The Grievous Angels announce new release - The Summer Before The Strom
The Grievous Angels are the soundtrack of Canada’s lonesome and rugged northland. But this time the Angels are on a different journey. They have teamed up with Skydiggers frontman Andy Maize to chart a path through a time of uncertainty, dissonance and conflict. The result is Summer Before the Storm, the 8th album in their 32-year career. Summer for the Storm is a kick-ass journey of hope in unsettled times.
Angels frontman Charlie Angus says the idea of recording songs with Andy Maize has been on the band’s radar for years.
“We came of musical age together. We played the same clubs and shared the same songs. This is why we wanted Andy to join us on our new single Red Deer to Margaree. It is a song that has been traded back and forth between the Diggers and the Angels over the years. But this version captures where we are at today. It rocks.”
In many ways Summer Before the Storm is the most political album recorded by the Angels. Angus (whose day job is a Member of Parliament) says he didn’t set out to write a political album but many of the themes – conspiracy theory, climate crisis, PTSD, violence – have become a part of the larger cultural conversation.
“We wrote and recorded these songs on the eve of the COVID crisis – literally during the summer before the storm. I suppose we were channeling something of the dissonance and uncertainty around us. But I think the songs speak to the spirit of people to find a way through dark times.”
The group was originally formed in the mid-1980s as a street-busking operation in downtown Toronto. The line-up consisted of guitarist/ songwriter Charlie Angus (founding member of the legendary Canadian political punk band L'étranger), vocalist Michelle Rumball and fiddler/accordionist Peter Jellard.
The Angels line up has changed a number of times over the last three decades. The original line up of Angus, Tim Hadley (bass) and Peter Jellard (fiddle) has been augmented by Belleville bluegrass singer Janet Mercier and members of Bad Tractor.
Summer Before the Storm is a mix of rock-n-roll, gospel, country, politics and heartache. In other words – it is a classic Grievous Angels album.
“The Grievous Angels are a national treasure…Chuck (Charlie) Angus sings flatter than a dirt road in Saskatchewan but one day his songs will rank up there with Ian Tyson, Stan Rogers and Gordon Lightfoot.”
-- Edmonton Journal
“There’s no one in Canada that can write a song that’ll tear at your heart
like Charlie Angus.”
--Les Siemienuk CBC Calgary
For the last three decades, Charlie Angus and the Grievous Angels have been carving out a unique place in the alt-roots landscape. Their songs, craftsmanship and live performances conjure the tragic beauty of life in Canada’s northern blue-collar frontier.
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