By Kerry DooleWe last heard from Toronto, ON roots-rock veterans Skydiggers with their 2009 album, The Truth About Us. That was a career retrospective, while this superb new outing (their eighth studio album) confirms that their creative juices are still flowing freely. A strength of the band is that they have created a signature sound that still manages to be diverse and dynamic. "Fire Engine (Red Explosion)" has an edge, while piano-fuelled ballads like "Northern Shore" and "Wake Up Little Darlin'" effectively showcase Andy Maize's distinctive and emotionally expressive vocal style. There are nods to the past also, with former founder member Peter Cash's spirited guest turn on "Barely Made It Through" and the inclusion of two songs written by another kindred spirit, Andrew Cash. Northern Shore also reaffirms the impressive evolution of Josh Finlayson as a songwriter. Two album highlights, "Deep Water (31 Mile Lake)" and "Falling With The Stars," are Finlayson compositions (co-writes with, respectively, Tom Wilson and Darryl Burgess). Northern Shore explores terrain that's simultaneously familiar and bracingly fresh; it's a gem.