The Midnight Sons are shining on Whitehorse
A Summer 2015 Yukon Prospector Web Extra
Alex Johnston is all in.
“I have to. I dropped everything to do this,” says the man, about his music.
Not that he isn’t worried about his family. Alex just had a baby boy and says he won’t put his family’s well-being at risk.
“I’m not going to be that asshole.”
But music is his life; and it shows. The band he fronts is good—really good.
The Midnight Sons are a local Whitehorse *trio. In fact, two of the three members were born and raised in the area, a rarity in Whitehorse. A lot of people here seem to come from somewhere else.
Alex is on lead vocals and guitar. His voice sounds like a compromise between Shakey Graves and Caleb Followill. He belts out bluesy/folky/rocky riffs in a gritty voice that rolls between melancholy and raw energy.
With him is Dan Stark on guitar, and Patrick Docherty on drums.
The bands blues influence clearly comes from Dan, says the group.
“He loves those old blues guys,” says Patrick.
"We’ve been on cooler trips and bigger shows, but we’re not actually making any more money"
The drummer meanwhile lays out some seriously unique drum lines, bringing complicated jazz–like influences to the act.
They write all their own music. Alex pens most of the lyrics, and the band usually jams to find their tune.
But the songs aren’t simple. They like to work in complicated time changes to keep audiences engaged. It makes for some delightfully intrepid music.
“Pat likes trying out all this weird stuff. He’s at the helm of the field,” says Alex.
Their first album Traction was recorded in a “little shack in Shipyards Park” which the guys wired up.
Its release at the old Fire Hall back in January was a sold out show.
“It was a great first album,” says Dan.
Thursday, the band will head to a studio to record their second.
"I had the police with me. It was either the kid gets arrested or I give him the $500"
They’re hoping that the ball will start rolling a bit faster once they get a few albums under their belt, says Patrick. The bands getting paid, but so far it all goes back into the music.
“We’ve been on cooler trips and bigger shows, but we’re not actually making any more money,” says Dan. “It all just feeds the beast.”
It didn’t help that Alex had to pay $500 to reclaim his guitar.
He left his 63’ Epiphone in the back of his unlocked car in Whitehorse last week, and someone jacked it.
Luckily, a social media campaign caught someone’s eye. A kid returned it saying he’d found it out in the woods.
“I had the police with me. It was either the kid gets arrested or I give him the $500, and the police didn’t arrest him,” says Alex. He still doesn’t know who actually stole the guitar.
A small price to pay for the gorgeously warm instrument. It sounded brilliant, even over the clamour of The Dirty Northern in Whitehorse. The boys played a show there Wednesday night.
While most of the crowd was busy wrapped in conversation, the few people listening intently clapped wildly at the end of every song.
The dedication shows. And it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to find them getting some national coverage pretty soon.
Check out the bands list of gigs on their webpage here, and go see them live. You won’t be disappointed.
You can also grab their songs on iTunes
*Temporary trio, the band's looking for a new bassist. Their old one wants to do something lame like be an engineer or something.
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