Released today, “Rocky Mountain Song” is the latest single from Canmore, AB quartet Northern Quarter; their first since “Trainhopper” back in May 2020. Composed by vocalist/rhythm guitarist Kerry Hunter, and joined as always by Carlos Nadeau (guitars), Wendy Crewe (bass) and Dave Crewe (drums), this new release sees the band experiment once again with their established indie folk pop roots, courtesy of guest instrumentalist Tim Newton (Shred Kelly), who brings extra depth to the music with his distinct banjo licks.
Cast your mind back to that previous single, and recall the stunning trumpet work added by Matt Burke. Furthermore, delve a little deeper to late 2019, and remind yourself of the amazing keyboards added to their single, “Fighting for You,” thanks to good friend Geoff Hilhorst (The Deep Dark Woods). Northern Quarter are always happy to spice up and further develop their signature sound, and this particular fan is loving every minute of it.
This latest offering pays homage to not only the joys of living, but notably the enjoyment of mountain life: “Rocky Mountain highway / Only one thing on my mind / Rolling down the highway / No destination in sight.” Cue the subtle addition of Tim’s soft banjo picks as Kerry continues her opening verse, where such sentiments become underpinned by sadness, heartache, and the desire to keep going even in the face of life’s problems: “Music in my ears / Sundogs in my eyes / Leaving all my fears / In the dust and dirt behind.”
“All that glitters ain’t gold / All that’s young must grow old / Fortune favours the bold / Or so I’m told.”
Accompanying the single is a lyric video, created by Dave using available footage from the Creative Commons platform. “Despite the fact that we live in the Rocky Mountains, the footage is Alaska,” he shares. “This was deliberate. Local artists have photo shoots and videos of our local mountains, so I wanted the song to have a less local and more global feel when watching the video.” Stunning imagery, complete with “Super 8” style effects tie together beautifully with the meaningfulness of the song itself: “Rocky Mountain heartache / Riding shotgun by my side / Can’t hold onto sorrow / It’s all part of the ride,” Kerry recites. “Can’t steal or borrow / Someone else’s life / So take a breath / Keep putting up the fight.”
And in case you missed it, did I mention that Tim Newton adds some amazing banjo work here? Go ahead and pause from what you are doing right now, click on the video link below, and enjoy the moment as you give it a whirl. Once again, Northern Quarter have raised the bar, and continue to go from strength to strength in their musical pursuits. “All that glitters ain’t gold / All that’s young must grow old / Fortune favours the bold / Or so I’m told.”
The British guy that crossed the ocean and crash landed in central Pennsylvania (to quote Greg Keelor, “And I wonder what am I doing here?”). As the youngest of four siblings, exposure to music from a very early age nurtured my passion and appreciation for many musical genres. Continuing to discover some amazingly diverse and talented musicians based in Canada, I gravitate to live music experiences and remain devoted to spreading the word about such a vibrant music scene.