The Reckoners
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The Reckoners


Band Folk Country


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This band has not uploaded any videos



""To the likes of harmony-driven groups like the Blue Shadows and the Be Good Tanyas, you can now add the Reckoners.""

There must be something in the BC air that spawns sweet vocal harmonies. To the likes of harmony-driven groups like the Blue Shadows and the Be Good Tanyas, you can now add the Reckoners. Based on this debut six-song EP, the Vancouver, BC-based folk duo have the potential to take a place alongside those greats. Featuring Berklee graduate and TV composer Ricardo Khayatte and Christina Simpson, their voices fuse together so well it's hard to imagine they've only been singing together for two years. The songs ? all written by Khayatte ? are nicely fleshed out with bass, drums, lap steel and guitar. They're all on the gently contemplative side, and the imaginative lyrics of a number like "Eye For An Eye" ("I wish I was raised by wolvers") also catch the ear. The inclusion of at least one track with a more energetic tempo would have been welcome, but we can certainly hope there'll be a full-length disc from the Reckoners before too long. (Independent) - Exclaim

""If you’re into countrified vocal harmonies and wistful dirt road folk, check out the new EP""

I was recently on the bus and overheard a man speaking with some tourists about our province. Here’s what he said:

“BC’s the most beautiful place in the world. Lotta beautiful Chinese girls, lotta beautiful white girls. Girl are beautiful to look at. There are more girls than guys in BC, about four to one. I’m not complaining!”

I’d like to see his sources on those statistics. Here are the Reckoners from Vancouver, who are probably much better ambassadors for our province than that guy and his questionable anthropological research. If you’re into countrified vocal harmonies and wistful dirt road folk, check out the new EP …And the Sky Opened Up. Here’s the opening track, “Eye for an Eye.” - Chipped Hip

""without a doubt, one of this year’s hidden gems of folk music""

The Reckoners, a folk/country duo from Vancouver are not trying to bowl you over with a huge arrangement of instruments- and that’s the best thing about their debut EP, …And the Sky Opened Up. This is probably one of the most enchanting listens I’ve experienced in a while.

The duo, Christina Simpson and Ricardo Khayatte have the most wonderful chemistry. You can almost get the feeling that the two are lovers that have experienced the all the ways of the world. Both contribute flawless, breathy vocals (often together) and the only audible instruments are very gentle drums (almost sounding like taps) and very pleasant, soft acoustic guitar chords.

The songs generally deal with love and traveling the road, with many songs featuring both these themes. With these topics come a lot of great lyrics, such as “I wish I was raised by wolves/And free to roam this here land.” from the album opener “Eye for an Eye.” My favourite lyric of the EP is probably from “The Wanderer,” when Khayatte says “There ain’t fiction like the truth to make you think twice.”

The EP is at its most beautiful at “Too Tough to Love” which cranks the beauty up to eleven. The most memorable acoustic chords are here, and has a beautifully-worded chorus: “I was branded with an awkward grin/Dark brown eyes and suffering/But I’m too tough to love and rearrange/But honey you’re just as strange.”

In short, I was absolutely blown away by this album, not knowing what to expect and coming out with, without a doubt, one of this year’s hidden gems of folk music. I can only hope their future LP’s sound like this one- I’ll probably become a lifelong fan of theirs. - GrayOwl Point Review

"The Vancouver Sun - 41/2 Star Review"

The story of Vancouver's The Reckoners, Christina Simpson and Ricardo Khayatte, is a love story. The two met during a retreat a few years back and it was love at first sight. ... And the Sky Opened Up, the duo's debut, is love at first listen. The duo's vocal interplay is spellbinding and the folk/country melodies feel breezy and effortless, buoyed by road-weary wisdom and propelled by the strength of the pair's bond. This may only be a six-song offering, but listen to the shuffle-y Heartbreaker or the back porch-worthy The Wanderer and you will hear a true, stripped-down gem hinting at a very bright future. (The Reckoners' CD release takes place Tuesday at the Backstage Lounge on Granville Island.)

Francois Marchand, Vancouver Sun
- The Vancouver Sun

"The Province - Album Review"

Vancouver's The Reckoners are Ricardo Khayatte and Christina Simpson, who met at a log cabin during a ski weekend. As these things tend to happen, a guitar was passed around and a certain simpatico was established. This six-song EP is their first recording and it's a very nicely produced (Matthew Rogers), almost traditional folk debut. Khayatte does all the writing and they blend very nicely indeed. "Don't Wait" is a real highlight. B -- J.P.M.

- The Province

"#3 on The Anti-Hit List"

It’s hard to believe that someone who creates songs as instantly memorable as this alt-country ballad doesn’t already have a deep catalogue of recorded material, but writer Ricardo Khayatte and singer Christina Simpson, both based in Vancouver, have only just released their debut EP. The most relevant antecedent here is Ryan Adams, specifically the Adams who penned early tracks such as “16 Days” and “Desperate Ain’t Lonely” for his old (and still mourned) band, Whiskeytown. This is as good as those. (From . . . And the Sky Opened Up. . . , - The Toronto Star

""There’s chemistry in this combination beyond science and psychology.""

Lately I’ve been gravitating to a lot of male/female collaborations, mostly of the roots/country variety, and one of the best pairs I’ve come across is Christina Simpson and Ricardo Khayatte, who collectively are The Reckoners. A quick read-through of their one sheet tells you the pair met “in a log cabin in the woods” on a group ski weekend trip. I swear, when you hear these two sing together, you’ll swear that trip was organized by destiny. Delicate interwoven melodies create the perfect backdrop for their voices, and together the whole concoction is intoxicating. Khayatte is a smooth blend of Jeff Tweedy and Ryan Adams, while Simpson sweet counterpoint oddly reminds me of a cross between Jacqui Abbott (ex of The Beautiful South) and Sarah Harmer.
…And The Sky Opened Up is The Reckoners’ debut EP, just six songs long, but a powerful first statement from a pair destined for great things. There’s chemistry in this combination beyond science and psychology. I firmly believe that somewhere out there, each of us has a soul mate, not just a romantic match but a creative match as well. Simpson and Khayatte and proof positive of that.
The Vancouver-based duo will be performing in their hometown at The Biltmore cabaret on August 30, the Vancouver International Fringe Festival on October 16, and at Cafe Deux Soleils on November 13. You can pick up …And The Sky Opened Up now at iTunes. - J. DI GIOIA

""...willingly enslaved by the plaintive beauty of these two voices.""

The backstory of Vancouver based indie folk-pop duo The Reckoners reads a bit like a fairy tale. Ricardo Khayatte (vocals, guitar) and Christina Simpson (vocals) met at a cabin in the woods when invited out by a mutual friend for a ski weekend. The two hit it off and this EP is the fruit of that fateful meeting.
From the moment you hear Eye for an Eye one is immediately willingly enslaved by the plaintive beauty of these two voices. Whether it's the stark mournfulness of the carefully crafted ballad Somethings, the catchy loping melody and honesty of Too Tough to Love, Timothy Tweedale's haunting lap steel guitar on the country leaning Heartbreaker or the animated banjo-like guitar that propels The Wanderer, the exceptional musicianship and duo's exquisite harmonies are treated respectfully with production that knows where to draw the line.
If there is one complaint, it's that six songs barely whets one's appetite. 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö1/2 - Winnipeg Free Press


July 2010 - And The Sky Opened Up EP
(Canada - Online/Offstage only. Limited 1000 copy release)



Good things happen over time but great things happen all at once.
As any Hollywood story strives to portray, the greatest sagas are those that occur inadvertently. Souls wandering aimlessly for years until one day a chance encounter alters their lives forever.

Such a connotation inevitably applies not only to one’s personal life but also to that of musicians; bands working together in dedicated, passionate relationships that rely on one another’s creativity, support, understanding and zeal. Yet it still happens so rarely that it is a seemingly unattainable dream to most artists.

However, such a description actually recounts the innocent creation of Vancouver-based folk duo The Reckoners. Vocalist Christina Simpson and guitarist/
vocalist Ricardo Khayatte met during a weekend retreat some two years ago, the most innocent of auspices has established a doublet set to be one of Canadian independent folk’s most revered endeavours. “Ricardo and I met in a log cabin in the woods,” confirms Simpson with a chuckle. “We were both invited on a ski weekend by a mutual friend. As typically happens with our group, a guitar is passed around. I picked up the guitar first, Ricardo played a few songs next and then it didn’t take us long to start jamming together. We sang through all the classics until eventually we ran out of songs we knew the lyrics to or the sun was coming up…I can’t remember which.”
The finite order of circumstance matters little when it comes to The Reckoners’ saga which now looks ahead to the future, celebrated by the release of their debut EP …And The Sky Opened Up. Requiring little more than the lilting melodies, formidable guitar mastery and intertwining allure of their majestic voices, …And The Sky Opened Up reveals the true power and grace of this minimalist pair.
Furthermore, it converges two incredibly profound, unique musical histories: Berklee College Of Music attendee Khayatte’s technical foundation and legacy of penning for television hits including 90210 and Moonlight with actor Jessica Lowndes paired with Simpson’s inimitable voice and versed talent. Together, that experience, talent and vision has resulted in the distinct sound, approach and style of …And The Sky Opened Up.
“The Reckoners has a focus on two-part harmony that is quite different from the other bands in our genre,” asserts Khayatte, endeavouring to relate The Reckoners’ innate singularity. “We make an effort to create a dynamic vocal performance that propels these lyrically-driven songs.” “From the moment we started singing together, we’ve tried to use as much two-part harmony throughout our songs as possible,” adds Simpson enthusiastically. “I think the songs become something new with these harmonies.”
Recorded by fellow Vancouverite Matthew Rogers at Baker Street Studios, …And The Sky Opened Up yields undeniably enthralling tunes from slinky “Eye For An Eye” to twang-fuelled “Heartbreaker” and subtle “Too Tough To Love.” Khayatte reveals that songs relate both truthful and fictitious stories that challenge his creative innovation as an artist.
Still, while …And The Sky Opened Up focuses on the might of Simpson and Khayatte, The Reckoners welcome expansion to their craft in order to
allow songs a flourishing, all-encompassing atmosphere. Fleshing-out their fold to a quintet at times, Khayatte notes how The Reckoners are about establishing a solid foundation and augmenting when the mood strikes.
“We switch between the two depending on what the overall feel is,” he says. “As a duo, we focus on vocal harmony and intimacy between our audience and us. The goal is to hear a pin drop. When we perform as a five-piece, we like to add electric or lap steel, harmonica, tambourine, bass and drums to the mix. The point of this is to experiment and really open the songs up. The goal is to take our live songs as far from how they sound on the recordings as we can while still exciting people.”
Moreover, while there is a more immediate goal to The Reckoners’ live aspect, when it comes to their overall drive—both with ..And The Sky Opened Up and the future—Simpson adds that this couplet are about expression via pushing boundaries, testing personal limits and creating some timeless, virulent and sultry folk in the process.
“It’s not all about the big goal,” she declares. “It’s more about the journey and allowing ourselves to follow along wherever it takes us. You never know what lies ahead and we are both so excited to keep opening the doors that appear in front of us. In the meantime we will do what we love: write songs, test out harmonies over bottles of red wine, write, record and perform.”