The McDades shed new light on a Canadian classic with their striking reinvention of Sundown — premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.
Utilizing their unmistakable signature sound — a seamless and flawless fusion of Celtic-fuelled folk with horn-laced contemporary jazz — the Juno-winning Edmonton vets transform Gordon Lightfoot’s iconic single from a dark downtempo lament into a spry, vibrantly invigorated wonder. The track is such a natural, perfect fit for them that it almost seems predestined. Which is basically what they decided too.
“We’d been talking in the studio about how many great Canadian songwriters there were and how fun it would be to add some of those songs to our shows,” the sibling-led outfit explain in a press release. “During a break from the studio we were out with a family friend who was sharing stories about his acting days. He told a great one about the the time he shared a trailer with Gordon Lightfoot during the filming of Harry Tracy, Desperado. That same night our mom shared a story about meeting Gordon at a party in Edmonton.
“It seemed all signs were pointing to us bringing a Gordon Lightfoot song into our show. As soon as we tried Sundown with open-tuned guitar, saxophone, fiddle and upright bass, we immediately felt how fitting it felt for the McDade sound. We tried to capture the emotional turmoil of the lyrics through everyone’s performance, especially in the kickin’ saxophone solo.”
Those familiar with the band already know that punching through the walls of tradition is part of The McDades’ DNA. Their Celtic-rooted music blends the spontaneity of jazz improvisation and infectious global rhythms, forging a cutting-edge sound that perfectly complements their fiery performances.
At the heart of the group are siblings Shannon Johnson, Solon McDade & Jeremiah McDade, who grew up playing Canadian folk music alongside their parents and among artists from around the world — a unique upbringing that led to a love and respect for all music. Their groundbreaking compositions and innovative arrangements are characterized by stunning virtuosity and a near-telepathic interaction on stage. Shannon’s lyrical fiddle, Jeremiah’s searing winds and Solon’s smooth bass create the rich foundation for this adventurous band. With vocal harmonies that can only come from a family, and an obvious love for each other and their music, The McDades’ sound is immersed in the spirit of improvisation, featuring both energetic instrumentals and sensitive vocals performed in English and French.
Sundown also features Andy Hillhouse on guitar, Paul Shrofel on keyboards, Eric Breton on percussion and Rich Irwin on drums. It was recorded at Planet Studios in Montreal and HereIJam Studios in Edmonton, and was mixed by Daniel Cinelli at Planet Studios and mastered by Brett Zilahi at MetalWorks. Check it out above, hear more from The McDades below, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.