One Hundred Dollars

One Hundred Dollars


A tight re-imagining of what the contemporary Country Song can be. Country music that follows the path forged by Jennings, Jones and Parton, contending with the heart breaks of contemporary society. We can play for traditionalists, punk kids, indie music lovers- everybody.


Simone Schmidt (voice), Ian Russell (acoustic guitar) and Stew Crookes (pedal steel) were set to release their first EP “Hold It Together,” in the summer of 2007, but Leukemia got up in Russell's blood. Holed up in the house for months together during the difficult chemotherapy protocol that followed, Schmidt and Russell took the time to craft more original tunes. Playing whenever the protocol allowed, they got a gig opening for Rick White (Eric’s Trip, Elevator), who invited them to record with him. Russell called on his former band mates from Jon-Rae & the River, Jonathan Adjemian (organ), David Clarke (the drums) and Paul Mortimer, (bass) to lend some texture to the tunes.

The result was "Forest of Tears," their first full length album on Blue Fog Recordings. Recorded in 13 hours at Elder Schoolhouse, "Forest of Tears" was long-listed for the Polaris Prize, and has garnered critical acclaim for its compelling story telling and masterful performances.

It's been three years, and the new LP Songs of Man reflects a change in personnel, approach and instrumentation. Recorded to tape over twelve days at Blue Rodeo's Woodshed studio, Songs of Man contains ten distinct narrative perspectives and the sounds to match them. Lead singer and lyricist Simone Schmidt draws from her experience as a speech facilitator. "In that job, I'd go around life with people who don't communicate verbally and assist in verbalizing what they're thinking to the rest of the world. I had a deep friend in one person I worked with, Aaron, and I would communicate for him all over the place - the doctor's office, the strip club, therapy, the bar. I got to know a lot of different people in ways I wouldn't have other wise. Wild insights into the human condition. One of the tunes on the record is Aaron's Song."

Schmidt continues her collaboration with Ian Russell (guitar), and welcomes Paul Mortimer (electric lead) as co-writer as well. Most often working in the balladic tradition, Schmidt delves into character sketches of a range of people, some tangential to broader dramas playing themselves out across songs. For instance, "Fires of Regret" is a letter from the man sung about in the title track of the band’s first LP Forest of Tears.

Forest of Tears was recorded live over 13 hours, after the band had played together for a six weeks. In contrast, each song on Songs of Man was treated differently by producer (and pedal steel player) Stew Crookes. "We set out to record one song from start to finish every day, experimenting with sounds while crafting many of the parts in studio as the recording evolved over that day. This allowed us to have different and well considered textures throughout the record."

Crookes has made records with such diverse artists as Doug Paisley, Jill Barber and Hawksely Workman. "The first time we met Stew, we were playing as a duet," guitarist Ian Russell says. "He approached us with an offer to record. Then he started playing with us, and three years later we took him up on the offer. It's lucky because you get all the familiarity and ease of working with an insider who happens to really know what he's doing as a producer."

One Hundred Dollars' instrumentation has changed as well. Jonathan Adjemian has moved on, so Schmidt fills in on keys and plays some guitar too. David Clarke remains on percussion, sometimes stepping outside the kit, and Russell, known for his unique acoustic guitar playing, plugs in the electric. Rookie Kyle Porter has entered the band on bass, shifting Paul Mortimer over to lead guitar. Mortimer's playing has become the signature sound of One Hundred Dollars' live show, as he seamlessly integrates Piedmont country-blues style picking with electric guitar bends and pedals.

With all these changes, Songs of Man moves to reinforce what One Hundred Dollars is best known for: a tight re-imagining of what the contemporary Country Song can be.


14th Floor

Written By: Simone Schmidt / Ian Russell

14th floor

Here's a little song gonna save me from my heart ache
Stay a little while and we'll see the sound that light makes

Drink past the bottle and into the can
white counts are rising but you're not a dead man.
If they put you on lock down and turn me out
the ward's so quiet but I'll have to shout.

Here's a little song gonna save me from my heart ache.
Go a little while and we'll see the sound that light makes.
At ground open doors, down from the 14th floor
the filthy city air in I breathe.
It could all make me ill, so i'll stand very still
you know I hate, hate to leave.

With a beer standing stagnant in the bottle in my hand
who wants to party without their main man?
So a toast to the memory of a life we chose
two years now till you can get hosed.

Here's a little song gonna save me from my heart ache.


"Songs of Man" (Full Length), Outside Music, May 2011.

Regional 7": My Father's House (single), Deranged Records, December 2009

Regional 7": 14th Floor (single), Blocks Recording Co-op, December 2008.

Forest of Tears (Full length), Blue Fog Recordings, July 2008,

Hold It Together (EP) independent release, July 2007.

Set List

We adjust to every show.