Lead Photo: Ben Shillabeer
Mixing the cadence and rhythms of 60’s soul and 70’s rock with modern country, The Prairie States was born out of a desire to put a fresh touch on a classic design. As recipients of the 2018 ACMA awards for Rising Star and Fan’s Choice, as well as 1st place in the Project Wild Artist Development Program, it’s proof that this Edmonton based band is moving in the right direction.
Mat Cardinal, Jeff Dick, Mike Nash, Doc deGroot, and Jay Der formed The Prairie States in 2017 and immediately started writing songs for their full length album, Lost In The Right Direction. Independently released in June 2018, it was nominated for the ACMA Album Of The Year and included three radio singles, which all broke the top 100 Mediabase Canadian Country Chart.
The Prairie States have been out on the road and wowing crowds with their undeniable live show. In their short time as a band, they’ve shared stages with Aaron Goodvin, Clayton Bellamy, and most recently Brothers Osborne and Canadian legend Charlie Major while kicking off the 2019 Big Valley Jamboree.
We had the opportunity to chat with the band and talk new single “Every Little Town”, songwriting and celebrating small town life.
Kat: Can you talk about the inspiration behind your latest single “Every Little Town”?
The Prairie States: We were on a radio tour last year and as we made our way through the small towns we started to notice the similarities each place shared. It was one of those a-ha moments when Jeff said “have you noticed that every little town has a….”. That’s a song right there. Once we sat down to write it with our friend Aaron Pollock it grew into a story about the people you find in every little town.
Kat: Can you talk about your songwriting process, does it differ from song to song?
The Prairie States: Everyone in our band is a songwriter. We not only write together but often with other people as well. Sometimes we’ll start with a riff, sometimes it will be a melody line. In this case Every Little Town came from the lyric idea. You never know where inspiration will come from you just have to be ready to grab it when it does.
Kat: Can you talk about the video for “Every Little Town”, and how the concept came to be, and why it was important to share something personal?
The Prairie States: Our video director Jay Sparrow wanted to make a video that celebrates small town life. Jeff’s Dad grew up in a small town called Bashaw where his Grandfather owned and operated the local movie theater. It has since been converted to a community theater so it was the perfect place to film the performance section of the video. Jeff’s parents appear in the video with his Dad reprising his boyhood role as usher. The town embraced our vision and helped us show what daily life is like in a small town.
Kat: Is there an artist you’d like to perform with, that you haven’t had the chance to yet. Or a song you would love to do a cover of?
The Prairie States: We would love to perform with Eric Church. We love his songwriting and his kick ass live show, two things we pride ourselves on. We are ready whenever he is! We did a cover of Chris Stapleton’s Fire Away with our friend Amber Suchy, you can see it on our YouTube channel. We wouldn’t mind sharing a stage with him too.
Kat: What’s next?
The Prairie States: We have lots of new music coming out this year. Follow us on social media to be the first to know when it’s out. We have several festivals booked for the summer and the calendar is filling up. We hope to come to see you in Every Little Town soon!
For more on The Prairie States, head to: www.ThePrairieStates.com