The religious experience of The Good Lovelies
Plus, a Canadian indie celebration for a good cause
The Good Lovelies are Kerri Ough, Caroline Brooks and Sue Passmore
The Good Lovelies have a thing for the holidays. Like the story of a certain someone, the band came into being during a big whiz-bang show at Christmas. OK, there was no manger, but there was a hotel, and, given their angelic harmonies, some divine intervention may have been involved. Ahem.
The Juno Award–winning trio — who play an uptempo brand of roots music with intricate three-part harmonies and an old-timey feel — have toured the globe relentlessly since their latest album, Let the Rain Fall, came out earlier this year. And, this month the band returns to Toronto for a holiday hootenanny featuring selections from their Christmas album Under the Mistletoe as well as the new album.
Things have changed since we last had the chance to catch the group live — at least according to one of the Lovelies.
Kerri Ough had a sort-of musical epiphany while the band was down under in Australia.
“Something very calming came over me, something changed,” she says over the phone during a four-day break from touring. “We went from playing music in a band, to it feeling very much like a career. It started to feel like something really pro, like we are settling into the role.”
Like the story of that certain someone from earlier, from now on, at least for Ough, her life will be divided up into pre- and post-Australia periods.
In the beginning, as the story goes, Kerri along with Caroline Brooks and Sue Passmore (all solo artists at the time) got together for a Christmas show at the Gladstone Hotel with the idea of playing each other’s tunes and having a good time.
“Something happened onstage that night, it all kind of clicked,” Ough explains. “With Sue [whom Ough had known since childhood in Cobourg] it was easy, and Caroline had been a pro harmony singer her whole life. It just sort of took off.”
That night they were approached about doing another show together. And since the concert that night was called The Good Lovelies, the name stuck.
An EP followed in 2007, dubbed Oh My!, basically playing each other’s songs. Then came the holiday album and their self-titled full-length debut in 2009.
Their unique brand of folk music was an instant hit, and the group won New Emerging Artist at the Canadian Folk Music Awards and a Juno Award for Roots/Traditional Album of the Year for their efforts.
The Good Lovelies play at the Great Hall in Toronto on Dec. 17. For information go to www.goodlovelies.com.
Indie scenesters cover indie scenesters circa 1985
In 2001, a trio of Ontario music writers put together Have Not Been the Same, a massive volume chronicling the “golden years” of Canada’s indie music scene between 1985 and 1995, including the birth of bands such as The Tragically Hip, Barenaked Ladies and Blue Rodeo, along with less obvious, but perhaps more influential bands, such as Change of Heart and 13 Engines.
Over the past summer, the book had its 10th anniversary and a new, updated volume was released. But, the cool news is that a new album of current bands covering songs from that era is available at www.zunior.com — all proceeds to benefit the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto.
Standouts include Forest City Lovers’ cover of Sloan’s “The Lines You Amend” and Corb Lund’s killer version of Jr. Gone Wild’s “In Contempt of Me.”