Cupid’s Heart celebrating new single with show at Rock Trout

Submitted Photo Cupid’s Heart (L to R) Mitch Dunning, Emma Jean and Stacey Dunn will be playing at Rock Trout on April 27 as part of a 15-city tour to promote a new single.

Prince Albert’s Cupid’s Heart are celebrating the release of their new single “Pick Me Up” by embarking on a lengthy tour of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.

Cupid’s Heart will be playing a hometown gig at the Rock Trout Café in Prince Albert on April 27 as part of a new tour.

Guitarist Emma Jean and cellist Stacey Dunn have also added a new performer for select shows on the tour in drummer Mitch Dunning.

The band has performed the song live many times before finally deciding to get into the studio and record it. The single is slated to be released on April 26.

“(It’s) song that has been with us for a little while—actually, it’s been part of our live set for quite a while,” Jean said.

“It’s one of the songs that has really come into its own through playing live, and then it’s really developed to the point where we thought it would be a shame not to record it.”

The single was recorded with Orion Paradis out of Regina at SoulSound Studio who also recorded Atrium, the band’s first EP.

“We had a really good experience and it was just natural to go back and get this song recorded at his studio, “Dunn said.

“Also, his recording style that he does with the studio is a little bit more influenced by live off the floor kind of thing,” Jean added. “We will play at the same time and I feel like his studio produces a pretty good live feel—and for this song in particular.”

The Pick Me Up Tour starts on April 25 in Regina and continues to Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Brandon, Winnipeg, Kenora, Thunder Bay, Matachewan, North Bay, Barrie, Gravenhurst, Toronto, Guelph, Hamilton, and concludes in Oshawa on May 18 for a total of 15 shows.

They are focusing on shows on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and the tour will last nearly four weeks. They thought it was important to do a home stop in Saskatchewan and hit Regina and Saskatoon before travelling east.

“Celebrate our home province before we hit the road and get out fan support,” Jean said.

Jean added that not many bands make a drive to Eastern Canada but it was something they wanted to do. They also liked the idea of playing in places that normally don’t get as many touring acts.

“We thought it was pretty important, being from a community like Prince Albert that often gets neglected with touring bands coming through,” Jean said. “(With) some of these other communities we really wanted to make an effort to go and play—places like Brandon places like Kenora, places like Thunder Bay that maybe don’t see as many musicians on the road coming through.”

Touring bands are starting to come through Prince Albert with acts like Dead Bob and others performing. Jean said that’s great to see, and they want to bring that energy to their tour.

This will be the first tour with drummer Mitch Dunning. The band has historically performed as a duo, but had considered adding a drummer for a long time.

“We were kind of drummer curious,” Dunn said. “We came across Mitch Dunning. He had come to one of Cupid’s Heart shows and introduced himself…. We reached out to him and just wanted to see if he would want to come and jam around and see how it felt. Within the first practice we all had such a good time, we vibe together really well, and we were all excited to keep going.”

Dunning was originally slated for only Saskatchewan shows but is now joining the band for stops in the GTA.

The band is starting the tour in Regina at the Cure because it was where the band began.

“(It’s) kind of nostalgia but also kind of harkening back and honouring our roots a little bit<” Jean said. “Location-wise, it just made sense to go up from there, so we went Saskatoon next, followed by Prince Albert, but we really consider that whole weekend like a kick-off weekend. The order could have been anyway.”

Dunn is originally from the northern community of Matachewan and they are including it in the Northern Ontario portion that also includes Kenora, Thunder Bay, North Bay and Matachewan.

The Matechewan show will also feature Chief Alex ‘Sonny’ Batisse and his band Off the Beaten Track as an opening act.

“We thought that was pretty cool, and then we’ll head South into the Greater Toronto area and come back to Saskatchewan after our last show in Oshawa,” Dunn said.

“Thunder Bay is still along the Trans Canada, but once you start heading north of that—up towards North Bay—then you’re kind of off the beaten track,” she added.

They are also joining forces with duo Queens & Kings for the Ontario portion of the tour. The band is from the Toronto area and will join Cupid’s Heart at Matachewan.

“Originally, when we were creating the tour, we hadn’t really hooked up with Mitch yet at that point, so we were thinking duo,” Jean said.

“They do essentially half the tour with us.”

Their collaboration begins in Matachewan on May 8 and continues on May 9 at Lou Dawgs in North Bay, May 10 at CW Coops in Barrie, May 11 at Sawdust City in Gravenhurst, May 15 at the Dakota Tavern in Toronto, May 16 at Silence in Guelph, May 17 at Doors Pub in Hamilton, and completes at The Atria in Oshawa on May 18.

The tour is supported by SK Arts.

Cupid’ Heart with opening acts Sunset Embassy from Regina and Actor Director from Saskatoon on April 27 at Rock Trout, doors are at 7 p.m. and tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.