Nov. 24, 2010 - Issue #788 : Wool On Wolves
Fri, Dec 3, The ARTery
Afie Jurvanen, who performs as folk-pop duo Bahamas with drummer Jason Tait (Weakerthans), made his mark backing Feist and Jason Collett before finally stepping up to the mic with his own songs on 2009's Polaris-nominated Pink Strat.
Recorded in a cabin in the winter of 2008, Jurvanen recalls meeting Tait—who somehow already had a demo copy of Pink Strat—at a gig in Toronto. "He [Tait] said, 'Call me—Weakerthans aren't all that busy,'" the multi-instrumentalist laughs. "And it's worked out that we've been able to play a lot together. It's been one of the most rewarding musical dynamics I've played in, for sure."
This is no small statement, considering his list of collaborations and opening slots: Elvis Costello, Wilco, Feist, Jason Collett and Great Lake Swimmers, to name a few. Now that Bahamas is headlining its own tour for the first time, Jurvanen is enjoying the transitions from sideman to centre stage, from opening slot to headliner.
"So far the shows have been sold out, so it's been really nice," he deadpans. "People know the record and they sing along, which is a new and strange and welcome experience for us.
"When you're opening for people, it's a comfortable position because there's seemingly little pressure and you can play whatever you want," he continues. "But on this tour [as headliners], because we're a duo, it forces you to come up with new and different arrangements for the songs."
And Bahamas' success means that he doesn't have to keep his "day job" supporting others, at least for the time being.
"It's definitely something I've done a lot of in the past, and I really enjoy it. It's such a different musical thing you're doing when you're supporting other people's career," he offers. "I feel really comfortable in that position, and I feel like I've been really lucky to play with my friends and proud to say that I was a part of creating that music.
"But I'm just busy with my own stuff, and I like it that way."
Fri, Dec 3 (8 pm)
With Doug Paisley
The ARTery, $12
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