When Roy makes a record, he calls all his friends and makes it a party. It’s this prairie sense of community that informs his debut full-length, Heartworn Highways, the upbeat and thoughtful Americana-glazed follow up to 2014’s Taller Than the Trees EP. Re-teaming with co-producer Lloyd Peterson (Weakerthans), Roy made the record at Winnipeg’s Paintbox Recording with a host of Winnipeg music scene luminaries, including William J. Western (co-producer of Del Barber’s JUNO nominated Prairieography) on pedal steel, Crooked Brothers’ honorary member Daniel Bertnick on drums, and Red Moon Road’s Daniel Peloquin-Hopfner on banjo. Vocalists Madeleine Roger (Roger Roger) and Amelia Peterson supply the golden harmonies. With most of the instruments captured live-off-the-floor, it feels as though the listener is right in the room with Roy and co., soaking in the twanged-up tunes.
“The music of Kevin Roy pairs nicely with a warm cup of tea and a heavy knit sweater…two minutes in you’ll realize you already subconsciously began boiling your water.” – Paige Kreutzwieser, The Carillon, Regina
Mastered by JUNO-winner Jamie Sitar, the recordings have a clean kick that sounds like old country through brand new speakers. Roy’s vocals have a youthful charm and a world worn confidence to them — aged just right to deliver such upbeat tunes as “Same Old Sky” and the barn-burner “Prairie Fire.” Then there’s “The Mighty River” — a thoughtful and sparse tune inspired by the Red River Valley and the Alberta floods, given just the right amount hope and regret from this gifted singer.
The title track “Heartworn Highways” is a murder ballad written using almost exclusively old outlaw country song titles, teasing the works of Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Townes van Zandt and others, proving that Roy can have just as much fun paying tribute as he can while blazing his own trail.
“Those roots go back to the influence of my grandfathers and their music (one a guitar slinger, the other had a wicked way with a harmonica). I wish they could see me now, releasing a full length album of original songs, funded by 96 friends and fans through Kickstarter, and a tour to boot. I think they’d be proud .” - Kevin Roy
FALL TOUR DATES
Sept 23 Winnipeg, MB West End Cultural Centre
Sept 29 Regina, SK The Capitol
Sept 30 Swift Current, SK Urban Ground Coffeehouse
Oct 1 Twin Butte, AB General Store
Oct 2 Coleman, AB tba
Oct 4 Calgary, AB The Ironwood
Oct 5 Canmore, AB Good Earth Cafe
Oct 6 Edmonton, AB Cafe Blackbird ((joint with Dave Von Bieker)
Oct 7 Saskatoon, SK The Underground Cafe (openers are In With the Old)
Oct 8 Brandon, MB Prairie Firehouse
ABOUT KEVIN ROY
Roy’s debut EP, Taller Than The Trees, was released in 2014. Since then he’s logged over 250 shows across Canada, charted on !Earshot National Folk/Roots chart, and showcased across Canada (FMO, Provincial Contact, etc.). He’s opened for Lynn Miles (2013 JUNO winner for Roots & Traditional Solo Album of the Year) and Sweet Alibi (WCMA 2014 roots group of the year), played on festival bills with Deep Dark Woods, Andy Shauf, Dead South, Daniel Romano, and Kathleen Edwards. With his MayJune 2016 Kickstarter campaign he received over $6,000 in funding from 96 backers, exceeding his goal. Roy spends his spare time in nature and has a passion for fishing.