un. 23, 2010 – Issue #766: G8
On the run
Joey Only hits the Transgression Trail
‘We’re a relentless band. We don’t like to take breaks, we just play play play play,” Joey Only explains of his Joey Only Outlaw Band’s three upcoming shows in Edmonton. “My drummer says if we’re gonna drive for four hours, he wants to play for four hours.”
A quick scan of the man’s biography, and descriptions like “relentless,” “authentic,” “the real deal” keep popping up. For the seven-piece cowpunk band from Vancouver, hitting the road means getting out there and staying out there for months on end. This summer sees the group performing almost every day for the next three months in support of a new album, Transgression Trail.
Recorded in Vancouver with Edmontonian Steve Loree (Greyhound Tragedy), the album consists of more relentless country, punk, barroom anthems and hard-hitting psychedelic jams.
“I think when you come see us at the Black Dog, you’ll probably get the best idea of what we’re really about,” Only explains. “That’s the way we like to play: really go at it non-stop, play all night and come at you with waves of songs, and we jam things out to make things interesting. In that way we’re sort of a psychedelic country band. Musically, we’re not afraid to go to places that some bands don’t go to. We’re a loud band.”
While the band’s previous albums have dealt with classic songs about Canadian history, the past four years have seen the players experience so much on the road that Transgression Trail has become a more personal recording.
“We’ve been playing a lot of shows and working the country side. … Because of that, this record is really a collection of stories of things that have happened to us while playing over the last four years,” he points out. “A lot of the songs we play are songs about Canadian history, so this album is a little bit of a departure from that in the sense that it’s about ourselves quite a bit. The song ‘Transgression Trail’ is supposed to be about a dead cowboy who haunts the Auditorium Hotel [in Nanton, AB], but in other ways it’s about my own sins. Most of the songs are stories directly related to our adventures like that.”
At the end of the day, Only simply wants to show up on any given night and connect with the audience.
“I played in punk bands for so many years, I really wanted to be able to go to any town in Canada and put on a show, and I think the best way to do that is playing folk and country music. Our stories are pretty much completely Canadian; we’re not going to sing about anything American. We have that connection to people in each town we get to, we have songs about their province, things they recognize and things they associate within their daily lives.” V
Joey Only Outlaw Band
Tue, Jun 29 (7:30 pm)
With Austin Lucas
Haven Social Club, $10
Thu, Jul 1 (9 pm)
With Whiskey Wagon, the Give ‘Em Hell Boys
Hooliganz Pub, free
Sat, Jul 3 (3 pm)
Black Dog, free