Crowded Skies
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Crowded Skies

Band Americana Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Country heat from Crowded Skies"

The song Fire Off the Hill is a bittersweet tale played by Crowded Skies with a simmering country-rock fervour  that belies the band's newbie status.

Crowded Skies -- Jeremy Brisebois, John Trude, Jordan Potechin and Sebastien Dupont (Fight! Fight! Fight!) -- formed early last year and will release their debut album, also called Fire Off the Hill, this weekend.

The title track came about after a delayed recording session, explains Trude. The song pays tribute to Ian Tolton (Mighty Eagle Band, Andrew Vincent & The Pirates), who died in his sleep in April 2006. He was 35.

"We were doing our first-ever recording session at Jack Pelletier's house (Jupiter Ray project)," Trude begins the tender yarn, reflecting the band's storytelling rhythm.

"He lives in Morrison Heights and Ian lived down the hill from him. About 20 minutes after we were supposed to start, I phoned up Jeremy. He was at Ian's house and he said the house caught fire. The woodstove almost blew up. The firefighters came and put it out quickly, and then we did the recording session.

"Jack likes to do a lot of takes, but Ian would only do two, and so Jack nicknamed him Johnny Two Take and we started calling him Two-Take Tolton -- the lyrics come from there. I wrote it to rib Ian."

The song, like the rest of the album, is big on style with bold harmonies; twang aplenty, campfire choruses and bender guitar. Producer Rey Sabatin's showmanship stamp is all over the album and those familiar with Sabatin's band the John Henrys will love Crowded Skies. - The Ottawa Citizen

"Skies strikes chords of greatness"

The question had to be asked. And judging by the bemused glances exchanged between Crowded Skies members John Trude, Jeremy Brisebois and Jordan Potechin, it's been asked before.

"That's funny," Brisebois says. "Dave Dudley asked us the same question: 'Have you guys ever heard Three O'Clock Train?' Apparently, they're one of those great lost Canadian bands, but we only learned that later."

Three O'Clock Train, for the record, was a Montreal-based band that tested the "little bit country little bit rock 'n' roll" waters at about the same time as a group of upstart Torontonians called Blue Rodeo.

Ultimately, Canada proved not to be big enough for two great alt-country bands, and Three O'Clock Train quietly stepped aside, leaving behind one album and one EP, each filled with Everly-inspired harmonies and simple, Luther Perkins-worthy guitar twang.

And if you'd care to hear how Three O'Clock Train sounded, you're advised to check out Ottawa's Crowded Skies (with Jupiter Ray Project), Saturday night at Irene's Pub.

Given that Trude and Brisebois, Crowded Skies' resident songwriters, (separately) composed the 11 tracks on the quartet's Fire on the Hill CD prior to hearing Three O'Clock Train, they can't be accused of copying that great lost band's sound. Each will confess, however, to drawing inspiration from likeminded predecessors like The Jayhawks, The Band, Crazy Horse and yes, Blue Rodeo.

Oh, and The John Henrys, the plucky locals whose approach to country-rock has been perfected through two albums. So enthralled were vocalists/guitarists Trude and Brisebois, drummer Potechin and bassist Sebastien Dupont, in fact, that they recruited JH frontman Rey Sabatin to produce Fire on the Hill, with the aforementioned Dave Dudley engineering and supervising the proceedings.

Rootsy songs

"The John Henrys have been a huge inspiration," Brisebois says. "And we knew they had two albums under their belt, so even though he hadn't produced anybody, Rey would know what to do."

Sabatin's bare-bones production suits Crowded Skies' rootsy songs well. And if there was concern about hiring a novice to produce their all-important debut album, it's worth noting the band, too, is new to this whole making-music thing. The members of Crowded Skies have been together for less than a year, and boast no previous experience.

"I think that helps us," Brisebois opines. "I'm 30 now, and a lot of guys who started playing in bands at 15 would at this point feel like it's work. For us, it's just fun to be doing what we always wanted to do."

And doing it well. Well enough, in fact, to deserve a fate better than a great lost band. - The Ottawa Sun

"Ottawa Buzz: Crowded Skies (from the Setbacks, Crowded Skies and Tunnelvision article)"

Crowded Skies also look backwards for inspiration, but they've settled on a rootsier sound. "What draws me to music by Neil Young and The Band," explains guitarist/vocalist Jeremy Brisebois, "is first and foremost the down-to-earth quality of the songwriting.

"It's so real and honest. When I hear the strumming of an acoustic guitar accompanied by harmonica and the vocals and lyrics of a Neil Young song, there's just a sense of intimacy that I feel through him."

Brisebois and fellow songwriter John Trude have been tapping that down-to-earth quality for about two years, but it wasn't until last February that they finally brought a band together to flesh out their songs. The last part to fall in place was the name — a reflection of two other influences, The Skydiggers and Crowded House.

The result of all these influences is a country-rock sound that feels entirely comfortable coming from the band. "It's the whole Keith Richards coming together with Gram Parsons thing," Brisebois says.

"And that's us. We'll write the songs that are very twangy and full of acoustic guitar picking, but then we'll also write songs that are heavy with distortion and have a real rocky beat."

- Chart Attack


Fire Off The Hill - Album
4 song Demo - EP

We have streaming tracks on our myspace and home pages. We get constant radio play on CKCU FM (93.1) college radio. You can stream the station at



On one side you have down-to-earth traditional Country and on the other, flamboyant 70’s Rock ‘n’ Roll. But somewhere in between Crowded Skies set out on their journey of writing songs, playing live and recording albums.

Alternative-country, Country-rock or just Rock ‘n’ Roll, whatever people are calling it these days, it’s all the same to Crowded Skies: timeless music. And Crowded Skies is here to contribute with their first full length release “Fire off the Hill”.

Having always been huge fans of Neil Young, The Jayhawks and The Band, it was only fitting that the members of Crowded Skies found each other and began to do more than just be “huge fans”.

Fire off the Hill is a dark album. It is a collection of songs that are written from a very personal point of view from the two main songwriters John Trude and Jeremy Brisebois. There isn’t a song on the album that doesn't invite the listener into a world of vulnerability, raw emotion and sometimes morbid states of mind. Whether it's the depiction of tragic events in their lives or the account of lost love that is no more than faded memory; there is something on the album that everyone can relate to and perhaps even take comfort in.

And all that aside...this album is a rocker. A country-rocker. It's heart-churning harmonies, country bends, and Crazy Horse-like guitar jam sessions, lend themselves so perfectly to the vision Crowded Skies had for their first recording. This band, this album, will have you dancing and singing "Fire! Fire! Fire!".