Swamp Music Players: An Interesting Twist On Southern Rock From Canada

Posted 08 Jun 2014 in Artist News, General News, News

When you think of southern rock Canada might not be the first place your mind wanders to but the Swamp Music Players will make you think twice about that.  The Swamp Music Players have a rotating group of musicians that sit in with the band and what comes out is something to check out.

Swamp Music Players

Timeless Cool

I had the opportunity to ask a few questions and find out some more about what the Swamp Music Players are all about.

Q: Explain for our readers who the Swamp Music Players are and how the idea turned into a band.
SMP: It was just going to be a one time “Swamp Music” show in 2010 at a cafe to raise school supplies for a Louisiana penpal we dub “Swamp Girl” and also to rally friends and local artists to a fun show. This event was a great positive experience and the crowd  was surprisingly larger and attentive than we anticipated for a cafe show. A loose music collective was formed with a rotating lineup of energetic amateurs and a series of pub shows were organized this time helping African non-profit Ascoderu.
The enthusiasm of SMP and its good works began to attract professional musicians and a local recording studio offered us generous discounts to record. In December 2012 our micro-budgeted self-titled album went on to play on several campus FM radio stations across Canada even briefly charting in Kingston Ontario. We were amazed  to have our tunes play on the airwaves in Idaho, Missouri,Alabama, Greece, Canary Islands and even many more spins online. The volatile collective began to evolve more into a band while maintaining a mixture of professional musicians letting their hair down and hopeful amateurs along for the thrills of performing.
Swamp Music Players

Q:How many shows have you performed?
SMP: That might be complicated, the current SMP core approximately 20 shows in a couple years, while SMP as a collective hosted a weekly jam at 55 shows at one venue alone in 2012/2013. We have been keeping busy but we have only played 4 shows in 2014 and have spent most of our time in the home studio making our album “Timeless Cool”

Swamp Music Players
Q:This is an interesting concept.  How many musicians play with SMP?  Is there a core group of members or is it always changing and evolving?
SMP: The core group of SMP has stabilized into a very proficient drums, bass and keys section.. The other members of SMP vary often as we have a cast of satellite members and allies from the local scene and we usually have a special guest frontperson. SMP has evolved in an unexpected way continuing our collaboration habit with international artists that have learned about us from the visibility we have gained. We thirst to work with people we like; we are not driven by an ego but the joy and adventure to work with others.
Q: How would you describe ‘swamp music’?
SMP: I like to think that the original Swamp Music is like the music equivalent of the big bang. Blues, Rock’N’Roll, Swamp Pop and Country music ignited from the South and began to spread across the world capturing everyones imagination. Blues was the big catalyst and we love our Delta & Swamp Blues as well as the Swamp Pop. Southern Rock”Roll, Country Rock Blues cross pollinated to make that great Southern music. It keeps evolving and Funk arguably came out of the Swamp with bands like The Meters and The Gaturs. If all life came out of the swamps then why not all music, music reflects life!

Swamp Music Players
Q: SMP’s sound is obviously rooted in Southern Rock and Blues.  Who are some of your biggest influences as a band?
Muddy Waters and Slim Harpo have been a great influence on SMP. We adore Swamp Pop legends like “Warren Storm” and “Tommy McLain” ,  Swamp Funk like “The Meters” and “The Gaturs” and the gritty bluesy B-sides of “ZZ Top”. Lucinda Williams is beloved by several members of SMP and a few of us are hardcore into Jerry Lee Lewis and The Big Bopper. Some of these influences may not be so apparent on our records but it really has had an effect on us. Without a word ever spoken the core of SMP gravitated towards the Cosmic American music of Gram Parsons so our Americana side is probably most reflected by the hand of Gram.
Q: Is there anyone in particular that you haven’t had in the band that is at the top of your list?  Who and why?
SMP: We have a long list but we have to sneak Mille and Mie Debray (The Soap Girls) onto the top slot of that list. They are a pair of South African pop stars that are rather mad, unpredictable and have a great time without worrying what anyone thinks. They can deliver sweet pop harmonies or they can growl with lots of attitude. The Soap Girls are changing their sound from Club/Dance to more of an indie rock sound.They grew up being fans of John Fogerty and Swamp Rock and they wouldn’t be shy about some of our dark lyrics or themes.We have talked to them about it and they seem receptive! We also have an interest in the exciting Rock vocalist Sisely Treasure and the silky voiced Jazz vocalist Kristina Héléne.

Swamp Music Players
Q: What’s the story behind Swamp Girl?
SMP: Swamp Girl is a recurring character in our art design. Her real name is Danielle Leigh Rashall an amateur model, digital artist and photographer from Northern Louisiana. She was our penpal and became our muse when we launched our first show to help raise ship her school supplies. Her mix of amusing and tragic stories were a spiritual inspiration for our first songs. Her moody photography was a perfect match to our music and she helped point a bunch of Canucks onto the right trail.
Q: What’s in the future for SMP?  Is the band going out on the road? Recording?
SMP: We have been recording in 2014 with our more ambitious sophomore album coming out this summer titled “Timeless Cool”. We are really excited to launch our Kickstarter soon to finish up the last bit of costs and to also help launch our Swamp themed comic which our fans really enjoy. Our comic artist Zhana D`Arte was caught up in the Bosnian floods so we are eager to raise a wage for her work. On our album we have special accomplished Americana and Swamp musicians such as RJ Comer of Los Angeles , Wily Bo Walker of London UK and our friend Joseph Gearheart of Virginia. We also invited Texan “Jason Murphy” co-host of National Geographic TV’s “Hacking the System” to perform a wild eyed monologue to our Blues Boogie track “Heist Carnivale”. After the album is out we are going back into the studio to record a single with Juno nominated producer Wynn Gogol. We are also working on a LoFi cassette tape release of Ufology based swamp songs that will be flying under the radar.

Swamp Music Players
Q: Where can people catch a Swamp Music Players show?  Is the band going out on the road?
SMP: This season we tend to randomly haunt Cenote Restaurant and Lounge a funky cool venue located beneath the streets of Victoria BC.
We really can’t tour beyond Vancouver Island this year but our supplemental guitarist “$wamp Machine” will be down in Los Angeles to jam with some of our friends and fly the SMP flag.

The Swamp Music Players seem to be quite busy and the idea of a rotating and ever-changing group of musicians playing with the group makes it easy to keep a fresh sound.  We’ll be looking for more to come from SMP in the future.

Check out their website for some more info and to hear some of SMP’s tunes.


Dave has been eating, living, and breathing music since before he could talk. This makes Dave perfect for his role here at Guitar News Daily.

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