A shot of smoothly blended drums and guitar-heavy music is what the audience is going to sip on when Whiskey Songs comes to Penticton this weekend.
Whiskey Songs (Paul Kuzbick, Mark Ejack and Rylan Schultz) are bringing their mixture of dirty blues fused with grungy rock, funk, soul and hip hop to Voodoo’s on Sunday at 8 p.m. Kuzbick’s voice and guitar skills adds a punch of rock and blues to complement the voice of Mark Ejack who pounds on the drums and lends a hip hop vocal and his own bluesy tone to songs. The pair, who are long time friends, decided to start the side project of Whiskey Songs with a completely collaborative effort.
“Since we weren’t living close at first we were using our iPhones and the voice recorder on it and when we get ideas we text them back and forth. So we send a voice memo of a chord progression or lyric and see if one another can add anything to it,” said Kuzbick. “We are using everything we have to make this happen.”
But, it wasn’t planned that way. In fact, it wasn’t planned at all. Ejack moved to Vancouver and while Kuzbick was there from Saskatchewan for five days they happened to get some studio time on the graveyard shift from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. They decided to not let it go to waste.
“Rather than let it pass we wanted to make something happen. We went in the first night and had nine new songs. The next four nights we made a full-length album,” said Kuzbick.
Since that fast and loose session last summer they have played a few gigs between Vancouver and Saskatoon and landed a residency gig on Thursday nights at a bar called Bimini in Vancouver.
“We just got our album mastered in L.A. and it is all just kind of happening. We put a lot of work in over the years and we have great momentum right now and things are starting to move,” said Kuzbick.
Rob Beaton was the mixing and mastering engineer on their new album Rise & Shine in Los Angeles. He has worked on film scores, commercials, TV themes and records by Todd Rundgren, Gun’s n Roses and Adam Cohen. Kuzbick expects the copies of the album to be in his hands within the next week.
“It has a mix of songs. We started writing on and off and things that we put aside. There is some blues and this conglomeration of all our influences. It started with us just jamming guitar and drums so it is very jam-inspired and some nights booze-fuelled. It was always fun,” said Kuzbick.
Their lead track off Rise & Shine is called Sorry For Nothing. Kerry James, who some might recognize as Caleb Odell in the television show Heartland, filmed and directed a video in Kitsilano for the song that features an amped up guitar and drums rock off for the final minute.
“Sorry For Nothing is a sarcastic look a the day in the life of someone who is a drain on the society and is not doing anything good for themselves. It is the fear-based mentality of a lot of people and people are hung up on the economy crashing and everyone seems like they are trying to make it out of the world alive, but nobody does,” said Kuzbick.
Having both fronted their own bands (Fountains of Youth and Sly Business), Kuzbick and Ejack have toured Canada sharing the stage with the likes of K’naan, Shad, Hey Ocean, Vince Neil from Motley Crue, Jurassic 5, 54-40, The Sheepdogs and Five Alarm Funk.
Together they have combined their favourite elements of their influences to make a wicked musical cocktail.