Beatroute Magazine – November 2010
“Heartbreak Honkeytonk Rock ‘n’ Roll Show” is how the Calgary seven-piece, Cowpuncher, sums it up, complete with cowboy hats, rocker attitude and a performance style that may not be suitable for minors without parental supervision.
“Our baritone player tends to not wear a shirt, or otherwise, onstage, although he might be growing out of that,” says Puncher frontman Matt Olah.
Well, sort of the frontman. Considering that the band always gigs with a minimum of seven players, Cowpuncher sounds like they’re shaping up to be a farm team for the Calgary Stampeders.
“It’s a guitar explosion!” remarks Olah, as he explains the dueling guitar extravaganza that takes place onstage when five or six guitar players go at it.
Yes, picture the amplitude when five or six seasoned guitarists battle it out onstage. One might say front row show attendees might want to have an ear exam if they can’t get the last set out from rattling around in their brains following a show.
Full time members of Cowpuncher include Matt Olah (hollering, acoustic guitar, prancing), Ryan Kelly (baritone guitar), Shawn Canning (banjo, pedal steel, electric guitar), Jeffery Sulima (drums), Scott Martin (electric guitar, also from the Smokin’ 45’s), Harley Hoeft (upright bass, also from 5 Star Homeless) and Tynan Groves (electric guitar, also from the Bobby Kork Orchestra).
Not to mention that the band also has a list of nine special guests that just might threaten to join the tour de force onstage at any given show.
A filled-out assembly of versed musicians and one common goal to take Cowpuncher as far as it can go sounds like a recipe for success, or, at the very least, this band seems to have all the ingredients lined up to have a blast at their upcoming CD release party.
After a year in the making, countless hours recording and a multitude of live shows, Cowpuncher is coming out swinging with their debut album, which they’re calling The Brown Album.
“That album was a heckuva process – some of those solos took fifty takes!” remarks guitarist, Tynan Groves, who (as a former jazz cat) puts up a high level of personal expectation.
“I love this band a lot. There’s this magic in the band… sometimes you just click with people, y’know?” continues Groves, who couldn’t be happier about the direction in which Cowpuncher is heading, as well as how close the band members have become.
“We’re all kind of rough and tumble guys,” he laughs, reflecting on a recent gig in Saskatoon where the two carloads of band members had a competition throwing roman candles at each other while driving.
When not roughhousing, hollering, or competing with one another, the band really does focus on their musicianship. While fun is always on the agenda, the level of professionalism that each member carries out is evident in the overall production of Cowpuncher’s music.
“The musicianship is second to none,” explains Olah. “I’m a writer, so I spend all my time in the words, but the guitar playing is insane… like, from outer space.”
So, providing no members of Cowpuncher get abducted by aliens, fans and intrigued music lovers alike can expect a full-scale, no-holds-barred performance for the release of The Brown Album.