Sebastian Owl
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Sebastian Owl

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Folk Blues Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Happenings on the Scene"

Their Electric Folk Pop is filled with catchy harmonies that you’ll want to sing along to. These guys are a total throwback to the jam band era. Every performance is an adventure for the band and the crowd. Simply put, these guys clearly get off on playing music. They have a penchant for the explorative within their songs and any crowd that observes this group in action on any stage will pick up on that and buy into the journey. Sebastian Owl definitely has that distinct ability to create a vibe. Their contribution to Snow Show will be a musical memory that will stick with you for many miles down your musical road of life. - Brandon Sun

"Sebastian Owl ready for CD release at the Decker"

By Jeri James

Let me set the scene. It's a cold dark winter's eve in Brandon, Manitoba. In a cold basement lies four gentlemen; one holds a mandolin, one plucking a bass string, one banging away at a drum set and the other soothing guitar strings. All of them letting their voices conform into a mythical beast, warming them against the winter's cold. This is Sebastian Owl, a folk band who enjoys nothing more than to play music together, in hopes that others will enjoy it as well.
These are the words the band uses to describe themselves in their bio, a story told in one simple paragraph. It is this ability to take you on a journey, through their lyrics and melody, which reminds me of the talents of a young Bob Dylan or Woody Guthrie. It is however through another story teller that the band found their inspiration, Hunter S Thompson. For fans of the writer, the name Sebastian Owl is a familiar one. A pseudonym for Thompson and a starting point of a musical voyage for this Brandon band.
Sebastian Owl consists of four members who describe what each brings to the group as follows: Dave Comrie- Guitar, Vocals and smiles. Ian Russell- Bass, Vocals and jokes. Trevor Crook- Drums, Vocals and van. Blair Atkinson- Mandolin, Piano, Vocals and nice shirts. Their self assessment is pretty accurate. I sat in on a jam last Monday and true to form Dave could not stop smiling (although I wasn't sure if it was due to the music or his love of turkey bacon he was consuming). Blair was sporting his "tie dyed treasure" of a shirt he commandeered from a female ex-roommate, and when Ian did speak it was insightful yet humorous.
As for the van, I did not see it, but Trevor claims it got them to and from their gig in Winnipeg last week in one piece. They played at Lo Pub alongside two Winnipeg artists: Little House and Mise En Scene.
Excitement was high on the Peg show when I sat down with the guys, but it was the energy surrounding their up-coming CD release at the Double Decker that was flowing through the air. I was privileged to get a sneak peak of the album and an article is just not enough space for me to express the pure bliss it brings to my soul.
“Between the Foxes and the Wolves” brings the listener into the world of Igby Adams; a young man living in the Urban squallier, in a perfect relationship and yet still not satisfied. Through the 15 album tracks we are immersed in Adam’s world and are exposed to his thoughts, feelings, and actions. The final tracks show his decision to leave everything he knows and expose what is left as he finds himself in nature. Blair has a true understanding of who Igby is and the journey he will make. “I see each album as a part of the story, with a lifespan of 3 to 4 albums”.
Blair may have envisioned the path of Igby Adams, but creating is a collaborative process for Sebastian Owl. Blair and Ian will often bring the “blueprints” as it were to a house they are building together, but the construction takes each member. Other times they start from scratch together, and every now and again it is a miss match of musical tools combined with drunken summer nights. Just like the writing, the guys each bring their own piece of magic to the mix. Ian’s high tenor, Dave’s low bass and Blair’s rasp brings some of the most organic harmonies I have heard.
The album itself continues with that natural feel as it was recorded live off the floor with only the vocals added later and mixed locally by Mike Posthumus. The album cover was sketched by Blair and stitched together by his mother. It is rootsy, soul, truly unique, and the best sound you can get for your $10. - Westman Journal

"Nicholas Friesen"

“This Winnipeg via Brandon folk/rock five piece unveils a stunning 11-track LP produced/recorded/mixed/mastered by Mike Posthumus (Young Pixels) that is equally as good for a breathy afternoon walk as it is for a night in with a bottle of something. The opening trio of “Rotting Road”, “Alice” and “City Bird” sets the subtly diverse tone for the entire disc that includes ukulele strumming, hushed yet raspy vocals and infectious songwriting. It takes a lot for a folk group to jump out in Winnipeg (another phrase I’ve typed too often) but Sebastian Owl’s chemistry, song structure and charisma help. The record’s only fault is that it’s slightly bloated - the bulk of the tunes don’t need to live at the 4-5 minute mark.” - The UNITER

"Broose Tulloch"

“Sebastian Owl delivers a gem of an album with Nowhere In Particular. 11 tracks of dreamy Band/Byrds psychedelic roots-rock without a stone in the lode. The reverb and harmonies warm up the songs like a fireplace in the winter, contrasting with darker titles like “Rotting Road” and “The Disease.” It’s a nicely layered and full, but not oversaturated sound. And sometimes they just rock out, as in “Between The River And The Bridge” or the western-flavoured “Pretty Poison.” It’s so easy to get lost in the laid back sound that the depth of the lyrics can catch you off guard, albeit in a good way, not too abstract or heavy. Their third album in as many years is a gritty mosaic of real people dealing with everyday struggles, usually affairs of the heart, such as difficult love, longing just to be home, or pining for the country in the wistful ballad “City Bird.” Recommended for fans of Micah Erenberg, the Band, The Byrds, and JD Edwards.” - Stylus Magazine


Sebastian Owl- Between The Foxes and the Wolves (2011)
Sebastian Owl- The Needle is Broken, the Compass Spins (2012)



Sebastian Owl is a band. Sebastian Owl is a character. Sebastian Owl is a story. But more importantly, Sebastian Owl is a lot of fun. The Story of Sebastian Owl starts with a man living an everyday life, in an ordinary city, loved by a woman yet unable to love himself. After realizing the need to escape society he wanders off into the wilderness to explore himself and the pure simplicity of nature. Stumbling back into civilization by ways of a small town, he finds himself indulging in the darker side of life. Eventually adventuring off into space, Sebastian Owl is a roller coaster ride of emotions and sounds.

From their beginnings in Brandon Manitoba in 2010, they have strived for harmony-rich melodies, catchy chorus, meaningful lyrics and a no holds barred energetic live show. Their line-up is always changing and evolving but the core voices of Blair Atkinson and Ian Russell are always constant. Currently they have with them on drums, Ian Clements (Solhounds, The Explorers Club) and on lead guitar and back-up vocals Kieran West (Kieran West & His Buffalo Band.) And with new members come new energies and a new adventure in where the Sebastian Owl sound is going.

Appearing on the stages of Ness Creek Music Festival, Brandon Folk Music and Art Festival, Matlock Music Festival Of Arts And Nature, and Winnipeg Folk Festival among others. Alongside some of Canada’s greatest musical groups, Sebastian Owl is destined to become a mainstay in Canadian Music. With three full length studio albums under their belts (2011’s Between the Foxes and the Wolves, 2012’s The Needle is Broken the Compass Spins, and 2014’s Nowhere in Particular) they have a lengthy catalogue of song and sound. With the harmony-rich melodies and meaningful lyrics steering the ship.

“Listening to Blair Atkinson’s oft times heavy lyrical content is like an exercise in introspection” – Frank McGwire, Brandon Sun.

The future looks bright for Sebastian Owl. They now reside in Winnipeg Manitoba and continue to play across Canada, with the road increasingly becoming their home. Buy the ticket and take the ride. Sebastian Owl is one band you should not miss.

Band Members