Since writing about Tennessee Twin last week, I’ve decided to make a music post a regular part of this blog each week. Another of my favorite bands – which I also discovered through CBC Radio 3 Podcast – is Greenfield Main based in Ottawa, Canada. Their primary influences were originally gospel and rockabilly. They are represented by Kelp Records who sum them up this way: “…the band now makes two distinctive sounds, playing equal parts oldtime truckin’ redneck country, and autumnal porch Appalachia drenched in harmonies.”
From The Kelp Records Website
Originally conceived as a country recording outlet for Rhume’s Jon Bartlett, Greenfield Main took on a life of its own shortly after the release of 2000’s Hunting Tips for Everyone. A band formed to play out the CD’s songs, and has evolved to include John Higney (Two Minute Miracles, Adam West), Rolf Klausener (The Acorn, Recoilers) and Jon Lomow (Recoilers). Hunting Tips for Everyone was chosen by Exclaim! magazine as the #9 record of 2001 in the category of Country/Folk/Blues, cementing the band’s reputation as a new northern country-rock force to be reckoned with.
October 2004 saw the release of Barnburners & Heartchurners, a somewhat darker and punchier entrée steeped in country, blues and rock tradition. It’s an oft-sordid affair that is able to switch gears from trucker filth (“Matilda”, “Wait on Me”) to porch folk (“Formaldehyde”, “Have Mercy”) with lots of stops in between, loaded with memories of Bartlett’s New Brunswick years, lost loved ones, and the Lord. It has also been received with accolades; Exclaim! picked it as the #7 Country/Folk/Blues record of 2004 and was the most played record on CKCU during the year.
Taking cues from Lee Hazlewood, Gram Parsons (particularly his work with the International Submarine Band), the Louvin Brothers and new traditionalists such as Gillian Welch, Greenfield Main have graduated from their comedic beginnings and have proven that their country roots are well-intended and not a novelty act. Live, the band now makes two distinctive sounds, playing equal parts oldtime truckin’ redneck country, and autumnal porch Appalachia drenched in harmonies.