With their latest release Stories From A Small Town, Three Finger Shot is looking to export their unique brand of contemporary East Coast folk music to Canada and beyond.
Comprised of native Atlantic Canadians Tony Ronalds and Trevor Bowering, the group is asecond chance of sorts for Ronalds.
In the 90’s, he was a founding member of acclaimed Nova Scotian folk band Kilt, a group that released a pair of records, snagged a handful of East Coast Music Award nominations, and played alongside the likes of Great Big Sea and the late John Allen Cameron. Kilt’s relentless performance schedule – playing more than 200 shows a year wasn’t out of the question –helped win the group legions of fans coast to coast.
Kilt went its separate ways at the turn of the century, driven apart by a variety of factors.
Ronalds and Bowering subsequently first connected in Ottawa not long after Kilt’s demise, but it would take another couple of years, and a trip west to Alberta where, whether by coincidence or fate, the duo happened to find themselves living and working in the same city.
“The great thing about this band is the fact it’s about making great music and nothing else,” Ronalds says. “Trevor understands my approach, and I understand his. With Kilt, there was no rhyme or continuity in the lyrics; it was more a matter of whatever happened to sound good. In Three Finger Shot, there’s a deliberate process and approach to the way we tell stories through our songs, which is a distinctly different approach from Kilt’s.”
Nowhere is Three Finger Shot’s unique vision more defined than on the six songs that comprise their debut EP, Stories From A Small Town. From the opening notes of “We Never Said” to the closing moments of “General Taylor,” an irrefutable undercurrent of traditional Celtic music runs throughout the release. It is a torch the duo holds proudly high, bearing the sonic imprint of folk giants like Great Big Sea and Stan Rogers that have come before them, highlighted by their impeccable vocal harmonies.
“After almost 17 years, we’ve found a way to make it work. Trevor is an incredible vocalist and really serves to levitate the musical component of the show, while my energy and animation on stage helps bolster him. We’re fortunate to have one another; we are constantly pushing each other to give the best show we can deliver. That is our common goal.”
As they prepare to hit the Trans-Canada Highway to promote Stories From A Small Town, Bowering shares they have already begun working on their next release, a full-length effort on which the group plans to expand upon the stories and characters so prominently featured on their debut EP.
“Those stories that started on the EP will be expanded upon with our next release,” Bowering says, without divulging a firm date of when said effort would be released. “Tony and I want to give people the opportunity to get to know those people whose tales we tell.”
Ken Kelley - www.musicnerd.ca