Earlier this year, approximately three years following the release of his full-length debut effort, It’s Not Black & White, Ottawa-based singer-songwriter Rory Taillon found a novel way to get his music out to a wider audience.
Taillon was approached by 5 Paddles Brewing Company, a microbrewery located in Whitby, Ontario, to gauge his interest in having one of his songs distributed on a beer bottle label. While the concept might sound strange to some, the label on the bottle of Jukebox stout – the name of which came from one of the tracks on It’s Not Black & White – was actually a turntable-ready single that had been pressed onto a detachable picture card.
“When I was living in Oshawa, I used to routinely stop by 5 Paddles as I really enjoyed their beer, and ended up becoming somewhat of a regular around the brewery,” Taillon says. “Initially, they didn’t know I was a musician, but once that cat was out of the bag, they had me perform a couple of their events. A friendship developed, which led to them asking me if I’d be interested in lending my name and song to this campaign. I really didn’t have to think about it for long before agreeing to it.”
The limited run of the 8.5% Coffee Vanilla stout – approximately 1,300 bottles – quickly sold out. The campaign was not only noteworthy for the unique manner in which Taillon’s music was distributed, it also managed to attract equal amounts of press from music and craft beer publications.
At a time in history when artists will often go to extraordinary lengths in order to promote their music, Taillon is first to admit he lucked into a situation in which he was fortunate enough to combined his passion for craft beer and his music.
“The way things are going in the music business today, artists need to look at non-traditional ways and outlets to get your music heard. In terms of press, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect storm of sorts than what I found with 5 Paddles. The reception for the product went way beyond what I ever could have expected.”
Raised on the sounds of Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, it’s not difficult to see why the classic rock undertones of Taillon’s music is resonating with audiences. But aside from the release of a pair of singles released in 2015 – “Strings” and “End Game” – all has been quiet on the new release front from the artist.
That is something he is looking to remedy by next spring at the absolute latest.
“I’ve been touring and travelling so much over the last couple of years, it’s inadvertently slowed down progress on my next release,” he says. “I have a pile of material I am working on getting recorded, and am looking forward to the day I get to finally release these songs. I’ve been sitting on some of them for quite some time.”
What: Rory Taillon
When: Sunday May 28, 9 p.m.
Where: Plan b Lounge, 212 St. George St., Moncton