Formed in 2008 by Dave Scholten and Kris Pope, the duo had played with art-rock band Down With The Butterfly but wanted to return to a more natural, roots-oriented sound.
Scholten and Pope broke away from Butterfly and haven’t looked back since.
The duo’s debut effort All Nations was lauded for its rich harmonies, earning the band an East Coast Music Award nomination for Recording of the Year. By all accounts, their newest record, Truth & Sky, flawlessly expands upon their debut earning well-deserved comparisons to the Cowboy Junkies’ landmark Trinity Sessions album.
Acres and Acres perform in the intimate confines of Parkindale Hall tomorrow evening.
Speaking from Newfoundland last week where the group was performing, Dave Scholten tells the Times & Transcript that the band flushed out their live sound in recent shows thanks to the addition of a string quartet.
While Scholten confirms that the group’s show at Parkindale Hall will feature only the core group (no string quartet), the experience of having added strings into the live mix is something that has sat well with each member of Acres and Acres.
“Strings add a kind of richness to the music that I don’t think you can really get anywhere else. We are going all out to make sure that we have the best sounding show that we can put on,” Scholten says.
“We want to ensure that the venues we are playing are good spaces for people to listen to music otherwise the rich textures that come with the strings will get lost in the mix. None of us are big fans of strings going through a PA at a bar,” he laughs.
Having grown the band from the original incarnation of he and Pope, Scholten says that by expanding the range of instrumentation that the group uses, it allows for a more dynamic kind of show.
“With a full band, Kris and I have others to lean on live. And once you get used to playing with a great band, it’s tough to go back to playing as a duo. Playing as a four or five-piece band has affected both the music and the live show. With a full band, there is a lot more musical richness and rhythm going on than what Kris and I can do on our own.”
Admittedly, the three-year gap between their debut and Truth and Sky was a little more than either he or Pope wanted to see happen. With Scholten himself the proud father of a three year old and a one year old, priorities needed to be slightly adjusted over the course of the past few years. Not that he seems to mind.
“Touring has really kind of slowed down for us over the past few years. We aren’t able to necessarily take big trips away from home for long periods of time but we are fortunate to get away to play music on weekends. It all seems to work itself out in the end.
“We are actually hoping to be back in the studio before long to begin work on the next record. It took us three years to finish Truth and Sky. While we want to sit back and enjoy having made a record we are really happy with, the urge to get back to the creation of new music never really goes away.”
Article published in the February 21, 2013 edition of the Times & Transcript