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Biography

A fixture on the independent music scene for ten years, Old Reliable has earned a name making gritty honest roots music combined with the fire of rock and roll and the howl of bluegrass. Centered on the songwriting of Shuyler Jansen and Mark Davis, Old Reliable’s unique style is combined with lyrics that are unafraid to explore the darker themes of traditional country music. Multi-instrumentalist Shawn Jonasson and bass player Tom Murray round out the band. Recently the band replaced longtime drummer Scott Lingley with original Old Reliable drummer Mike Silverman. The key to the group’s success is their ability to sound utterly natural; nothing appears forced or artificial, and no one raises an eyebrow at the bubbling synthesizers lurking behind the fiddle or the fuzz guitar solo.

Old Reliable’s first three albums, including their debut Gone Are the Days, were recorded by Scott Franchuk at Riverdale Recorders of Edmonton and were mastered by Peter J. Moore at the E Room in Toronto. Their fourth album, The Burning Truth, was recorded by Scott Franchuk, Al Irving at Sundae Sound Studios in Calgary, and was mastered by Jim Wilson of Yes Mastering in Austin, TX. Featuring songwriting by both Jansen and Davis, The Burning Truth was released in the spring of 2005, following their first-ever appearance at the renowned South By Southwest festival in Austin. 2005 also saw Old Reliable performing at the Alberta Scene showcase in Ottawa, as well as tours of Canada and the USA.

Old Reliable’s third recording, Pulse of Light Dark Landscape, showcased the songs of Shuyler Jansen. Tinged with violin, cello and pedal steel guitar the record moves effortlessly from winsome ballads to galloping rock songs. Pulse of Light Dark Landscape features the work of famed rock photographer Elliott Landy (Van Morrison/Moondance), The Band/The Band, Bob Dylan/Nashville Skyline) and guest vocalists Mike Caldwell (The Smalls) and Corby Lund (Corb Lund Band). Pulse of Light Dark Landscape charted across Canada, reaching the top ten in several college, co-op and country radio markets (CKUA, CJSR, CKER, CBC Radio Sonic).

The Gradual Moment, Old Reliable’s sophomore effort, features appearances by the members of Calexico and Giant Sand as well as the multi- instrumentalist Bob Egan (Blue Rodeo, Freakwater, Wilco, Billy Bragg). The Gradual Moment was composed by Mark Davis and chronicles his girlfriend’s battle with breast cancer from her initial diagnosis to her tragic death at age 31. The Gradual Moment drew widespread acclaim for its atmospheric sound and reached number one at CKUA and CJSR. The album has also been featured on CBC’s Radio Sonic, In the Key of A, and Definitely Not the Opera.

Old Reliable’s mesmerizing live shows have made them a number of notable friends over the years. The band has shared the stage with Guy Clark, Gord Downie, Alejandro Escovedo, Oh Susanna, Ray Condo, Giant Sand, Richard Buckner, the Corb Lund Band and many others. The members also maintain active careers outside of Old Reliable; these have produced Jansen’s electronic country solo album “Hobotron” (released November 2004) and Jonasson’s old-school country project The Swiftys (whose self-titled debut came out in 2003).

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