Dojo Workhorse
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Dojo Workhorse

Band Americana Adult Contemporary


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The best kept secret in music


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Weapons Grade Romantic - 2009



Dojo Workhorse is the solo moniker of Dan Vacon: The emotional counterpoint to Dan’s main group - The Dudes.

Since the early rough Dojo Workhorse demos, Dan Vacon has delivered sweet R & B and soul, with a rugged twist that feels like a blue-eyed Sam Cooke fronting a gloriously sloppy version of The Band, set to a precious low fi backing track. The regional and Myspace response was overwhelming, prompting Vacon to perform the material live as a solo act. Opening for every kind of band under the sun (both local and touring through Calgary), word spread about Dojo through the Calgary music community, and players in turn offered up their services as backing band. The Dojo Workhorse live band grew into a local super-group of sorts, featuring eclectic instrumentation from lapsteel to cello. Vacon could not keep his home-made CDRs on local consignment shelves…

Unable to ignore the public appeal, The Dudes’ label Load Music convinced Vacon to record a proper full-length album pulling from the “best of” Vacon’s demoed material, with Juno Award winning producer Russell Broom (Jann Arden). Broom’s mission statement was to maintain the haphazard charm of the early home recordings, while adding a more universally accessible sheen.

To the surprise and delight of all parties, “Weapons Grade Romantic” blossomed into something far more affecting than just a “Dudes side project”. String sections, horns, and some of Vacon’s favourite Canadian musicians fill out the sound of this unique album… Its balance of rough edgy heart, with the palatable sounds of blue-eyed soul and acoustic pop is undeniable.