(SNN) - It has taken 10 years of blood, sweat, tears and personnel changes, but a battle hardened local garage band is finally ready to share the cover song they have crafted over the last decade. In what may be the cultural event of the year, Saskatoon’s very own ToonSmiths will perform Proud Mary in public.
The road has not been easy. Drugs, alcohol, and fist fights over artistic differences have all taken their toll.
Over the years, bandleader and practice garage owner Steve “Smitty” McSmith has replaced every musician to get the formula just right.
“Chemistry is important,” he said. “You don’t want just anyone playing Proud Mary, especially drummers who speed up the last sixteen bars just so they can grab the last beer.”
Asked why it has taken so long for the band to master one song, McSmith blamed the short growing season in Saskatchewan.
“I don’t have a heater in the garage, so we can only practice during August.” Further discussion revealed that the band lost an entire year trying to figure out Myspace.
McSmith insists that nailing Proud Mary was worth the pain. “A band needs to focus or they’ll just jam on the same two chords forever. You can’t call yourself a classic rock cover band without a killer Mary,” he said. “CCR, Elvis, Ike and Tina – so many conflicting versions can melt your brain.”
McSmith admits that seeing The Sheepdogs, their cross town rivals, make the cover of Rolling Stone in 2011 was an almost fatal setback, especially after his wife ran off with their guitarist.
“Those tone deaf stoners don’t even play Proud Mary,” McSmith said with evident bitterness. “Mark my words: without a solid Mary, they’ll be a flash in the pan.”
The Saskatoon public is invited to hear the ToonSmiths play Proud Mary and enjoy black light bowling this Friday night at the Pin House on Fairmont Drive. Children are welcome.
Photo by: Slenea N B H flickr photostream, Some Rights Reserved, The Sage nor this article endorsed.
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