Sons of Maxwell
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Sons of Maxwell

Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada | INDIE | AFM

Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada | INDIE | AFM
Band Folk Pop


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


The best kept secret in music


"Sons' Sunday best"

The Sons of Maxwell just want people to have fun. The Waverley-based duo - a.k.a. brothers Dave and Don Carroll - are releasing Sunday Morning, their eighth album and fourth of all-original music, Thursday at 8 p.m. at the Schooner Room in Casino Nova Scotia, Halifax.

And among the lessons they have learned in 11 years of performing, touring and recording is that people have limited entertainment dollars and want to spend those dollars in places that bring them pleasure.

"Someone said to me early on that we should be there to entertain not educate," says Dave Carroll. "We're entertainers first and if we can deliver a message great, but people come to see us to have fun and that's what we want to deliver."

Being entertainers rather than simply playing songs they like is one of the lessons the engaging pair have learned since their first gig in the campus bar while they were students at Carleton University in Ottawa, where Don studied psychology and Dave political science.

"We played covers of traditional songs and we were more sober than the audience which is a good place to start," joked Dave.

Those early years performing by the brothers who grew up in Timmons, Ont., are memorialized on the autobiographical Best Things.

"It covers our days playing in university for fun, and how our career goals changed, ending up in different places than we planned," says Don, noting they never expected to be playing music professionally but are happy with their career path and excited about the release of Sunday Morning, which brings them back to their indie roots, after a brief stint with a record label.

"A record deal looks like its all good and then you realize what you have to give up and hope the company can deliver what they promised, but if not you're better off being independent. We're much happier being in control," says Dave, who wrote or co-wrote each of Sunday Morning's 13 songs.

"If decisions that are made are wrong, at least they're our decisions. We've learned to value our own gut instincts."

Don notes that there are no traditional tunes on the album and fans won't be disappointed with S.O.M.'s evolution.

The disc differs from previous ones, including Among the Living, which won an East Coast Music Award for roots/traditional album in 2002, in that the music was mostly written on the road and was played for live audiences and demoed before they went into the studio to record, instead of recording first, touring later.

Sunday Morning includes three tracks, Whole Lot Lighter, You Let Me Love You and Sunday Morning, for which Mir's Asif Illyas did string quartet arrangements, adding an additional richness.

It also includes the first song co-written by Don and Dave, Like You Do, (they have worked together on arrangements on other tunes) and marked Dave's first experience penning songs with other writers.

He wrote Every Day of Your Life with Canadian country star Patricia Conroy and Daryl Burgess (author of Colin James' hit Stay) and I'm Willing with Jon Vezner (who won a Grammy in 1990 for Where've You Been co-written with fellow singer/songwriter Don Henry, recorded by Kathy Mattea).

Sunday Morning was recorded mainly in Montreal and mixed and mastered at Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas by Terry Manning.

"Almost every big name has recorded there over time. They day we got there REM had just left and Alan Jackson was coming in," says Dave. "The experience Terry has shines through, it takes it up a notch."

But one thing that hasn't changed is the harmonies for which the brothers are famous.

"People think of Sons of Maxwell and think of the harmonies and this album delivers," says Dave, noting the brothers sing in the same range and switch back and forth singing high and low. "One of us sings high until he gets tired, then the other guy goes high."

Thursday's concert also features Jon Park-Wheeler on guitar, Stefan Morin on drums, Julian Marentette on percussion, Bruce Dixon on bass guitar and Stephen Muise on keyboards. Tickets are $12.50.

The duo, who have just signed up to be volunteer firefighters, can be heard playing a pub show at the Fife and Drum at the Casino Aug. 21 and 22 and are planning a Halifax Christmas concert, something they haven't done in a couple of years. And on the horizon is a 10-city tour of China in September 2005.

Sunday Morning is available in stores and on their website

By ANDREA NEMETZ / Entertainment Reporter

- The Halifax Herald - Wednesday, August 4, 2004

"Sons of Maxwell deliver Instant Christmas"

Nova Scotia's Sons of Maxwell have scored big once again, this time with the their seventh album, the glorious Instant Christmas. The independently released disc features 10 cuts, including several classic favourites and a few new ones. By far the best -- and the most energetic -- track on the disc is Dave and Don Carroll's super-joyous rendition of Go Tell It On The Mountain. They attack this bluesy-organ backed country-hillbilly hand clapper with religious fervor, practically in black gospel style. Its truly uplifting, thanks to the bang-on vocal conviction and a great gospel-hall piano solo. I was humming that little gem long after the CD player was turned off.

Not musicians to be pigeon-holed into any one specific genre, the brotherly duo presents a wide variety of musical styles on this great disc. Fort he Celtic touch, they perform a beautiful version of I Saw Three Ships, backed by a neat bodhran beat and some beautiful synthesized Celtic flute, as well as the very Irish sounding Christmas in Killarney, with the mandatory bodhran, mandolin and bagpipes (again thanks to the synthesizer). On the jazzier side of things, they present a super-cool funky, finger snappable version of Let It Snow, backed on cool guitars by none other than Ian Janes. The brushed drums, the deep bass line and Don's great vocal delivery make it quite memorable.

For those who want to smile, the dazzling duo has included the fun, lively, countrified foot-tapper, Mele Kalikimaka/Hawaiian Christmas. Dave does a great job whistling one of the verses.

And for those who may want a chuckle, Dave wrote the hilarious Cape Breton Christmas Eve, a pleasant-melodied, danceable, pop-country-rock ditty about two drunken Cape Bretoners who, without thinking, decide to go deer hunting on Christmas Eve. I'll let you figure out the rest.

But the brothers deliver this one in their trademark upbeat style, complete with Everly Bothers-style harmonies. Nostalgia reigns high in the beautiful Christmas Time At Home, written by Dave. It's got a nice shuffly, mid-tempo beat, a smooth melody and picture perfect harmonies.

For the religiously inclined, they've included a superb rendition of the midnight mass classic, O Holy Night. It begins with a nice piano solo, with a bit of a different arrangement, followed by Don's deep-voiced and conviction filled performance. The synthesized string orchestra eventually joins in to bring it all to a resounding crescendo.

The slow Bleak Mid Winter has a nice light sway yet a profound feeling, thanks to some strong cello effects.

But the most captivating song here is probably Stan Rogers' First Christmas Away From Home. Don, with his pleasant, resounding and deep voice, pays great homage to the master Maritime folk singer in this melancholic yet touching piece. Once again, John Spearns' light cello effects make the song rise to new heights.
- by Raymond J. Arsenault, Journal Pioneer, Summerside, PE


Sunday morning
Instant Christmas
Among The Living
Sailors Story
The Neighbourhood
Live at Tim's House
Bold Frontier


Feeling a bit camera shy


With an impressive discography and performance resume, including several industry awards and nominations, it can definitely be said that Halifax-based Sons of Maxwell have come a long way from Northern Ontario. The brothers began singing together while attending university and began a full-time music career soon after graduation. Don and Dave Carroll have done prolific work in a relatively short time and have developed a large, dedicated fan base. S.O.M has released several well-received all-original albums, music videos and have toured extensively, both nationally and abroad. The promotion of their current project "Sunday Morning" is underway. It is the eighth full-length commercial release for S.O.M. Radio response to the lead single The Best Things, has been outstanding, and a new single (Uphill Battle) is on its way to the airwaves in January.
The strength of the duo is built upon its diversity. Don and Dave are true entertainers. That fact is what sets them apart and has made them so popular with such a broad spectrum of people. More than once it has been said: these guys do it all. Their musical performance is always evocative and their onstage sibling interplay is disarmingly warm, alluring and often downright hilarious! Dave writes songs that bring laughter and tears to the audience. The brothers (along with a talented back-up band) deliver Daves powerful and thought-provoking lyrics in an interesting blend of musical styles best described as pop/folk. Ever present are their unique, brilliant vocal styles and harmonies for which they are well known.
From concert halls to corporate shows, Sons of Maxwell are continually a hit with audiences of all ages. This past year S.O.M toured throughout community theatres in Western Canada, performed in the Dominican Republic, and did a promotional tour in Germany. They also gave a raft of performances in music halls and listening rooms. The outstanding audience response and rave reviews (available on request) speak for themselves. The perpetual tour continues...