Music: Black Spruce Bog

🕔Mar 09, 2018

The soul of folk music is to dignify the struggles of the daily lives of working people, resisting drudgery and political marginalization. At its best, it also warms you in the embrace of a homespun musicality. By these measures, Black Spruce Bog’s new album The Hatchery Session is an achievement and a delight. It comes in a handsome sleeve designed by Hometown Project artist Jean Chisholm, and is also accessible through a video of the making of the record, available on their website. (Check it out here:

Recorded in a single session at an out-of-service fish hatchery on the Nechako River in downtown Prince George, the album celebrates a sense of rootedness in its own place and time.

In fine folk tradition, the lyrics deal with a range of environmental and social concerns specific to northern BC, such as development versus ecology, the ongoing legacy of colonialism, and workers’ rights. These songs are sung by guitarist Eric Welscher-Bilodeau, banjo player Jeremy Pahl, and mandolin player Amy Wyn Blanding, while bassist Spencer Hammond and drummer Danny Bell hold the groove together. The band’s tightness is only underscored by the fact that this is essentially a live album.

On The Hatchery Session, Black Spruce Bog inhabit a beautiful moment, living it out fully and inviting us to join them. We should most definitely accept.

— Jeremy Stewart