It’s a full week of live music spanning all genres across Edmonton

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A cappella country, the tender tribute of Dan Mangan and Action Bronson back in action.

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When a group a cappella Home Free started in 2000, the plan was to sing songs that appealed to everyone.

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“But then we started to have more and more Southerners in the band,” says tenor Rob Lundquist from his Minneapolis home. “So we ended up doing more country songs, and we found that we got the most response from those.”

It also helped the producers of the now-canceled The Sing-Off television vocal competition see something in what they were doing. Lundquist reports that the group was set to sing two country songs and one of the pop-rockers Train when they auditioned for the show’s fourth season in 2013. The producers weren’t impressed with the final choice and instead suggested adding another country song. Lundquist says when they agreed, it was the best decision they ever made.

It certainly helped with album sales. Home Free has grown in popularity since their 2007 debut, From the Top, slowly building a fanbase that saw them debut at No. 2 on the Billboard Country album sales chart with their 2019 album, Dive Bar Saints. In fact, they’re still on the Dive Bar Saints tour, rescheduled and rescheduled during the pandemic, and stopping in Edmonton on Wednesday night.

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“I think people like country music because it’s usually someone telling a story,” notes Lundquist. “People really like it. There’s usually some amazing three-part harmonies too, and that’s what we like too.

According to Lundquist, they also enjoy sea shanties, which probably shouldn’t be too surprising. The responsibility for this change of course can be attributed directly to baritone singer Adam Chance.

“He’s just a huge fan and I used to make fun of him about it,” laughs Lundquist. “Then it became a trend and we decided, why not give it a try? Now that’s a, that’s by far our biggest thing, so we kept going.

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Dive Bar Saints is a landmark album for the band for more reasons than their Billboard numbers. It’s also the record where Home Free decided to beef up the original songwriting, cutting their usual cover quotient down to just two songs. For their next release, they plan to go all out with 14 original efforts written by bassist Tim Foust and high tenor Austin Brown.

“They both live in Nashville now, so they’re constantly writing songs when they’re home,” says Lundquist. “So we’re currently doing another album where we’ve picked the best of 40 songs from what Tim and Austin wrote and we’re just gonna go ahead and do a full original album. I mean, we’re still gonna taking songs to try and put the Home Free spin on it, but we’re really enjoying the mix right now.

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When: Wednesday at 8 p.m.

Or: Jubilee Auditorium

Tickets: From $47 Ticketmaster.ca

Dan Mangan performs at the Winspear Center on Monday night.
Dan Mangan performs at the Winspear Center on Monday night. Photo by Jonah Atkins /Provided

Dan Mangan

Dan Mangan only met Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit once, but the Vancouver-based singer-songwriter had a huge admiration for the Scottish indie rocker.

“He was a very lovely guy,” Mangan recalls, “and so talented. Scott was great friends with my friends from the band Wintersleep.

When Hutchison died by suicide in 2018, Mangan, like many of his peers in the rock music world, was shocked. It took a while to process, but eventually Mangan felt the quivering of a song within him. Taking inspiration from the popular Frightened Rabbit song The Woodpile, Mangan wrote a dark and fuzzy response titled In Your Corner (for Scott Hutchison).

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“It really pissed me off,” says Mangan, who will stop by the Winspear on Monday on her All Together Now tour. “There was this disconnect between the high regard he had for other people and how much he was in pain, and it was unbearably sad. I remember crying while pouring cereal for my boys, and crying under the shower, cried in the parking lot. As I finished the song and continued to work on it, it became much more universal, and although it’s dedicated to Scott, it’s really for all those who feel this and who suffer like him.

Frightened Rabbit was well known in Scotland and gaining traction in North America, so Hutchison had many admirers. So much, in fact, that Mangan’s song is one of many other tributes written to the troubled singer-songwriter. Not wishing to potentially hurt any of Scott’s bandmates or friends, he sent the song to the members of Frightened Rabbit to hear before it was released.

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“I sent it to Grant, who was the drummer, and he wrote me the nicest note,” Mangan says. “I really wanted the inner circle’s blessing, so that was important. I also heard about their lead guitarist Bill and several of his closest friends, who actually reached out on Instagram. It was reassuring and also rewarding because you release a song and it’s a commercial endeavor and there’s some promotion going on. You have to promote your song. So there’s this very fine line of wanting to honor his legacy, and to hearing from his friends that they liked him meant so much to me.

When: Monday at 8 p.m.

Or: Winspear Center

Tickets: From $42.21 in advance from winspearcentre.com

Action Bronson is co-starring Union Hall on Tuesday night with Earl Sweatshirt.
Action Bronson is co-starring Union Hall on Tuesday night with Earl Sweatshirt. Photo by Brock Fetch /Provided

Bronson Stock

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Action Bronson demands our respect.

So says the press release for his latest album, Cocodrillo Turbo, which will be released on April 29 via Loma Vista Recordings. The New York rapper plays along with his debut single, Subzero, along with an accompanying video that will sound very familiar to John Carpenter fans. Add to that a nasty sample taken from Days and Nights by cult prog-rockers Bloodrock and you have, well, something we can’t relate to because the lyrics are a little, shall we say, salty for a newspaper. family. .

The shameless foodie, who plays at Union Hall on Tuesday, does mention chicken wings, however, linking the tune to several of his songs devoted to the subject like Brunch, Dabble in Truffles and Ceviche. The man was a highly regarded chef, so what else could we expect? Maybe he’ll take the stage sooner and rap the lines about “the raw fruit in the box, the seeds; Let Go, So I’ve Got Wings,” in Earl Sweatshirt’s El Toro Combo Meal? Anyway, we shared a video online of Bronson enjoying food and wine in France; certainly not suited to work or impressionable ears.

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With: Earl sweatshirt, The Alchemist x Boldy James

When: Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Or: Union Hall, 6240 99 St.

Tickets: From $69.85 in advance from Ticketweb.ca

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