Handsome Dan and His Gallimaufry Set to Release Their New EP
Over the past year you'd be hard-pressed to find a band as affecting, and as unassuming as London Ontario’s own Handsome Dan and His Gallimaufry. The band, comprised of a handful of capable local musicians (Kevin Brasier, Andrew James, Daniel Mancini, Sam Shelstad, Jake Szuminski, Blair Whatmore) have quietly worked their way into our musical hearts with their distinctive blend of rootsy stylings and earnest lyricism. Their performances always joyous sing-along affairs punctuated with playful shout outs and always, without fail, wall to wall smiles. Alas, the Forest City’s best kept musical secret might not be a secret much longer. To borrow a phrase, “you just can’t keep a good band down”. And this is definitely a band on the way up.
Their latest release Provincial Parks and Breaking Hearts (Oh! Records), an EP due out this Friday (July 30th) may only be six songs long but is bound to expand the horizons of this talented sextet. This is a recording that wears its influences on its vintage t-shirt sleeve and yet manages to blaze plenty of new trails as well. Fresh, confident and bursting at the seams this is music that commands your attentions from the start and by the time the first single “Loyal She Began” comes to an end you’re sold. Those bristling guitars and heartbreaking harmonies the perfect soundtrack for the cool August nights nipping around the corner.
It would seem that Provincial Parks and Breaking Hearts is a record that manages to both impress from the get go and yet continues to reveal hidden charms well into frequent plays. Whether it be a subtle organ flourish, a splash of feedback or an airy percussive element; With every listen a new layer is revealed. The production values on this one are top-notch and really take the songs to another level. The result being a record that feels immediate and personal. "Together we Ain’t" ably underscores these palpable qualities. Daniel Mancini’s eloquently burnished delivery and lyrical style reminiscent of Will Oldham. The stalwart Gallimaufry delivering stellar Wilco or even the Band style accompaniment on every track.
Sure I wish it was longer but perhaps that is just being selfish. Considering what lies around the corner for these guys Provincial Parks and Breaking Hearts is a brilliant statement that leaves us wanting more. If ever there was a recording that begged for vinyl release it would be this one. One look at the cover art (slightly reminiscent of Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes) will pull you in exactly the same way the music does. Heartening stuff. The place in that photo looks kinda familiar. They got it right this time and it’s thrilling as hell.
Handsome Dan and His Gallimaufry will be releasing the new brand new disc on Friday July 30th at Call the Office. $7 Plan to attend. The Woody Allens and Olenka and the Autumn Lovers are also on the bill. The CD will be available at the show. I'll update when other options are available.
Handsome Dan and His Gallimaufry are:
Kevin Braiser | Organ/Piano
Andrew James | Drums
Daniel Mancini | Guitar/Vocals
Sam Shelstad | Guitar
Jake Szuminksi | Bass
Blair Whatmore | Guitar/ Lap Steel
The first single, "Loyal She Began" is streaming here.