“At The Crossroads” offers listeners a first taste of the band’s forthcoming album, “Yard Sale”, arriving June 3.
Up until this point, the few original songs The Tortoise the Hare and the Millionaire have shared – ten over three releases – have centered around stereotypical blues rock themes. Primarily, sex. With song titles like Pickup Lines, Sex Appeal, Bad Girls, Hey Baby and She’s Alright, it seemed this Fredericton-based band found their calling riffing on themes that have been done to death and put out of their misery decades ago. The rub, for me at least, is that the band can play. They can muster up some of the dirtiest guitar tones you’ll hear and pair them with deep rhythms and arrangements that far outshine any seventies blues bar fantasies songs like Sex Appeal and Bad Girls may allude to.
In advance of their forthcoming album Yard Sale, a title that according to bassist Eric Allard, hints to the eclectic nature of the group’s styles and influences represented throughout the album’s eight tracks, the band have shared their first single – At The Crossroads.
Driven forward by a shuffled groove complete with dramatic pauses and plenty of uplifting guitar solos, At The Crossroads hints to the growth and evolution of a band that remained focused on honing their craft despite the lack of live performance opportunities presented over the last two years. If this single is any indication, the pandemic pause served The Tortoise the Hare and the Millionaire well. Over the break, the band added guitarist Sean Hutchins to the lineup and would later assemble a who’s who of local musicians to create their debut album.
Produced by Kill Chicago’s Greg Webber and recorded by Dylan Ward at Shiftwork, At The Crossroads quite literally finds the band at a junction in its development, blending the type of ferocious guitar work it’s known for with new influences that continue to draw from the timeless sounds of rock music’s classic era. Joined on this track by guest guitarists Alan Jeffries (David Myles) and Jonnie Price (Capital 6) with Webber making his recorded debut on keys, At The Crossroads is an incredibly strong introduction to where the band finds itself in 2022.
Guitarist Matthew Carr’s description of the song also serves to reflect the band’s fearless approach to tapping influences and exploring new ideas.
“Who’s to say what is right or wrong about the choices we make in life,” said Carr. “When we come to a crossroads, we choose the path that’s good for us and who we are at the time. This song is about knowing we’re making the right choices for us at the time and realizing that we don’t have to agree with someone else’s path, because that’s what works for them.”
Yard Sale arrives June 3 on all major streaming platforms.
June 3 | Living Roots Music Festival | Fredericton, NB
June 29 | Area 506 Festival | Saint John, NB
July 8-10 | Feelsgood Folly Fest | Village of Gagetown, NB