It’s been 21 years since original Grapes of Wrath members Kevin Kane (vocalist, guitar), Tom Hooper (vocalist, bass) and Chris Hooper (drums) released an album together.
This spring, the three musicians will assemble at the private studio of producer Darryl Neudorf (Neko Case, Blue Rodeo) to record a full album of new material, set for a February 2013 release. Before that happens, though, they will be rocking the Tidemark Theatre on Saturday, April 14 at 7:30 pm.
“Darryl was a big part of our formative years in Kelowna,” says Kane, who now resides in Toronto. “In fact, the first time any of us played music in front of an audience, the band consisted of Chris, Tom, Darryl and myself performing at Tom’s Grade 7 graduation dance.”
The new album will feature tracks written by Kane and Tom Hooper, both of whom have released acclaimed solo albums in the years since The Grapes of Wrath first disbanded in 1992.
The Grapes, as they’re affectionately known, formed in Kelowna, B.C. in 1983 and quickly became college radio favourites with their 1985 debut, September Bowl of Green. The album introduced listeners to Tom and Kevin’s Byrdsian harmonies and catchy pop melodies, which they would hone and perfect over the next seven years.
In 1987, The Grapes of Wrath broke through to Canadian mainstream radio with the dazzling, jangly folk-pop of its critically lauded sophomore effort, Treehouse. The band enjoyed even more success with 1989’s Now and Again, which spawned three Top 50 singles, including the quietly haunting What Was Going Through My Head.
Following the release of 1991’s These Days – their second platinum album that spawned two top 10 hits, You May Be Right and I Am Here – the band decided to call it a day. Kane and Tom Hooper reunited briefly in 2000, but it wasn’t until a show at the Surrey Fusion Festival in the summer of 2010 that all three original members shared the stage again.
“We realized there was a special kind of chemistry between the three of us,” recalls Chris Hooper. “I guess because we’d grown up together and learned how to play our instruments together.”
In 2011, The Grapes of Wrath played several dates across Canada to appreciative fans and have lined up other shows for this year.
“It’s interesting how this has evolved from doing just a single reunion show to getting an agent and signing a new record deal – all on its own steam,” says Kane. “It’s nice when things sort of come together of their own volition and don’t feel forced or contrived.”
Grapes of Wrath plays one night only at the Tidemark Theatre on Saturday, April 14th at 7:30pm. Tickets are $32 Adults, $27 Theatre Members, $15 Students, & $5 eyeGO tickets (Grade 9 – 12 students), and are available at the Tidemark Ticket Centre from 10 am to 4 pm, Tue. through Sat. or Charge-by-Phone at 287-PINK (7465) or 1-800-994-0555.
Tickets are also available On-Line at www.tidemarktheatre.com