Ain’t No Party Like a Kitchen Party
The band started as an impromptu jam in a partied out kitchen in Parkdale, but now Freeman Dre & the Kitchen Party is one of Toronto’s most exciting and consistent live acts.
Whether in barrooms, theatres, house parties, or festivals the band delivers while attentive crowds raise their glasses and sing along with favourites from the group’s three releases (2010’s Red Door Second Floor, 2012’s Old Town, and the digital-only release 2015's Vodka/Pickle EP)
Fans and critics alike praised those records, but with the music industry in flux, and music in the physical format becoming obsolete, bandleader Freeman Dre was hesitant to invest in creating something that would ultimately become a disposable drinks coaster.
“There’s more than enough plastic in the landfill already,” he jokes.
But musicians are wired to create, and inevitably the band found itself heading into the studio. Over this past winter the band transformed a northern Ontario cottage into a ramshackle studio. With drummer Neil McIntosh twisting the knobs, the band set to the task of capturing tunes on the hard drive.
It was instantly clear those sessions would yield something special. It was also apparent that to do justice to the songs, the band would need to take its time. Of course when it comes to recording: time = money.
So with a bunch of tunes in the can, the band launched a crowdfunding campaign. Thanks to the support of its fanbase, the band raised enough money to produce and manufacture a new album.
The result is Reckless Good Intentions. (pre-order the album now!)
With tracks such as the raw and emotive “Scars,” the barroom-rocking “Crazy Enough,” and the timeless tribute to the joy of dropping a needle on fresh wax, “Record Player” the album finds Freeman Dre at the peak of his songwriting prowess, backed by a well seasoned, road-tested band.
The 10-track collection is set for release on June 4th, digitally, followed by a vinyl release in Winter. That the band opted to press wax, reveals faith in the material and desire to give something back to the fans.
"The first time I heard classics like Harvest, Rubber Soul, or Blonde on Blonde it was on record. It stuck with me, and vinyl has always had a special place in my heart,” Freeman Dre explains. “I think of our fans as true music fans, and many true music fans own a record player.”
With lyrical dexterity that spurs fitting (albeit tired) comparison to the holy triumvirate: Dylan, Waits, and Cohen, Freeman Dre is modern street-wise troubadour.
Forming the band in 2010, he mined the city for the right group of musical misfits. Through countless gigs, and numerous lineup changes, he transformed the band from a loose collective into a tight musical unit with a fearsome reputation.
With its release, Reckless Good Intentions reveals that despite a boundless appetite for the intoxicating pleasure of life, Freeman Dre has built the Kitchen Party on true grit.
Like that wise guest that comes to your house party, secures a prime space close to the fridge, and seems to be just hitting stride while your others are flaking, Freeman Dre and the Kitchen Party have staying power.
Because, there ain’t no party like a Kitchen Party.
Freeman Dre: Singer, Songwriter, Guitar Strummer
The Kitchen Party is:
Lonny “Lon Tron Silver” Knapp: Guitar, Mandolin
Derek Downham: Keys
Neil McIntosh: Drums
Joe “Bones” Ernewein: Bass
Don't take our word for it:
~ Bob Harris, BBC Radio
"Freeman Dre is a musical alchemist"
~ Eric Thom, Sing Out Magazine
"few are able to cover this much lyrical ground"
~ Ben Conoley, Canadian Musician
"Highly entertaining live"
~ Kerry Doole, Exclaim Magazine
"Dark, yet affectionate"
~ Sarah Greene, NOW magazine
"This is my album of the year, without a doubt!"
~ Jeff Gilbert, No Depression