There’s a reason why you haven’t seen a new Shanneyganock publicity shot before now: the guys are a little superstitious.
In the past, every time they’ve had new photos taken, a change to the band membership followed. At this point, though, it was a little necessary, since their promo shots were looking old. In the past couple years, there have been changes to the band, more than 100 pounds lost, more beards on some members, less hair on others.
There have also been changes to Shanneyganock’s music; subtle changes, but if you’ve heard their latest record, “Rockin’ on the Water,” you may have noticed a bit of a country twang that was never there before.
It’s part of a natural progression, singer Chris Andrews says, and a direction in which the band was pressured to go years ago, but declined.
“It’s a bit about getting older, more relaxed, he explains. “We play how we feel, and this is how we felt when we recorded it. There’s a little bit of an Americana feel, a little bit of a departure from our normal stuff, but not too far. It’s not like we’ll be up (on stage) playing heavy metal or anything. There’s still lots of accordion and other things people are used to.”
Giving a helping hand in a country direction is Craig Young, south coast native and multiple Canadian Country Music Award winner, who was recently nominated for five 2013 MusicNL awards. Young plays on the record and will be accompanying Shanneyganock on their cross-province tour next week.
“Rockin’ on the Water,” Shanneyganock’s 13 record, debuted at No. 1 on the world chart on Canadian iTunes when it was released the middle of September, and has been in the No. 5 spot ever since. It’s Shanneyganock’s biggest starting album to date, Andrews says.
The first single, the title track from the album, was written by Angus Stewart of Ramea.
“We were out in Norris Point one time and he said, ‘Here, I wrote you a hit,’ and shoved this song in my pocket,” Andrews says. “We kind of forgot it for a while and then when we were recording this album, we started playing it.”
Shanneyganock will be holding a CD release show at Holy Heart Theatre in St. John’s Tuesday, where, with Young, they’ll perform the entire album, start to finish, before launching into a second set of their previous hits. Tickets are $32 and are available at the Holy Heart box office, by calling 579-4424, or online at holyhearttheatre.com.
They start an Arts and Culture Centre tour Nov. 2 with Ralph O’Brien of the Sons of Erin, stopping in Gander, Grand Falls-Windsor, Stephenville, Corner Brook, Labrador West, Churchill Falls and Goose Bay. More information can be found online at www.artsandculturecentre.com.