Catch the Steel Wound Sound
The Steel Wound Sound
Trading lead vocals, blending three part harmonies, chopping chords and picking a variety of strings, Steel Wound presents thoughtful original tunes and “semi-obscure alt-roots jazzy country blues” to create the Steel Wound Sound.
Considering itself as “not exactly a dance band” Steel Wound cycles through a repertoire that reaches back to the 1840s. They cite influences as varied as 1920s jug bands, John Prine, Bob Dylan, Fred Eaglesmith, Mississippi John Hurt, The Band, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Leon Redbone. With a founding guideline of “nothing in the top 40s since the 1940s”, but including the odd characteristic cover (check their live version of Led Zepplin’s Rock and Roll), the trio presents a musical melange “for enjoyment and edification”.
Steel Wound is:
Paul Fisher on lead guitars, mandolin, and lead and harmony vocals
Brian McMahon on acoustic bass, tuba and harmony vocals
Kerry Parks on acoustic and slide guitars, banjo, harmonica, and lead and harmony vocals
Born in the North Okanagan’s thriving Coffee house open mic scene, Steel Wound has become something of a local sensation over the last few years. The band usually won’t be found playing bar gigs, but shows up at street concerts, benefits, festivals, corporate events and private functions. They play the occasional wedding party, but “…we don’t do the Chicken Dance”.
All the members are active in various aspects of the local music scene. Brian McMahon is familiar for his session work with many local bands, as well as being a multi-instrumentalist with the Legendary Lake Monsters. Paul Fisher has played guitars in country and rockabilly bands since his teens, and teaches guitar to several students. Kerry Parks helps encourage local talent at open mic events and song circles, in addition to playing in the Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band and the Celtic ensemble, Kilt.45.
“Last Dance at the Starlight Lounge” is the quixotic title of the band’s debut CD, released in 2014. It presents a mix of obscure but spirited cover tunes along with eight original compositions from songwriter Kerry Parks. Parks describes his material as mostly story songs, “ballads, blues and message tunes”, and he says he has tried to craft images to reflect universal experience: “It is the nature of silver linings and clouds to be found together.”
The songs on “Last Dance at the Starlight Lounge” demonstrate the range of Parks’ song writing voice, from the upbeat “Rosy Dawn” and “All-New Buddha’s Blues”, through the reflective “If I Were An Artist” and the vignette, “No Sad Songs”, to the resigned “Tell Her I’m Doing Fine”. The title track closes the album with a good-night monologue from an evidently weary lounge singer, presented with appropriately smokey vocals and clichéd sincerity.
The CD also contains four cover songs, from Fred Eaglesmith, Kevin Quain, and David Francey and someone known as ‘Traditional’, delivered with characteristic Steel Wound energy, round out the album and add to the variety.
With tracks recorded at Piano Jam in Vernon and Lake Studios in Kelowna, the album was mixed and mastered by Andrew Smith and Zachari Smith at Lake Studios. Andrew and Zachari also added extra instrumentation to several tunes.
"Farther Along", released in 2017 is a second collection of Parks' songs, recorded with Steel Wound and Friends. Some old tunes, some new, some stories, some blues, the collection presents 'Ballads, Blues and Message Tunes', along with rewrites on a couple of traditional tune and one cover of a Kevin Quain composition.
"Farther Along" was recorded at Lake Studios in Kelowna BC and Montreal, PQ and mixed and mastered by the team of Andrew Smith and Zachari Smith. Session musicians include Neil Fraser, Steve Lauriault, Miles Black, joining Andrew and Zachari and Steel Wound.
“With an obvious enjoyment for the music they make, Steel Wound makes the old ones sound new again, and makes the new ones sound comfortably familiar.”
Catch the Steel Wound Sound.
For more information, please contact
Last Dance at the Starlight Lounge reviews
Dean Gordon-Smith Street Sounds, Vernon's Morning Star, October 17, 2014
BC Musician Magazine #109, March/April 2015
Farther Along review
Get the Steel Wound Sound
--Blend three voices, well-seasoned with real life,
--Mix and match eclectic acoustics,
--Sift in a healthy portion of tasty original material, along with some re-ground old acorns,
--Strain through time and sensibilities,
--Shake and stir,
--Serve hot and chill.
That’s the Steel Wound Sound.
Steel Wound performances include:
Vernon’s Sunshine Festival, Lumby Days, Armstrong Canada Day, Salmon Arm Voice of the Shuswap Live, Grindrod Musikfest, the Interior Provincial Exhibition; Little City Merchant, Gallery Vertigo, the Bean Scene, the Hub Arts Collective, Patchwork Farm, Caravan Farm, Vernon Farmers’ Market; Freddy’s Patio at The Rise, Predator Ridge, Thornhill Estate Winery, Mackie Lake House, Lake City Casinos in Vernon and Kelowna; DVA Jammin’ in Justice concerts, Armstrong Music in the Park, Lumby Live, Kelowna Parks Alive, Lake Country Outdoor Music Series; the Armstrong Inn, Crush Bistro, Spencer Margherita’s; Coldstream Coffee House, Falkland Coffee House, and Silver Creek Coffee House features; Community Dental Access Clinic, Vernon Treatment Centre and Vernon Sexual Assault Service benefit concerts; numerous private parties, and several Vernon Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Vernon Association and other corporate events.
Steel Wound opened for Tim Hus at the inaugural Vernon Folk Roots Music Society concert, and has helped several musicians celebrate CD releases.
Steel Wound has had radio play on various programs on Vancouver Co-op Radio 100.5FM, Kamloops Public Radio CFBX 92.5FM, Salmon Arm Voice of the Shuswap Public Radio CKVS 93.7FM, Peace FM 94.5 and 104.1 (or peacefm.ca), as well as CBC Kelowna.
Facebook: Steel Wound