Recording artists Fog Blues & Brass Band capture the wild energy of a Saturday night at a packed blues bar in their latest single, “Why Get Up.” And it’s no accident because the blues banger came to life in front of an audience before it ever saw the inside of a recording studio.
Hailing from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, the seven-piece Fog Blues & Brass Band is fresh off the heels of their successful debut album, Into the Fog. The album gained them nods for their unique spin on the traditional rock and blues sound, encompassing commanding vocals, harmonies, guitars, keys, and horns. Each single off the 2018 album has garnered radio play in Canada and abroad, and the band is also known for their powerhouse live performances at venues and festivals.
Contrary to its title, the new single, “Why Get Up,” is a testament to the band’s ability to get their audiences up on their feet. The traditional blues lyrics bemoan tough times – “Why get up? Rent’s due but I can’t pay/ Life keeps kickin’ me down/ Like I’m one foot in the grave.” But the driving music tells a different story – dance now, worry tomorrow.
“Why Get Up” is a true ensemble effort that seamlessly showcases each of the seasoned band members’ musical chops. Vocalist Hilliard “Hills” Walter leads Al Hosack on bass, Domenic DiNino on drums, Bobby Becker on keys, Dan Jancar on saxophones, Joe Dublanski on alto saxophone, and Tim Palsar on guitar. Each is just as strong performing solo as they are as part of a jam, amplifying the group’s satisfying, cohesive sound.
Not only is performing “Why Get Up” a team endeavor but so too was the songwriting process. When one band member came to rehearsal with a rough demo of the song, the other six were quick to add their own stamp on the tune. When the band performed it live, the reaction was so huge that they decided to head to the recording studio. They enlisted Emmy winner Don Breithaupt to arrange the four-piece horn parts, and producer-engineer John “Beetle” Bailey, a Juno and Grammy winner, perfected the sound. (Bailey also worked with the band on “Into the Fog” and their 2022 holiday single, “Here Comes Santa Claus,” a swingy take on the Christmas classic.)
What emerged from the studio was a traditional blues song that banishes the blues. Even as the metaphoric storm clouds gather, “Why Get Up” tells them to take a hike: “You wanna leave me baby/Take them clouds and walk away.” What’s left to do but dance? Wherever the listener might be, “Why Get Up” brings the party to them.
Yes, Thank you. I’m Dan Jancar, one of the saxophone players from FOG.
So this song came about during the first year of Covid. A FOG member showed up to one of the first practices we had when the restrictions loosened up. I don’t say the name of who brought in the song because… we ALL write our songs. We share the songwriting credit equally. Just seemed like the right thing to do as a band. Before you knew it, the song had a new bass line, crunchy guitar, sweet hammond organ, a couple of new lyric lines, a killer shuffle beat, and horns…
Oh, I think that’s pretty much impossible, LOL! Seven creative musicians with very different personalities, opinions, varying degrees of fragility/confidence, different levels of songwriting experience… and just a really eclectic variety of musical tastes! How do you keep that happy? I think maybe everyone is happy when we listen to that final mix and the song is complete.
I don’t know?… I like a good coffee and bagel?
JB is an amazing producer! When you say something like, “This can’t possibly get any better,” John says, “hold my beer,” and shows you better! When you work with John in the studio, it becomes apparent (very quickly) that he is thinking 150 steps ahead. He wants to have a good time creating music, so it’s a nice environment. I think that’s how he gets the best out of us. The songs always turn out better than we ever thought they would. It is great having that person who knows what your music needs for it to reach its full potential.
Connect with Fog Blues & Brass Band:
I’m Jenna, the founder and editor of Canadian Beats. I have had a strong love for Canadian music, which started many years ago. I have a passion for promoting these talented Canadian bands and artists, and that’s how Canadian Beats came to be.
Canadian Beats has grown to become more than media, and what a journey it’s been.
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