Much like the perfect musical cocktail, add in one part classic rock, four parts musical ingenuity, a big dash each of hefty guitar riffs, funky grooves, soulful vocals and a forever-young spirit and there you have it – a perfectly balanced, yet slightly off-kilter band, the YoungFellas.
A strange brew, yes indeed, but they just might suit your musical tastebuds.
Birthed from the close-knit music scene in Lacombe, the YoungFellas (Andrew Galloway, lead vocals and rhythm guitar; Dalton Case, lead guitar and vocals; Jordan Galloway, bass and vocals and Dane Blacquiere, drums) are attempting to rocket to success through live shows and an upcoming EP.
It was well over two-and-a-half-years ago. Andrew had just moved back to his hometown from Toronto. The future was seemingly bleak, but the musical landscape was about to change.
“It was my drummer and I actually who had the very first jam,” explained Andrew. “We met outside one of the Lacombe bars and we got together, I think, the next night and had a jam. I was jamming with Dalton a little bit later and he was wondering, ‘Hey, do you know any drummers who are looking for something to do?’ And it just so happened I met one three days ago and it all came together.”
But their history goes deeper than that. As Lacombians and frequenters in the burgeoning local music scene, the foursome have been playing in various groups since high school, with one key element tying them together, drummer Blacquiere.
“I played with Dane in two other bands before this,” said Case of the highly versatile drummer.
“That’s exactly how I looked at him. He was the Neil Peart of Lacombe,” said Jordan of referencing the legendary Canadian drummer from Rush. “Then he (Andrew) came up to me one day. I play an assortment of instruments and now I play bass in the band.”
The origin of the moniker YoungFellas, may also be one of those obvious glaring-you-in-the-face titles, but like most good times and stories, it began at a drinking establishment.
“We were all at Under the Hill (the now defunct Lacombe venue) when it was still around,” said Case. “We played our first show there didn’t we?”
“We came up with the name before the show,” clarified Andrew. “We were just hanging out there and some old guy was like “Yo, what are you young fellas doing?'”
“And they kept calling us young fellas everywhere we went,” said Jordan. “Everyone of us got called a young fella at least once throughout the night.”
“So, we were like, ‘That’s a good name’,” laughed Case. And that youthfully, endearing name just stuck.
And while some may view them as young, they’ve been working hard to earn their keep in the music scene, hitting the road as often as possible.
The YoungFellas’ influences on the surface may be obvious to most classic rock lovers —Led Zeppelin, The Who, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd – but their influences are more deeply seated than the average rock and roll cover band.
“We are pretty diverse,” said Jordan. “We all have a classic rock influence – that’s our home base, but I love playing jazz music, saxophone, classical.”
And like most good stories, songs pleasing to the ear usually form from impromptu jam sessions. Such is the case for their radio hit Buzzin.
“We really like to exaggerate stories,” said Andrew.
“We tried to make it a story about someone who is suffering and drinking moonshine for his aliments,” said Jordan.
“We look inward for an idea, come out with something unrealistic and then put it all together,” added Case.
Their journey over the past few years has had many triumphs. In 2013 the YoungFellas won Rock 104’s Rockstar Search Battle of the Bands, where the prize was a free recording session for one song and the chance to open for Canadian legends Prism.
Since then, they have become very much a road band – a merry bunch of weekend warriors who have earned their stripes through local shows and pounding the pavement to Calgary and beyond.
It’s this fine-tuning, baptism-by-fire style that has shaped the YoungFella’s debut EP to be titled Old Times With YoungFellas.
“We wrote the songs like a year-and-a-half-ago and we have been playing them solid since, so they kind of feel like they are getting old to us,” explained Case.
They attribute the name Old Times With YoungFellas to their honourary fifth member and local producer Simon Quick. An unofficial EP release is planned for this August.
But despite ‘the old times’, the YoungFellas are currently working on some new material and have just released a new song Now and Then, which is one of the featured tracks on the upcoming EP.
“We are trying to branch into some other stuff,” noted Jordan. “We have a ballad kind-of song and we haven’t done anything like that before. I play saxophone on it.”
So where will the locally-famed ‘weekend warriors’ go next? Maybe to follow the path of the Sheepdogs, gracing the cover of Rolling Stone? Perhaps embarking on a major tour? Whichever, the future is bright, but at the most it will be a good time.
The YoungFellas will be playing their first hometown show in well over a year at the Canada Day celebration at Cranna Lake. They will also be playing at the Monkey Top Saloon in Bentley on July 3rd and 4th, headlining Lacombe Days on July 25th and playing at Alberta’s Own Music and Arts Festival in August.
For music or more information about the YoungFellas visit their facebook page, web site at www.reverbnation.com/theyoungfellas, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.