(Hi-res press photo here.)
In the span of four fast-paced years Toronto’s Graydon James & the Young Novelists have won a Galaxie Rising Star award, toured extensively throughout Ontario, Quebec, the Maritimes and British Columbia, and played numerous festivals (including the Mariposa Folk Festival, Halifax Urban Folk Festival, Burlington Sound of Music festival, OtherFolk, Niagara’s In The Soil festival). They have shared the stage with such iconic artists as Lowest of the Low, Cuff the Duke, the Wilderness of Manitoba, NQ Arbuckle, Craig Cardiff, and Peter Katz. In and amongst it all they have released three albums that have all been warmly received by audiences and critics alike.
Their first EP, a small town eulogy, was released in April 2011 and was hailed as “a work of unpretentious brilliance” by Exclaim! Magazine. During the tour to support the EP’s release they recorded a live album, live at dublin st. church, which was released in November 2011. Shortly thereafter they went into the studio with producer Chris Stringer (Ohbijou, Timber Timbre) to record their first full-length studio album with assistance from a FACTOR recording grant.
Released in September 2012, in the year you were born showcased the Young Novelists’ hard-earned, road-tested musicianship but also pushed the band’s boundaries, adding new textures and instrumentation – including string arrangements by Jaron Freeman-Fox (The Opposite of Everything). The combination of warm harmonies layered over deftly wry lyrics and intricate arrangements received critical praise and exceptional reviews. Vue Weekly said, “[No] gimmicks or studio trickery here, just good old-fashioned musical talent that combines soaring three-part harmonies, a host of instruments and storytelling to create an end result that emotes and entertains.”
Equally at home on a festival stage or playing a full-band house concert, Graydon James & the Young Novelists have played every kind of venue from small house concerts to the storied stage of The Horseshoe Tavern, from The Neptune Theatre in Halifax to Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto. The band is flexible and talented enough to play roots-rock barnstormers and heartfelt folk ballads with equal parts craft and care, capable of dynamic shifts that keep audiences enchanted and entertained. Underneath it all are the songs, whether they are about love or loss, the tragedies of high school, the joys of parenthood, small town dreams, or big city truths, they are the connection between the musicians and the audience.
Every show is a new story to be shared and a new voice added to the sing-along choruses.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
“For fans of Blue Rodeo, The Band, and pre-weirdness Wilco, here are three last words: Step right up.”
~ John Sakomoto, Toronto Star, The Anti-Hit List, March 26, 2011)
“James and his Novelists are straddling a line that’s exactly between the Two-Minute Miracles and Attack In Black. When they go at their folk-rock fiercely, they’ll blow your mind. When they approach it cautiously, they’re a perfect fit for back-porch relaxation. They’re clearly able to write catchy songs from both positions.”
~ Scott Bryson, CHARTAttack from CMW2011 Report Card – Grade: 4/5
“Graydon James & the Young Novelists need no gimmicks for cred. Attesting to talent that’s real and only just begun, A Small Town Eulogy is a work of unpretentious brilliance.”
~ Nereida Fernandes, exclaim.ca, A Small Town Eulogy review, March 9, 2011
- alex dodd – keyboard
- graydon james – vocals/acoustic guitar
- shawn jurek – bass/vocals
- john law – lead guitar
- mike paddags – drums
- laura spink – vocals/percussion