The North Sound offers raw, honest lyrics rooted in Blackfoot identity

Scott Roos

Special to the Herald

The 2021/2022 season of EA Rawlinson Centre for the Arts shows will be kicking off this Saturday, Oct. 2 with critically acclaimed, award winning country rockers The North Sound playing a CD release show for their record “As the Stars Explode”.

Primarily a duo made up of singer-songwriter Forrest Eaglespeaker and his partner Nevada Freistadt, for this show The North Sound will be fleshed out by a number of backing musicians. The goal is to get the arrangements from their album tracks as close as possible to their studio counterparts.

“It feels really good,” remarked Eaglespeaker when asked about finally being able to perform at a proper release show.

“As the Stars Explode” was released in October of 2020. COVID essentially cut short any major touring plans that The North Sound might have had. They made the best of the situation with a few smaller shows and also had four charting singles on the Indigenous Music Countdown.

The gratitude that Eaglespeaker has for being able to play the Rawlinson this weekend is evident.

“It’s nice to be on the radio and it’s nice to have acknowledgement from people that have some title, or work with some sort of magazine or station or whatever, but that’s not the reason why I started playing music,” Eaglespeaker said. “The reason I started writing songs and the reason I picked up drumsticks or picked up a guitar or anything is because I love music, so the fact that we get to go out and do that… I’m really excited.”

Created to share stories in keeping with Eaglespeaker’s Blackfoot identity and traditions from Treaty 7 Territory, The North Sound offers up raw and honest lyrics while tipping their caps musically to classic country rock like the Allman Brothers. The vocal harmonies composed by Freistadt, which are a huge aspect of the group’s overall sound and appeal, are reminiscent of Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons.

“The vocal harmonies are such an important piece of our sound and I think as I know it from my own experience, it’s not an easy thing to do,” Eaglespeaker explained. “I’m a lead vocalist and harmonies are a thing that just eludes me. I can’t figure them out, so the fact that Nevada does it so easily and so amazingly adds so much to what we do.”

With new guidelines coming into effect on Oct. 1, the Rawlinson asks that you bring proof of double vaccination to the venue or proof of a negative COVID test result from within 72 hours of the show. Tickets are moving steadily and can still be purchased via the Rawlinson website. Opening for The North Sound will be Gunner and Smith. The show will start at 7:30 pm. 

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