Now entering its 6th year The Wooden Sky's Annual Holiday Show is a unique opportunity to see one of Canada's most dynamic bands in an intimate setting. Over the course of its half decade long stand the band has raised over $10,000 for various charities. This year marks the first time this event will happen outside of the bands hometown of Toronto, partial proceeds from the Ottawa concert will go to Carty House, a communal residence in Ottawa that provides transitional housing for female refugee claimants.
More then a show this is an event that celebrates community and culture, something that has been important and instrumental to the band from its inception. The band will be joined on stage by friends Evening Hymns and Jon Hynes for a musical review of their 4 albums to date.
Since the release of The Wooden Sky’s last LP in 2012, Every Child a Daughter, Every Moon a Sun, the intervening world has grabbed hold of the band, twisting and shaping the production of what will be their fourth album: Let’s Be Ready.
Navigating the strife and uncertainty of evolving friendships, lost loves, death and the ever-shifting challenges of the music industry, Gavin Gardiner (vocals/guitar), Andrew Kekewich (drums) and Simon Walker (multi-instrumentalist) found themselves in a new place: holed up in Toronto’s west-end—in Gardiner’s garage-turned-studio to be exact. With the help of familiar collaborators Edwin Huizinga (violin) and Andrew Wyatt (bass and vocals), the band spent grueling hours together digging deeper into their sound, looking both for answers to their doubts, and a way to quiet them.
The results, you could say, are loud.
The album was conceived amidst many changes for the band—saying goodbye to both a founding member and their longtime record label. In the process of putting the pieces back together, The Wooden Sky looked to the talent and brawn of friend and producer Chris Stringer. Together they worked and reworked the songs, studio-hopping around Toronto in order to give each track a unique shape and space on the record.
With Let’s Be Ready, The Wooden Sky draws on nostalgia to capture the warmth of the tunes that inspired them to make music in the first place. This warmth—coupled with a freshness that looks to the future—serves up a new sound and new hope for the band. Let’s Be Ready acknowledges the pains of the past but with a gentle optimism and acceptance.
Let’s Be Ready also marks the first release from the bands new record label, Chelsea Records. Chelsea grew out of the rubble in which the band found itself in early 2014, but has nonetheless come as a welcome change with exciting new possibilities in tow. In the future, the band hopes Chelsea will be able to provide this for other committed artists as they too grow and develop, providing them with the resources and freedom they need to forge ahead in their careers.
Thanks to a devoted and ever-growing international fan base, (the result of a strong history of touring-success in Canada and abroad), and with a string of awards and nominations under the belt (including a 2012 Juno nod), the band is set to leave any remaining doubts behind. Letting their hair grow long and armed with perhaps their most confident record to date The Wooden Sky is poised to cross the world reaching new heights on the back of its latest album, Let’s Be Ready.