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"Shane Ghostkeeper Track By Track on The Children Of The Great Northern Muskeg"

April 18, 2008

1. Mr. No Show "That's my and Sarah's very first collaboration. I think it's lighthearted, but she likes to say otherwise. I suppose I've made her wait a few times a little longer than she'd like."

2. Cruisin the Chev "It's about the pastime of cruising the one strip in High Level, up and down, back and forth in our Chevy trucks. The song's about when I was first made aware of the existence of Sarah Houle. Her auntie was a friend of mine and wanted me to meet Sarah at the one and only club in High Level, the Stardust. It's a rough place, but it had a romance, nonetheless."

3. Lady of the Sky "The twilight up north is breath-taking. So inspiring--it carries a strong magic, a strong medicine. I'll always yearn for it, but I feel good about being away. I feel productive about going abroad and spreading the gospel of the North."

4. The Introduction "It's just the idea of that expression of cockiness and approaching a girl in the most sure way possible. I don't think I've ever been able to muster it up personally, so I wrote a song about it."

5. Solid Gold "That was written at the request of my little sister when she got married five years ago. She asked if I could write up her slow-dance song--her first dance. My sister's very inspiring with her family, her main man, and her little girl and two boys. It's an honour to write a song that celebrates their family."

6. Afternoon Girl "That's Sarah's song. Sarah's really into pop--I think her idea was all about having the feel of a rural dance-hall song, with a square-dance kind of atmosphere. A real grab-your-partner sort of feel."

7. Skippin Church "It's the idea of being a young Metis, involved with the Catholic infiltration of the aboriginal population. Church has always been creepy to me, since I was a young boy and learned how to talk. I told my parents it didn't feel right. I had this idea that church would be okay to attend, as long as there was a pretty girl sitting nearby. It's the old fantasy of sneaking out on Sunday, and heading up Watt Mountain. There's an awesome make-out spot on top of that hill.

8. From the Muskeg "Probably the first song I ever wrote. A local hit in High Level, where I got my start playing house parties. I'd always demand a bottle of Hennessey for me and all my bros for playing."

9. Three More Springs "I wrote that song for my mom. It's also through my own guilt complex of being so far away from the family. Family is No. 1 for us Metis. I wrote it to let my mom know, and to make sure she's aware that they're always on my mind and in my plans and in my goals."

10. The Boxes and the Bottles "That's about missing home terribly. The McKenzie is the highway that goes all the way up to High Level. I was getting frustrated about being stuck in the city for so long." - Swerve Magazine (Calgary Herald)

"Album of the Year"

"An early dark horse candidate for album of the year."

- I heart Music


"an understated lo-fi song collection that is at times loose, raw and off-the-cuff. - Ottawa Express

"Promises to Stand Out"

"Promises to stand out amongst a busy field of new releases in 2010."

- Exclaim!

"Invites and Defies Comparison"

"Invites and defies comparison."

- Eye Weekly


Self-Titled (2010, Flemish Eye)

...And The Children of the Great Northern Muskeg (2008, Saved By Radio)



Calgary-based Ghostkeeper produces raw and electrifying music. A colourful patchwork of heartfelt, outsider blues and noisy pop, perhaps their music can be best understood through the distinctive Northern Alberta origins of Shane Ghostkeeper (vocals, guitar) and Sarah Houle (drums, vocals).

Shane & Sarah spent their adolescence isolated by Northern Alberta's geography, listening to folk and blues records, slowly developing an admiration for individuals that had the ability to convey rich stories through song. When they later expanded their musical horizons beyond these roots, they found another world in the self-aware discordance of Pavement and the raw appeal of The Make Up. Here, they developed their own storytelling language with which Shane could voice the traditional songwriting he grew up with and Sarah could provide skewed drum patterns as a backdrop. The addition of Jay Crocker (guitar, vocals) and Scott Munro (bass, vocals), fleshed out the skeletons of Shane's songs into the extraordinary marriage of noisy blues and pop sensibility that became the band Ghostkeeper.

While traditional influences remain at the very core of Shane's songwriting, a healthy irreverence towards standard song structure and an idiosyncratic storytelling voice results in something undeniably Ghostkeeper.