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First Listen: How the Silver Wolf Band became more sure of their sound

The Silver Wolf Band are, from left to right, Justin Jackman, Bon Pardy, Jamie Jackman and Matthew Barrett. (Ritche Perez/Submitted by Silver Wolf Band )

There’s No Time is the fourth album from the Silver Wolf Band, which has been carving out a following from its base in Labrador. Vocalist and guitar player Jamie Jackman says the group is “finally at a point where we’re so much more sure of ourselves.”

In an interview with CBC Radio’s Weekend AM, Jackman says listeners will find elements of folk, pop and rock. 

“I think you get a real broad taste of what it is we are, where we’re going, and you can still hear where we’re coming from. I think that’s why we’re so excited about this record,” said Jackman on CBC’s Weekend AM.

Keyboard player Matt Barrett credits producer Amelia Curran for pushing the group “in a lot of new and exciting directions,” in terms of writing and vocals.

Barrett said that at first they were surprised that Curran wanted to help them make a record, and they were thrilled that she came on board.

“She’s just a treasure to this province. She’s such a talented individual and such a sweet person. And really, I think it made a big difference,” said Barrett. 

A disaster at ECMAs

The group first got together in 2007. In 2011 the band was living in Prince Edward Island and performed at the East Coast Music Awards and conference in Charlottetown that year.

“We showed up in mismatched clothes. I think Jamie had a shirt on that was down to his feet almost. We showed up late. We bombed our performance,” said Barrett. 

The Silver Wolf band are based in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, N.L. They’ve just released their fourth album, There’s No Time. (Ritchie Perez/Submitted by Silver Wolf Band)

“We actually disbanded after that, pretty much …we went on basically a five-year hiatus,” said Jackman.

They moved back to Labrador and decided to give the band another chance in 2016. “We all ended up back in Goose Bay. It kind of felt like fate…so it just kind of developed again,” Barrett said.

The band went on to win the 2021 East Coast Music Award for Indigenous Artist of the year. 

Considering their first appearance at the ECMAs, Jackman said, “Winning that award was so meaningful.”

Settling Dust a tribute to Jason Jackman

The group’s lineup also includes Jamie’s brother Justin on percussion. The first single, called Settling Dust, is a song that honours the memory of their brother, Jason, who died by suicide in 1996, said Jackman. 

LISTEN | Members of the Silver Wolf Band tell Weekend AM about their latest album: 

Weekend AM23:48First Listen: ‘There’s No Time’ is the newest album from The Silver Wolf Band

Paula Gale speaks to Jamie and Matt of the Silver Wolf Band about being sure of themselves, and their sound

“The song kind of broadly touches on the subject of intergenerational trauma, essentially settling dust that you never stirred up. I feel like a lot of Indigenous communities, in particular, deal with that sort of thing on a daily basis,” said Jackman. 

“There is a bit of a hidden message of hope in there that’s saying…we’re settling the dust that we didn’t stir up, but we’re settling it. And that’s how we move forward.” 

Singer-songwriter Amelia Curran produced Silver Wolf Band’s fourth album, There’s No Time. (Cover art by Alex Sawatzky /Submitted by Silver Wolf Band )

From bombing to big time 

Barrett and Jackman also credit bass player Bon Pardy and studio engineer/arranger  Krisjan Leslie for helping the group get the sound they wanted on the 11-track record.

The group has numerous tour dates coming up across Atlantic Canada, including a performance in Charlottetown on June 21 for National Indigenous People’s Day.

“It’s all pretty surreal,” said Barrett, referencing their earlier days living there.

“Back then we could barely get someone to let us open for them in P.E.I. and we totally bombed and we broke up, basically,” he said.

“And now we’re going back and playing beautiful venues there. It kind of blows my mind a bit, but it’s great.”

WATCH | See the Silver Wolf Band perform some of their songs as part of our House Calls music series: 

About First Listen

Do you have a new album of music that Weekend AM should know about for First Listen? Email us, wam@cbc.ca, and tell us about it. 

You can hear First Listen on Sundays on Weekend AM from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. NT (5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. in Labrador) on CBC Radio One.

Subscribe to the Weekend AM podcast: 

Where to get help:

Canada Suicide Prevention Service: 1-833-456-4566 (phone) | 45645 (Text, 4 p.m. to midnight ET only) | crisisservicescanada.ca 

In Newfoundland and Labrador: Mental Health Crisis Line 24 Hour: 811

Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 (phone), live chat counselling at www.kidshelpphone.ca

Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention: Find a 24-hour crisis centre

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