The Red Cannons
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The Red Cannons

Spruce Grove, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Spruce Grove, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Blues




"Whitecourt holds special place in musician's heart"

Guitarist spent much of her youth in White court and came back to rock the stage at Party in the Park

Brigette Jobin
Whitecourt Star

Jen Perry has been adding new experiences of Whitecourt to her album of memories.
The 24-year-old and her band The Shakedowns graced the stage at Party in the Park on Sunday. The band was in Whitecourt on Canada Day earlier this year and played at the town’s festivals.
However, looking at Whitecourt from the stage is not the view she grew up with.
When Perry was younger she lived in White court. Her par-ents separated and she moved to Edmonton with her mom but her dad still lives in Whitecourt.
Her childhood memories of Whitecourt include quadding on her dad’s acreage, camping and hanging out with her friends.
“I have a lot of good memories of Whitecourt,” she said.
And the memories are continu¬ing to add up. Not only has Perry and her bandmates played on stage in Whitecourt, but local radio sta¬tion The Rig has been playing their single “Whose side.”
The Shakedowns — which also includes Skylar Dayton, Evan Cole and Colten Robert — has been together since 2008.
Perry, Robert and Dayton went to school together in Sexsmith, Alta. and had a band. Then they all moved to Edmonton and long-time friend Cole joined.
“Our music is very blues influ-enced but it definitely has a mod-ern twist,” said Perry. “It’s hard to classify sometimes.”
The Shakedowns have been well received in Whitecourt.
“There were a lot of people at Rotary Park (on Canada Day),” said Perry. “There was a good turnout and we were well received.”
The band was introduced to local organizers via the local band Joe Public.
“They’ve been really great to us,” said Perry.
The Shakedowns were asked to come back for Party in the Park and jumped at the chance.
“We’re really excited, espe-cially with the bands that are play-ing,” said Perry in an interview last Thursday.
“We all grew up listening to our parents music, which is lots of old classic rock, so we are familiar with the bands” said Perry about Party in the Park headliners Honey moon Suite and Sweet.
“It’s an honour to be able to share the stage with bands like that,” she added.
The band goes on tour when they can but currently have other jobs and are advancing their edu¬cation. Cole has started a family recently so being on tour full-time is not in the cards right now.
When asked what the future holds for The Shake-downs, Perry didn’t have a definite answer.
“Every musician’s dream is to make it your full-time job but that requires a lot of touring and leaving your family behind.”
In the meantime, The Shakedowns are enjoying the success they’ve been having. For more information on The Band, find their website online.

- The Whitecourt Star

"Shakin' it up and down - Band right on track, working on new tunes"


The Shakedowns play BJ’s Q Club this weekend.

Shakin’ it up and down
Band right on track, working on new tunes
By Reinisa MacLeod Herald-Tribune staff
Posted 14 hours ago
It's a long road for bands to become mature enough to figure out where they really want to go, but local rockers The Shakedowns are up to the challenge.
Having known each other for years, the young group – Evan Cole and Skylar Dayton on vocals and guitar, Jen Perry on bass and Colten Dayton on drums – had performed together in various incarnations since they were kids, splitting up to pursue post-secondary school.
It wasn't until they won some studio time as a casual group four years ago that they buckled down and decided to start up again, putting out their first album Good Morning Josh… We're Sorry.
"After that, we were like 'this is perfect'. The chemistry was back," said Skylar Dayton.
The group based themselves out of Edmonton for those years, playing shows, working full time and partying – or, as they put it, "extra-curricular partaking" – as young bands are wont to do.
Eventually though, they decided it was time to grow up, becoming comfortable enough to continue putting out music while still settling down and focusing on their full time jobs; Perry is a financial advisor and Cole owns a music store in Edmonton. The Dayton brothers own and operate Music Centre Canada at 10008-103 Ave. in Grande Prairie.
But that doesn't mean their music has been tossed to the wayside. Instead, the brothers think that settling in has proven the opposite: Sharpening the band's focus so that they know exactly where they want to go, while keeping a realistic hold on things.
"For us, as a band, that whole growing experience was the best thing for us," said Colten Dayton.
Using their full-time jobs, combined with bar shows such as their Friday-Sunday stretch at BJ's this weekend as a means to save up to record and tour, the group recognizes that, in Canadian culture, it's a rare occurrence for a rock group to fully sustain itself on music alone, and it never comes easy.
"Nobody gets to be Jim Morrison anymore," Skylar said.
"You don't fall off a stage and get picked up by (record producer) Paul Rothchild so they can slap you into a studio and make you famous, although that would be wonderful."
For such a young group, The Shakedowns already have a pretty strong handle on what's required to make it as a young rock band in the music business.
They're also aware that dealing with the facebook generation, their own generation, where attention spans have greatly dwindled, it takes more than just stepping onto a stage and singing a song.
The brothers proudly state that when they perform, the try to push beyond their own limits and "shake it."
"We make sure you're entertained and we keep you drinking, because if we don't, you're probably going to go on facebook and finish your drink and leave the bar," Skylar said.
"That's not what we want. We want to party with you."
The group is now working toward putting out an EP of their highest quality songs, and going on another tour. They also hope to become a stronger presence on the province's radio stations while creating a balance between what they like to play and what can become popular.
Colten said that the trick is being able to strike a balance between what is likely to be picked up without forfeiting one's own musical personality and preferences.
He acknowledges that in an industry where there's a new trend every other Friday, it's hard to keep up.
The group is looking for sustainability in its sound, as opposed to a popular one-hit wonder.
He cited groups such as American blues, indie, rock hybrid The Black Keys as an example.
"I want to create music that makes me feel," he said. "If you're feeling it, then someone else is going to catch on to it, and eventually it's going to start a wildfire."
Colten says that he feels like the band is slowly and surely growing up enough to expand their production team and focus on quality as opposed to quantity for the next album.
Though it will still take a while for the group to reach their next production point, with half the members now based out of Edmonton, when they reach that next level, he's confident that they will have grown enough to produce a hard-hitting EP.
"You have to be the kind of musician whose not going to be bent out of shape because someone said something isn't good," he said.
"You have to be able to roll with the punches, and that comes down to our maturity. We're ready to be told what we don't want to hear."

- By Reinisa MacLeod at The Herald Tribune

"Artist Profile"

Artist Profile – The Shakedowns
By: Meaghan Baxter
Magicians and burlesque dancers may not be performers you’d expect to find at a CD release, but blues-rock quartet, The Shakedowns, are not your typical band.
The Edmonton-based group, made up of lead guitarist and vocalist Skylar Dayton, rythym guitarist and vocalist Even Cole, bassist Jen Perry and drummer Coleten Robert, has played over 50 shows in the last year alone. These shows never fail to entertain, and set the band apart from the countless others pushing for the spotlight.
“We try to have strong live shows as we want to entertain, rather than just perform our songs,” says Perry. “We want to give people a reason to come out to the show…we want to get people excited about live music again.”
On top of their hectic show schedule, they hit the road for their first tour, became a fixture on local radio, and received rave reviews for their debut album, Good Morning Josh…We’re Sorry. The quartet shows no signs of slowing down, and is one of Edmonton’s hottest up-and-coming acts.
The Shakedowns officially formed in December of 2008 to compete in a local battle of the bands competition, which they won. Dayton and Cole have known each other their entire lives and had always wanted to collaborate together. They recruited Perry and Dayton’s brother Robert, who had been part of band with Dayton in high school.
Each member brings their own unique musical tastes and influences, which culminate to create The Shakedowns’ signature sound. Dayton and Cole write all the band’s songs, and their individual writing styles are brought together by Perry and Robert’s strong rythym section.
“The music is a mix of all our different tastes and has a very bluesy roots sound,” says Perry. “This is also combined with our love of straight up rock and has been fused together into something we find very unique.”
Perry adds that Good Morning Josh…We’re Sorry, may not be the most radio-friendly collection of songs, but it is an album the band always wanted to make.
“We often call it a ‘musician’s record’, because it isn’t necessarily commercial radio material,” she says. “It is doing well on college charts and in our local communities, but our next record will probably be produced more ‘radio-friendly’.”
This does not mean the band is going to sell out and conform, considering their name comes from Cole’s theory that artists are pressured, or ‘shook down’ by the industry. Their sound will still be the same one fans have come to know and love, but the song structures will change to include more choruses and hooks.
The Shakedowns do not want to lose the momentum they’ve gained after the release of their first album, and plan to head back out on tour this year. A new album is also already in the works, but Perry says no release date has been set.
Nathaniel Sutton of Oak Apple Records in Edmonton is one of many industry professionals who has been impressed by the group. He met quartet early in 2010 while searching for local bands to be part of a compilation album called Fresh Fruit – Volume One.
“I stumbled across The Shakedowns’ MySpace page and was immediately impressed by their sound,” he says.
Sutton assisted the band in the release of their debut album and adds it would be an honour to see them achieve stardom. They work under a non-exclusive/non-contract agreement with Oak Apple Records, and Sutton says this is to ensure they are able to accept offers from larger labels if the opportunity arises.
“I’ve always been intrigued by the sound The Shakedowns produce,” he says. “At first they may seem like your typical rockabilly group, but as you listen, it becomes noticeable they are much more.”
- Meaghan Baxter

"Q & A - Prepare for the shakedown"

By Séamus Smyth

Staff Writer

Local group, The Shakedowns, are making noise in the music scene in the surrounding area.

They recently released their first single Who's side? and are now preparing to embark on their first Western Canadian tour.

I spoke with The Shakedown's bassist and backup vocalist Jen Perry this past week:

What is the name of the Whitecourt music station that is playing Who's side?

96.7 The Rig

Why do you think there has been a strong response towards the Shakedowns over in Whitecourt?

Well I (Jen Perry) have family in that area which helped kick start the awareness of who we are. Once it started playing and the word was passed along through our website and friends and family, we have gotten a strong response.

Are they receiving requests for the song?

Yes. We were up there on Canada Day and did an interview with them ( you can find it under special guest interview on the They said they get at least five requests a day for it.

You mentioned one of the guys had the name "The Shakedowns" in mind for a while. Is it a reference to an incident with a police officer?

No! The name is kind of ironic in the sense of the pressure artists feel to have their music sort of conform to the standards of other popular songs, or to song "formulas" that have mass appeal.

This stifles creativity. Effective artists are "shook down" by the industry. We want to play what we feel, with no influence of other opinions of how we should sound. It's also just a cool sounding name.

What made the group decide to embark on a tour?

Well we recorded an album and since the radio play was going really well, we wanted to promote the new album and start making a name for ourselves throughout western Canada and eventually all of Canada.

We thought at first it was something we should wait until we were signed to a record label but decided to give it a try on our own.

We are starting out small with about eight to nine shows over 10 days and we will build up from there.

Do you all currently live in Spruce Grove? If so, why Spruce Grove and not Edmonton?

Yes, three out of four of us live in Spruce Grove, and Evan lives in Stony Plain.

Evan, Skylar and Colten all work in Spruce Grove and our family and friends are out here. It was where we resided.

We are all small town kids and living in the city wasn't really what we wanted but we needed to be close for the purposes of promotion and playing shows.

What is the title of the album?

Good morning Josh…we are sorry.

Who is Josh and why are you sorry?

We had a band house, and Josh was one of the neighbours. He was very nice about the noise and he became a good friend in the process.

Will Josh be featured on the cover album?

Actually no, for the album cover we put on a contest throughout the community and had a vote on the one we liked the most.

It was a great way to get to know some local artists and see what some of our friends could come up with.

Can you tell me about the process behind Who's side?

Evan: The song is about an ex-girlfriend who after a messy breakup, is still trying to resuscitate the relationship. Struggling for the comfort and familiarity she's accustomed to, even through she knows it damaging to both partners.

Why was this song chosen as the first single?

Well we had sent the album to the station and it was one

they really enjoyed and thought it would be well suited for their station.

It has a great chorus and is really easy to sing along to.

It's the type of song that gets stuck in your head.

Is this song a strong reflection of what audiences can expect from the band?

Yes and no. It is a great song that we enjoy playing, but we also have some blues-rock songs featured on the album.

We really feel there is something for everyone on the disc in that there are some slower pop songs and there is some old fashioned rock n' roll.

What will be the second single released?

We actually have not decided on a second single as of yet as since the album has not been released yet. You can currently hear some previews up on our MySpace though and there is a couple free downloads on our website.

When the band returns from tour, what is next on the agenda?

Next would be probably looking at another tour early next year, probably Spring 2011 and try to head out East.

We have been getting a lot of contacts and would love to get our music out that way.

We also plan to work on new material as we are constantly writing.

Our two main writers in the band are Skylar and Evan but we are going to be incorporating some stuff that I have written as well as Colten.

Besides the MySpace and website, where will people be able to buy the album?

We will be working on distribution through HMV as well as some local stores here in Spruce Grove, including Music Centre Canada.

Jen Perry

The Shakedowns

- The Spruce Grove Examiner

"Sexsmith trio returns to shake things up ... or down"

The Shakedowns bring their hard-rocking swagger to BJ's Q Club on Sept. 25.

The young band will be promoting their recently completed first album, "Good morning, Josh…we're sorry," named after a polite neighbour who used to live next to the band's former rehearsal space.

The album unfolds like a gutsy howl, and The Shakedowns' music seems appropriate for delivery before a crowd hungry for a night of unapologetic rock and roll.

Together for less than two years, the band played more than 50 shows last year, and is currently touring all over Canada's west.

"We've been moving pretty fast for a band that's just been together for two years," said drummer Colten Robert, who recalls often playing two or three shows a weekend in the summer of 2009.

"It was an intense summer," said The Shakedown's bass player, Jen Perry. "We didn't get to do anything except play shows."

The Grande Prairie gig will be familiar ground for most of the rock band – besides singer Evan Cole, Perry, Robert and lead guitarist Skylar Dayton grew up in Sexsmith.

Perry recalls music being an important part of growing up in the small town.

"Well, there's nothing else to do, really, so we played a lot of music," she said. Perry's interest in music began at the age of five.

"My parents bought me a little guitar," she recalled. "They knew from that point on that I would have some sort of involvement in music."

Robert grew up in musical family in Sexsmith, and has been playing drums since the age of 11.

"My dad had always been into music," he said. "As soon as I started playing and I got my first beat down, it was like 'Yeah, this is the best thing ever.' I've been passionate about it and playing ever since. I don't want to do anything else but drum."

"It's not just a hobby for any of us," said Perry, who maintains a full time position in the finance industry when not playing music.

"Once we feel that we can quit our day jobs and live off of touring for half the year, we'd be pretty happy."

The other members of the band also have full-time jobs, which they agree are tough to maintain.

"It's very difficult, a lot of conflicting schedules, a lot of rushing around," said Robert after coming from his job in Stony Plain.

This sort of strain is common for the band. Despite often travelling long distances to Alberta's small communities, The Shakedowns find the crowds at small-town roadhouses the most receptive to their hard-driving style.

Favourite shows from the past include bars in the Village of Strome, whose 250 residents live 150 kilometres southeast of Edmonton, and Gainford, a hamlet 380 kilometres southeast of Grande Prairie with a population of 47.

"The reason they're so fun is that people love coming to live shows out there," Robert said. "They don't care what you play, just the fact that you're playing it, they'll eat it up and love everything you do."

"They are so grateful and they pay you very well, they put you up for the weekend and bring as many people out as they can find," Perry added.

"They pretty much paid for the album, those little middle of nowhere bars," Robert said.

- The Grande Priaire Hearld Tribune

"The Shakedowns set Jasper Date"


September 16, 2010
The Shakedowns will be playing the De’d Dog on Sept. 18, and the band has a bit of a local connection.

Rhythm guitarist Evan Cole used to live in Hinton and members of the band have been here a number of times to do sound for other acts.

Skylar Dayton said he is happy to finally be able to bring his own group to Jasper.

“We all snowboard, so we’ve been to Marmot Basin several times and stayed in Jasper to soak up the nightlife,” Dayton said. “We’ve always wanted to get out here with our own group.”

The Shakedowns play a range of different styles but mostly high-energy blues with rock roots.

“Anyone who likes hard hitting rock and a wild stage show should definitely come on out,” Dayton said.

The Shakedowns have recently released their debut album and are touring to promote it.

“We’re really proud of it, especially the fact that we’ve done all of the ‘leg work’ independently and are already starting to see some really positive feedback and interest,” Dayton said about the new album, titled Good Morning Josh...We’re Sorry.

The record will be available at HMV locations and will soon be online. It can also be purchased at their upcoming tour stop in Jasper. More information can be found online at

The band is made up of Dayton on guitar and vocals, Colten Robert on drums, Jen Perry on bass and back-up vocals and Cole on rhythm guitar and vocals.

- The Jasper Fitzhugh

"Biggest Rockers in Tri Area Join Forces"

By Séamus Smyth
Posted 3 months ago

Local rockers The Shakedowns and The Apresnos will take the stage for "A well tailored Christmas," this Saturday for a rare all-ages, alcohol free concert in order for the younger crowd to get a glimpse at the up and coming performers.

With all proceeds going to the Kinsmen Christmas hamper program, Shakedowns member Skylar Dayton said he looks forward to the change of scenery for the upcoming event.

"We are always in support of the local area. We are always excited to play live, especially an all ages' show. It's nice to play one or two shows that aren't just at a bar," he said.

The Shakedowns are coming off their first Western Canadian tour which concluded in Grand Prairie where Dayton said the reception was electric.

"It was an insane response. We had built up a lot of momentum to that point and the show was huge," he said.

The Shakedowns plan on focusing their efforts on the material from Good morning Josh..We're sorry, as well as a few unreleased tracks. Good morning Josh…We're sorry will be available for download this week on iTunes with a CD release party occurring sometime in early January.

While The Shakedowns continue to push their debut album, The Apresnos have been picking up steam as of late. The group has plans to record an album in January with Econoline Crush front man, Tevor Hurst who was impressed by their performance at the Alberta battle of the bands competition.

"Their songwriting is very good. They have an excellent way of telling a story; that's what sets them apart," said The Apresnos manager Laurie Brown.

Brown said the groups are an excellent pairing whose rock 'n roll will provide excellent contrast to opening acts, Kelsey Brown and VoiceOver Acappella Quartet.

Kelsey, who at only 15 is classically trained, attends the Victoria School for the Arts in Edmonton. She will be performing for the first time with a guitar, something that was suggested to her by a member of the Apresnos.

Kelsey will most likely focus on pop songs including a much-anticipated duet with The Apresnos for Evanesence's Wake me up inside.

The Apresnos received their big break when they beat out 11 other groups to become the champion of NAIT'S Battle of the Bands competition in Feb. 2010. The win provided the opportunity for the group to open for St. Albert group, Social Code and led to much-needed exposure.

The group recently competed in Alberta's last band standing competition that saw them take third place out of 72 groups.

The show kicks off at 7:30 p.m at the Stony Plain Community Centre.

For more information on the show, contact Laurie Brown at 780 446 1849.

- The Spruce Grove Examiner


Debut album "Good Morning Josh...We're Sorry"

"Who's Side" in daily rotation on 96.7 The Rig and featured on local Edmonton station 95.7 The Sound in the local music sound on demand.

You can also hear our album on the Canadian Rock College stations throughout Canada.

Check out for the link to our itunes page or listen at



Canadian recording artists "The Red Cannons" broke onto the national music scene, with two singles, “Underneath the Floorboards,” a track inspired by The Telltale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and “Sheepdog”, which garnered rotation on numerous radio stations across Canada and built their reputation on the catchy melodies and mainstream style of their blues-rock influenced, hook laden songs. The band supported their commercial radio exposure with multiple festival performances and shared the stage with the likes of: The Glorious Sons, One Bad Son, The Tea Party, Chilliwack, Platinum Blonde, Sarah Smith, and many more.