, Tracks (Independent). Inspired shambles from St. John’s. Within the first four numbers on their debut full-length, Newfoundland’s Long Distance Runners have established themselves as slackadelic Pavement worshippers aping the Velvet Underground with a tasty hint of ELO on the side (“Election Day”), recast themselves as Pink Floyd-worshipping Hey Rosetta! contemporaries (“Knuckles”), fired off a sleazy cocktail-jazz goof (“Treading Water”) and sardonically violated Wilco’s idea of a perfect Rolling Stones track (“Sally Ann”).

The rest of Tracks pings around in similarly irreverent-but-earnestly-attacked orbits, with the wistful psych-folk of “You Don’t Answer Anymore” and a prog-ish second half betraying a serious side that butts against the occasional fits of Jonathan Richman-esque goofiness. Eminently likeable and oddly cohesive when consumed in toto as an album rather than just as, y’know, tracks. - The Toronto Star

Music Review: Long Distance Runners - Tracks

Fri, Apr 20, 2012.

These relative newcomers from Newfoundland were one of the bands I got to check out for the first time at the Moncton ECMA's. It turns out I wasn't seeing the usual show, as it was an acoustic appearance on the SpinCount stage, but it certainly impressed me. Then one of the guys did a quick apology about it, saying "Oh, that was our first time doing that." Could've fooled me. Now that I've heard their debut album, I understand what he meant.

Acoustic is just one of the things the group does, in one of your more varied discs imaginable. They go from a Velvets-Wilco rock (Election Day) to a vaudville-ragtime send-up on Treading Water. There are lots of acoustic moments throughout, but some strutting tub-thumpers, too. Sally Ann is a tale about that iconic thrift store, which starts out all glam, and then gets slow and serious in the middle section, as Chris Picco does his best spoken-word Lou Reed in the middle, except instead of Waiting For The Man, he was waiting for the clerk with his last three bucks. Ya, there's some music with a wink going on here.

As a lyricist, Picco can be a dark fellow, with a punches thrown along the way. He's a keen observer, describing the scenes and streets and folks, a song such as He Doesn't Stare Into The Sun becoming a Kinks-like domestic tale. So, obviously lots of classic reference points happening in this band's music, but it is so varied, you never know where they're going. That's okay, with these guys it's always an interesting street you'll go down.

Catch the Long Distance Runners on tour in N.B. on Tuesday, April 24 at the Cedar Tree in Fredericton and April 25 at Plan B in Moncton. - CBC - New Brunswick

It’s Friday and the sun is shining brighter than Tiger Woods’ teeth. It’s the type of fake Spring day that deserves the smell bbq wafting skyward, condensation from ice cold beer bottles pooling on tables, and summery rock gems exploding from back decks.

Newfoundland’s Long Distance Runners give off a gritty, Velvets type cool on “Election Day” that’s tailor made for days like this. It’s hard to deny the catchiness of the affair; big guitars, vocals with enough swagger to turn Clyde Frazier’s head and just enough retro flair to help you settle in to the sound.

The band’s LP, Tracks, is out now and is a surefire bet to make your porch sessions more enjoyable.

- Herohill

Long Distance Runners - Tracks (LDR Music)


Hailing from St. John’s, Newfoundland, this quartet is making music that’s sweeping Canada, travelling past the Canadian Shield, through the prairies, over the Rockies, and finally crossing the Georgia Strait to Vancouver Island.

The Long Distance Runners have come out with their first full- length album, Tracks, which is an eclectic fusion of folk and rock with hints of the blues.

This new album demonstrates the growth of the band, made evident in the song “The Island” by the integration of a changing time signature and multilayered bridge. This advancement on the instrumental side, along with the well-developed lyrics that are exhibited in every song except the relaxing instrumental “Up the River,” takes listeners on a great musical journey.

So suit up, or down, pop this bad-boy in your boombox (people still have those, right?) and prepare for some excellent tunage.

-Lucas Milroy - Nexus Newspaper

Long Distance Runners - Tracks (Independently released CD, Pop)
The debut full-length release from Canada's Long Distance Runners. These guys created quite a splash with their self-titled debut EP that was released in they already had a built-in audience waiting for this one. Tracks shouldn't disappoint...and will likely increase the band's following ten fold. To give you a general idea of what this band sounds like...some of their tunes remind us of The Strokes while others are reminiscent of Queen. Bear in mind, however, that neither of these comparisons adequately describe the band's overall sound. These guys tread on that thin line that separates commercial music from artsy fartsy stuff. The songs are glossy and should appeal to most listeners...but they're never overtly gimmicky and cute. Tracks is a rather splendid and pleasing debut album chock full. of smart hummable tracks. It's no wonder they're getting so popular so fast... - Babysue

Long Distance Runners- Tracks
Article | April 4, 2012 - 11:03am | By Julia McMillan

Never heard of Long Distance Runners? You will soon. The Newfoundland based band is quickly making a name for themselves on the Canadian music scene. The group sounds like a throwback to the 60s. Imagine the Kinks (but a little more stoned) fronted by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, and you have the Long Distance Runners.
Tracks is the band’s first full length album, and it’s sure to be the first of many. So far, the four-member ensemble has enjoyed small scale success, with a number of ECMA and Music NL nominations under their belt. But I predict the group is about to be met with some real love from the national music community. I was also pleased to discover that they sounded nothing like Hey Rosetta!, Newfoundland’s current buzz band (Disclaimer: I love Hey Rosetta!, but variation is important!) Long Distance Runners has some of the best old school guitar riffs that we don’t often hear today, and beautiful three part harmonies. They are definitely a group to keep on your Canadian Music Radar.??3.5 stars. - The Argosy

By: Michael Thomas

Sometimes an album’s content is as witty as the corresponding album title. In this case, you could not get a better setup- a band called Lost Distance Runners, and an album called Tracks which has a double meaning. The album cover even contributes to the wittiness.

I was pleased to note that this album is a lot more than a clever play on words. In fact, Tracks is a brilliant collection of, well, tracks.

The band brought to mind more often than not a band straight out of the sixties. There is a certain slyness to the music, as if we’ve been best friends with Long Distance Runners for some time now. The music is also incredibly, incredibly smooth. The configuration of guitar, bass, drums or horns always seems to be just right.

Take the opener “Election Day.” The smoothness I mentioned is immediately present in the guitar and bass, as lead singer Chris Picco sings “Did they really believe they could destroy you?” In this song, Picco sounds like Bono fronting Zeus.

“Knuckles” at one point throws a banjo into the mix, and this might not be thrilling to note except for the fact that the band learned a banjo part at the last minute rather than have another musician play. That’s fairly impressive.

There’s an even more prominent “old-time” feel to “Treading Water” which makes very heavy use of horns (and I love me some horns, if that wasn’t already clear). “Sally Ann” meanwhile is a well-crafted pop song, and halfway through morphs into a song that could have been played by Lou Reed.

“If I Forget To Say I Love You” turned out to be one of my favourite tunes on the album even though the title makes it sound cheesy. Instead, it’s a heartfelt song sung playfully. If the character forgets to say he loves his girlfriend, he says, “Then darling don’t hesitate, punch me in the face/And throw me up against the wall.”

“Credits Roll” sounds like a song out of Joel Plaskett’s songbook, and this is a high compliment. There’s also some great power in “The Island.”

“He Doesn’t Stare Into the Sun No More” is a deceivingly sunny song, and the last song, “A Short History of America,” sounds like an extended campfire song, featuring the prominent line “If you don’t know where you come from/Where you s’posed to go?/I know where I come from/’Cause I was born to rock and roll.”

Upon closer listening I found myself enjoying this immensely. When you take a minute to consider what goes into each song, there’s nothing you can complain about.

Tracks will be out April 17th, 2012 on iTunes.

Top Tracks: “If I Forget to Say I Love You”

Rating: Hunting Call (Excellent) +*swoop* - Gray Owl Point

'Nothing But Your Love' by The Long Distance Runners

During a three hour long drive home from an out of town gig, Chris Picco (vocals, guitar) and Matt Hender (vocals,bass), decided that they would put together a live band to bring their original material into the world. Enter Dicky Strickland (guitar, keys, vocals) and Kujo skins-man Adam Cardwell (drums) and the line-up was complete. Inspired by the title of an Alan Sillitoe book, The Long Distance Runners were born. Describing the band’s sound Chris Picco once told The Scope “If Brian Wilson, Nick Cave, Ray Davies and Jeff Lynne could have an illegitimate child together, it would probably look and sound like The Long Distance Runners.” Picco’s description may be comical but it’s not far off the mark, as the group combines elements of classic pop and alternative to create a fresh blend of modern rock and roll. Last year the four piece released their incredible self-titled debut EP, produced by the band and Krisjan Leslie, which is currently available at Fred’s Records. On the EP you’ll find today’s track “Nothing But Your Love”, a dizzy, triple meter waltz rife with bouncy piano, gritty guitar leads, Doppler-effect horn blasts and spirited group sing-a-long vocals. Musically, the song conjures of hints of late-era Beatles, mid-period Elliot Smith and early Radiohead while Picco’s raspy, blues induced vocals at times recall Manic Street Preachers front-man James Dean Bradfield. Also contributing to the track is local music phenom Victor Lewis (Kujo/Casual Male).

- The Scope

The Long Distance Runners:
One of the province's most intriguing new rock bands, this group - consisting of Chris Picco, Matt Hender, Dicky Strickland and Adam Cardwell - released their self-titled EP in December, and it was different from the norm. It was a trippy, psychedelic affair that echoes back to the days of late Beatles or the days of progressive rock, and with the single 'Black 'N Blue' already earning airplay on OZ FM, we're eager what a full album will bring. - The Newfoundland Herald

The Long Distance Runners

Looking for singer-songwriter Chris Picco? You’ll find him in the Long Distance Runners, alongside Matt Hender, Dicky Strickland, and Adam Cardwell. “If Brian Wilson, Nick Cave, Ray Davies and Jeff Lynne could have an illegitimate child together, it would probably look and sound like the Long Distance Runners,” laughs Picco.

Answers by Chris Picco

How and when did the group come about?
Matt and Chris barely knew each other until getting together for an out of town gig last summer. We talked about putting the band together on the three hour ride home. Within a few months Adam ‘Gandahar’ Cardwell was brought into the fold on drums and our voice of reason. The mysteriouso virtuoso Dicky Stricklando soon followed on keys and lead guitar.

How would you describe your sound?
We have a lot of different influences. If Brian Wilson, Nick Cave, Ray Davies and Jeff Lynne could have an illegitimate child together (not a pretty picture) it would probably look and sound like LDR. Our style is pretty eclectic. We can easily jump from pure wacked-out silliness to the sweetest vomit inducing drivel in the blink of an eye.

What is a typical live show like?
When the audience members (and some band members) aren’t busy texting or Twittering each other, they seem to be truly digging the band and get on the dance floor and get down. Some can even dance while they’re texting. We really appreciate the effort!
In all honesty though, our audience has been enthusiastic and supportive of us right from the get go. St.John’s has to be one of the best cities to test your boundaries as a band.

What makes you stand out on the local scene?
Until last year the four of us barely knew each other. And although we come from different musical circles we hit it off as band from the start. It’s really been a collaborative effort starting with an emphasis on lyrics and tight vocal harmonies. We think we have a sound that is unique and fresh for this city. Other than that, we’d have to say that Matt’s massive perm is turning some heads along with Chris’ kick ass ’stache.

What’s with the name?
‘The Long Distance Runner’ was one our early songs. It was inspired by the film adaptation of the book “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner” by Alan Sillitoe. The lyrics of the song really inspired the group, especially the first verse… “I keep rolling along on this rhythm/ But the pain never shows in my face/ Just because I don’t wanna run with them/ Doesn’t mean I’ve dropped out of the race/ Like the long distance runner/ I just slow my pace”. We kinda took that verse on as our motto.

Future plans?
Right now we’re rehearsing for our first E.P. due out this fall. More shows throughout the summer and fall and the full length and tour will follow in Spring ‘11.

- The Scope


The Long Distance Runners (2010)

Tracks (2012)

Elements (2015)



Over the past decade, award winning singer-songwriter Chris Picco has established himself as one of Atlantic Canada’s most dynamic and diverse musicians both as a solo artist and as front man for St. John’s based rockers, The Long Distance Runners. The late great Newfoundland songwriter Ron Hynes has called him “one of the great new songwriters to come out of Atlantic Canada.”

Since 2004 Chris has recorded and released six critically acclaimed records. His most recent LDR record received several ECMA,  Juno and MusicNL nominations in 2016/17. Chris’ solo record The Beach (2013) earned him a MusicNL Male Artist Of The Year Award. He has worked as both a session musician and producer and has shared the stage with artists ranging from Wintersleep, Said the Whale, Mother Mother and The Wooden Sky to Jim Cuddy, Bob Snider, Ron Sexsmith, Kyp Harness, and Ron Hynes.

Currently, Chris is busy songwriting, producing, performing and preparing for the upcoming recording of his latest solo album due for release in 2019 .

Band Members