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Edmonton, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2015

Edmonton, Canada
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Rock Acoustic


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



"Thistle in the City"

Kevin Frey, founder of local rock group Thistle, started out in the Parkland County music scene playing open mics and attending jams. His personal style can best be described, or maybe it can’t, but think Tom Wilson meets Neil Young. Take a little rock, add some Americana and a pinch of folk and you might get an idea of what Frey is trying to convey. As his presence became greater in the area, the notion of taking it a step farther and forming a band came around. Recruiting wasn't tough since his brother Jason is a drummer and has played in bands all through high school, so he was a natural choice. Lead guitarist, Steve Findlay, is Jason’s best friend and bass player Trevor Henson had music in the veins as his family has been playing in the area for years. Henson and Findlay had played in bands, but took time off to do the family thing and were itching to get back on stage.

The name Thistle came from the rehearsal space. Out on the acreage where the guys practice, the ‘facilities’ are quaint and antiquated (read outhouse) and surrounded by thistles. The big joke with the guys, especially when newcomers came out, ”where is the outhouse? Across the yard, turn left at the thistles” and thus they were born. The band has been together for a year now, having formed and played their first gig on Halloween 2015. In that short time, they have accomplished so much more than most new bands.

Kevin’s original thought was to be playing once a month. It worked for a while, then summer 2016 came around and though the guys wanted to take time with family, the show requests were piling up. They were now playing three weekends a month. There were lots of requests for private parties, but they also played a lot of multi-band shows. Like most new bands, original music was hard to fill a night and with Thistle, it was even tough to find covers that fit their style. This meant that playing a night at local venues, including two or sometimes even three other bands. As the band continued to write and create their own sound, recording became a natural progression. The toughest part of recording is the dollars. It is expensive. The guys caught a break when Kevin came across an article in the Alberta Music newsletter. The students at Grant MacEwan were looking to record some outside projects, tiring of recording each other and the same style, they too were looking to spread their wings.

A year since creation, the guys are still busy and have completed a nine song, off the floor CD. Though the release date has not been determined, look for that to be out before years end. As with most of their namesakes, this Thistle continues to grow. - Author: Jazz Matthews, Dog Rump Creek Music

"Thistle: Blood and Bone CD Review"

Thistle: Blood and Bone CD Review
Posted onFebruary 4, 2017AuthorIn Review

I just got a copy of Thistles’ Blood and Bone album. It was recorded at the Grant MacEwan studio in 2016.

The cover art is a simple white and green concept with a guitar and a Thistle growing out of the top of it. Simple, catchy, effective and it keeps the bands brand in it.

The first track, Big Sky Alberta, pays homage to some lesser known towns in Alberta, like Fort Saskatchewan. It’s about taking a trip throughout the province. It kind of reminds me of what Stompin’ Tom Connors would sing about.
Kevin Frey is the main vocalist, strumming a clear reverb sounding acoustic guitar over a dirty, over driven electric guitar played by Steve Findlay. I keep trying to compare Kevin’s voice to someone and I keep thinking of Lou Reed. With a nice rhythm created by drummer Jason Frey and walking bass line from Trevor Henson, I’m reminded a little of the early Tom Petty, and that’s a good thing. A really cool sounding contrast of tones with its’ moderate tempo should get any dance floor swinging.

Track two, When It’s Gone, It’s Gone. This song has an up tempo rock feel with a catchy 3 word chorus. There is a little bridge hook in there that has some spicy flavor. Just some good ol’ simple songwriting happening here.

Track three, Cause’ I know shows off some excellent hi-hat work and a groovy bass line. This reminds me of a post punk New York song. Kind of a blue tune that definitely gets the feeling across nicely. (Probably of an ex).

Track four, Tonight. Starts off with a trendy guitar tone. Loads of mid-range in that mix, or maybe its a mandolin? (I can’t tell). Some great reverb soaked vocals by the guys. The four members are all credited with vocals so I am not sure who is singing what, but it is done well. This is kind of like a slow Ramones style song but with more than three cords! The five note run is a good choice to change up the feel of this track.

Track five, Field of Heroes. Here we have a classic country feel. The bass line hitting the 1/4 and an eerie haunting western guitar line is laid down with the acoustic. Works very well for this tribute to fallen heroes in a dusty western style.

Track six, Blood and Bone. Here we have an upbeat tempo with a great catchy chorus. This one is sure to grab your attention with some gritty guitar sound. With its’ sing along style chorus, (that will get stuck in your head, and for good reason!), makes this song a well chosen title track.

Track seven, First Bit of Snow. I can’t tell if this band likes snow or is running away from it. Anyhow, this is a good stomping song with a swampy southern rock tone. It definitely adds some good tempo variation to the album.

Track eight, Last Dance. An enjoyable sounding rundown in the verse and the vocals lay smoothly in there. The chorus is a little down-played. Some more backing vocals or guitar effects could have created more depth for this tune.

Track nine, What Did I do? I dig this track. Classic lament for a guy who is confused about a relationship. We’ve all been there! And this one can speak to everyone in this bouncy ballot style melody.

This is the first album for Thistle and these guys delivered a great collection of songs. They all stuck around the 3-minute mark per song which is just right in my opinion. I’d like to hear their songs in a better studio, (no offense to Grant Mac!), but as first albums go, this one is pretty darn good! I am looking forward to album number two! - Jessi Toms

"'HEART' of Alberta Band: THISTLE Launches NEW ALBUM 'Blood and Bone' | Album Review by CA Marshall"

The Chronicles
Friday, 10 February 2017
'HEART' of Alberta Band: THISTLE Launches NEW ALBUM 'Blood and Bone' | Album Review by CA Marshall

By CA Marshall

There something about that local band vibe that always connects me to my Folk Music roots and Alberta, Canada-based band THISTLE appeals to that very nature. I grew up in a home with Musicians for parents, and there was always the sound of an acoustic guitar playing at family holidays, or just because. I believe that THISTLE has this authentic, home-grown, infused Folk Rock sound throughout their new album ‘Blood and Bone’. Wicked guitar riffs throughout and intentionally nostalgic ‘Folk Rock’ lyrics pull this band together as a well-oiled unit.

The first single off the album titled ‘Big Sky Alberta’ is the kind of song you would hear on a warm summers eve at a busy outdoor festival. The guitar riffs in this are incredible and the energy of the song itself elicits that feel-good vibe only Albertans come to know as ‘home’. You don’t have to actually visit Alberta – you just have to listen to this song to know that it’s the happiest place on earth.

Going further into the album, the song ‘When It’s Gone’ catches your breath through heart pounding vocals for a 3 minute and three second whirlwind adventure comparative to something you’d hear The Road Hammers play. Its’ lyrics are fast, fun, and very catchy! Following suit is ‘Cause I Know’, a song about infidelity that is fierce in it’s presentation: this person knows they’ve been lied to and is about to give his ‘sweet angel’ a piece of his mind. Great concept in lyrics, the instrumentation is strong and back up vocals are brilliant on this one.

Transitioning further into the album, ‘Tonight’ is a song rich in Folk Rock sound and is probably one of my personal favorites off this album. Then I heard ‘Field of Heroes’, and my decision on a favorite became tough. ‘Field of Heroes’ is the kind of song that one might have heard at Woodstock 1969. This is a very powerful song that carries the heart-wrenching theme of young men and women (soldiers) ‘laid to rest’ with instrumentation that is supportive in it’s vintage Folk sound.

The sixth track is the albums’ title ‘Blood And Bone’ and is a MUST in terms of radio play. This is a song that needs to be on radio, and soon! I feel that this is a contagious and catchy summer song that listeners will gravitate to quickly. if any DJ’s are reading this now, they must know that I have been reviewing music for several years now and I am seasoned in knowing what listeners want to hear, and this song is it. In fact, one of my first album reviews was of Clayton Bellamy’s album ‘Five Crow Silver’ and this song compares in terms of having what it takes. It’s catchy, quick, and should be listened to at loud decibels. This great track is followed quickly with the song ‘First Bit Of Snow’, a great follow-up to ‘Blood And Bone’ in terms of keeping the vibe going and should follow suit to radio immediately. The beat in this one is what caught my attention right away and if we’re talking about a song that gets a crowd up and dancing, ‘First Bit Of Snow’ is that song.

Rounding up this fabulous set is ‘Last Dance’, a slower paced ballad that winds down the high energy as heard in the previous tracks. While this one isn’t my personal favorite, it is strong in it’s lyrics and instrumentation and is a nice compliment to the rest of this great album. The final song, ‘What Did I Do’ is absolutely brilliant in it’s sound, composition and instrumentation. You know how they always say, save the best for last? Well, that’s just what THISTLE did here. Well done!

This is an album you will want to plug into right away for some great weekend listening! Have a listen below to 'First Bit Of Snow' - CA Marshall


Still working on that hot first release.



Based in Stony Plain and Spruce Grove, Alberta, Thistle is a rolling, quick-paced acoustic country/rock band with stripped-down, catchy rhythms, and hooks that dig deep.

Diverse influences from across the musical spectrum give Thistle a unique sound and style that’s sure to grab hold and take you to new places.  

Kevin Frey (vocals, guitar) has been a mainstay on the local music scene as a solo performer since 2013. Kevin was one of three finalists for the 96.5 CKFM Olds All Hit Country Star Search in 2015, and was an opening act for Dog Rump Creek Music’s second anniversary party, headlined by Adam Gregory and Jake Matthews, in 2014. Jason Frey (drums) and Trevor Henson (bass) have played music together since 1999, and were founding members of heavy metal band Dead Ring. Jason and Trevor joined Kevin in September of 2015 to form Thistle.   Tania brings experience singing on Broadway Stages in Nashville. Tania boosts Thistle’s sound with great harmonies and strong lead vocals, and brings considerable song writing experience to the band’s original songs.  Steve Findlay left the band in early 2017. Henry Geerts (guitar)joined Thistle in February, 2017. Having played in bands previously, and knowing Jason and Trevor for many years, he brings a classic rock and blues influence to the sound.

The group released its first album in 2016.

Band Members