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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Acclaimed Edmonton Singer-Songwriter Joe Nolan Drops New Single Ahead of Full Length Album

While it’s not every day that a songwriter makes it from the shadows of open mic nights to the high wattage, real deal scene, Joe Nolan’s old soul lyrics and striking vocals suggest that the odds of breaking through are in his favour.

Joe Nolan’s distinctive and intimate vocals stack the deck. From theramin tremors to raw howls, his range of expression reaches extremes. He delivers bandaged fragility and raw rage with equal impact. The songs are fervent, pressing and intense, attuned at once to the world of youthful melodramas in which Joe, an artist in his early 20s lives, and an older, deeper level of human experience. Insight into the latter has nothing to do with age.

The strength of his debut record, Goodbye Cinderella (2011), earned a nomination for Canadian Folk Music Award Emerging Artist of the Year, a record deal, and a chance to record in Nashville with some of the most respected names in the business, included Colin Linden, Marco Giovino (Robert Plant, Norah Jones) and John Whynot (Lucinda Williams, Blue Rodeo).

Joe has been heralded by outlets such as the Globe & Mail and No Depression as a roots-rock wonder kid, is a Canadian star to watch out for in 2021 as he continues to build upon the momentum that came in the wake of his 2018 independently released album Cry Baby and the 2020 acoustic-based album Drifters.. Over that time, Nolan played over 175 shows across North America and six European countries, most while traveling in his faithful 2003 Dodge Caravan.

Along the way he also recorded the EP Rootsy House Sessions in Sweden, and signed deals with Mongrel Music Agency (Chuck Prophet, Lake Street Dive), as well as European label Rootsy Records (John Prine, Patti Griffin, Anderson East).

His work has also earned the Cobalt Prize for songwriting at the 2018 Maple Blues Awards, as well as Blues Artist Of The Year at the Edmonton Music Awards. Furthermore, Nolan was nominated for Roots Solo Artist Of The Year at Breakout West 2019, capping off a truly momentous comeback, which is still in its early stages.

Coming off his acclaimed 2020 album Drifters, the ever-mercurial Joe Nolan's latest music is more akin to reflective indie-rockers, like Grandaddy and Eels, than it is to the path most expected from a twice awarded Cobalt Prize winner (which recognizes blues songwriters), and a Canadian Folk Music Award nominated artist. Yet, that's where “Cherry Valance” takes us – headfirst into the underdog Edmonton singer-songwriter's realm of swirling alternative sounds, as he prepares for his career's post-covid title-fight.

Cherry Valance” will be on Joe Nolan’s new full-length album Scrapper, out Oct. 15, 2021 on Fallen Tree Records.

In Joe's words, “The song ‘Cherry Valance’ was the one that got me thinking this album needs to be a fighter, a scrapper, a summer party, driving with the windows down and watching the fire works reflecting down on the North Saskatchewan river in a midnight sky. The song is inspired by the S.E. Hinton book The Outsiders. I always related with the greasers in that film, this is a nod to them.”

The album was recorded amidst the pandemic... most of the album was tracked live off the floor on September 11th 2020 at Riverdale Recorders in Edmonton. And then over the next 4 to 5 months the overdub parts were written and recorded between Joe's apartment studio in Edmonton and his parent's place in Sturgeon County.

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