The Wheat Pool
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The Wheat Pool

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | INDIE

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | INDIE
Band Rock Americana


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



"Hauntario CD Review"

“With sweeping and impressive vocal arrangements, nice harmonies and crisp production, Hauntario is an impressive follow up that ought to merit full attention from first track to last. Smart, dark and haunting, yet still carrying a hope of light at the end of a tunnel, the Wheat Pool have created a very good album that is sure to capture the ears of new and old fans alike.” - Discorder

"Hauntario CD Review"

“ … the type of record that somehow hits you in the stomach, the mouth and the heart all at the same time” - HeroHill music blog

"Hauntario CD Review"

“Awash in introspective, angst-driven material they create wonderful neat little grooves that, on first hearing might sound insignificant and inconsequential but after a couple of listens slot into place. Vocally, brothers Rob and Mike Angus are excellent, and with fellow members Steph Dagenais (drums) and Glen Erickson on electric lead guitar aided by steel guitar and piano the quartet capture the space and beauty of Canada’s wide-open spaces is captured.”
- Americana UK

"Hauntario CD Review"

“Hauntario is a restless, hurting record full of the kind of cocaine jags and morning after regrets that put a person in a frame of mind to hit the road, fleeing with the last few vestiges of dignity and pride intact. Hauntario is a powerful record full of great fully realized songs, and to my mind yearning and hurting haven’t sounded this epic or strangely appealing in ages.” - No Depression

"Hauntario CD Review"

“It’s been said a good writer writes what he knows best. If that’s the case, Canadian alt-country rockers The Wheat Pool undoubtedly know their country like the back of their hand. “ - The Uniter Winnipeg

"Hauntario CD Review"

“The songwriting skill displayed by The Wheat Pool is a rare commodity, and the band uses it to full effect. A consistently rewarding listen like Hauntario is even rarer; albums like this are to be treasured” - Gateway (University of Alberta)

"Hauntario CD Review"

“The album makes art out of pain without adding to it. It celebrates loss and memories like only good music can.“ - SEE Magazine

"Hauntario CD Review"

“The best moments on Hauntario easily outshine anything on the latest Son Volt record and whether that band is an intentional touchstone or not, the comparison is easy.” - FFWD Calgary

"Hauntario CD Review"

“The band that pride itself on making music perfectly suited to road-tripping have succeeded again with an album that makes a body yearn for the sight of that broken white line disappearing under the front wheels of the car.” - Exclaim! Magazine

"Township CD Review"

The Wheat Pool


If Blue Rodeo, Neil Young and Elliott Smith all got together and somehow had a child, and that child cloned itself three times and formed a band, that band would probably sound something like The Wheat Pool. The Edmonton-based four-piece’s full-length debut, Township, is a melancholy, reflective collection of romantic songs steeped in Western Canadian culture. Also, it rocks.
Over 11 tracks The Wheat Pool showcases serious songwriting chops and a penchant for catchy, dark country. With tracks like “Neil Young” and “Whyte Avenue,” Township is a uniquely Edmontonian album, and an excellent one at that. - VUE Weekly

"Township CD Review"

The Wheat Pool
By Amanda Ash

The Wheat Pool have devoted many of their prairie days to touring and performing in and around their hometown of Edmonton, AB. With no problem whatsoever, they’ve managed to catch the ears of country rock aficionados around town but with the release of their first full-length album, Township, the entire country will be craving more of their good ol’ whiskey-steeped tunes. Township boasts an addictive mix of sincere, heartbreaking melodies and rock enthusiasm thanks to the penmanship of Rob and Mike Angus. Accessible, organic and marbled with loneliness and desolation, “Neil Young” and “Emily Carr” bring out the melancholy hopeful in us all, while songs like “Evergreen” and “Geographic Center of Canada” are catchy boot-clicking tunes. If you can picture yourself sitting at a bar, picking at the sticky wooden splinters as you sip on a beer and reflect on a life that could be, then Township is the record you should be listening to next time you pick up that pint. (Shameless) - EXCLAIM! Magazine

"Rugged rhythms, sweet melodies shape Wheat Pool's new landscape"

Grain elevators often used to come in pairs, keeping watch over small towns like twin towers.

The Wheat Pool, a group of local roots-rockers, carry on the tradition in their own way.

Two brothers -- Robb and Mike Angus -- are the musical reservoirs of the band, responsible for shaping the musical landscape of Township.

Like the vanishing Prairie landmarks, the siblings work separately.

Robb writes quieter numbers -- Phonebook, Between You and Me -- intimate and raw outpourings of heartbreak and pain.

Mike's tunes, including Evergreen and Peniel, SK, mine the same lyrical territory, but they're faster, more dynamic and seem to be written after months -- or years -- of reflection.

Yet, according to Robb, his songs are better suited to Mike's personality and vice versa.

"Anyone who knows us would say Mike is the sensitive, moodier, darker one, and I'm kind of the callous, loudmouth, obnoxious one," laughs Robb, the younger of the two.

"That (song/personality paradox) is one of the things I've noticed since the record came out."

Township, which will be released Tuesday by Shameless Records, is a mix of rugged rhythms and sweet melodies, crafted with the help of another pair of tunesmiths looming large over the city's musical vista -- Chris Wynters of Captain Tractor and James Alex Murdoch.

The two produced part of the album at their newish musical laboratory, The Norwood Studio.

"It was kind of overwhelming to see how much they believed in it, and how much of their own time they put into it," says Robb.

"We're really, really super thankful -- and we think they made a great record for us, too."

The Wheat Pool, also starring drummer Steph Dagenais and guitarist Glen Erickson -- perform tonight at the Varscona Theatre, 10329 83rd Ave.

Tickets are $12. Doors open at 8:30. - Sandra Sperounes, The Edmonton Journal (Published: Saturday, September 08)

"Wheat Pool sings songs of the West"

Artist: The Wheat Pool
Label: Shameless Records

Best tracks: Evergreen, Neil Young
Rating: 3 1/2 (out of five)

- - -

Edmonton's music scene has taken quite a hit this year.

There are fewer clubs to play, veteran acts are breaking up, and a flood of musicians are moving to other cities.

Yet we're still blessed with an abundance of talented acts -- including The Wheat Pool, a group of roots-rockers led by vocalists/songwriters Mike Angus and his brother Robb.

Their glowing debut, Township, is a reflection of the city of Edmonton and Western Canada -- populated with driving alt-country rhythms, dark melodies, and references to Whyte Avenue pubs and Prairie songwriters.

Mike's songs feel like short stories inspired by road trips while his brother's tunes are more emotional ruminations about relationships.

"There's nothing left to say / Now that we've decided that I'm standing in your way," Robb sings on Neil Young, a weeper wrapped in a blankets of pedal-steel guitars, organs, harmonicas and Mike McDonald-style drawls.

Township also captures the love-hate relationship many of us have with Edmonton. Characters pick up and go to bigger cities, only to miss the charms of the Alberta capital and move back.

"They packed their lives into a van / Pointed their headlights at Toronto," Mike sings on Evergreen, a sunny number radiating with jangly guitars.

Whyte Avenue, a hushed and shuffly song, was prompted by his brief and lonely move to Calgary -- and the fire which destroyed several buildings in Old Strathcona. "This city ain't the same without you," Mike mourns.

Township tends to meander at times -- diluting the disc's potency -- but it still should be required listening for every current (and former) resident of Edmonton.

The Wheat Pool take fans on a tour of Township Sept. 8 at the Varscona Theatre. - Sandra Sperounes, The Edmonton Journal (Published: Saturday, September 01)


(September 6, 2007)

‘Before we even had the band together I was begging Chris Wynters from Captain Tractor to let my band—which didn’t exist—play at their CD release party,” recalls vocalist/guitarist Robb Angus about The Wheat Pool’s beginnings nearly three years ago.

Once Wynters and the rest of Captain Tractor agreed, the pressure was on Robb to seal the deal by pulling together an actual group of musicians to play the gig. The first one was easy—Robb and his brother Mike, who shares the band’s vocals and songwriting with Robb and also handles the bass, had been thinking about making a formal commitment to playing together and this was the perfect opportunity.

And Robb explains that the two of them always had Stephane Dagenais in mind for the drum stool, so that was easy, too, but a second guitar player presented more of a challenge. Having seen Glen Erickson performing at O’Byrne’s, Robb reached out and asked the guitarist to play The Wheat Pool’s first show and then take it from there.

“I was running a record label and I was pretty much playing for everyone who was on the label too, so the first thing in my mind was I’m too busy for this kind of a thing,” Erickson elaborates, explaining that his interest was piqued when the Angus brothers gave him a demo tape of some songs that they had written. “So I went to a practice and from the very first practice I knew that I was hooked.”

Long past that initial gathering now, The Wheat Pool has finished its first album, Township, a record full of wide-open songs that are sometimes sad, sometimes hopeful, sometimes lonely and sometimes companionable—occasionally in the same tune. In short, the disc is the sort of thing that you want to have along when you’re out driving. Not on the city streets, mind you—Township is for those long, gently curving roads that cover the distances between Canadian settlements.

“Mike and I have talked about this a lot, and that’s what this record is and should be: songs that are great for driving,” Robb agrees. “We live in a country where if you want to go see pretty much anyone you care about, you have to go two or three or 13 hours sometimes.

“So many of the songs are about heading somewhere to see someone you care about, or leaving a place to never see someone again, or someone’s leaving you to get away from you,” he continues. “There’s a lot of heartache in these songs, and there’s a lot of regionalism, too.”

That sense of regionalism rears itself in the geographic references that punctuate the album in songs like “Penial, SK” and “Whyte Avenue,” and in lyrics that namecheck specific places like High River and, more generally, the dusty country roads that anyone who has travelled beyond the city limits is familiar with.

That all comes together to provide the record with a cohesiveness that demands that Township be digested from beginning to end, so as to hear the record’s whole story.

“We loved records that you wanted to hear first track to last track, and when the last track is done you didn’t stop it from starting over again ... I think that’s a record that makes a great highway record,” Erickson says. “In our heart that was our intention, and lots of people have good intentions and don’t always pull it off, so it’s very satisfying for us to feel like we’ve accomplished something that we wanted to do.” - EDEN MUNRO /

"This Pool isn’t shallow"

Even The Wheat Pool’s upbeat songs are about heartbreak and loss

"Pop country is not sad, as hard as Carrie Underwood tries," laughs Glen Erickson, lead guitarist for local country-rockers The Wheat Pool. "I don’t believe that somebody cheated on her."

Robb Angus, who switches up vocals, guitar, and bass with his brother Mike, finishes the sentence: "She’s dating an NFL quarterback!"

You don’t have to shoot your horse or find your wife in bed with your best friend in order to write good country. Yet a certain element of legitimate heartbreak doesn’t hurt. "I always think that the best music I’ve heard is things that have come out of adversity," says Steph Dagenais, the band’s drummer. "It’s always the stuff that grabs my heart and kicks it around the room a bit."

He’s talking about the rough-hewn rural music of artists like Steve Earle, Neil Young, and their fellow Edmontonians in Old Reliable–all of whom cast a long shadow over The Wheat Pool’s debut CD, Township, which they’re officially unveiling this weekend at a show at Varscona Theatre.

"I think pretty much all the songs [on the disc] are about loss of some kind," says Mike Angus. "Most of them, anyway. They are more about missing people or longing, or those kinds of things, whether it’s a person or a city, or a part of Canada. I think the idea of heartbreak is underlying everything that we do. If you write a sad song, it’s really great–and the only way to make it sadder is to write it more melodically, or really upbeat."

Take the track "FBD (Flowered Blue Dress)," for instance, a bittersweet tale of young love. "It’s a song about a dress, a song about a girl I used to date," says Mike, "and we were pretty terrible together but were too young to know it at the time. It’s basically written about a day we spent together when things were as bad as they could have been, and there was a big part of me that wanted to imagine that things were fine, ’cause she looked great in this fantastic summer dress... It’s basically about being young and stupid and not having the responsibility and maturity to make the right decisions."

Relationships gone sour aren’t the only place The Wheat Pool finds adversity. One of the most heartbreaking songs on the disc (yet, paradoxically, one of the most inspiring) is "Emily Carr," which despite its title has nothing to do with the history of Canadian painting.

"That was a song written about a friend of mine who was a heroin addict living in Vancouver," Mike says. "I spent a weekend with him out there; he took me around, saw the places where he used to get stoned and messed up. He actually survived, he cleaned up, and it was kind of a miracle. Vancouver is a really beautiful city to get to, but for some people like Tim, it’s a terrible city to try to get away from, because there were so many terrible things that kind of haunted him there. He spent some time at the Emily Carr School for the Arts, and Emily Carr was sort of like this figure that kind of was this guardian angel for the whole weekend... When he finally did get out, it was an escape; it’s kind of like a runaway song, with a really sexy Canadian lady."

Is the band fixated on heartbreak? Mike acknowledges there may be some truth in that statement, but says it has nothing to do with being a country band. "If you look at the history of pop music," he says, "it’s the thing that’s been done the most. When you look at old Motown songs, it’s all about heartbreak and falling out of love. It just seems to be a wider easel for art." - SEE Magazine (september 6, 2007)

"Canadian Music Week 2008: The Wheat Pool"

The Ampersand wanted to introduce readers to the artists playing this year's Canadian Music Week. Unfortunately, it's not easy to find time to interview 300-plus bands. So, we sent out a short questionnaire to everyone so they can speak for themselves.

Here's Glen Erickson, lead guitarist for Edmonton's The Wheat Pool.


What was the first album you ever bought and do you still listen to it?

I think I bought Van Halen's 5150 three times in a row. Religion kept making me get rid of it, but I kept buying it over and over again. I don't have it any more, but not because of religion.

What is your best/worst/wackiest story from your time on tour?

After a gig in Calgary at our hotel we kept running into this guy from Winnipeg who came down for a wedding. He kept getting drunker everytime we saw him in the lobby until we caught him eating the paper plate along with his pizza slice. Not the wackiest, but the only one I can think of.

Do you get more groupies than Nickleback? Why or why not?

We don't cruise Granville in our Hummer, what do you think?

Who are your musical influences?

4 guys and a lot of years = many. But we all fall back on the old (Neil Young, Steve Earle, Bob Dylan) and the new (Wilco, Ryan Adams, The Weakerthans).

CMW will be successful if we....

Make new friends and fans of course. We're western, we need to snuggle up to the east. But we're here to strike some significant partnerships in the industry, so lets get it done!

• The Wheat Pool play Cadillac Lounge on March 7 at midnight. - The National Post

"The Wheat Pool - Township (review)"

I stumbled upon this recent release on emusic in the new releases under Alt-County. The reason I downloaded it was twofold: 1) I remember at some point in my life, probably a college Econ class, learning about The Wheat Pool that was started in Alberta amongst wheat farmers. 2) They had a song named Neil Young. Combining economics and classic rock icons always leads to success, doesn’t it?

I am happy to report that, in this instance, it does indeed. The Wheat Pool are a four-piece out of Edmonton that joined forces “to give voice to their rural obsessions and fierce penchant for dark country rock.” They are led by brothers Mike and Robb Angus who share the vocal duties. Judging by Robb’s Q&A sessions on their website, I am hazarding a guess that he is Alberta’s answer to Dr. Phil.

Having never been to Alberta, you’ll have to take this next statement with a grain of salt, but I would imagine this album to be the perfect soundtrack for a road trip through the cold, winter stretches of Albertan farmland. The Wheat Pool’s lyrics are full of hope, despair, pain, and love. These guys aren’t just throwing some words together with a catchy hook either. They are trying to paint a picture of the rural life up in Alberta.

A couple of my favorite tracks on the disc are the aforementioned “Neil Young,” that fittingly features some harmonica, “Emily Carr” and “Peniel, SK.”

If you dig bands like Lucero, Uncle Tupelo, Whiskeytown, then I would suggest checking these guys out. - HearYa Indie Music Blog

"Five songs about Vancouver"

Five songs about Vancouver worth checking out:

“Emily Carr” by The Wheat Pool [twp]: Just up on iTunes “Emily Carr” [itms], like most of the album, is a nice blend of alternative rock and prairie country music. It is perhaps the least Vancouver sounding of all of the songs that will follow in this list, owing more to the Edmonton birthplace of the band, but it’s subject matter holds true to anyone whose ever found themselves in Vancouver running away from the middle of the country.
- MetBlogs - Jeffery Simpson


(June 26/10)

(October 6/09)

(September 11/07)



For a band frequently described as driving music, collisions would be something to steer clear of. However, the formula for a new record seemed ironically hidden inside the collision of many opposing forces.

Hauntario is the sophomore recording by this western Canadian indie-alt-country band, an evolved collection of songs brimming with the layered tensions of their lives, played out between albums.

The record itself was named for two colliding concepts that continued to bubble to the surface. Robb Angus tells us "From the very beginning, the first songs possessed a haunting quality, dark subject matter and melodies that wouldn't get out of our heads." Guitarist Glen Erickson adds, "Ontario wouldn't go away, as a lyric, as a destination, or as the home base in our industry. For a western band it remains a necessary evil, a difficult girlfriend to win over, yet on a different level it possessed so much of what we love about our country." Both ideas worked, and the concept crystallized on a recent eastern tour, while the album was being mixed.

Despite entertaining numerous production options, Hauntario was made with the same production team that helped TWP achieve "Township", their 2007 debut, which carved an immediate niche with fans and radio for its unique song-writing and amped-up canadiana. (Earshot top50, CBC Radio 3 top10)

Hauntario continues where "Township" left off, with noticeable alternations between the brothers' songs, dynamic exchanges between swells and whispers, rock and roots. The familiar influences remain, while more obvious impressions made by current indie flavours have put their mark on the new songs. Pedal steel, organ and piano continue to wash around the band's foundational guitar-driven delivery, with the signature blend of vocals taking a greater share of the spotlight.


All other information and material for The Wheat Pool is available on official website:


"Hauntario is a powerful record full of great fully realized songs, and to my mind yearning and hurting haven’t sounded this epic or strangely appealing in ages.” – No Depression

“ … the type of record that somehow hits you in the stomach, the mouth and the heart all at the same time” – Herohill

"Each Wheat Pool performance brings out a larger crowd and solidifies them as one of Western Canada's top artists, set to make an impact in the Western Canadian, roots music scene."
Brent Oliver, Paquin Music

** #6: R3-30 (CBC Radio 3)
** Top 50: Earshot (National College/Indie Chart)