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Posts tagged “The Stumblers Inn

The Stumbler's Inn, Shiloh Lindsey, and Melissa Mills open the "Sound Lounge Presents" live concert series.

The first thing you notice about talking to Kirk Douglas is that Kirk Douglas talks to you. His hand gestures are no surprise. He is a musician and, therefore, speaks what he truly feels with his hands more often than not. But when you sit across the table from him, his blue-grey eyes lock on you from behind conservative glasses and you know he is telling you the truth.

We chat at Sound Lounge Productions, the recording studio he built from scratch, by hand, with his wife and father-in-law. Recording studios are like Narnian wardrobes: an unassuming facade (usually cinder block) hides a world of magic within. The Sound Lounge is no exception. Douglas is a musician who knows the value of a dollar and the absolute necessity of honesty. The albums produced in his recording studio are evidence of that. As we spoke, I glanced around at the albums hanging on the wall.

“I have that one,” I think to myself. “And that one, and that one…

A lot of amazing talent have sought out Douglas for his. He has a compilation album showcasing some of the musicians who have recorded at The Sound Lounge and tonight begins the first of “The Sound Lounge Presents” live concert series, three shows highlighting nine of the bands who have worked with Douglas.

Tonight The Stumbler’s Inn descend on the ANZA Club (3 West 8th, Vancouver) to release their new album, “Get It Right”. Recorded with Douglas at The Sound Lounge, “Get It Right” is a ten-song outing of pure Canadian music. It’s not blues, rock, or country but a well blended mix of all three. Alec Myrfield (vocals, guitar) pens tales, often sweeping or charmingly coarse. Once painstakingly arranged and orchestrated by the band, they finish as music best suited to grass underfoot than the stained hardwood of beer parlours.

Though there is no grass at the ANZA Club, it is a dance hall, and all the songs on “Get It Right” can be danced to. If they wanted to, The Stumbler’s Inn could play for over five hours and never play the same song twice. If your legs could take it, you could dance for all five hours.

Shiloh Lindsey returns to the ANZA stage having celebrated her album release for “Western Violence and Brief Sensuality” there in early June. If Lindsey is a songbird, she’s a hawk: Awesome to behold, soft to the touch, and equipped with talons that could rip your heart out without stopping for the ribs. I refer to her as music style as “Concrete Country” and to hear her play you’d know exactly what I meant.

Melissa Mills opens the evening with music from her recent release, “I Am Victorious”, recorded, of course, at Sound Lounge Productions and released June 4th, earlier this year. Her music is described as a “stunning, intricate tapestry with electronic, folk, and rock persuasions” and I for one cannot wait to see her play live.

The Sound Lounge Presents Concert Series #1

The Stumbler’s Inn with Shiloh Lindsey and Melissa Mills

Friday, August 6th at The ANZA Club, #3 West 8th, Vancouver, BC

For more music/musician related entries, please click HERE


Stumbler's Week Part 4: Alec Myrfield

Who are you? Alec Myrfield
Where are you? at home
Primary instrument? guitar
The  Stumbler’s Inn

First instrument? Sax
First public performance? Grade 6 band
Stage fright? No
Favourite show? Smokey and the Bandit
Least favourite music story? Emergenza
Favourite band/musician (at the moment)? Biggy Smalls
Favourite band/musician (all time)? Stompin’ Tom Conners
Ten years from now, where will you be (perfect answer)? Living like a hermit on my private island
Ten years from now, where will you be (probable answer)? Living like a hermit on my private island

The Stumbler’s Inn play Friday, August 6th, at The ANZA Club in Vancouver. It is the first of the “Sound Lounge Presents” concert series and the release party for their new album, “Get It Right”.  Shiloh Lindsey and Mellisa Mills open.

For more music/musician related entries, please click HERE

Stumbler's Week Part 3: Graham Myrfield

Who Are You? Graham Myrfield
Where Are You? The Milky Whey
Band? The Stumbler’s Inn

First Instrument? I started playing bass guitar and drums when I was 11 years old.

First Public Performance? I can’t remember a first show, but I know it wasn’t good, and I’m sure there were crying children.

Stage Fright? I become impatient before playing a show. I love playing music and need a lot of attention.

Favourite Show? My favorite show will always be the next one.

Least Favourite Music Story? Many moons ago when The Pic pub was still alive, the Stumblers and I had planned a CD release party. When we arrived to set up, they told us they were closed. Luckily in those years I was a drinker…hahaha

Favourite band/musician (at the moment)? Elton John, Fishbone, The Kinks, Leonard Cohen, Madness, The mamas and the Papas, Paul Simon…. my ADD loves variety. My indie artist list is too long, and I listen to the radio too.

Favourite band/musician (all time)? I do not have an all time favorite, but what I like, I love.

Ten years from now, where will you be (perfect answer)? My dreams for ten years from now are so large, words would not give them justice.

Ten years from now, where will you be (probable answer)? Falling asleep in a bowl of cereal.

The Stumbler’s Inn play Friday, August 6th, at The ANZA Club in Vancouver. It is the first of the “Sound Lounge Presents” concert series and the release party for their new album, “Get It Right”.  Shiloh Lindsey and Mellisa Mills open.

For more music/musician related entries, please click HERE

Stumbler's Week Part 2: Jeff Myrfield

Who are you? Jeff Myrfield
Where are you? Vancouver
Primary instrument? Keys
Solo or in a band (include current or recent band name)? The Stumblers Inn

First instrument? Piano
First public performance? I think I was 10? It was a Royal Conservatory Recital. The first time we all were together as The Stumbler’s Inn, then known as The Stumbler’s Band, was at Malarky’s. It was a small cafe that doesn’t exist anymore in downtown Vancouver. The stage was about the size of a picnic table. Although the first time we all played together was in Chuck’s parents basement with another great friend of mine Kevin Dwyer who I personally consider the fifth Stumbler. He was the one who got us all together as a band known as 8-Track back in highschool.
Stage fright? Not really; more anxious to actually get on stage.
Favourite Show: There’s a few to choose from. There is the Meat Bird party’s where basically 250 – 350 people from Parksville/Qualicum area get together at a secret ranch while we plary and party it up from the evening to dawn. But I would have to choose the very first Green Mountain Festival in Nanaimo. Really any of the Green mountain Festivals were great but at the first one there was a massive jam with all the bands involved, Some of the bands aren’t with us anymore due to various reasons, Hotel Lobbyists, No Horses, and so that makes it even more special. Thank you very much James Wood for making all of that possible.
Least Favourite Show: We’ve played some great shows and some bad ones, where nobody but the bar staff were there, but this one takes the cake. We played a show at Richards on Richards once as a part of an Emergenza talent find/competition. We first met up with this group already thinking that it was a scam but really what did we have to lose. When you’re starting out you want exposure from anywhere. Plus to get to that show you had to go through a couple lesser shows and try to sell off as many tickets as possible. I can understand that. I have a little bit of a harder time coming to terms with not seeing any of the money from any of the tickets that you sold to come to a show that you’re performing at but such is the business. So, anyways, at the Richards on Richards show. The way to move on to the “next round”, another show at another location, was explained to us as the band who drew the most appeal. E.I. the loudest or most appeal from the audience. So ya, there was a couple bands there, all the leading candidates from the previous preliminary rounds, and the stumble fans were in full force. The other bands had brought all their representative fans as well. All different styles of bands from heavy metal to pop punk, to even glam metal. I’m not going to slam any of the other bands because that’s not what it was about. It wasn’t a “my band is better than your band deal” because every band was different and who’s to say what style is better anyways? But I will say that when we hit the stage there wasn’t anyone sitting down. Chants of “Stumbler” were ringing from the crowd. No other band had as much reaction. When we were done the other bands were coming up to us and conceding victory. So what happened? Well of course we didn’t make it though. The “judges” picked a band, even though they said it was up to the audience, that was more to their liking shall we say. They were a band that was easily manipulative and their sound was pretty generic of course. The company kept all our money and any investment we made into them. Of course. That’s what made it the worst. Now here’s the kicker, and this reaction may have vaulted it into one of the better shows. When the final results were announced (everyone was chanting “Stumbler” by the way) they declared the other band the winners. What happened next was pure anarchy and it all started from one chair being thrown from the balcony at the stage. After that chair took flight several more followed. It was a gong show riot. No violence towards each other but directed purely at the stage. The promoters made a mad dash to leave, with all their money of course, leaving the small group of bar staff to fend off the crowd. There was maybe one bouncer and maybe two female bartenders. The bar destined to close that year was trashed. No joke!
Least favourite music story? There’s a few, The George Harrison, my sweet lord, court case is one. Agreeing with that verdict is saying that the doo wop sound is only the Chiffons to own. Also the Payola scandal, not like it doesn’t go on still, disgusts me.
Favourite band/musician (at the moment)? I’ve been listening to a lot of stuff the past little while. New bands I’m listening to: Black Keys, Aggrolites, Shiloh Lindsey. I have a multiload of various artists on my playlist but those are some of the more recent artists.
Favourite band/musician (all time)? The Beatles go without saying, think everybody has them down don’t they? My first rock album was AC/DC’s  “High Voltage”, also big influences Floyd, Doors, CCR, Stones, Rush. Tons more I could write out. I would like to mention one of the great piano players of all time though, Fats Waller; the guy was a genius and played in a time where his genius was overlooked. I don’t know if I would be the same person if I hadn’t been brought up listening to his music.
Ten years from now, where will you be (perfect answer)? Hopefully playing music and getting paid for making albums
Ten years from now, where will you be (probable answer)? Playing music, and making albums. Making a living off of it is still up in the air.

The Stumbler’s Inn play Friday, August 6th, at The ANZA Club in Vancouver. It is the first of the “Sound Lounge Presents” concert series and the release party for their new album, “Get It Right”.  Shiloh Lindsey and Mellisa Mills open.

For music/musician related entries, please click HERE

Stumbler's Week Part 1: Kevin "Chuck" Dupuis

Kevin “CHUCK” Dupuis
Vancouver B.C. , Canada
Drums, Percussion
Stumblers Inn

First Instrument? Euphonium, school band

First Performance? School and mall performances

Stage Fright? All the time

Favourite Show? Green Mountain Music Fest

Least Favourite Music Story? It involves the Backstage lounge, G-spot and Projectile Vomitus

Favourite band/musician (at the moment)? Dan Carey, Tool

Favourite band/musician (all time)? “Bonzo” Bonham

Ten years from now, where will you be (perfect answer)? Here, rich, playing live all the time

Ten years from now, where will you be (probable answer)? Here, poor, playing live all the time

The Stumbler’s Inn play Friday, August 6th, at The ANZA Club in Vancouver. It is the first of the “Sound Lounge Presents” concert series and the release party for their new album, “Get It Right”.  Shiloh Lindsey and Mellisa Mills open.

For music/musician related entries, please click HERE

Sitting Inn: Band practice Stumblers style

To say that Alec Myrfield is a poet is not too much of a stretch. When he sings, he takes you through his stories with the all-knowing, backwoods voice of a hunting guide who, though he scares you shitless, you trust to bring you home alive. Tonight, I am sitting in, interloping, on one of The Stumblers Inn’s rehearsals. Al composes the beginnings of a song on his accoustic and “then it morphs into its own when it leaves the accoustic and the boys get their filthy mitts on it.” I’ve come to watch and listen to that happen.

The “boys are his brothers, Graham (bass/vocals) and Jeff (keyboards), and honourary Myrfield, Chuck Dupuis (drums). Chuck and Graham are starting a fire in the living room when I arrive. Graham’s house is within walking distance of Vancouver General which is a fact I find very comforting. It seems everytime I even think of the Myrfield brothers, I end up fucked three ways from Sunday and staggering down a street somewhere. Graham opens the door, still in his work clothes, a reminder that successful musicians in this city are a rare bird indeed, and welcomes me in with a smile that few can beat. He changes into something less “work” and crashes down on the couch. Looking at his bare arms, I get tattoo envy. I have three from local singer/songwriter, Val Grahams’ gun, and Graham’s arms sport much of her work as well. Graham and Al have more ink between them than the pages of the Oxford English Dictionary, including the word “Stumbler” written across their knuckles. Their arms, like The Stumblers Inn, are storytellers. We head downstairs to the basement when Jeff and Al arrive. Everybody takes their post, and Graham kicks off the night hammering at the piano keys. Jeff starts on the keyboards and Chuck keeps time.

The Stumblers Inn are returning to the studio soon to record their next album so the purpose of tonight’s session is to hammer out the notes and disagreements. I get the impression that a lot of the creative tension in the band resides between Al and Jeff. Jeff is an amazing keyboardist and quite possibly the most talented of the brothers musically. Graham shoots me a wink and a smile before telling Jeff the last take “fucking sucked,” a move designed to get under his brother’s skin. Jeff turns to face his brothers and when he sees Graham’s smirk, he can’t help smiling himself before getting back to business. Jeff wants the song in G, Al pushes for B flat, Graham doesn’t seem to care, and Chuck waits patiently, fully aware that his drums have nothing to do with the discussion.

Al’s raw songs are the starting point from which the band works. As the song moves between them, all The Stumblers add their piece. Jeff’s keyboards are probably what Ray Manzarek would have sounded like if he moonlighted doing the sound effects for 1970s Sci-Fi movies. I had the privalege of sitting in on a jam with Jeff the night before last year’s Green Mountain Music Festival in Nanaimo, and when that boy starts to play, he’s gone. I once described The Stumblers Inn as “Blue Rodeo tied to The Doors, soaked in whiskey and set gloriously ablaze in a marijuana patch.” Jeff’s carnivalesque keys certainly lend a Doors quality to the band, but when the four of them play together, it is pure Stumblers.

It is amazing to watch them work together. The bickering persists, but brothers will be brothers, and in the end it is for the best because all their needling about keys, changes, tempo, and arrangement produces a quality sound. I chime in with my two cents here and there and unwittingly open an old can of worms by bringing up the accordion. I ask Jeff if he can play one and I’m sure I see a slight wince. Uh oh. Al and Graham jump on Jeff with comments about accordions. Jeff fights back claiming that the one accordion they’d ever supplied him with was a piece of crap and completely unplayable. “Accordion-gate” quickly passes with smiles and laughs all around and I decide to keep my mouth shut from that point on.

As the evening moves on, I am reminded just why these musical ruffians are so dear to me. The music is top notch and contains both a darkness and sense of humour that many bands today are either too lazy or too inept to pull off. Graham is one of my favourite bass players in the city even if he does insist on wearing his band’s shirt on stage (heh) and he never seems to mind when I remind him (constantly) that I’m not-so-secretly in “like” with his wife. I’m glad he knows I’m kidding, because his hands are large enough to crush the life out of me with one snap of his fingers. As for hands, I’ve often remarked on how Al holds his guitar. Al is a very big boy, and god help you if you ever demean his kith and kin in his presence, but he holds his guitars with the heart and soul of a poet, even if he gives you a shot in the arm for saying so.

The Stumblers Inn play The ANZA Club (3 West 8th Ave, Vancouver) on Friday, March 5th, 2010. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

You can view their MySpace page HERE.