So Dirty the Flamingos
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So Dirty the Flamingos

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2018 | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2018
Band Americana Indie

Calendar

Jan
19
So Dirty the Flamingos @ Village Vinyl

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Nov
16
So Dirty the Flamingos @ To.Lounge

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Sep
14
So Dirty the Flamingos @ Junction City Music Hall

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Aug
27
So Dirty the Flamingos @ Horseshoe Tavern

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Jun
14
So Dirty the Flamingos @ The Big Guy's Little Coffee Shop

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Jun
08
So Dirty the Flamingos @ Toronto's Grilled Cheese Challenge

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Apr
27
So Dirty the Flamingos @ NTB Lounge

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Dec
28
So Dirty the Flamingos @ The Monarch Tavern

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Dec
16
So Dirty the Flamingos @ Village Vinyl Emporium & Cafe

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Music

Press


"Album Review: So Dirty the Flamingos"

The first minute of the opening track, “Races,” on the band So Dirty The Flamingo’s new self-titled debut album, draws the listener in with a comforting slide guitar and an Americana/country-rock vibe.

The Toronto band’s six-track debut, clocking in at some 25 minutes, is a story of contrasts, loss, and regret, set to some of the best DIY Americana/country-rock we’ve heard this year.

The raspy vocals of singer-songwriter Lionel Doe are brilliant – soothing but with an edge that connotes a life of experience, love, and grit.

A melodic chorus accompanied by a soaring desert-rock guitar solo, and the band’s superb timing, make the song a sure-fire hit on country-rock radio (if country radio would play DIY artists).

“Races” draws from roots country and blues, Doe says, adding: “it’s a song about betting it all and losing it all.”

The song, he says, developed initially from a simple drum beat shuffle and a three-chord progression. The ensemble also included the ‘cowboy gang chorus’ and the stellar performance from veteran pedal steel player Steve Crosgrey.

There is a synergy between the pedal steel guitar and Doe’s hollow-body electric guitar leads that sets a beautiful tone for the song.

The Americana track, “I’m Out,” is about growing up in a “tough town” and violence he faced as a youth, singing: “I remember the swinging, I remember the hits, I remember being out of breath. With blood on my hands at the foot of the steps, my sister turns to me and says, ‘kid, I’m out.'”

This is a story that many who left their hometowns can relate to in one way or another.
You know the old saying (from Thomas Wolfe) “you can’t go home again.” That’s true.

Next, the band switches gears completely on the breakup song, “Good Game.” Doe plays all of the guitars and mixed a chord progression with distant feedback to create an effect.

Adam Drury’s venturing bassline steers the song through the various chord changes, while Scott Dunn’s Hammond organ elevates the choruses. Ciara Logar’s vocals imbue the song with a ghostly female presence.

The song “Daughters,” one of a number of standout tracks on the E.P., is a story about ‘crossing over,’ Doe says.

The refrain in the song reveals the bottom-line: ‘Going to meet my maker and make my amends/Going to make my daughters feel pretty again/Gonna bring them flowers from that distant plain.’

The idea for the song came from Doe’s work as a forensic analyst where he was processing the body of a young girl killed in a mass shooting that actually looked like his daughter.

“I have a daughter at home who could have been her twin,” he laments, “so for the first time in my career, I was completely traumatized…I wrote from the perspective of the fathers of the victims.”

The track is also the lead single from the album and went on to rank in the Top 100 of the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s ‘Searchlight Competition.’

“There’s pedal steel, inspired harmonica from Brian Bettencourt, and Devin Jannetta keeping the beat by stomping on a plank of wood, but it’s the chorus of vocals that gives rise to the belief that this song is truly singing to the other side, to that distant plain.”

Acoustic finger-picking from Doe and accompaniment of the Hammond organ with Scott Dunn give the track “Away” its haunting vibe. As Doe says, “Away” is another song about loss and regret, about searching for love, finding it and discovering it is too suffocating.

“If you’re a parent and a songwriter, and you don’t write about what that’s like, somehow, I just don’t understand that. Watching your children grow into a world you know from experience, is the most heart-wrenching experience there is.”

The song features a cello played by musician Mark Wang right before the Mimico Children’s Choir, led by his children, Penelope and Ramsay, sing, “Hold on, kid, let the light shine in, let it fill every room, you’ll blow their mind!”

His children’s voices are singing in the chorus, which Doe says means everything to him. He also wrote “Headfirst into the Sun” about his children.

The E.P. was mixed and mastered by Vancouver producer Paul Shatto who scores many television shows and movies, including Ice, Pyros, The Outer Limits and Freaky Friday.

SDTF has played around Toronto to much success over the next year. Vowing to not just play bars, the band has played in a church choir; a record store; a coffee shop; a billiards lounge; a grilled cheese festival, among other interesting and fun venues.

The band is inspired by Lucinda Williams, Townes Van Zandt, Wilco, Nick Cave, among many, many others.

Most recently, the band performed an all-electric set at The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern.

The album itself started forming years ago. But last summer, Doe was finally ready to record the songs that had been “fermenting in my consciousness” for years.

He set out to put together a band of veteran musicians from the Toronto area, many of them collaborators and long-time friends.

At the same time, his bassist, Drury, embarked on transforming his home basement into a professional recording studio.

They then recruited Devin Jannetta, a workhorse drummer who somehow managed to perform in seven separate bands. Of course, Dunn, the band’s Hammond organist was also enlisted.

Ciara Logar was welcomed as a backing vocalist “to add to what was to be a signature sound.” It was now complete – So Dirty the Flamingos was born along with the new Sodipop Studio.

The recording itself is a big part of the story behind the success of the E.P., Doe contends.

“The arrangements changed and grew,” he says, “prompting the inclusion of additional musicians, and in the end, the E.P. was a full-fledged Americana sonic boon, complete with piano; a Hammond organ played through a Leslie speaker; pedal steel guitar; cello; The Mimico Children’s Choir; cowboy gang vocals; harmonica; bouzouki, and every percussive instrument known to us, including a plank of wood to be stomped on for ‘Daughters’.” - Indie Rock Cafe


Discography

So Dirty the Flamingos

Races 
I'm Out 
Good Game

Daughters
Away
Headfirst into the Sun

Photos

Bio

So Dirty the Flamingos is an original band based in Etobicoke, Ontario.  Veteran songwriters and musicians have sequestered themselves to basements and dark rooms for years and are now cranking out Americana based, alt-country original tunes that come straight from the heart.  On the debut album, the band displays its worth in its songs.  Real musicians and real lives lived.
The band is actively creating and recording new songs, and performing live at various events and venues throughout Toronto. The set list is very much alive.  

Band Members