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“Today’s Remains” is the second solo offering from Shuyler Jansen. It is the follow up Shuyler’s 2004 critically acclaimed electro-folk solo debut “Hobotron” and Old Reliable’s 2005 rocker “The Burning Truth”. Shuyler is a founding member and one of the two principal song writers from Edmonton Alberta’s much loved roots rock band Old Reliable who have released 4 brilliant and highly revered albums over their 12 year career.
These days Shuyler calls Saskatoon home but it was in Vancouver that the songs on Today’s Remains hit the tape. Produced by Juno award winner Steve Dawson (Kelly Joe Phelps, Jim Byrnes, Jenny Whiteley), the album was engineered by Sheldon Zaharko (Barney Bentall) and recorded at the Factory. Shuyler and Steve are joined on the album by Chris Gestrin on keyboards (K-OS, Randy Bachman), John Raham on drums (Be Good Tanyas, Po’ Girl, Kinnie Starr), Keith Lowe on bass (Fiona Apple, Bill Frisell), the Greta Quartet, singers Karly Warkentin and Alice Dawson to create a dramatic mood swing with sweeping strings, snaky guitars, smooth pedal steel, rumbling tumbling bass, funky drums and roaring Hammond, Rhodes, Glockenspiel, Baritone, piano, moog, weissenborn and more. Close your eyes and the music harkens back to the 70’s country sound of Willie Nelson’s “Shotgun Willie” or Merle Haggard’s “Back to the Barrooms” but also more concurrent artists such as Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Gillian Welch, Neil Young, Lucinda Williams, Mark Kozelek and Will Oldham.
As for the songs themselves, they are culled from several lifetimes of stories and songs and inspired by the words and music of Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Billy Joe Shaver. Opening with the slightly epic and grandiose “Pegasus”, and closing with the shattered sun showered dreamscape of “Chief”, Shuyler braids a tale of infidelity, addiction, death and broken trust, re-occurring themes that seem to encompass the ten songs on “Today’s Remains”. Once again distorting genres, songwriter and producer carefully sifted 10 songs from dozens of compositions to form a distinctly cohesive collection of truth filled songs resulting in a country folk classic.
Since the release of Hobotron in 2004 Shuyler has toured Holland, England, Scotland, USA, Canada with over 200 performances and is also a cast member and alumni of the traveling frenzy Hootenanny featuring Oh Susanna, Luther Wright, Carolyn Mark, Jenny Whiteley, and others who tour across Canada several times a year. Shuyler will be touring Canada, USA, UK and Europe with a full band to promote “Today’s Remains” beginning in September 2007.