Stand Up! (2001)
Blow The House Down, and Their first album, Stand Up! has garnered critical acclaim, winning a West Coast music award in 2002, and being named by Ross Porter of CBC’s After Hours as one of the top albums of 2001. The group also captured the ‘Grand Prix de Jazz’ at the 2002 Edition of the Montreal Jazz Festival for their live performance there.
Blow The House Down features compositions by Andrew Downing and Kevin Turcotte, as well as a thorough retelling of Sergei Prokofiev’s classic musical tale Peter and the Wolf. It also features drawings of the story by Toronto theatre designer Yesim Tosuner. In its short lifespan, it has already been met by favourable praise.
The group’s music is hard to categorize, falling somewhere between jazz, roots, classical, and gypsy music, and never adhering to a particular style for long enough to pin it down. The four instruments all work as equal parts of the band, each providing melody, harmony, rhythm, texture, and improvisation at one time or another in the course of a performance. The way the four interweave their parts and improvisations provides for a musical ride that seems to cause smiles, tears, and laughter.
The Great Uncles have made their way across this great land of ours many times, as well as travelling abroad to England this past summer. They find themselves at home at jazz festivals, folk festivals, concert halls, clubs, and back yards anywhere, and have played as far east as St. John’s Newfoundland at The Ship Inn, as far north as The Dawson City Music Festival, and to close to 10,000 people at the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal. They have shared shows with The Rheostatics, opened for Dave Brubeck, and played with Jane Bunnet and her Cuban all-star band.
The four individuals each boast a pretty hefty resume on top of all of it. They have shared stages and recording projects with the likes of Moe Koffman, Gil-Scott Heron, Eugene Chadbourne, Taj Mahal, Long John Baldry, Kelly Joe Phelps, Guido Basso, Rob McConnell, Patricia O’Callaghan and Albert Schultz.