Harlan Pepper – Young and Old

Band: Harlan Pepper
Album: Young and Old

Hamilton’s Harlan Pepper is made up of Jimmy Hayes (guitar, pedal steel, harmonica), Dan Edmonds (banjo, keys, vocals), Thompson Wilson (bass, vocals), and Marlon Nicolle (drums, vocals). Their debut album is titled Young and Old, reflecting both their youth (they’re barely out of high school) and their ability to pay homage to classic folk/country influences.

Young and Old’s opening tune, “Great Lakes”, is a little more bluegrass than the rest of the album, and really exemplifies great Canadian songwriting, highlighted by some fancy work on the harmonica. In addition to bluegrass, the album touches upon folk, country, blues, and rock. “El Jandro” is a mellower folk tune, featuring some great group chanted vocals, while “Yeah” is a little more rockin’ than most of the other tunes. It’s also one of the longer tunes, second only to the album closer “Burnout”, both featuring some heavier riffage and solo work. Plus they’re also bold enough to put out “Reefer” and I’ve gotta give them credit for that. This album is consistently good, weaving through different influences but all tied together by great songwriting and a rootsy classic sound.

Having only released this album earlier this fall, it’s impressive to note that Young and Old has already received some acclaim from their hometown, as Harlan Pepper took away New Artist/Group of the Year and Folk/Roots Recording of the Year from the Hamilton Music Awards. With these 9 songs, it’s hard to believe these guys are this young. Their old souls permeate their recordings; nothing really screams youth at all. If this is what these guys sound like now, with youth and already mature songwriting on their side, a bright future should be ahead of them.


Categories: Recorded


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