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Unique 'Frankenstein' approach from New Country Rehab

When members of New Country Rehab first looked at ways for original musical inspiration they found it with the Frankenstein approach.

When members of New Country Rehab first looked at ways for original musical inspiration they found it with the Frankenstein approach.

With this unique idea, the Toronto-based band created a new sound in the alternative country genre by taking a bit of this and that from the past, notably the works of legend Hank Williams Sr., and created a “high voltage” innovative style that has earned rave reviews.

“It is a Frankenstein approach. Our guitarist James Robertson has a knack of pulling things out of other genres and a way of incorporating interesting sounds into music,” said drummer Roman Tomé. “We can take an obscure Frank Williams Sr. song, rewrite it, and make it our own with themes of love, loss, pain and joy. They are timeless lyrics that can apply to any day and age.”

With this sensibility, one music magazine has suggested that New Country Rehab is "more Arcade Fire than Lady Antebellum, and comes out sounding like Canada's answer to the Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons."

Music lovers in Olds, who are into an experience that offers something a little different and unique, have an opportunity to take in New Country Rehab on Aug. 8 at Tracks Pub. The local stop is part of an Alberta tour. They will play Calgary Aug. 7, Olds the next evening, Red Deer on Aug. 9 and then up to Edmonton on the weekend for that city's annual folk festival.

The band has been together now for three and a half years. Along with Tomé and Robertson, the band has John Showman as lead vocalist and fiddler, and Ben Whiteley on double bass.

The band has recorded one self-titled CD, a mixture of originals and covers, and is now planning a second for the fall. Although the plan this time is for more original tunes they will have some interesting covers, including their take on Bruce Springsteen's State Trooper, a tune from the American artist's memorable Nebraska album.

“It was originally recorded with just a guitar. We've done it with the whole band and it is kind of cool,” said Tomé.

Although New Country Rehab has been together for just a short period of time, the band is increasingly in demand.

After the Alberta tour it is back to Toronto and then back on the road again to play at some interesting if not exotic locales.

“I think the popularity is a result of just playing a lot,” said Tomé. “In fact we rarely play Toronto anymore. We've played some showcases in Nashville, which is an encouraging town, and we are going back in late September.”

In between, New Country Rehab will be heading to Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

For more information on the band check its website at