HearYa Live Session 44: The Rural Alberta Advantage

by Woody on April 14, 2009

Rural Alberta Advantage

The Rural Alberta Advantage self-released their debut album, the appropriately-titled Hometowns, in 2008, which registered as one of the pleasant surprises of last year. RAA are a three-member group based out of Toronto, although their lead vocalist, Nils Edenloff, and many of the storylines behind their music actually hail from the cold, windswept Canadian province of Alberta.‚  In fact, geography plays a prominent role in these contemplative songs about growing up in a rural area. The music is part folklore and part small town anthem.

We’ve closely traced their progression, recently culminating with a live session and a show at Schuba’s.‚  The live session was a light 45-minute set consisting of three tracks off the terrific Hometowns and punctuated by a new song that promises more good music to follow.‚  The band’s recipe features a blend of earnest lead vocals, up-tempo acoustic guitar, driving rhythm from Paul Banwatt and keyboards/backing vocals of Amy Cole.‚  These songs are generally quick hitting, straightforward arrangements, a little melancholy in mood, but often memorable for the hooks.

The band has begun to garner some attention as evidenced by a moderate-sized, but fully amped crowd at Schubas for the band’s Chicago debut. When it comes to good music, word gets around but it was truly uplifting to see the genuine looks of surprise on the faces of the band as the crowd sang along and shouted requests off of Hometowns.‚  Eventually, smiles gave way to a pulsating set of honest, melodic and somewhat sentimental folk rock.‚  True, the band is just beginning to develop a stage presence, but that should come with time and experience.‚  We hope you enjoy the following tracks from the 44th chapter of our Live Sessions.

Exclusive: The Rural Alberta Advantage – Untitled New Song

Exclusive: The Rural Alberta Advantage – Rush Apart

Exclusive: The Rural Alberta Advantage – Luciana

Exclusive: The Rural Alberta Advantage – Edmonton

Download the entire session as a zip.

Video: The Rural Alberta Advantage – Edmonton

The Rural Alberta Advantage – “Edmonton” – HearYa Live Session 4/1/09 from HearYa.com on Vimeo.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Woody April 14, 2009 at 7:53 am

Such a cool session. The thing I really picked up on seeing them in the studio was the way that Paul and Amy work together with the percussion. RAA are good people and they are definitely going places. I can’t imagine that its too long before they are being snapped up by a label.

Adrian April 14, 2009 at 9:09 am

That’s a good session. Sounds great.

M. April 14, 2009 at 9:09 am

Thanks for doing a live session w these guys – I love them!

Had the opportunity to see them at an intimate gig here in Toronto last month. This is one band that deserves some more press.

Anna April 14, 2009 at 9:43 am

Awesome. Thanks for this.

Matt Bialer April 14, 2009 at 10:13 am

Thanks. I love this band. Saw them in NY twice. They are great. And I love this site so thanks Hear Ya. Discovered HA HA TONKS thansk to you.

oz April 14, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Since no one else will say it, I will. Amy is easy on the eyes. There.

I really do enjoy her tambourine on the drum, one hand on the keyboard trick. Love the video, Shirk and Mark. Well done.

@Matt – Thanks for stopping by and leaving the compliment. Spread the good word! Oh, and we’re working on another Ha Ha live session.

Matt Bialer April 14, 2009 at 2:55 pm

I obviously meant Ha Ha Tonka! You have a great site. Thanks. Glad to hear about more HA HA,

Smansmith April 14, 2009 at 9:00 pm

Nice session! Really getting into this album, I can’t believe it has been around for as long as it has. Seems like “Alberta” is getting a lot of play (session #42 – Alberta Cross, and now the RAA) – I am in Alberta, and I have to say I haven’t seen either of them live yet!! That just ain’t right.



Kevin April 20, 2009 at 2:18 pm

You guys ever listen to Frontier Ruckus? Similar vein- another great band.

Starkey April 20, 2009 at 7:27 pm

Thanks for the suggestion. Just downloaded it.

Woody April 20, 2009 at 7:42 pm
DBT Chicago August 25, 2009 at 10:13 am

just caught the millenium park show last night with RAA and red red meat. RAA is fast becoming a favorite of mine. Such a simple collection of musicians and instruments, but their sound easily filled up the park. the drummer is wicked good. they are back in chicago at the end of september at schubas.

Andy Crowe September 22, 2009 at 7:53 am

Another recent band obsession of mine! Steve – nice hanging out last night. This site is awesome. Wish I had already known about it! Also wish I had caught these guys at Mill. Park, but thanks to the above commenter for letting me know they’re at Schuba’s this Saturday!

DBT Chicago November 7, 2009 at 2:49 am

watching and listening again for the dozenth time. so fucking good. shirk you do such a great job capturing the sound. we all are so lucky.

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