The Jimmyriggers straddle country-rock sound

Hailed as one of Canada’s truest contributions to the alt-country genre, The Jimmyriggers could not have picked a better group of acts to help influence and drive their sound.

Citing country-roots heavyweights like Neil Young and The Flying Burrito Brothers along with more “modern” bands cut from the same cloth including Uncle Tupelo and The Jayhawks, the group weaves intricate melodies into their songs, taking listeners on a journey through lands and places from a period of time that has long since passed.

The Jimmyriggers are set to perform Saturday evening at Moncton’s Plan B Lounge on St. George Street. Show time is set for 9 p.m.

Formed in 2005, the Montreal-based Jimmyriggers have two releases under their belts, their 2007 debut Traveling Salesman, Killer on the Run and this year’s follow-up effort, I Stand In The Weeds. Bassist-vocalist David Pearce says that their maturity as performers and songwriters alongside other factors crept into the making of their newest effort.

“Our debut record was self-produced and was our first attempt at recording as a band and as a result, our intention was to more or less sound how we sounded live,” Pearce says. “For I Stand In The Weeds however, we hired a friend to produce the record, helping to call the shots on arrangements and instrumentation and to control the recording quality and mixing process.

Consequently, we feel that there is a tremendous improvement in cohesiveness; it is a complete album as opposed to a collection of songs recorded sporadically.”

In spite the fact that The Jimmyriggers hail from a city that is perhaps better known for its francophone acts or indie-rock bands including Arcade Fire, Pearce says that Montreal’s country-folk community is a bustling one in its own right.

“Montreal does have more of an indie-rock reputation, particularly if we are talking about more mainstream music, but there is still a solid country-folk scene to be found. I wouldn’t call it a scene though; I prefer to call it a community. There are many bands and artists in Montreal whose music can be classified as roots like the United Steel Workers of Montreal and Ol’ Savannah. We are all very supportive of each other, helping each other promote shows, records and tours,” Pearce says.

“I feel that we can’t be classified as either indie-rock or folk though; we are too country for the former, and too rock for the latter. Building a fan base in Montreal hasn’t been the easiest but that’s no reason to stop trying.”

Having toured the Maritimes this past March, some might consider The Jimmyriggers return to Moncton this weekend as being a fairly hasty one. Pearce however, says that the group has found audiences on the east coast to be open and receptive to what they have to offer.

“Before our first tour of the Maritimes, we had met several bands from the region out that way that were touring through Montreal. They told us that our music would do well out east and so we went out this past March and did surprisingly well,” Pearce says. “It doesn’t seem to matter to the folks out east if we’re a little too rock or a little too country. The balance that we have created in our sound between the two seems to have found ears that are willing to listen, thankfully.”

Article published in September 2, 2011 edition of the Times & Transcript