Montreal folk/bluegrass band Steel Rail is back on track after giving their first public concert since 2010 last night at Le Petit Campus in Montreal.
I was there with my g/f, and we loved the show. Steel Rail is a polished, professional band that could play on any Nashville stage.
The band — featuring Tod Gorr on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Ellen Shizgal singing lead and harmony vocals and playing electric bass, and Dave Clarke playing lead guitar and singing harmony — had been on hiatus for various reasons and only recently reunited. Their Facebook describes their music this way: Genre: acoustic music: a mixture of folk, bluegrass and country.
Dave’s guitar picking brought up memories of Flatt and Scruggs from my early days, when an older foster brother used to spin his C&W albums on the turntable.
All three are gifted vocalists. But Tod’s voice is right up there with any C&W star. He evoked memories in me of Hank Snow, another great who my older foster brother turned me onto back in the day. Which is not to say that Tod sounds like Hank; indeed, Tod’s voice is much smoother and resonant.
What I really love about this band is that all of their music is original, and I sense they are one hit song away from international recognition. They do have a couple of CDs out there, and you can be sure there will be more.
Steel Rail was part of a double bill in the Wintergreen Concert series at Le Petit Campus. They were preceded on stage by nice folkie duo Bill Garrett and Sue Lothrop accompanied by an amazing fiddler named Josh Zubot who could absolutely seduce me into just about anything with his fiddle playing.
To end the show, Steel Rail was joined onstage by Bill, Sue and the fiddler for a couple of songs — together, what a great sound!
All in all, a really great show in a cozy setting, a perfect spot for the return of Steel Rail.
I took a bunch of photos and made four or five videos. I will post some of the videos — or snippets of them — when I learn how to move them from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone onto my computer and then how to upload them here. (Hints?) But we were watching them today on the phone, and the sound quality is amazing and the picture quality pretty good, considering the lighting and the person’s head in front of me.