Wednesday, 27 April 2016 15:27

League of Wolves bring former Sheepdog into pack: Swift Current concert April 29

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It may not look like Leot Hanson fits in (far left), but the former Sheepdogs has filled in to the band and what Ethan Stork second from the right says has been a seemless transistion. It may not look like Leot Hanson fits in (far left), but the former Sheepdogs has filled in to the band and what Ethan Stork second from the right says has been a seemless transistion. Contributed

The League of Wolves were a talented quartet from southwest Saskatchewan who enjoyed success with a in-your-face hard rock sound which developed a decent following.

The operative phrase being “were a talented quartet.” Now, they are a gifted quintet with the addition of Leot Hanson, former lead guitarist from the much acclaimed and four-time JUNO award-winning Sheepdogs on a four-song independent EP titled Like it Should Be.
On April 29 at the Lyric Theatre, the boys from the Piapot and Maple Creek area, will play a can’t-be-missed release show. The concert Friday also features Emmett Hall and the Bears of Hazenmore.
Bassist Ethan Stork is excited with the band’s recent success which has included their latest You’re Killin’ Me which had a successful run on the Canadian rock radio chart during March and April. A couple of weeks ago, they won the Queen City Rocks Battle of the Bands contest.They also released a new EP which was mixed by Grammy-award winner Jacquire King and mastered by Grammy-award winner Richard Dodd who has worked with Tom Petty and the Dixie Chicks. Not too shabby for the guys who now are based in Saskatoon.
Now add a musician such as Hanson into their realm and, yes, the League of Wolves have come a long way since their days as the Shoeless Joes. Having someone from a band which was featured on the cover of the international iconic Rolling Stone magazine is quite a coup and a boost for their confidence.
“Absolutely, to have him, he has brought a whole new energy to the band ... it’s a real confidence boost,” explains Stork. “Definitely brings a ton of experience with him. Just watching him play you learn a lot and he just knows what songs need. The transition in adding him for us has been pretty seamless. It just feels natural.”
Stork says they met Hanson a few years ago playing at some open mic nights and through mutual friends.
They started jamming Kings of Leon songs and that continued to the point where Hanson joined them. Stork says the songs have a new feel to them, almost a 1970’s hard rock without losing the band’s signature sound.
“The progression for the quality of music is there,” says Stork.
So, the talented but still learning group, added a JUNO award winner who has seen and done a lot. Check. Need to record a new CD using the newfound talent of Hanson’s musical and writing prowess.Check.
The latest EP was recorded in  guitarist Aspen Beveridge’s studio in Piapot, which in a former life was the Piapot School. They recorded their previous effort in the studio and since Beveridge has had intensive training in recording music, it was the logical place to do Like it Should Be. Besides saving a lot of money not having to rent time in an expensive recording studio, Stork says the band could put that money into getting the Grammy award-winning technically expert. King mixed the work and then talked to his friend Dodd to master the EP songs.
“Jacquire liked it enough that he said he’d take the project on, then he recommended Richard master it for us. He and Richard work together lots and are friends so he talked to Richard for us,” explains Stork who notes they enjoy using Beveridge’s studio for numerous reasons beside saving them money. “It’s a nice escape for us. You’re there to to work and you stay focused on the recording without getting distracted with going home etc.”
For the Swift Current show Friday, doors at 9 p.m., and the show is at 10 p.m. Tickets are $10 each and will be available at Pharmasave. It’s being presented by The Eagle 94.1 and Black Bridge Brewery.
Stork is thrilled to play in Swift Current. While it may be cliché for musicians to throw props to their hometowns, for Stork and his bandmates, they truly appreciate what the southwest has meant to them. They are excited to see how people like the new songs.
“We are going out there and playing on the intention of having a good time,” explains Stork. “When you release new songs, you’re always looking for a reaction from the crowd, but this, it’s a celebration, we know people are excited to come out. The southwest has been phenomenal to us.
“Things are going well right now. We want to maintain that momentum. We’re getting some good breaks right now. In the music business, things kinda come in peaks and valleys. A lot going on now with the release which has been out for a (few weeks), but we’ve been getting much more recognition than we thought.”
 An announcement on a summer tour will be coming soon.

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Ryan Dahlman

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