Six Gun Smoke’s debut merges the darkness of The Bad Seeds with the rock and roll gusto of Motorhead.
There are several geographical regions that have been branded with a lasting musical identity, for better or for worse. Whether the result of a cultural element distinct to a population of residents, or perhaps a short lived burst of activity that left a significant impact on the local scene, these identities can be hard to shake. Miramichi is a great example. Home of the oldest folk music festival in Canada along with an impressive Irish cultural festival, the idea of any music being made by a local that doesn’t involve an acoustic guitar could be inconceivable to some. But it happens.
Miramichi’s Six Gun Smoke sound nothing like The Chieftains, or The Dubliners and you probably won’t find them singing songs about cutting trees and building tall ships anytime soon. The trio just released their self-titled debut, a 10 track collection that merges the darkness of The Bad Seeds with the rock and roll gusto of Motorhead, the perfect soundtrack for a spaghetti western and a welcomed contrast to their hometown branding.
Between well structured songs and stories about outlaws, questionable relationships, and the criminal mind, are a handful of instrument tracks that highlight a musical depth that goes far beyond the poetic tropes that pop up throughout this album. A guest appearance by Kill Chicago’s Dillon Anthony, who contributes pedal steel and organ on a few tracks, helps to bring the band’s music out from under the cover of darkness to reveal the powerful rock trio that Six Gun Smoke are. With occasional leads that lean more towards 90s punk rock than the group’s hard rock identity, and a capable rhythm section that can easily shift between d beat and country, band members Jack Bowie, James McClafferty and André Pineau have created a space where contemporary influence can find confidence in a rock subgenre that can often be as typecast as their hometown.
Band photo by Wynn Curtis.