The Hugh Dillon Redemption Choir
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The Hugh Dillon Redemption Choir

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The best kept secret in music




The Hugh Dillon Redemption Choir
The High Cost Of Low Living

The low spark of this well-heeled album is an endearingly cool 'n' confident high-energy cross between Cheap Trick and Ian Hunter with a spin-dizzy dash of Mick Ronson thrown in for good measure. Today's cookie-cutter cadre of personality deficient singers could take a much-needed lesson in vocal phrasing from Mr. Dillon on what a soulfully sincere rock singer should sound like.
—Jeffrey MorganApril 2005


"Album Review"

March 28, 2005
The Hugh Dillon Redemption Choir
The High Cost of Low Living

On the debut album from the Hugh Dillon Redemption Choir, the former Headstones frontman sounds almost optimistic. Where has the self-destructive poetry of his old band gone? Well, not too far, I suppose—after all, the album is called The High Cost of Low Living, and he hasn’t abandoned his old subject matter in songs like “My Mistakes.” But there’s nonetheless a difference, both lyrically and musically, this time around: without ignoring his past, Dillon is now more interested in the future. On “What It Takes,” he sings, “I’m not waiting for the sun to shine today/Not looking for the great escape/No waiting for the world to turn my way/And that’s okay.” The darkness is now an undercurrent threatening to sweep the songs away, rather than a stormcloud about to pour down on them.

The best thing about this album is that it doesn’t sound like the work of Dillon’s old band. It’s always a disappointment when an artist takes up with a new group of musicians only to regurgitate his past work, but that’s not the case here. Sure, that distinctive voice is still front and centre, but the Redemption Choir has a sound of their own. The opening track, “Surface of the Sun,” kicks the album into high gear with a staccato guitar riff and some rolling piano, and it just gets better from there. This isn’t a vanity project where generic players lay down an inoffensive musical bed for the singer to show off. This band is every bit as good as the Headstones were—but different. 4/5—Eden Munro

"Album Review"

THE HUGH DILLON REDEMPTION CHOIR The High Co$t Of Low Living(Ching/Maplenationwide)

The miasmic reputation of Hugh Dillon has always overshadowed the guy's ability to write a really strong, catchy piece. On this album, the smug thug veneer is gone — the ex-Headstone isn't so much doing a solo spin-off as he is a reinvention. Some are likely to dismiss it as same old pop rock — but these are the same types who refuse to admit Sting has done anything interesting since he left The Police. Backed by a more-than-competent four-piece, Dillon's voice is still distinctive and his lyrics still sharp, but his outlook is a lot less menacing — and it works. When he sings a potentially maudlin line like "You're the missing piece/to the puzzle I am," it's not candied cloying but sincerely touching. Erik Missio

June 8th 2005
- Chart Magazine

"Album Review"

The Hugh Dillon Redemption Choir

The High Cost Of Low Living
Maple Music

Produced by Paul Langlois at The Hip's Bathouse in Kingston, Dillon's post-Headstones outing sheds some of the Headstones' rough edges for a touch of suit-and-tie sophistication. First single "Microscope" will nonetheless appeal to long-term fans (though some mulletheads may get confused by the new wave-tinged "What It Takes" and "Number on the Wall"). Clearly, though, this disc is about Dillon reassessing his career and thus the best moments are ponderous, self-critical cuts like "My Mistakes" and "Gods Have Spoken." The melancholy is eased somewhat by a good ol' boogie-ricker ("Ten Feet Tall"), but you still get the feeling Dillon just needs a hug. Dare ya. CHRIS ROLFE
- Eye Weekly - July 14 2005

"Album Review"

I have no interest in disparging the Headstones - they were a solid Canadian rock & roll band in their day - but singer Hugh Dillon's black humour and love of a good song seems to have come to real fruition with his new band. A layer of abrasive chaos has been scraped away and the result is clear-headed, unrushed, smirking rock & roll that should find a home with beer-soaked punters and effete rock critics alike. "What It Takes' epitomizes the new band's tough-minded rock aeesthetic, while "my Mistakes" is a restrained and moody bit of self-examination that weaves a subliminal organ riff into staccato guitar chords. Dillon, a punk with a black heart of gold, can still rock but now he knows that he doesn't necessarily have to.
Macaulay Connor - Access Magazine April-May 2005

"Album Review"

The Hugh Dillon Redemption Choir - The High Cost Of Low Living Ching/Universal.

Based even on the little we know about Hugh Dillon, it's gonna take more than joining the choir to save his soul. But with his new band, The Hugh Dillon Redemption Choir, the former Headstones headmaster has done a pretty decent job of resurrecting his rock career. Not to mention rejuvenating his sound. The HDRC's debut disc The High Cost Of Low Living, to its credit, does not traffic in the same menacing Marshall stack post-punk sound that Hugh's erstwhile outfit did to death. Instead, these 13 cuts (including a hidden track) come at it from the other direction. "Number on the Wall" is a slice of classic pub-rock a la Dr. Feelgood; "Microscope" and "Ten Feet Tall" are classic garage-rockers laced with organ and harmonica; "Puzzle I Am" and "Inch By Inch" are Stonesy cuts straight out of the '70s rock fake book. Sure, Hugh's dark pipes still mark him as the bastard love child of Mick Jagger, Alice Cooper and Iggy Pop, but with this decent debut, he's sounding more and more like his own man. He keeps this up, he might redeem himself afterall. - Winnipeg Sun - June 17 2005





Feeling a bit camera shy


Recorded at the Bathouse Studio in Kingston ON with producer Paul Langlois (from The Tragically Hip), with mixing duties performed by Adam Kasper (Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters), The Hugh Dillon Redemption Choir have just released their debut album – The High Cost of Low Living – on the Ching Music label, distributed by Maple Nationwide.

With a new band at Dillon’s back (Chris Osti, Derek Downham, Ben Kobayashi and JP Polsoni), The High Cost of Low Living features a blistering collection of new songs which has transcended into one of this countries best live acts.

While tearing through rock's back pages and borrowing from country, pop, punk and new wave, the HDRC has blended Dillon’s musical eclecticism – without foregoing the very essence of everything that rock ‘n roll means.

“Dangerous and cool.” – prolific songwriter, Jim Vallance.

Not one to rest on his laurels, Hugh Dillon is living in Los Angeles and enjoys a very successful acting career with three new movies under his belt.

In his latest role, Dillon appears in the remake of Assault on Precinct 13 starring Ethan Hawke and Laurence Fishburne.

“He’s got natural movie star charisma” – director, Bruce McDonald.

Previous roles of 2004 include The Love Crimes of Gillian Guess (directed by Bruce McDonald) and critically acclaimed director Debra Granik’s Down To The Bone. Love Crimes brings Dillon into the realms of a late-night talk show host Bobby Tomahawk starring opposite Joely Collins and Ben Bass. The film premiered worldwide at the 2004 Toronto International Film Festival and has had several screenings at the 2005 Berlin Film Festival.

Selected tracks from The High Cost of Low Living can be heard in both The Love Crimes of Gillian Guess and Down To The Bone.

Dillon has also accepted a lead role in Ivan Reitman’s newest feature Trailer Park Boys, which features two HDRC tracks. The movie begins filming this summer.

The Hugh Dillon Redemption Choir had tremendous success at Canadian radio with the first single “Microscope” early this year, and enjoyed sold out performances at venues throughout Ontario.

This is an album that once discovered will be a favourite in anyone’s collection for years to come.

“I’m loving it” – Kath Thompson, The Bear, Ottawa