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Punch Drunk Cabaret

Mixing rockabilly, outlaw country, and steampunk swing into a potent musical cocktail, Punch Drunk Cabaret is one of the most refreshing new acts to hail from central Alberta. Ex-patriots of the Edmonton indie-rock scene, Randy Bailer, Robin Eklund and Dean Doige have an outstanding resume supporting high profile acts such as Nickelback and theTragically Hip, performing in cities such as Nashville and Sofia, Bulgaria, working with producers such as Chad Kroeger and Jay Semko and even landing an appearance in an internationally released movie. But in a transition similar to that of Alt-Country darling and fellow Albertan Corb Lund, singer/ guitarist Randy Bailer decided that it was time to put the world of alternative rock behind him and dig deeper into his song writing roots.

Folding Screwtape Lewis, his alt-rock band of 12 years, Bailer began to notice that the songs he was writing were channeling his early exposure to Hank Williams and Duane Eddy. “As a songwriter I fought my rockabilly-country roots for a long time thinking it was the music of my parents. Being a teenager in the eighties, I searched out my own musical identity by forming New Wave-inspired bands, which was a gutsy thing to do on the prairies at that time. I faced a lot of prejudice where you’d routinely get called “faggot” or “bitch” because of the way you looked and sounded, but that just caused me to play as if my life depended on it. I can’t help but take that trial-by-fire mentality into every show I’ve played since”.

Upon hearing Bailer’s new material, bassist Dean Doige suggested they reunite with drummer Robin Eklund and start performing live. And a good suggestion it was as the chemistry between Bailer’s rockabilly/country/swing inspired songs and the trio’s live intensity has ensured Punch Drunk Cabaret is far from some quaint nostalgia act. In fact it’s been their live shows that have been leaving audiences feeling as if they’ve just witnessed the unbridled energy of early rock and roll thundering off a bandstand back in 1956. Add to that Bailer fronting the trio like some home-brewed concoction made from equal parts John Mellancamp, the Stray Cats’ Brian Setzer and Tom Waits proves that Punch Drunk Cabaret have both energy and originality in spades.

The band recently captured some of that live energy by setting up shop in Saskatoon with award winning engineer and Northern Pikes alumnus Ross Nykiforuk to cut four songs in four days. The tracks will be included on the band’s debut CD due early this summer. Until then Punch Drunk Cabaret will continue to hone their old school approach of winning over new fans with their special brand of urgent energy one live show at a time.

Upcoming Events for Punch Drunk Cabaret

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