New Country Rehab
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New Country Rehab

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"New Country Rehab - Album Review"

No Depression , Terry Roland - Dec. 20, 2011

“…its the ballsy version of Springsteen’s classic “State Trooper” that shows how relentless this band is in forging ahead to discover to new creative energy in a genre that prides itself on the recreation of old forms. With a tightly focused Everly Brother-harmony driven vocal, the rhythmic drive intensifies with a Cajun fiddle and a sense of restraint in the arrangement that slowly builds to a crescendo that feels like its simply going explode or implode or both. But, whatever it may be, they have caught a new spark in a familiar rock classic. - No Depression


"New Country Rehab - Album Review"

Q Magazine Jan. 2012 – New Country Rehab review.”….Folk Rock of a stronger hue comes from Canadians NEW COUNTRY REHAB’s self titled debut (self released, ***). Merle and Waylon fans will hear echoes of outlaw country in their lyrics, while a fiddle led version of Springsteen’s State Trooper brings a menace even the original struggles to match.” - Q


"New Country Rehab"

UNCUT Jan. 2012

New Country Rehab review “NCR’s debut channels Hank Williams…adds a hipster glaze that’s more Arcade Fire than Lady Antebellum and comes out sounding like Canada’s answer to recent Dylan collaborators, Avett Brothers and Mumford & Sons…….” Nigel Williamson - Uncut


"New Country Rehab "Cameo" video"

oronto, ON folk newcomers New Country Rehab released their self-titled debut today (January 11) and to celebrate, they've also released their video for "Cameo." The video was created by videographer Keaton Evans and is available for viewing now.

Watch the video for "Cameo" by New Country Rehab below. - Exclaim!


"Track of the Day"

The self-titled debut album from Toronto's New Country Rehab comes out Jan. 11, and "Angel Of Death" will appear on it.
The band's PR describes their sound as equally influenced by Hank Williams Sr. and Arcade Fire, and you can clearly hear that on this track. Singer John Showman's gritty vocals recall Williams, while the string-boosted instrumentation definitely recalls the more bombastic sound of Arcade Fire. - CHARTattack


"2010 Toronto Buzz Bands"

Led by local violin genius John Showman, New Country Rehab created a downtown buzz after just a handful of shows and an independent record. Mixing country classics with odd time signatures and driving rhythms, they’re a band to pay attention to in the coming year. - Toronto.com


"Sound Advice - New Country Rehab"

re the first to admit when we're slow to catch onto something, and especially if it's something this good. Now that we've taken a second to swallow our new-release flavoured pride, we'll get back to listening to Zeus's already-month-old EP, Sounds Like Zeus, the next sure-to-be success story for Arts&Crafts. Lucky for us, they're not going anywhere.

Zeus have technically been right under our nose all along—at least, sort of; the musical brotherhood of popsmiths Mike O'Brien and Carlin Nicholson formed in 1996 and since then they have played both solo and together in many incarnations, most notably as labelmate Jason Collett's backing band. Their first effort as Zeus (rounded out by Rob Drake and Neil Quin) is a warm, nostalgic, catchy-as-hell romp through the best and most timeless bits of '70s AM radio and non-cringe-worthy classic rock that Sloan fans will probably salivate over. Included in the vintage collection is a remake of the Genesis hit "That's All," a fun cover that stays true to the band's fuzzy textures and genuine, infectious energy. When they're exploring the softer and more intricate sides of classic pop, like on "How Does It Feel," they evoke the musical sophistication that Wilco has achieved on their last few albums, and the irresistible vocal acrobatics of "Marching Through Your Head" play so nicely with the soul-pop piano and instantly familiar guitars that you wonder, with a fond recollection instead of suspicion or boredom, if you haven't heard this one a million times before.

Even though the hooks are instant, it takes a couple of listens for the full package to catch on; once it does, there's no resisting. Sounds Like Zeus is one of the best releases to come out of the city this year so far. Its time-honoured blend of pop and rock is refreshingly simple, and is effective because of it. It's weightless in its confidence and so well polished that it sparkles. Zeus has two dates left in their month-long, potentially plaid-less Dakota Tavern Wednesday night residency; catch them this week with Joel Plaskett bandmate and soulful solo artist Peter Elkas, and next week with the Golden Dogs. - Torontoist.com


"New Country Rehab"

Fiddling force of nature John Showman of the Creaking Tree String Quartet and Foggy Hogtown Boys fronts this electrified roots band backed by James Robertson, Ben Whiteley and Roman Tomé. Referencing a genre that gets people riled up, NCR rehabilitates country classics while putting on one of the best live shows in town.
The band’s new self-titled debut album is 50-50 originals and covers, including an excellent version of Bruce Springsteen’s State Trooper and three Hank Williams tunes. Showman says Williams’s songs lend themselves to interpretation while addressing timeless themes like loss, love, mortality and hard choices.
“I’ve always liked that kind of songwriting,” he says. “Everyone can find a placeinit,andthere’sroominthearrangementstoplaywiththemusicand have the lyrics stay as they are.”
NCR’s cooking up more originals these days, though Neko Case fans might appreciate their take on Williams’s Alone And Forsaken, also covered by Case and already earmarked for a follow-up album. - NOW Magazine - Sarah Greene


"New Country Rehab"

They may feature some of Toronto, ON's best, and most seasoned, musicians, but spirit trumps technique on this refreshingly exuberant debut album. New Country Rehab are led by singer/fiddle player John Showman, known for his virtuoso, award- winning work in bluegrass heroes the Foggy Hometown Boys and sonic adventurers Creaking Tree String Quartet. Showman shares songwriting duties with guitarist Champagne James Robertson (Run with the Kittens), while the rhythm section of Ben Whiteley and Roman Tome is rock solid. Springsteen's "State Trooper" is given an adrenalized remake via the vigorous interplay between fiddle and guitar, while three Hank Williams covers pay homage to their key inspiration. Showman's robust vocals are always convincing, never more so than on the haunting "Cameo." Their sound may be rooted in tradition, but the band are unafraid to mix things up, as with the dub effects and Allman Brothers-style guitar spicing up "Ramblin' Man." The strength of original tunes "Angel of Death" and "Cameo" mark NCR as a band to watch closely. The album was recorded and mixed by Chris Stringer, who neatly captures the energy that's made NCR a live favourite. This is bracing stuff. - Exclaim! - Kerry Doole


"New Country Rehab, Not your granddaddy's bluegrass"

The term “supergroup” seems a little excessive when describing New Country Rehab, but for anyone familiar with the Toronto acoustic music scene, it’s certainly apt. Formed in late 2008 by one of the country’s best fiddlers John Showman, along with bassist Ben Whiteley (son of Toronto folk legend Ken Whiteley), eclectic multi- instrumentalist Roman Tome and dynamic guitarist James Robertson, the band’s just-released self-titled debut album is already creating a substantial buzz within the Canadian roots music community.
Aside from the high calibre of talent in the group, attention is being drawn to its overall unconventional approach, one that seamlessly blends well-known bluegrass touchstones with a swaggering modern rock attitude. Showman explains that after years of honing his traditional chops, he wanted to be in a band that threw the rule book out the window.
“The goal was finding great musicians who would bring something really exciting and original to the old-time sound,” he says. “Roman, Ben and James have all more than got their feet wet with this music as well, so it’s easy for us to feel at home playing it and drawing from it as an influence.”
Showman adds, “The key for us is to find the timeless themes in music—strong melodies and lyrics that speak to everyone from all walks of life; songs about love, death, loss, yearning, tough choices. This is the foundation of old-time country, but also so much other music that has influenced us as players, like the work of Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Hank Williams, Duke Ellington, the Velvet Underground and Motorhead, to name a few.”
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Bringing all of these diverse elements together on New Country Rehab’s album was greatly aided by Chris Stringer, known for his studio work with other acclaimed Toronto acts such as Ohbijou and Timber Timbre. But Showman says that crafting the songs was an entire group effort.
“For the original songs, I write the melodies and lyrics while James and I work out the rhythms and chord progressions together. Then the songs are ‘work-shopped’ to everyone’s satisfaction. For the cover songs, the goal is to rewrite the music and structures to varying degrees while keeping the lyrics and melodies mostly intact. Everyone contributes to these reinventions and we’re developing a good group writing process as a result.”
Showman agrees that the timing seems perfect for New Country Rehab since (as their name suggests) the desire of audiences to once again listen to unvarnished sounds continues to grow across Canada. “A lot of people are hearing folk music at live shows that also have rappers and hardcore bands on the bill,” he says. “Recently, for example, the Toronto folk band $100 played a show with the [Polaris Prize-winning] hardcore band F—ed Up at the Toronto Reference Library and there was equal appreciation for both bands.”
Winning over those younger listeners is one of Showman’s immediate goals for the band, and he is confident of achieving that once word-of- mouth begins to spread about New Country Rehab’s performances. “Our live show has always been a source of pride and the driving force behind the popularity we have in Toronto,” Showman says. “We already have a strong summer festival tour of Western Canada and central Ontario lined up for 2011 and in February, we’re heading to Memphis for the Folk Alliance industry conference where we have several featured showcase performances. Later this year we’ll be introducing our album to the European market and laying groundwork for a European tour in 2012.” - KW Record - Jason Schneider


"CBC Radio 3 Track of the Day"

Craig Norris: "These guys are bluegrass but there is also a lot more going on here." - CBC Radio 3


Discography

New Country Rehab (Jan 11,2011)

Photos

Bio

New Country Rehab cuts through the clutter of watered-down musical imitations with a modern, high-voltage, alt-country sound. Combining sharp innovation and a deep respect and knowledge of timeless musical themes and motifs, New Country Rehab’s powerful music is full of love, loss, longing and joy. They are ”more Arcade Fire than Lady Antebellum…like Canada’s answer to the Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons” Nigel Williamson, UNCUT ( Jan. 2012)

Spearheaded by lead singer and fiddle player John Showman joined by Champagne James Robertson on guitar, Ben Whiteley on double bass and Roman Tome on drums and backing vocals, the Toronto based collective is ”poised to be the next big thing in Canadian music” Tom Power, CBC Radio. Growing audiences in Canada, the U.S. And Europe are responding to New Country Rehab’s infectious love and enthusiasm for the music they are playing. The band make it, ”super accessible, not only to fans of roots/folk/country, but even to the broader, less country inclined audience” (Josef Jensen, Indie Artist Podcast)

This artistic vision and original writing has earned the respect of many critics, ”a debut that demonstrates class” (Rootstime.be) and welcome receptions of audiences, ”…even with the deep pool of technical talent here, the focus is on maintaining a mood over all else”(torontoist.com). Maverick magazine’s Russell Hill describes the band’s sound as ”Successfully merging the old and new in a rambunctious way”and describes the band as having”their feet planted firmly on the ground, this Canadian band has the right intentions and there is to be no stopping them.” (March 2012)

Their 2011 debut, self-titled album was received with glowing and international praise by reviewers. The group blends lyrical sensibility and musical focus to produce exceptional original songs. From the first track, Angel of Death, ”…fiddle and [vocal] harmonies take us back to the past, but modern guitars and pedals still explode into huge choruses that jump-start the songs and help the band standout” (Bryan Acker, Herohill.com). The haunting mood of Cameo, a contemplative tale of escape and redemption, provides a beautiful contrast to the gritty tale of a gambler’s endgame, The Last Hand, a rollicking interplay of fiddle and guitar riffs underpinned by driving bass and percussion that builds relentlessly to the violent climax and denouement of the story. Not afraid to show it’s influences, New Country Rehab takes the Hank Williams, Sr. classic Ramblin’ Man, chews it up and spits it out as an eerie, dub-drenched trip through a mournful latin groove. The group reinvents Bruce Springsteen’s seminal State Trooper with police sirens and jarring, distorted hooks to imbue it with ”…a menace even the original struggles to match”Andy Fyfe, Q Magazine Jan. 2012. Recorded by Roots and Indie-Rock producer, Chris Stringer (Obijou and Timber -Timbre) NEW COUNTRY REHAB highlights the group’s original compositions and deep musical palette.
Following their end-of-May opening slot at the Horseshoe, the group goes into John Dinsmore’s studio to record their first album with Chris Stringer (of Obijou and Timber Timbre fame). Six original songs and two lesser-known Hank Williams’ songs are slated for the session and a release is in the works for October 2010. The group has also begun a Tuesday 6-8 PM residency at the Cameron House in the heart of Queen St. West. On May 18th, the group was selected “Track of the Day” on CBC Radio 3.

Formed in the winter of 2009 by bandleader, lead vocalist and fiddle player John Showman (Creaking Tree, Foggy Hogtown Boys), the members include James Robertson (Run With The Kittens, Elvis Bossa-Nova) on guitars, Ben Whiteley (Amy Millan, Ken Whiteley, Flashlight Radio) on double bass and Roman Tomé (Grindig) on a unique, hybrid drum and percussion kit as well as backing vocals. Between them, they performed at nearly every major festival in Canada from the Ottawa Blues, Montreal Jazz and Edmonton Folk to the Dawson City Music and Stan Rogers festivals. New Country Rehab was formed with the intent of providing the members with the opportunity to play their own music with a group that will garner the fanbase and accolades necessary to play as a headlining act at festivals across the country and abroad.

Anybody that sees New Country Rehab falls in love with the band because the deep that the bring to their music and their live show. The song-writing and arranging is highly developed yet totally accessible and their live show is high energy yet very dynamic and engaging.

New Country Rehab begins recording their new record starting Oct 1st 2012