Reviews Music The Retrievers Reach Another Milestone

The Retrievers Reach Another Milestone

The Retrievers at Horseshoe Tavern
The Retrievers
Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, ON
May 24, 2013

Review by: Lee Fraser
Photos by: Pete Nema

The Retrievers return to the Horseshoe to release their first album.

The Retrievers

A couple of months ago, we introduced you to a new band on the scene, The Retrievers. At the time, they had managed to get a Tuesday night slot at The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern, a gig they considered to be an important benchmark in pursuing their dreams. The band put on such a good show back in March that the iconic venue invited them back. The boys took advantage of the invite and used the prime Friday night slot to release their first album.

From the first funky riffs of "Generation", folks in the audience were turning to each other with smiles and getting to their feet. By the third song, there was rampant dancing taking place and by the fifth song, the checkerboard floor was full. The Retrievers aim to pick up on the energy of the crowd and serve it right back; apparently they succeeded since the guys in the band were visibly having a blast.

The band played most tracks from the album so that their set list reflected the range of musical styles they've put together as their first CD. Flowing between funk, rock, country, reggae and back to rock, The Retrievers cannot easily be pin-holed and that is part of what makes this band so much fun to see live. They even managed to throw in a Dick Dale cover, the surf rock instrumental "Miserlou". You never know what you're going to get. They may not be a perfectly polished, insanely tight band, but they've got a very strong foundation.

About mid-set, drummer Jarred McCall made his way front and centre to point out to folks that the album art was done by Viv Fleisher after she listened to all the tracks on the album the first time. Providing that extra bit of information to appreciate is just one example of how a small-town band connects with their fans on a more personal level.

The Retrievers ended their set with the first track on the album, "Molly Made" a catchy, fun track. Not surprisingly, the crowd was begging for one more song. As the sound guy came on stage to start setting up for the next band Alex Frank had to turn to the crowd apologetically and wave good night. But that’s okay. The band made it from Nu Music Nite Tuesday to opening slot on Friday; it won’t be long before they’re headlining and getting to do the requested encores.

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