Prince Rupert’s own Dylan Rysstad will be celebrating the release of his fifth solo album at a CD release party later this week.
Rysstad started writing music when he was fourteen years old, and moved to Vancouver a couple of years later where he eventually helped form the punk rock band the Jolts. The Jolts released two full-length albums before Rysstad began to focus on his solo career, and changed his music writing style, moving from the punk direction into folk music. Rysstad says changing his sound came “pretty naturally”.
“I played in punk bands before, but I always wrote on an acoustic guitar, so it was bound to happen.”
Halfway Houses will be Rysstad’s fifth solo album for Sakamano Records. The album was recorded in six days all together, three days at the Little Red Sounds studio in Vancouver and three days in Welland, Ontario.
“Half of the music was written while I lived in Ontario and the other half I wrote while living here,” said Rysstad, mentioning that moving around the country inspired him to write a lot of the material for Halfway Houses.
“I’ve mentioned rain a few times in the newer songs since I moved here,” he laughed.
Halfway Houses includes twelve tracks, a majority of which have Rysstad’s classic folk sound, however there is also a country-feel to many of the tracks, particularly “Send ‘em to Jasper”, one of the album’s singles, and “Constant Pain”. Rysstad also incorporated nods to his heavier-genre past in songs “If Only for Tonight” and “When in Rome”.
Although Rysstad and back-up vocalist Mercedes Taylor are the only members of the current group that were recorded and credited on Halfway Houses, Rysstad is now backed up by the Rain Dogs, consisting of Joe Meggison playing the guitar, Joshua Meggison playing the bass, Dustin Woodman playing the mandolin and Robert Rushton playing the drums.
All band members have spent a majority, if not all their lives, in Prince Rupert aside from Taylor and Woodman.
Dylan Rysstad and the Rain Dogs have played a few shows together, including a performance with Joe Meggison’s band the Grifters earlier this year, and performing at the Kispiox Music Festival in July.
The six-piece band will be holding a CD release party at the Thornhill Community Hall in Terrace on Friday, September 14 and at the Underground in Prince Rupert on Saturday, September 15. Both shows will also include performances from King Crow and the Ladies from Hell.
“We figured if there was a band from the area to play with, it would be them. We’re definitely not the same style of music but if there was a band that was close, it would be them,” said Joshua Meggison.
Additionally, Edmonton artist Ben Disaster will be opening the performances.
Tickets can be purchased for Prince Rupert’s release party at Cowpuccino’s and Teddy’s.