Eight years ago, as show promoter and Birdman Sound supremo John Westhaver said from the stage while introducing headliners Tricky Woo, the band made its Ottawa debut at a show; also on the bill — a CD release for Westhavers Resin Scrape— were Ottawa hard rockers the Dead City Rebels, their first show ever.

Though he didn’t mention it, around 2001 both Tricky Woo and the DCR were allegedly slated to have albums released by Man’s Ruin (the latter, at least,received money to record theirs). Man’s Ruin, of course, capsized. Although there’s no real connection, the Rebels soon split up and Tricky Woo metamorphasized into the Soft Canyon after one of its frequent lineup changes.

Thus, there was some sense of history involved when a reformed Woo and the Fortunate Sons, a band featuring three original Rebels in guitarists Nate Hurlow, drummer J.P Sadek and guitarist-vocalist Austen Morrow (four, if you count guest saxophonist Chris Anderson), once again shared a stage at The Dom.

The Fortunate Sons specialize in raw and kicking rock’n’roll; Exhibit A, a cover of The Replacements 'Take A Ride'. The vocals are raw, the guitars are raw, the tuning is frequently cavalier.

The band allegedly practices about once a year due to geographical differences, but they seemed to be fairly coordinated, having both recorded an album recently (in Detroit with Jeff Meier of Nathaniel Meyer’s backing band the Shanks and Rocket 455), and were definitely high energy. The band charged through such tunes as 'Motherf**ker In Law' and 'Golden Chains' before bringing their 11-song set to a close.

Tricky Woo don’t seem to have lost any fans since their last show in Ottawa — also with the Dead City Rebels — indeed, the sellout crowd was considerably larger than at that appearance.

The band’s hiatus obviously did them no harm; the band ripping through one song after another, scarcely pausing to catch their breath. Their return to a four-man lineup (mainstay guitarist and vocalist Andrew Dickson and longserving bassist Erick Larock persuaded guitarist Adrian Popovich to return; drummer Pat Sayers filled Pat Conan’s seat) didn’t do them any harm either. Their powerhouse hard rock style combines 70's style rock with adventurous lead work that isn’t afraid to stray outside the pentatonic scale.

The band’s ferocious return was just what every  fan  hoped it would be, and, needless to say, they brought down the house.


The photographs that accompany this article were taken by Andrew Carver












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