The Divorcees
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The Divorcees

Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada | INDIE | AFM

Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada | INDIE | AFM
Band Country Americana




"Music Review: The Divorcees - Four Chapters"

The East Coast Music Awards is always a whirlwind of music, groups, promotions, and events, everybody trying to do something special to mark the moment and capture everyone's attention. There are the fans they want to attract, the agents and bookers, and the media. One of the sure-fire ways to get talked about is to release something new, and do some shows around it. And since it was in Moncton, local bands especially were making lots of efforts.
One of those groups was Moncton's outlaw country act, The Divorcees. No stranger to the ECMA's, they've won a couple in the past, so they knew they could count on a certain amount of coverage and attention. And, they had a new album coming up. The trick would be to finish it on time. That proved to almost be a stumbling block.
The band had decided to make their new one, their third, something they had complete control outside labels or help, nobody trying to influence them. They had a full concept for it, from the music to the making. It was to be an entirely New Brunswick product. So proud are they of their provincial routes, they wanted to show that it could all be done right here, with local musicians, production, recording, mixing, artwork, and writing. This, they knew they could accomplish. But as the deadline approached, one crucial element was missing: Money. They needed cash to finish the production and manufacturing, and they needed it fast. So once again, they turned to New Brunswick. They launched a social media campaign to raise the funds, by pre-selling the disc and offering special bonuses, like personal autographed copies, a lifetime ticket to any Divorcees show, even a house concert at your place if you pledged enough. And it worked, they got the money in time, and were able to launch the new disc, Four Chapters, last week.
It is a concept album, the idea being that time-honoured one, a local guy struggling in this relatively rural province, wanting to break away from his troubles and see the bright lights. But of course, it isn't always greener on the other side, and things get worse. Finally he realizes he was a lot better back home, and returns. There's nothing like New Brunswick. The story is presented in four chapters, all adding up to about an hour in length. There are short narrator breaks to launch each chapter, and if you want, you can follow along in the story. IF you want... the songs also stand up on their own, and heard live or on the disc, you don't have to know the whole narrative. The music is the usual strong and raw electric country we've come to enjoy from The Divorcees, whether it's rockin' truck-driver stuff, big ballads, or bits of life told with a twang and a touch of pedal steel. They've always been disciples and promoters of the sound of real country music, the Waylon and Willie toughness, never letting the slick Nashville anywhere near the music.
Four Chapters did the job for the group at the ECMA's. They played a half-dozen packed shows, unveiling the album at officials showcases over the five days, one chapter at a time, and then blowing out the walls with a best-of show from the new disc, to a packed house at Moncton's Plan B Saturday night. The joy was obvious for the group, supplemented on the occasion by a couple of extra players to fill up the sound. The city responded, excited to see the band on the top of their game. The New Brunswick scene has a winner, a local star group that proves once and for all that great music can, and is, done right here, thank you very much.
- CBC EAST COAST MUSIC with Bob Mersereau

"You Ain't Gettin' My Country CD Review"

You Ain’t Gettin’ My Country
(Hay Sale)
By David McPherson
November 10, 2006

Dust off your cowboy boots, get them out from the back of the closet and get ready for a stompin’ good time courtesy of this four-piece band of outlaws from New Brunswick. These hombres are not looking for “watered down honky-tonk”; rather, they want the real thing. Over the course of 13 tracks they do their best to deliver this hardcore honky-tonk brand of country, taking its cues and inspiration from the Nashville outlaws Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. “Hard Luck SOB” is pure country influenced by the outlaw movement, but the Divorcees give it a Canadian stamp to show it was homegrown in the Maritimes. These Divorcees also showcase some smokin’ rockabilly rhythms like on the grab-you-by-the-throat tale of the temptress “Red Haired, Red Blooded Woman.” While the band find inspiration in the tried-and-true themes of country music — booze, woman, cheating and trouble — they take these universal themes and use their own experiences to fashion some entertaining and original songs. - Exclaim! - David McPherson

"You Ain't Gettin' My Country CD Review"

February 10, 2007


Packages of CDs arrive and stare at me angrily for not taking the time. To be honest, they overwhelm me at times with their mediocrity. Still I trudge on hoping for the next Big Blue Hearts. Yet the continue to let me down.

Lately, one didn't. In fact it slapped me in the face and reminded me how great real country music can be. From the moment I heard the first note I was convinced that this band called The Divorcees had to be the love children of Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash. I fell in love with the raw energy and hokey-poke at that era of outlaw country. They exuded that American swagger that Billy Joe Shaver would appreciate.

Then I read the accompanying press release, slowly put my head in my hands, and took a deep breath. These dyed-in-the-wool outlaws whose firebrand licks and howling roadhouse grit apparently are from Canada.

Holy shit! What was this? Canadiana? Canadicana? What in the world was wrong? These boys from the hinterland had outdone just about any other American act in the shitkicking department while drinking Labatt's?

Well, I swallowed my American pride and finished the disc and you should do so as well. You Ain't Getting My Country is as legit as the come. The New Brunswick-based band is going to catch on here in the States. Pick up the disc before everyone else figures it out because this secret won't last long.

By Todd Smith
Sharkbitten - Sharkbitten

"NOW CMW Preview (YAGMC)"

Those who prefer their roots music raw with a little lap steel twang on the side really need to check out New Brunswick outlaw country hooligans the Divorcees. The Johnny Cash- and Waylon Jennings-inspired tunes on their You Ain't Gettin' My Country (Haysale) should give you a good idea of what these shit-kickin' hombres are all about – hardcore honky-tonkin' and haulin' ass. Those Charlie Rich tattoos say these Divorcees mean business, and if you don't think so, stop by the Cadillac Lounge and catch their action Friday (March 9) at 8 pm, or better still, see them after the tequila takes hold over at the Horseshoe past 3 am. - Tim Perlich

"Last of the Free Men CD Review"

Disc Review

The Divorcees
Last Of The Free Men (Hay Sale)
By Benjamin Boles

While alt-country’s raw production and classic warm sounds are more appealing than the shiny gloss of new country, there’s often an unfortunate lack of authenticity and tendency to indulge in irony instead of honesty.

Thankfully, this isn’t a problem for Moncton twang terrors the Divorcees. When they sing a tribute to an aging pickup truck, you don’t get the sense that they’re mocking the rural working class, which makes the occasional goofy cliché much easier to digest.

Last Of The Free Men is a rollicking upbeat collection of down-home country rockers, and it’s got the kind of sound that translates well live, especially in an appropriately whisky-soaked dive bar. They could use a bit more subtlety and dynamics, but it’s a satisfying listen nevertheless.

Top track: My ’83

The Divorcees get their twang on July 16 at the Dakota.
NOW | July 8-15, 2009 | VOL 28 NO 45
Copyright 2009 NOW Communications - Now Toronto

"Last of the Free Men CD Review"

The Divorcees
Last of the Free Men
By Eric Thom

With their second release, you'll be hankerin' to pigeonhole these boys as ass-kickin' roadhouse country with a side of outlaw rock'n'roll, but the young New Brunswick band repel all efforts to corral their sound. Adding a player and upgrading their output with the Hip's recording studio and some Nashville mixing and mastering, these good ol' boys have spent their time wisely, writing smart songs and grafting them to country rock sounds that demonstrate a fluency in old school country, suggesting an upbringing on Lynyrd Skynyrd and Marshall Tucker. Andre McGraw's guest turn on pedal steel helps sharpen the band's focus ("My '83"), softening Alex Madsen's occasionally overwrought vocals. "After the Storm is Gone," with cameos from Angela Desveaux (vocals) and Michael Johnson (piano), reveals a level of maturity not always apparent in the context of their typically vociferous barroom demeanour. Storytelling comes to the forefront with "The Boys" and heartfelt environmental concern is realized with the exceptional "Mining Man." And, despite the misstep of covering AC/DC's "Shoot To Thrill," their sophomore release is another sturdy testament to an act destined to be reckoned with. (Hay Sale Records) - Exclaim!

"Toronto Star (LOTFM Preview)"

The Anti Hit List - April 11, 2010

"After the Storm is Gone"
This finely observed country weeper about absence draws much of its gorgeous ache from the vocal interplay between front man Alex Madsen and Montreal's Desveaux (who's also recorded and performed with the Sam Roberts Band). Impeccably produced by the Skydiggers' Josh Finlayson, who has an unerring instinct for when to get out of the way. (From Last of the Free Men, out May 5, 2009)
- Toronto Star/John Sakamoto

"Sure Thing: The Divorcees CD launch show"

May 7, 2009

w/Laura Merriman and the Lonesome Travellers, Saturday, May 9 at The Seahorse Tavern, 1665 Argyle, 9:30pm, $10.
by Sean Flinn

In music, there are two great teachers, according to singer-guitarist Alex Madsen of Moncton-based outlaw country outfit, The Divorcees. “Time and the road really matures,” he says.
The band just released its second album, Last of the Free Men, and, Madsen says, “You’re gonna hear mileage.” Most of the songs grew from a good year and a half of touring their first record, You Ain’t Gettin’ My Country.
During that time, founding member Jason Haywood left the group. Madsen took over lead vocals and to lead the way on songwriting. Though the writing load is not Madsen’s alone to carry. “Every song is a band effort. I bring them in and the band brings them to life.”
Producer Josh Finlayson also helped in the songs’ creation. The Skydiggers alumnus did so by mostly letting The Divorcees do what they do best: play live. As soon as he got the producing gig, Madsen recalls, “[Finlayson] picked up on the fact that we were road dogs.”
There were no “20th takes” with Finlayson. “He knew to step in only when necessary,” says Madsen. Last of the Free Men was recorded at The Tragically Hip’s Bathhouse Studios near Kingston, Ontario, over nine days. But, Madsen reiterates, “In reality, we spent a year and a half recording this album,” referring back to the time on the road.
Finlayson “coaxed” two songs out of the group in studio---“When I Say” and “After the Storm is Gone.” The latter features Angela Desveaux on guest vocals. There’s also a cover of AC/DC’s “Shoot to Thrill.” “Like any good ole boys, we like our AC/DC,” Madsen says.
Not surprisingly, The Divorcees will “tour this album to death,” hitting the road in July and not coming back until Christmas.
- The Coast (Halifax, NS)

"You Ain't Gettin' My Country CD Review"

Sunday March 11, 2007
Author: Sian Claire Owen
Rating: 8 out of 10

The Divorcees prove there’s more to marriage than four bare legs in a bed

Country rockers The Divorcees are using their piping hot brand of red-blooded music and sharp humorous lyrics to put the Maritimes on the musical map. From start to finish, “You Ain’t Getting My Country” is a magnificent album bursting with personality, humour, and damn good tunes.

The opening title track is a three minute long witty jibe at more commercial end of Country Music, make no bones about it, these guys are purists: “You put a fiddle in a pop song and call it country/ A banjo in a rock song just ain’t right/ Set off all the fireworks that you want to/ You ain’t getting my country without a fight.” Something about the way vocalist Alex Madsen sings this tells you that they might not be joking all that much.

The Divorcees move swiftly on from the stomping vibe of the title track, to the swinging Elvis-inspired “Watcha Gonna Do?” and the dreamy “Nearly Fell”, which measures 9.8 on the Richter Scale of Country Rock Romance. Ok, so it uses a fair amount of Country Cliché’s (falling off bar stools, drinking too much whisky, trying to save face, etc), but ladies, if Haywood was to serenade you with this song, you may end up weeping whilst standing in a puddle of your own desire. It’s his voice, it’s like dark brown honey, and the dreamy pedal steel is completely hypnotic. After the listener has been lulled into a blissful reverie, The Divorcees’ daft sense of humour rears it’s bearded pipe-smokin’ head with “Don’t Take Me Home to Mama”. Within seconds you’ll be hollerin around your living room.

The Divorcees are the genuine article. It’s easy see that these musicians are totally enjoying themselves, and this shines through in their music. Songs like “Red Blooded Woman” reflects their take-no-crap attitude, and it’s catching. Like a speeding juggernaut they are trail-blazing their way across Canada, and with a bit of luck we’ll see The Divorcees this side of the Atlantic in no time at all.
- Americana-UK


"Four Chapters" Indie/JMac - 2012

"You ain't gettin' my country" Hay Sale/Outside - 2006

"Last Of The Free Men" Hay Sale/Outside - May 5th, 2009



*NEWS* October 115, 2012
The Divorcees score big at Music NB Awards
Moncton-based country music group The Divorcees cleaned up last night at the Music New Brunswick awards.
The group picked up four awards including Anglophone Recording of the year, and Best Group Recording for their latest album, Four Chapters.
The band's drummer, Brock Gallant won the Educator of the Year award, while his bar "Plan B" won best venue.
The awards were handed out last night at a gala event at the Crowne Plaza, capping off Music NB Week.

*NEWS* September 20,2012
The Divorcees Video wins top Honours at the Atlantic Film Festival.
The Divorcees song “The Crows” was selected as one of the 10x10 videos being created and presented during the 2012 Atlantic Film Festival. In a 10 day period the band and Scott Simpson created, shot, edited and played “The Crows” during the festival Music and Image program. The video/film was viewed for the first time Sept 15 at which time the audience consisting of AFF delegates voted, following the viewing a jury of filmmakers making up the last piece of the selection process added their votes. During the AFF Gala the Divorcees and Scott Simpson our director were each presented with a cheque for $5000. View the video here

September 2012 The Divorcees receive 6 MusicNB nominations for their 2012 release “Four Chapters”

In 2005, five easygoing New Brunswickers decided to take their love of Willie, Waylon, and The Boys from the back porch to the stage and share it in true outlaw fashion.

Since then, Canadian Country Music has never been the same.

They are The Divorcees - The Great White North's original Honky Tonk Heroes.

From humble beginnings in their much-loved home province of New Brunswick, The Divorcees (Alex Madsen, Brock Gallant, Jason "Jay Byrd" Nicholson, and Denis "Turtle" Arsenault) have brought their brand of rough-and-ready country to roadhouses, festivals, and big stages from the shores of Canso Nova Scotia to downtown Vancouver...and all points in-between.

In the years since the inception of the now renowned band, a legion of supporters have sprung up across Canada, the US, Australia, and Europe. The band has shared stages with a number of popular artists such as George Canyon, JP Cormier, Hayes Carll, Corb Lund, The Sadies, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, The Haunted Hearts, Romi Mayes, Tim Hus, and many others.

A CMT video for "Red Haired Red Blooded Woman" received substantial airplay on CMT and a number of singles from both albums have received steady airplay on radio stations nationwide and around the world. Performances have been aired on CBC nationally - both on radio and television.

Their songs, as they are in person, are no-nonsense and straight-ahead, replete with stories of love and loss, letting loose (and paying for it), of justice, freedom and the need for it. Both albums (their debut "You Ain't Gettin My Country" and sophomore "Last Of The Free Men") have been received to critical acclaim, both having garnered East Coast Music Awards for Country Album Of The Year in 2008 and 2010.

A highly-anticipated third recording - a concept album titled "Four Chapters" has just been released. Many Divorcees fans consider it to be the band's masterpiece. Written, recorded, and produced by the band themselves at Pumpk'n Patch Recording Studio in Memramcook, NB, the album was a mammoth undertaking including an instrumental piece, narrative passages, illustrations, and a written story to accompany and weave together conceptually the songs on the album.

Completion of their third album means the 506'ers will be heading out into the great beyond for adventures across Canada this summer followed by international touring in early 2013.

The legend of The Divorcees continues to grow. For more information, visit or follow them at