FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Northbound 51 from Moose Factory, Ontario, Releases Debut Album — Band’s music, a mix of country and folk with rock influences,
tells the story of Cree identity past and present
(MOOSE FACTORY, Ontario, Oct. 28, 2021) — Northbound 51, a band hailing from Moose Factory, Ontario, has released “Northbound 51,” their self-titled debut album. “Northbound 51” refers to the north bound train that brings people to Moose Factory and the community’s coordinates of 51.2625 N, 80.5930 W — Muskegowuk territory (Peoples of the Muskeg).
Northbound 51’s music — a mix of country and folk with rock influences — tells the story of Cree identity past and present. “The album’s major theme is longing for our home, which is Moosonee and Moose Factory,” says band leader and bass player Stan Louttit. “We sing about how many of us travelled south to schools and hospitals or have been taken away to such places as residential schools. The northbound train takes us back home to our parents, grandparents, friends and loved ones.”
Like many people in their small mainly Cree community at the tip of James Bay, the band’s members — lead guitarist Darrell McLeod, lead singer and acoustic guitarist Marilyn Gunner-McLeod, and Louttit — have known one another for many years. They started to perform together in 2015. Realizing they liked the sound and emotion they felt when performing together, the trio began writing songs in 2018, which led to the release of this album.
The band members’ close tie to their Cree culture, traditions and beliefs is reflected in the album’s five songs. “Father Mother” remembers their Cree parents and grandparents who have passed on. “A phrase in the Cree language in the song pays homage right to the people,” says Gunner-McLeod. “In this song, I also was trying to convey the sense of the land, animals and birds that you hear when you’re in the bush or on a quiet river far inland,” says Louttit. “The wolf howl at the beginning can give a sense of the dark night or sky when you hear animals. The vastness of the land and the wind in the trees gives you a sense of immensity, power and beauty of the land.”
“Open Road” and “North Bound Train” speak about leaving and coming back home to those who will always be there for us when we return. “Run Together” talks about life relationships. “Keep On” reflects on loss while having the strength to keep going during tough times.
“We write about our identities, such as our fathers’ and mothers’ time when they lived a very hunting, land-based lifestyle,” says Louttit. “Many of our Cree people’s grandparents lived a traditional lifestyle and, in many ways, that is becoming the past. So, we find it important to sing about not only the stories our parents told us of their lives and hardships but also about the beauty of the land.”
“We’re probably more ‘North Americana’ in the sense that we combine country, folk and rock styles so that we’re not completely one or the other,” says Louttit. “We’d like to think we embody and understand those deep styles of music and we find that the roots are important.”
“Northbound 51” was produced by Stan Louttit and Trevor James Anderson with additional engineering by Dex Piecowye. The album was recorded and mixed by Trevor James Anderson at Noble Street Studios, Toronto. Mastered by Noah Mintz at Lacquer Channel Mastering, Toronto. Jeremy Kleyhans is featured on drums and Anthony Carone is on keys. All of the songs were written by Stan Louttit except “Run Together,” which was written by Marilyn Gunner-McLeod and Darrell McLeod. Album artwork is by Roberta Landreth.
The digital album is available on Bandcamp for $10 CAD and will be available on November 1, 2021 on other major platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music and others. Physical CDs can be ordered on Bandcamp for $20 CAD and will be mailed in mid-November. Contact the band on Facebook.
Band Member Bios
Marilyn Gunner-McLeod is the lead singer and acoustic guitarist. She has been singing since childhood in the Moose Factory area. She has a gospel and country background and can also play drums.
Darrell McLeod is the band’s main guitarist and has been playing since his teens. He’s a graduate from the Trebas Institute of Recording Arts in Toronto and has played in a number of local bands in Moose Factory.
Stan Louttit is the bassist but also provides background vocals, keyboards, mandolin and acoustic guitar at many shows. He is also a bass and jazz performance graduate of the Humber College Music Program in Toronto.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Winnipeg Band Indian City Walks Beyond a Pandemic with New Album Titled, “Code Red”
Album conveys hope and need for inclusion, understanding and optimism
(WINNIPEG, Manitoba via REHOBOTH BEACH, Del., Nov. 3, 2021) — Released today, “Code Red” is the fourth album from Winnipeg folk-pop collective Indian City. Indian City is led by Vince Fontaine (Anishinaabe), the Juno Award-winning founder of First Nations rock icons Eagle & Hawk, and features acclaimed singers and musicians Don Amero (Cree-Métis), Jeremy Koz (Anishinaabe) and Sandra Sutter (Cree-Métis), as well as Canadian music stars Jim Cuddy (Blue Rodeo), Chantal Kreviazuk and Chris Burke-Gaffney.
The album is now available digitally on several streaming platforms at https://linktr.ee/indiancitymusic.
“Code Red is a window into the post-Covid world from an Indigenous perspective, conveying hope and the need for inclusion, understanding and optimism,” says Fontaine. “It became a much-used term in 2020, expressing a state of global health emergency during the pandemic; however, in the Indigenous world there has been an ongoing series of Code Reds for decades — if not centuries. This is where the concept and themes for the album emerged.”
“The album’s eight songs were written during the pandemic but this is not a pandemic record — it is not a record about loneliness or isolation or the things that we’ve lost,” says Fontaine. “It is, rather, a call to celebrate old truths that still shine like new and the timeless values that carried through the challenge — wisdom, love, respect, bravery, honesty, humility and truth. The pandemic offered a chance to strip away the complexities of daily life and refocus on those core values that bind us to each other and to Mother Earth.”
Code Red, the title track with lead vocals by Don Amero, is a call-to-action for people to become citizens of the world while keeping in mind that there is an ongoing Code Red in Indigenous communities. Smile, the first single produced from the album, was released in July. It conveyed lighthearted, positive messages about love, attraction and the beauty of a smile. Storyteller features Sandra Sutter on lead vocals. In Indigenous cultures, storytellers are knowledge keepers — the keepers of life, color and wisdom. The song honors Indigenous storytellers and the importance of all stories.
The Path, featuring Jeremy Koz on lead vocals, debuted on the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada on September 30, 2021. It is an exuberant anthem for Indigenous people to stand together on the journey to reconciliation. The healing power of compassion is explored further on ForGiving, which looks to a future in which we will, as Fontaine’s words urge, “start rewriting our collective story by defending love.”
Chris Burke-Gaffney sings on Walk Around The World and Canadian Juno Award Winner Chantal Kreviazuk lends her famously crystalline voice to Wannabe, an open celebration of the Seven Sacred Teachings — a framework for how to live in the world in a good way — that is grounded by the pulse of a beating drum and traditional Indigenous singing.
A standout track, Star People, reflects on the Anishinaabe creation story and journey through life. The song was born on Canada Day 2021, when a text from Fontaine’s longtime friend, Blue Rodeo frontman Jim Cuddy, sparked a conversation about the meaning of reconciliation. That discussion blossomed into a collaboration on Star People, a lyrical exploration of Indigenous concepts of existence and belonging. “It’s about our journey today and where we might go tomorrow — it’s a journey of hope,” says Fontaine.
Livestream Event on November 10 will Celebrate the Release of “Code Red”
Indian City will debut some of the songs from the album at the Burton Cummings Theatre in Winnipeg on Wednesday, November 10 at 2 p.m. Central Time. The concert will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube.
About Code Red
The songs were co-written by Fontaine, Jeremy Koz, Don Amero and longtime collaborator Chris Burke-Gaffney as well as Chantal Kreviazuk on Wannabe. The band’s lead vocalist is Jeremy Koz. Other vocalists on the album include: Don Amero, Jim Cuddy, Chris Burke-Gaffney, Chantal Kreviazuk and Sandra Sutter. The album was recorded at NB Studios, East St Paul Manitoba; produced by Fontaine and Chris Burke-Gaffney; and mastered by Allen Hunnie.
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About Indian City
Founded by Vince Fontaine, Indian City is a pop rock group based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Catchy hooks, airtight melodies and lyrics that feel millennial enough to appeal across a wide demographic. Their unique blend of female and male vocals complement each other creating a rich and smooth signature sound. Making their debut in 2012, Fontaine was set on bringing razor-sharp talent to his musical collective akin to the Toronto-based band, Broken Social Scene and global influences, such as Carlos Santana’s Supernatural. Indian City has become a strong voice for Indigenous cultures of North America often highlighting relevant issues past, present and future.
Indian City features vocalists Don Amero, Jeremy Koz, Neewa Mason, Gabrielle Fontaine and newcomer Sandra Sutter as well as long-time band mate Lawrence “Spatch” Mulhall. Indian City adds to the growing number of Indigenous artists sharing toward a strong and fair legacy of Indigenous peoples. Indian City has released four albums to date: “Supernation” (2012), “Colors” (2013); JUNO-nominated “Here & Now” (2017); and “Code Red” (2021).
More information about Indian City: http://www.indiancity.ca/.
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Note to Editors and Producers: Download visual and audio assets for Code Red, including digital song files for radio airplay. Photos, at top of press release: Cedit: Maria Urso.
Media Contact Only (U.S.)
Liz Hill (Red Lake Ojibwe)