According to the dictionary, the definition of fun is “enjoyment, amusement, or lighthearted pleasure.” When it comes to Calgary punk lords River Jacks, though, the definition of fun bends to include minimally showered but raucously talented men thrashing around on stage after spending weeks driving across Canada in a van.
With hearts full of love, songs filled with hard-hitting lyrics, and brains overflowing with fart jokes, River Jacks are set to kick off their spring tour next month. Creating a bit of anarchy in the most wholesome way possible, River Jacks’ coast to coast tour runs from Alberta to Halifax and back, stopping in almost every province along the way to spread their good energy. While many folk/punk bands craft a very careful image, River Jacks can be summarized much differently than the status quo:
“We’re like a punk rock Monty Python,” laughs bassist Tyler Burton.
“We’ll work on our silly walks for this tour,” tacks on vocalist and guitarist Spencer Jo Burgess.
While musically River Jacks covers everything from politics to history to philosophical intricacies, it’s the band’s dynamic that ultimately sets them apart. Consisting of accordionist Andy “Mandrill” Shannon, guitarist/vocalist Jordan Barrett and drummer Mikey Blotto in addition to Burgess and Burton, the band bleeds unity and good humour:
“Some of our touring friends kind of make fun of us because we’re very supportive of each other,” says Blotto. “Jordan and I used to live together and Fire Next Time was staying over once and I was trying to set up my Sega Genesis. I was having a hard go at it and was getting a little frustrated and Jordan came over and kind of gave me a little rub on the shoulder and told me not to worry about it and that I’d figure it out and pull through. Everyone in Fire Next Time started laughing at us, but we just support each other.”
“We’ll do emotional check-ins at practice and give a lot of shoulder pats or back rubs at shows,” says Burgess.
“Lots of back rubs,” confirms Burton.
With so many years of experience behind them, River Jacks is nostalgic in a way you didn’t know you were nostalgic for. They sound like what your dad would’ve listened to when he was still cool. They make you want to learn the accordion. They’re the physical manifestation of a good time. They make you want to kick some things and hug some people, make some friends and smash some bottles.
For proof, catch River Jacks on one of their upcoming tour dates:
April 4 - Kamloops, BC @Kamloops Inn
April 5 - Vancouver, BC @SBC
April 6 - Vernon, BC @Record City
May 3 - Calgary, AB @ King Eddy
May 4 - Edmonton, AB @ Tavern on Why
May 11 - Siksika Nation @ Moments Fest
May 22 - Ottawa, ON @ Pressed
May 23 - Quebec City, PQ @ Scanner Bistro
May 24 - Woodstock, NB @ Dooly’s
May 26 - Charlottetown, PEI @ Baba’s Lounge
May 27 - Halifax, NS @ Radstorm
May 30 - Trois-Rivieres, PQ @ Tavern Royale
June 1 - Hamilton, ON @ Doors Pub & Pizzeria
June 2 - Waterloo, ON @ Pin Up Arcade Bar
June 5 - Winnipeg, MB @ The Handsome Daughter
June 6 - Brandon, MB @ The 40
June 7 - Saskatoon, SK @ Black Cat Tavern
June 8 - Medicine Hat, AB @ Heliocity Music Festival