With a vibrant history that dates back to the 1980s, Toronto roots-rock kings The Skydiggers are headed to New Brunswick in support of their 20th anniversary retrospective collection, The Truth About Us. The compilation is an excellent 22-track collection heavy on memorable melodies, including essential Skydiggers tracks such as You’ve Got A Lot of Nerve, and one of their earliest hits, I Will Give You Everything.
Prior to hitting the Maritimes, The Skydiggers were on the opposite coast of our great country, playing four shows in Western Canada, including two concerts where they had the opportunity to open for fellow Torontonians Blue Rodeo.
Founding Skydiggers member Josh Finlayson is looking forward to The Skydiggers imminent return to the Maritimes. He believes the last time the band found their way East, it was for a one-off show in Halifax, although the group has travelled the region many times over in the past.
“We haven’t done a lot of touring over the last four or five years but a lot of the playing we did in the Maritimes would have been playing shows at universities throughout the region,” Finlayson says.
For their upcoming shows in our region, Finlayson and Skydiggers co-founder Andy Maize will be performing the shows as a duo in an acoustic format, explaining that having the whole band in tow for these shows really isn’t in the cards.
“More than anything, it is really financial reasons driving why we are doing these shows as a duo,” Finlayson says while en route to another interview in Calgary. “We wanted to try to get everywhere we could and make people aware that we had our 20-year retrospective available.
“It would be cost prohibitive to get to many of these places that we will be playing as a full band.”
When quizzed about whether the duo’s upcoming shows will hold any surprises for fans, Finalyson chuckles and says “I hope so! Of course we can’t reveal anything right now and spoil it.”
During a conversation I had with Finalyson earlier this year, he had mentioned how the band was interested in finding the right combination of venues and shows to cater to their fans and ultimately expose their music to the widest audience possible. At the time, he admitted that their fans and those interested in seeing their live show were those 9 to 5’ers with kids to take care of and therefore playing late nights in nightclubs across the country might not be the best route for the band to pursue.
“We have been able to find those alternative venues and avenues for shows. A lot of the shows we have been playing have been earlier shows (as opposed to the usual late night bar shows) have been in the cabaret style where people are able to sit down and order a drink or get up and move around if they want to. They really are the ideal venues for us and in an ideal world, those will be the venues we continue to play.”
Roots-rock fans will have three opportunities to see The Skydiggers in the province of New Brunswick over the next week: Their first show is Saturday, Dec. 5 at Wilser’s in Fredericton before moving to Saint John the following evening for a show at The Blue Olive. Their final show in NB will be at the Manhattan Bar and Grill on Friday, Dec. 11.