The Dojo Workhorse
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The Dojo Workhorse

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Folk Soul




"Weapon's Grade Romantic"

Mustachioed singer Dan Vacon (also of The Dudes) takes his practice to new heights as Dojo Workhorse, hitting the tatami and sending bodies flying through the ether on Weapons Grade Romantic. Slipping into your psyche somewhere between a rock and a soft place, Dojo Workhorse cunningly bolsters its melodic rock sound with loving instrumental arrangements that smooth any sharp shoulders. Juno-winning Calgarian and Jann Arden associate Russell Broom produced Weapons Grade Romantic, ensuring that every track the ensemble generates equally captivates and amuses. Armed with a panoply of keys, horns and harmonicas, Dojo does just that on such deeply emotive cuts as “You Heartbreaker,” “I Got Life” and the seasonally appropriate “New Years Eve.” - FFWD

"Weapon's Grade Romantic"

When The Dudes' Dan Vacon decided he needed an outlet for more introspective songs, he began performing around his native Calgary under the name The Dojo Workhorse. Those shows and the demos that followed have finally evolved into the broad rock album Weapons Grade Romantic.

Obviously the theme for the record is love and relationships. Vacon shows us both the triumph and heartache of love on the album. A song like the joyous, hook-filled "Misbehave" is juxtaposed against the sullen, almost hopeless "How To Be Lonesome".

From a musical standpoint Vacon pulls in a diverse set of influences and sounds. He swings effortlessly between lush, cello-heavy arrangements to smooth pop rock to horns section numbers to laid back tracks like "New Year's Eve" (and it's Jack Johnson vibe), handling each with aplomb.

It's the tragedy of love that's most compelling though. Be it the bluesy "Truly Wasted" or the lushly arranged "Late For Life" Vacon seems to enjoy basking in the misery love creates. On the album's standout duet "Laval Street" he laments 'I'm haunted by who's holding you tonight', the sentiment sums up much of the aura of the album.

Anyone who's been in love, lost love, got it back again, then did something stupid to lose it, will relate to Weapons Grade Romantic. If not, just sit back and enjoy the fine musical craftsmanship. - Snob's Music


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Dojo Workhorse.. .."While lead singer Dan Vacon may be best known for penning the anthemic rock songs that have defined Calgary's beloved The Dudes, the man's softer side is laid bare in Dojo Workhorse, a group one shouldn't mistake for some half baked side project. the 7-piece group is comprised of some fellow Dudes members plus Brent Gough, borrowed from Key to the City and Clea Foofat, formerly of Consonant C. Vacon moves from barroom boozy to rock 'n' bluesy with Dojo Workhorse, taking the opportunity to bring some pleading honesty and gentle humour to his heartfelt odes to love, loss and the eternal hope of getting it right this time. Channeling Sam Cooke as much as Rivers Cuomo, Vacon cuts through the ironic gloss attributed to his generation and shows that beneath all those gimmicky t-shirts lies love-confused, tumultuous, passionate love. Dojo Workhorse harbours a voice that cuts deep while wailing of triumph and tragedy in all matters of the heart, arrangements that hide their complexity in hooks and harmonies, and lyrics torn from the journal we all once had-or wish we still did." -Derek McEwan/Tanya Laing-Gahr

Band Members