Soft Canyon Enjoys A Brand New Day

Soft Canyon Enjoys A Brand New Day
Imagine reading your own obituary, a long, gushing ream of big ups from more people than you ever knew in your lifetime. That's the bittersweet circumstance of Soft Canyon's Andrew Dickson, re: his old band, Tricky Woo (1995-2001). It's easy to mourn a quality Canadian band who could have contended in the nu rock'n'roll climate, but, over four albums, Tricky Woo's point was made.

"We saw Tricky Woo as something that should leave a mark," says Dickson. "It was like a mission for rock‘n'roll, a mission with an expiry date. In the end, I had created such a brick house out of the band, I needed a new project for some freedom."

With a little help from Phil Burns, Jason Kent (both on guitar, Rhodes, vox), Ryan Myshrall (bass, recently replaced by Dave Lavoie) and Jason Tustin (drums), Dickson liberated himself by relaxing the rock, digging further into the '70s for a sound you could call sweetrock — he calls it "Badfinger on cough syrup."

"Soft Canyon's mission is strictly musical," Dickson states. "It got to a point where I was able to — it sounds tacky to say ‘dig deeper within yourself' — but I felt I could expose more of myself as a musician."

And as a lyricist. Soft Canyon's debut album (out now on Alien8 Recordings) is tellingly titled Broken Spirit, I Will Mend Your Wings, a feel-good record that aims above and beyond letting the good times roll.

"The themes deal with looking for some sense of salvation, whereas, with Tricky Woo, there was always that artifice, the language of rock. The idea was to be the Saturday night band," explains Dickson, happy to leave the weekend rock to the new kids. "Soft Canyon is more about Sunday, and on some numbers, maybe even Monday."