Just over ten years ago a new label was formed in East Vancouver – Northern Electric. The artist-run collective launched itself with a big multi-day multi-venue party called RattleShake and the release of its’ first two albums Herald Nix’s “What A World” and Rodney DeCroo’s debut CD.
At the time, Northern Electric was centered around a turn-of-the-century Main Street home run by conductor/label manager Richard Chapman. Herald Nix recorded “What A World” and parts of “Soul Of A Kiss” there. The Main Street home was a hub of activity with many regulars checking out the progress of Nix’s return to recording like Rodney DeCroo, Ray Condo, members of Blue Rodeo and the infamous Chris Houston. Legendary bass player and rockabilly hall-of-famer, Ronnie Hayward, who plays bass on Nix’s album, was working on a jazz project, as Ronnie Artur, and his “Get This!” was also an early Northern Electric release, in addition to producer Jon Wood’s pastoral Flophouse Jr. project.
Fast forward ten years – Rodney DeCroo released 5 albums with the label – Herald Nix has added 4 new CD titles to his catalogue. In total, Northern Electric has birthed 35 albums and two books with many other notable artists such as the Pointed Sticks, Great Aunt Ida, Bughouse 5, Spoon River and many more. Most recently, Northern Electric teamed up with Commercial Drive Coffee to produce a diverse compilation of regional pride titled East Van Special Blend, which has sold beyond expectations and continues to sell extremely well at East Van coffee houses, restaurants and venues as well as usual record outlets.
Upcoming releases include a brand new Pointed Sticks album and an ambitious 168 page hard cover book/cd from popular Vancouver songstress Kelly Haigh complete with short stories, paintings, song lyrics and so much more.
This month on Thursday, May 15th both Herald Nix and Rodney Decroo play the Fox Cabaret on Main Street. Also on the bill – another local great, Mac Pontiac, and a Northern Electric card carrier. And thanks again to our friends at Commercial Drive Coffee who co-sponsored this special event.
Not too long ago Northern Electric teamed up with Bang On and The Waldorf (the Fox team’s previous incarnation) to produce The Rebel Kind Cabaret & Traveling Road Show and had a blast! We look forward to having fun at the newly renovated Fox Cabaret!