Silver Creek
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Silver Creek

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Americana




"Westfest Artistic Director Recommendation Letter"

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing this letter in support of Ottawa band, Silver Creek. This band houses a group of talented, artistic, creative gentleman who truly are hard working professionals and they put on a high energy driving performance to prove it. As Producer of Westfest, an outdoor music festival I know very well the importance of all of these qualities in an act, and have appreciated working with them. In fact, so much so that I have invited them back to be a part of our 10 Year Anniversary retrospective and they will be part of a roster of the best acts to have appeared on the Westfest stage in the last decade.

Silver Creek is the kind of act every festival wants, and every festival attendee wants to see. They are complete professionals from the time they show up with their attitude and treatment of my staff and volunteers to their amazing on-stage performances and afterwards. We just loved working with this band!

I would strongly recommend Silver Creek for employment with your organization, festival, fair or event.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions at 613-729-3565.

Best regards,

Elaina Martin
Westfest Inc.
- Westfest

"Silver Creek finishes record year."

Kanata-based band Silver Creek had a record year in 2011.

With a United Kingdom tour, a new album release and countless shows played across Ontario the band is looking forward to 2012 bringing bigger and better opportunities.

“It made the year go really quickly. Hopefully (next) year will be bigger than (this) year,” said Silver Creek vocalist and guitarist Shawn Tavenier, who grew up in Glen Cairn and now resides in downtown Ottawa. “There’s a lot of work ahead but for now we just kind of feel good just letting out a sigh and being happy with the work that we’ve done.”

The band released its third full-length record on Dec. 9. Titled “Princes and Kings,” the record is just one-minute short of an hour in length and features 15 tracks.

“It’s pretty introspective – thinking about where we are as a band, where we are as people, what it means to be playing music when a lot of your friends have long since settled down and done stuff with their degrees,” said Tavenier, a Holy Trinity Catholic High School graduate. “I’ve been struggling to kind of tie the themes on the record; I think that “Princes and Kings” is a very apt title. The two words put together that way denote a kind of progression, from smaller to larger, which is maybe what we’re hoping for.”

Silver Creek consists of guitarist Blair Hogan, who lives in Carleton Place; Jeff Rogers, from Village Green, on keys and vocals; bassist Mark Laforest, from the downtown core; and drummer Shane McEwan, a Bridlewood resident.

The band held its CD release party at Mavericks, a downtown bar and music venue, on Dec. 9.

“It was a sell-out show and an absolute blast,” said Tavenier. “We played the record start to finish.”

The band spent 12 days recording the tracks in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. The members would get up around 10 a.m. and work in the studio until 2 a.m., with a few breaks in between for food.

“We stranded ourselves in this little tiny American town and we didn’t really have anywhere else to go,” said Tavenier. “You get into this really strange universe. It’s five guys in a really, really creative mode.”

Ottawa musician, turned producer Eric Eggleston helped the band produce the new album, which features a range of musical styles including indie-rock, roots-rock, spaghetti western and Americana.

“It’s not that easy – I’ve been describing it as roots-rock, Americana. But I think it’s a little broader than that,” said Tavenier. “Considering the imprint Canadians have left on the genre (I) to describe it as North Americana. I read that term somewhere and I really liked it.

“I think at the end of the day it’s just a Silver Creek record.”

Tavenier’s favourite song is “Slow Time,” the first track on side B.

“It was a very different writing process,” he said. “This time in particular it was really exciting. It was exciting at the start and it’s exciting now. We were all kind of curious to see where it was going to go.”

Another favourite is titled “Bellefonte,” after the town.

“It sounds like the town, it sounds American. It sounds like a drunken Salvation Army band playing at a band shell in a park,” said Tavenier. “Calling that song ‘Bellefonte’ and the town itself was a catalyst for us going in a completely different direction, trying a bunch of new things and becoming better for it.”


Silver Creek hit 11 cities in 17 days during its UK tour with Nepean artist and headliner Sarah McClurg.

“She got in touch with us and said she needed a band to go with her and a band to open the shows with their own material,” said Tavenier in a previous interview. “She figured she could kill two birds with one stone with us opening with our own material and then playing for her sets.”

McClurg met the band through a mutual photographer and friend.

“Once I heard them play I realized they were such a great band, I wanted them to come on tour with me,” she said.

Tavenier said the band’s time overseas was a whirlwind of shows and activity.

“We kind of crisscrossed that whole island. It was amazing,” he said. “People listen differently over there. There's a real focus on original music. Even in pubs they don't want to hear covers.”

Now that the band is back on its home turf and its third album is complete, Silver Creek is assessing its next step.

“(We want to) play as much as possible,” said Tavenier. “We’re going to try our best to get the record into the hands of people who we think can help us move it forward. It’s just trying to keep the momentum going; we’ve had a big year, a big year can slide into a small one pretty quickly.”

The band has an upcoming show in Carleton Place at Valley BBQ, which used to be Tilly's Smokehouse, on Dec. 30, where it will play the new material from “Princes and Kings.”

“It’s a great little spot. They’ve been doing a lot of live music,” said Tavenier.

“People love music; it’s sort of the one thing you can count on. We’re just lucky that we do something that people love.”

For more information on Silver Creek, visit the band’s website at - Kanata Courier

"Silver Creek's 'crowd sourcing' keeps the music coming."

With CD sales nose-diving, government grants drying up and cultural spending coming under the microscope, ain’t nobody giving Ottawa country rockers Silver Creek a free ride.

In early June, the band’s singer and songwriter Shawn Tavenier gave the band 60 days to raise $5,500 to finish recording the band’s third disc “Princes and Kings” with the financial help of a “crowd-sourcing” website

Crowd-sourcing is the latest way artists and musicians are using the internet to generate sales, by encouraging people to invest in the project online before it hits the market. It’s a strategy similar to when PBS goes on their fundraising drive, offering rewards for fat donations. A soft copy of their new album for an investment of $25, right up to a home concert for $1,500.

With only a few days to go, the plan has been a success.

The band’s raised $4,500 of the $5,500 needed to complete the record.

If you’re interested in investing in Silver Creek’s new record, go to their website

“We’ll meet the target by the time we play the Ride Canal Festival on July 31,” Tavenier predicts.

“Our business plan is strong, the band is stronger. We’re not looking for handouts the way some media would have you think.”

The online campaign’s clearly helped build excitement for the alt-country band’s new disc, and new sound.

Tavenier describes their third album as a coming-of-age record with an aggressive new sound, one that is a little less like the Marshall Tucker sound of the past. It’s a meatier sound they tried on their tour opening for Ottawa country singer Sarah McLurg in February.

Produced by Eric Eggleston, Tavenier and the band Jeff Rogers, Blair Hogan, Shane McEwan and Mark LaForest put a new spin on “the real Canadian highway record”, northern fried rock and soul that blends country, new-age and spaghetti westerns with rock.

“We felt that we were breaking new ground and growing as a band. Three years is a long time in band years and I had a sense of accomplishment because it says everyone wants to be here, that the guys like my writing and I like their playing. But when you think about it, every band is on the verge of something great, or breaking up. I like to think of U2 bickering over something trivial. So it’s great to know there are people out there who want to support us.” - Ottawa Sun

"Silver Creek: Road Stories"

Silver Creek release their third LP, Princes & Kings, and it's "not ringtone music"

When I reach Silver Creek’s lead singer and songwriter Shawn Tavenier, he’s engrossed in watching an episode of Crossfire from 1986 featuring Frank Zappa vigorously arguing against censoring music. It’s the first indication that Tavenier is fully immersed in life as a musician, and it doesn’t take long to get a few more examples.

"I play music, that’s it," says Tavenier. "I spend my days sending emails, making connections, talking on the phone, and doing my best to get the work out. Silver Creek kind of pays its bills by playing covers around town, but as soon as we leave town we play our stuff. We’ve found a delicate balance, it’s like we have a dual personality. A lot of people would consider playing covers a step back, but it’s afforded us the opportunity to be our own bosses and play as a band as often as possible. We play music full-time together as a group – being on stage keeps our chops together."

Tavenier’s band, the country/roots/rock/Americana five-piece that is Silver Creek (along with Jeff Rogers, Blair Hogan, Shane McEwan and Mark Laforest), began in fortuitous circumstances five years ago, snagging their first ever gig at Bluesfest, of all places. Five years on and numerous self-funded tours of Canada, the U.S. and Western Europe later, the group is still fighting the good fight to get that elusive breakthrough. While their peers are generally fitting into the category of "settling down," Silver Creek have been packing themselves into dirty vans, playing cowtowns in Saskatoon and labouring at the business of creating something true to the soul. Their recent album – their third – is Princes & Kings, and it may just be that break they’ve been hounding.

"We had 12 or 15 songs together before we went over to England, but they didn’t make sense as an album," recalls Tavenier. "I started reconfiguring them, ended up throwing out eight of them, wrote about another eight songs in the spirit of the ones we’d kept, and suddenly we had a record true and true. I wouldn’t call this a concept record, but it definitely has a theme. We are all in or around 30 years old and we’re living a bit of a fringe lifestyle by comparison to a lot of our friends, and that aspect, that anxiety, is present on the record. Songs Princes of the Night and Kings of the Highway express that – this idea of working at night, being a nighthawk, sleeping while other people are working, working while other people are sleeping. It doesn’t sound anything like Tom Waits, but it’s that feeling he has of ‘being in the bar at night/diner during the day’ feeling. The other side of it is the life of a band on the road for a long time, being like gunslingers. Those themes are unashamedly present."

Silver Creek, along with Ottawa producer Eric Eggleston, raised over $6,000 through online fundraising venture to subsidize their recording of Princes & Kings in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania – the epitome of small-town New England.

"Bellefonte is this really beautiful but super insular American town: courthouse at the top of the hill, gun shop, liquor store, and church next to the courthouse," recalls Tavenier. "There was nowhere else to go and we tracked every minute of every day; we were breathing in sync by the time we were done. When we had the artists draw up the cover art, they came up with this almost nostalgic military vibe, depicting soldiers in battle with muskets. I think the most important part was that they captured something we couldn’t describe but was true – here was a very passionate snapshot of a conflict, which is very much there in the record. This is about a band that is struggling with making a statement after six or seven years of working very hard. Americana is not ringtone music, it needs to be deeper, needs scale, needs to have this unique sense of landscape. In that sense, we’ve sort of had this painting in our minds for years." - Ottawa (x)Press

"Mark Monahan"

“Led by charismatic front-man Shawn Tavenier, Silver Creek had the crowd on their feet begging for more . . .” ~ Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest Executive/Artistic Director, Mark Monahan - Ottawa Bluesfest

"The Crowd Chills With Blue Rodeo"

The biggest surprise of last night was Silver Creek, local southern rockers with a penchant for a hurtin' country song, these lads played their first live gig at Bluesfest in 2006.

So, like Blue Rodeo, last night's gig was their return to the big, bad Bluesfest stage, and making them an ideal choice to open for festival favourites Blue Rodeo.

Fronted by Shawn Tavenier and guitarist Anders Drerup with Mark Laforest, Jeff Rogers and Shane McEwan, their early evening set proved that they are one bitchin' band that can play just about anything without lapsing into generic rock.

Opening with Indian Summer from their new EP, the band played a rousing set of raunchy, rocking originals that showed off Tavenier's striking vocal power and the high-performance ensemble playing that kept the early crowd at Lebreton Flats on their feet with Bolingbroke Road, Stay, Twist Pull Tear, and peaked with a wicked version of With a Little Help From My Friends before finally closing with the crowd-pleaser Come Home.

Meanwhile, over on the Rogers stage, California's CAKE brought some much-appreciated levity, and easy low-fi pop and indie sense of humour. - The Ottawa Sun

"REVIEWED: Follow the Sun (EP) by Silver Creek"

The first time I heard about this band was seeing them live at Ottawa Bluesfest and I had no expectations of them being good, bad, or otherwise. Being a great fan of classic guitar bands like the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd, I was immediately drawn to their guitar/guitar/keyboard line-up very reminiscent of those old bands. The quality of Silver Creek’s excellent Follow the Sun EP does not disappoint compared to their live show, as many newer groups’ recordings often do.

From the first notes of disc opener “Boilingbroke Road”, they draw you in with sustained and crunchy guitar chords before stopping to let the first guitar riff and subsequent solo introduce the opening verse. A great mélange of chugging but subtle rhythm guitar matched with floating organ chords and delicate piano give the track a great balance. Great lyrics like “…the Greyhound’s gonna carry me home” paired with the harmonized guitar riffs make this a classic cut. They even have a short lap-steel solo in the middle for extra authenticity.

“Hammer Down” is the next track, with guitarist Anders Drerup taking over lead vocal duties from the other guitarist/vocalist Shawn Tavanier. One of the greatest strengths of Silver Creek is the way they share the spotlight on each member, featuring everyone’s riffs, vocals or songwriting equally (of the six songs on the EP, Tavanier sings three, Drerup two, and keyboardist Jeff Rogers sings one). Opening with very pretty guitar harmonies over strummed acoustic through the verses, they lay out a hard rocking chorus with a pummeling riff over the title lyric.

A beautiful descending harmonized riff opens the next track “China Dolls”, which is the most country-sounding song of the disc. Rogers lights into a great Hammond B3 organ solo before trading off to Drerup to finish with a guitar solo in fine form. They obviously know the value of good arrangement in their songs, with the verse after the solos key changing up to augment the intensity of the last half of the song.

Rogers gets to take on lead vocals with “Tinted Windows”, showcasing his very R&B/soul influenced writing style. The intro riff is perfectly greasy, the chorus sounds like classic 70’s soul rock and Rogers’ voice has the gruffness to give the song the edge it needs to really stand out. He kicks it up even further with some near-screamed high vocals after they build up to a huge crescendo after the guitar solo.

“Heartbroken Girl” sees Tavanier back on lead vocals and this cut really sounds like the Black Crowes met Skynyrd for a jam session, with the soulful piano playing matched up to a dirty guitar riff. Tavanier comes damn close to sounding like ‘Crowes vocalist Chris Robinson during the verses too, with just the right amount of dirt on his voice. More key back-up vocal harmonies on this track – which are present in nearly every song on the disc – showing again the well-rounded talents possessed by every member of the band.

The EP closes with a cut that could easily be a Top 40 hit to my ears. The sickly sweet harmonized guitar riffs that complement the smooth acoustic and almost toy-piano sounding tinkling plus a very charming and hummable vocal melody make “Take Your Time” the kind of song that your parents and girlfriend will love, but so will you, because it’s just so damn fine – and you shouldn’t hesitate to admit it, either.

They’re planning a cross-Canada tour towards November/December so keep your eyes peeled and your ears to the ground, you don’t want to miss their fiery live shows. One of the top bands to watch for in the next couple of years, don’t be surprised if they get real big, real soon. - North by East West


About Time - Full length
Follow the Sun - 6 song EP
Princes and Kings - Full Length



Ottawa based band Silver Creek came together for the first time on a farm in the spring of 2006. After a few exciting rehearsals based around a handful of simple songs the band began recording and Silver Creek started to take shape.

The band, born in the studio, made an easy transition to the stage and was blessed with a stroke of luck right from the gun when they played their very first show at the Cisco Systems Bluesfest in Ottawa in July 2006. This show, just a couple of months after their formation, was well received and the boys were grateful to play at the festival the following five years as well, including a 2009 main-stage performance for a crowd of 20,000 strong opening for Canadian vanguards Blue Rodeo, and yet another for idols Phil Lesh and Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead. The band has also shared the stage with the likes of Lucinda Williams, Tom Cochrane and Kevin Costner.

Silver Creek has been quietly building a strong and faithful fan base, twice touring across Canada after releasing their debut record "About Time" to a sold out and enthusiastic audience at Barrymore's Music Hall in January 2008. The band's second release titled "Follow the Sun" (2009) is a full throttle foray into what can only be described as Northern-fried rock and soul, and somehow moves easily across several sub-genre's of the rock and roll realm without losing the common thread that holds their unique sound intact.

2011 was a banner year for Silver Creek that began with the recording of their third record "Princes and Kings." The sessions took place over fifteen days of isolation at a remote studio in Pennsylvania. The album showcases the band at their most creative, introspective and at a new peak as a cohesive unit. Released in December after a year that included a month long tour of the UK and several summer festivals, "Princes and Kings" is the band's strongest effort to date. It showcases a band that keeps its core sound at heart, but is not afraid to venture into new territory and explore different aspects of their abilities as a group.

Silver Creek consists of Shawn Tavenier (vocals, guitar), Blair Hogan (guitar, vocals), Nick Gauthier (guitar, vocals), Mark Laforest (Bass), and Shane McEwan (drums) who comprise some of Ottawa, Ontario's most talented players. Their exciting and powerful live show features the strength of three vocalists against the backdrop of a thundering rhythm section and as one reviewer states, is: "...strongly reminiscent of certain influences such as The Band, The Allman Brothers and Neil Young, but never coming even close to sounding like an imitation."

They are sometimes soulful, twangy, driving and loud, but never stray far from what they truly are; just a good old Canadian rock and roll band. Back in the studio for the first time in over two years, Silver Creek's music has matured and grown and is on track to becoming some of the nation's most iconic sounds.

Band Members