Duke Murray

Roche Uhntraal catches up with Dale Murray.

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Oshawa, Ontario’s Cuff the Duke have added some Dartmouth flavour to their line-up in the form of ex-Guthrie Dale Murray. The alt-country band released a statement on their website on November 29 announcing their parting of ways with founding member Jeff Peers.

“The deal is that I am taking over guitar, keyboard, pedal steel and backing vocal duties in Cuff starting on New Year’s Eve in Oshawa,” Murray says, having recently returned home from filming the group’s video for “Take My Money and Run.” “I’m taking over for Jeff who officially the guys are saying parted ways, although I’m not sure of the whole story.”

It has been a busy 2005 for Murray, who toured the country twice to promote his debut solo record Brighter Lives/Darker Side, played the role of the pedal steel player in the film The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico, which screened in Halifax during the Atlantic Film Festival and did a short Maritime tour as pedal steel and guitar player for Adam Puddington in support of Cuff.

“I got the call because I think they’ve been fans of my playing for a few years now,” says Murray, “and they thought I could add a lot to the band.”

The Avenger

For the past 13 years, Yellow Jacket Avenger has been the label for all the musical endeavors for which Geoffrey Pye has been at the helm. Five or six incarnations later, and it is looking as though he will finally release a long-awaited album.

“The band wants to make a record, it’s a question of when. But I’m hoping sometime in the winter we can get started on it,” says Pye, who has released his material both through mail order and on compilations in the past. “I think it’s pretty long overdue.”

The jam trio — including bassist Chris Pennel who joins guitarist Pye — recently rounded out their lineup with drummer Nathan Doucet. Doucet, who is familiar as the man behind the skins for Moth and Rust (formerly 52 Minutes), was brought to Pye’s attention by Pennel.

“This will be our premiere show with him,” says Pye. “He just seemed to be really enthusiastic, and we both really liked his playing.”

Yellow Jacket Avenger performs with Mitch & The Motorhomes and Matt Grimson Inc. on December 16 at the North End Pub.

Spudcases

Showcases were announced this week for the East Coast Music Awards, to be held February 23 through 27 in Charlottetown. As usual, Halifax will be well represented with 10 artists crossing the Confederation Bridge. Matt Mays will perform as part of the SOCAN Songwriter’s Circle; Christian rockers The Contact will play the From Roots to Rock showcase; Jonny Stevens, King Konqueror and the Danny Mainstreet Band have been selected to play the Rock showcase; Dave Carmichael, Rose Cousins and Sons of Maxwell are among this year’s musicians playing the Roots Room; and Jenn Grant and Norma MacDonald are part of Sneak Peek Rising Stars.

A holiday Feist

For those who were unable to snap up tickets to Feist quickly enough for her January 14 engagement at The Marquee Club with support from Jenn Grant, quit your bitching and call the damn box offfice — another, all-ages, show has been added. The 2004 double Juno-winner for Let it Die will play a second date at The Marquee on January 15. Tickets are available now at the Dalhousie Arts Centre box office, 494-3820.

In other Arts & Crafts news, keep an eye out for Feist’s labelmates Stars and affiliates Metric, both rumoured to be hitting town in mid-February. a

Rumour mill always spinning: scene@thecoast.ca.

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