When you ask someone what comes to mind when they think of the 80s – aside from big hair and an overall excess of everything – they’ll likely say the different kinds of music. The Northern Pikes and The Grapes of Wrath were two Canadian bands who made their mark in this era.

Today, Bryan Potvin of The Northern Pikes and Kevin Kane of The Grapes of Wrath are making history yet again with the release of their debut album, Kane & Potvin.

KPbody2Kane & Potvin’s new album is now available on iTunes. Photo courtesy of Kane & Potvin.

Both musicians say working together has been exciting.

“I think it’s one of my creative victories in my life. I really feel good about it. I love it. I can’t say that about every record I’ve made in my life. It’s been months and months after recording it and I still enjoy listening to it. That’s a good sign,” says Potvin, talking on the phone from Toronto.

A recent collaboration

It might come as a bit of a surprise that Kane & Potvin didn’t know one another until a few years back when they played a show together in Regina, and later ran into each other at a guitar shop in Toronto. What started off as a good jam session grew into the successful band they are today.

“Kevin and I, we’ve been collectively alive for 104 years now,” Potvin laughs.

Potvin says the creative process was not only unique, but fast.

“Compared to other sessions I’ve done in my life, this one went at lightning speed. We had the record completely recorded in 11 days. That’s never been part of my life before, so that was very exciting.”

Now, the duo is working on another album, hoping to have it released in about a year says Kane, who also phoned from Toronto.

Kane & Potvin, released Oct. 14, already has longtime fans and new ones looking for more.

The Twitter love has been pouring in with praise for the new album.

“I love it. Sounds like grapes of pikes,” says Chico Rodrigues via Twitter, while Jeff Long adds, “what a great combo!”

The artists’ favourite picks

When asked about their favourite song on the new album, Potvin explains that the first song they recorded together strikes a chord. “Going Home” was written after Kane found out that his mother was in the hospital.

“The first day we were going to go into the studio to record it was also my birthday and I got a call from my mom’s house thinking it was her to wish me happy birthday — [but] it was my brother telling me she was in the hospital and things were looking very grave. That was a pretty heavy way to enter the studio.”

Potvin and Kane were able to bury themselves in the studio as a distraction.

KPbody1Kevin Kane and Bryan Potvin began collaboration a few years ago before the release of their debut album as a duo. Photo courtesy of Kane & Potvin.

Since the recording process, Kane says that his opinion on a favourite song changes frequently.

“A song that I think is my favourite, I will hear the record again and go, ‘Oh! I forgot about that one.’”

Although they disagree on their favourite songs, Kane and Potvin agree on one thing – when they got together, everything clicked.

“As far as there being a decision on what we wanted to sound like, there really wasn’t. We just pressed record and started playing and what came out, came out,” says Potvin.

KPbodyKevin Kane says he was obsessed with guitar even as a toddler. Photo courtesy of Kane & Potvin.

Kane & Potvin are set to play at the Ironwood Stage & Grill, October. 25 at 8 pm. Tickets are available at ironwoodstage.ca.

What to expect in Calgary Tuesday night?

As to what audiences should expect to see on stage? Aside from some of their classics from The Grapes and The Pikes, as well as cuts from the duo’s self-titled album, Potvin says people should expect to be entertained by musicians whose life-experience goes back a long way

“Kevin and I, we’ve been collectively alive for 104 years now,” he laughs. “We have lots of stories. Some of them are pretty crazy and funny and interesting. We’ve been at this a little while now. This March we’ll be three years old. We’ve played well over a hundred shows by this point so it’s tried and true.”


The editor responsible for this piece is Natalie Holland and can be contacted at nholland@cjournal.ca.

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