Hard Rain Records
Terminal Station is a Vancouver based blues-rock band. They released their debut recording “Burnout Blues” in 2007. Their follow-up recording “Rolling All Night” was first released in 2009. “Brotherhood” is their third album. But who are these guys?
The four principal players in Terminal Station are some of Canada’s finest session musicians and part of Vancouver’s burgeoning blues and roots scene. Lead singer and guitarist Scott Smith has been in many different bands. Smith met bassist Jeremy Holmes in 1996 when they both played in the rockabilly band “Bughouse Five” and appear together on that bands 1998 album “Everything Must Go!”. Always interested in the Blues the album contained covers of Lightnin’ Hopkins’ “My Little Kewpie Doll” and Big Joe Turner’s “Boogie Woogie Country Girl”. In 1998 guitarist Smith also recorded “Surf After Dark” with The Surfdusters and authored many of the bands instrumentals. Smith also just released his own album “Lifeboat: Explorations in Pedal Steel”; recorded during the pandemic, Smith besides playing pedal steel, also plays electric and acoustic guitars, piano and bass. Smith has also played with Canadian artists Barney Bentall, and favorite son Rich Hope.
Keyboardist Darryl Havers is a member of Canada’s “BrickHouse” and also appeared on Raffi’s 2002 children’s album “Let’s Play”. Havers and bassist Holmes have also worked together and appear on Jim Byrnes’ 2014 album “St. Louis Times” on Steve Dawson’s Black Hen Records label. In fact, both bassist Holmes and drummer Liam MacDonald, are part of Steve Dawson’s touring “Black Hen Roadshow”.
On “Brotherhood” guitarist Smith, bassist Holmes, and keyboardist Havers are also vocalists. Drummer MacDonald doubles on percussion. Special guests include the harmonica toting Victor Polyik who played on Terminal Station’s first album; guitarist John Sponarski, and saxophonist Dominic Conway. The background vocalists include Colleen Rennison who released her own album, 2014’s “See The Sky About To Rain”; and recording engineer Christopher Woudstra. The album was also mixed and mastered by Woudstra at Vancouver’s Emerson Street Studios.
Smith is the primary songwriter as he has written or co-written ten of the twelve songs, mostly with Holmes, although everyone in the band contributes. The album reflects a shared love and knowledge of blues and roots rock. The band opens with the instrumental “Barrelhouse” evoking a Magic Sam type sound. They explore Allman Brothers-like southern rock on “One More Bottle”; and get into T-Bone Walker styled shuffles on “One More Shot” and “Take Me Back or Let Me Go”. Other highlights include the swamp blues “Poor Lightnin’”; the B.B. King styled “If You Don’t Know Me Now”; the Little Feat influenced “Chicago Calling”, and the Booker T & The MG’s sounding “Booker D”.
This is explosive blues rock with fat bass, and drums, and exciting soloing from guitarist Smith and keyboardist Havers. This album will leave you asking yourself “where can I see these guys?”, as the band gets into a groove on “Ain’t Giving Up On Rock N’ Roll”.