Hook and Nail is a southeast Saskatchewan-based folk/roots trio who use vocal harmony and a blend of electric and acoustic instruments to tell the stories of the past.
Members Lindsay Arnold (vocals and lyrics) and Mike Davis (acoustic/electric guitar) of North Portal, and Jeff Michel (mandolin, bass, percussion and vocals) of Estevan have known each for over 25 years but say this is the first time they’ve come together in a capacity such as this.
“We got together in October of 2017 to try and get some ideas together and very shortly after, about a month or so, we kind of unofficially had formed a band,” said Michel
The band says they use local history as a major inspiration for their music to tell the history of the area through song, and they hope people in the area can find a common connection through those songs.
“It’s been so much fun for me to do this,” said Arnold. “I look around at the stories I heard growing up for inspiration for the songs.
“One of our songs deals with the coal miners’ strike of 1931 and the resulting massacre or riot, depending which side of the story you’re on. Local history played a big part in making our music.”
All of the members of Hook and Nail have grown up with music as a part of their lives and attribute that influence to their current musical endeavours.
“I grew up with a lot of musical family influence,” said Michel. “I was in a family group growing up, and my dad was involved with a family band with his brothers and sisters throughout the 1970s and 1980s.”
Their first single Adeline will be released on July 27. The band members say they are excited for the release of the song and their second single at the end of August, followed by their first album Ghosts of Taylorton on Sept. 28.
“We’ve been burning the midnight oil spending every evening after work and every weekend doing the writing and recording process, and now that the nine songs are completed, it’s time for us to go back and start working in the studio more to make sure we sound as good as we possibly can,” said Davis.
“As of yesterday (July 12), we’ve submitted everything to Canadian radio and we’ve had some interest from a few community stations thus far. So we will see if it gets picked up by a couple of stations across the country.”
The songs and the album will be available “anywhere you can consume digital media,” he said.
The members of Hook and Nail are also proud of the fact that every part of their album has been done locally, from the inspiration to the recording and post-process editing of the music.
“Everything you hear has been done locally in Estevan,” said Davis. “Jeff has been the sound engineer for everything that we’ve done. He’s got a small recording studio that we’ve used for everything.”
Although inspired by bands like Big Wreck, which both Michel and Davis say is one of the most underrated Canadian bands of all time, and other rock and roll legends, the band says they decided to make a more folky sound.
“It was kind of uncharted territory for all of us, going to something much more bluesy and folky.” said Michel.
Those who are interested in following the story of the up and coming Hook and Nail can stay tuned to their social media pages.
“We’ve had some opportunities to do some touring/live performances, but we don’t have any solidified plans yet, so fans will just have to watch our social media to see what’s going to happen,” said Arnold. “The one thing I’m really excited about is the hope that people in Estevan really connect to the music because it’s about us, it’s about our history, and it tells the stories of those people through the music.”