The MonkeyJunk trio, whose career-best fifth album Time To Roll recently netted their second Juno Award, prepares to travel from east to west this spring and summer, visiting key venues and festivals in between…
By almost any ordinary metric, like a marriage or a job, 10 years is a respectable milestone. For a hard-touring and recording band, however, a decade is a sweat-soaked, anecdote-amassing feat. Appropriately, the corresponding anniversary gift is way better something made of tin.
Ottawa’s ace swamp roots-rockers MonkeyJunk — fêting 10 triumphant years together in 2018 — are preparing to lift lids from Saskatoon to Sault Ste Marie, Thunder Bay to Nanaimo, as they hit the highway supporting their scorching, career-best Time To Roll album. Audiences will be dazzled.
Winner of 2018’s Blues Album of the Year Juno Award (their second overall), the latest and fifth release from singer/guitarist and harp player Steve Marriner, drummer Matt Sobb, and guitarist Tony D is precisely the kind of corker you’d expect from a trio of musical veterans who, between them, have boosted luminaries from Fabulous Thunderbird Kim Wilson to Buddy Guy, the late Jeff Healey to the lamented Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Bluesmen don’t come more accomplished than the dudes in MonkeyJunk. But don’t take our word for it. Check out one of the band’s thrilling live gigs this spring and summer as part of #MJ10 Tour.
“What an amazing journey we’ve enjoyed together,” Marriner enthuses. “This little band that could has travelled the world and brought our music to a dozen countries. It’s hard to believe 10 years has passed already. What fun! We’ve had the privilege to visit nearly every corner of Canada and perform our tunes for so many amazing people. It’s been an honour to share this adventure with two of my best friends.”
Launched in Ottawa in 2008, MonkeyJunk —handle inspired by delta blues great Son House, who once intoned, “I’m talking about the blues, I ain’t talking ’bout no monkeyjunk!” — have consistently updated contemporary blues with a blistering mix of chops, soul, grit, humour and harmony.
MonkeyJunk plays for keeps, as evidenced by the 10 electrifying tracks on their latest album, their first ever to feature bass guitar. “We wanted to push ourselves to work hard and to work efficiently and focused — to see what we could come up with in a shorter period of time,” drummer Sobb explains of Time To Roll. “The result is a brash, groovy-as-always collection of songs that show where the band has been and where we have arrived in many years of writing, recording, and touring.”