It’s time. Hear the growling voice of a proud Viking, feel the charm of a seasoned storyteller and be moved by the energy of a lumberjack’s dark harmonious lullaby. Let the dust settle, let the smoke clear, and here they shall stand, in all their gritty glory: The Steady Swagger. A power trio with a voracious drive. Playful narrators with an outrageous spirit.
As soon as they get going, so does their hungry public. Show-goers are quick to dive right into the trio’s deft mélange of folk-rock, surf-punk, gypsy-jazz, sexy blues, swaying shanties and sharp hip-hop. And it’s quite the spectacle. Thirsty night owls move frantically. Restless nine-to-fivers groove wildly. Dishevelled punks rub elbows with slick old-timers. Burlesque beauties mingle with metal heads. Youngsters swing dance with truckers. Grandmas meet children. Gypsies meet hippies. Together, they all smile and frisk their way through rolling verses, heart-racing songs and deep, sombre pieces. Each Steady Swagger show ends up being a string of scenes so wildly disparate that their swift succession feels somewhat surreal. Stillness and mayhem. Waltzes and mosh pits. Roaring shouts and sing-alongs. It’s a potent mixture of festive and dark, comical and dramatic, comforting and angry. It’s rugged, charismatic, finely distilled and ferociously fun.
Today, the trio’s music consists of an enigmatic blend of rich and varied elements. Although long-time fans will undoubtedly still recognize the core Steady Swagger sound, it has clearly ripened. Now, from the corners of the band’s songs, some intricately crafted stories emerge. There’s a fresh poise there, as well as some captivating theatrical twists. The turmoil is still brewing, but inwardly. However, while it never stops experimenting, the trio did not lose its pure grit and its sharp teeth. If the mood spectrum is getting wider, the fierce spirit from the early days definitely remains crisp. During the band’s beginnings, it was its rock-fuelled, high-energy take on folk that caught the attention of the Montreal public. One song at a time, they managed to turn any venue into sheer pandemonium. While they never shy away from still doing that today, they now have a much broader musical palette and a lot more secret weapons in their arsenal.
It’s somewhere in the eclectic landscape of the Montreal underground that the members of The Steady Swagger initially crossed paths. Not long after, the band’s first studio album ...and they call it Whiskeybillie (2012) came out, achieving significant critical acclaim. It ranked no. 3 on CIBL Radio's (Montréal) top 2012 albums, as well as no. 8 in Beat Magazine's (Melbourne, Australia) top 10 (issue no. 1327 page 52). Indeed, although the band is based in Québec’s metropolis, its music keeps conquering new tribunes all over the globe. Case in point: shortly after the release of the band’s second self-titled studio album (2013), a devoted Russian fan recorded a cover of the song “Barrels of Rum” in his mother tongue. That same piece was also the object of a music video, produced by special effects maestro Jean-Mathieu Bérubé (known for his work on the film Turbo Kid). Then, throughout summer 2016, the trio toured Western Europe, playing shows in Italy, Switzerland and France. Their piece “One More Shot” is being used by Blue Monday, a radio show in Perugia, Italy. A highly anticipated third studio album is in the works, due to come out in spring 2017.