JR. GONE WILD
They’re back! And to state that they’re back with a vengeance is no understatement. Attendees at Jr. Gone Wild’s comeback show in Edmonton last spring can attest to the band rocking hard as ever through a marathon set that lasted three hours. In fact, this line-up is as hard-working a version of Jr. as anyone’s ever seen. What an opportunity for their fans to re-connect with the songs that grabbed them in the first place, and for the next generation to experience one of North America’s finest alt-country bands.
Mike McDonald formed Jr. Gone Wild in 1983. They broke up in 1995, and recently re-banded in 2013. While McDonald was always the one constant, the thing that each of the different incarnations had in common was McDonald’s inclusion of members who could collaborate with the songwriting and the sharing of the lead vocals.
The original band of McDonald, Dave Lawson, Ed Dobek, and Dove Brown toured for three years before releasing their debut album Less Art, More Pop! The LP received enthusiastic college radio airplay in Canada and the US, while Jr. Gone Wild came into its own touring night after night in clubs across North America.
In 1989 the band released its second recording, a cassette-only collection of live tracks and demos entitled Folk You/The Guido Sessions. In 1990 came Too Dumb to Quit, followed in 1992 by Pull the Goalie, and then the final album in1994, Simple Little Wish. All three of their last albums were recorded on the Stony Plain Records label.
In the current line-up McDonald is joined by Steve Loree on electric guitar and pedal steel, Larry Shelast on drums, and Dove Brown on bass.
A few years back, Winnipeg award-winning music journalist Michael Barclay wrote:
“When it comes time to write the history of alt-country – that is, the reinvention of country music by a generation weaned on punk – it will be written by Americans, and it will exclude many Canadians that are in danger of being forgotten in their own country. Because of this, Jr. Gone Wild will never take their historical place…”
The time is nigh.