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