If we look at the Canadian indie rock landscape over the past several decades, there are only a few artists who have persisted over the years. Julie Doiron is undoubtedly one of the most prolific and hard working independent musicians in the land, always flying just under the radar yet keeping enough wind under her wings to keep going forward.
Doiron’s emotionally-driven songwriting and diverse arrangements have explored love, loss, motherhood, and so much more over multiple projects. She cut her teeth at the early age of 18 years old with the Moncton band Eric’s Trip, with whom she released a debut EP in 1990 and rode the wave of the Can-Rock renaissance through the early 90’s. They were also the first Canadian band to sign to Seattle’s titanic grunge label Sub Pop. With an impressive collection of solo records under her belt, and collaborations with The Tragically Hip, Gord Downie, Okkervil River, Daniel Romano, Frederick Squire, and Mount Eerie behind her, she’s become renowned and respected for her plain and down-to-earth lyricism and broad musical palette. While her achievements are many, one album stands out above the rest.
At the turn of the millennium, Doiron teamed up with Ottawa band The Wooden Stars to write one of her most seminal albums to date—Julie Doiron and the Wooden Stars. The album not only received rave critical response at the time, but it became cemented into Canadian music history with a JUNO award in 2000 for Best Alternative Album. With arrangements that are highlighted with a full band, and Doiron’s capacity to translate her delicate vocal style into an impactful listening experience, the album has withstood the test of time and still remains relevant in today’s music environment.
While Doiron has kept busy with other projects such as Julie and the Wrong Guys and Weird Lines the last few years, listeners are rarely treated to the opportunity to see her play songs with The Wooden Stars from their self-titled album. This time around they’re doing a quick run of three shows in Toronto, Ottawa, and Sandbanks Music Festival along with songstress Gianna Lauren.
On their Ottawa tour stop, they’ll be playing the beautiful St. Alban’s Church for the Showbox Concert Series this Friday, presented by Ottawa Showbox and Beau’s All Natural Brewing. The series, which highlights established and emerging local musicians, will also have a pop-up shop and merch station with local goodies for sale.
The Showbox Concert Series featuring Julie Doiron & The Wooden Stars and Gianna Lauren happens Friday, September 14 at St. Alban’s Church (454 King Edward Ave.), starting at 7:30 pm. More information can be found on the Facebook event. Advanced tickets are $10 and can be purchased online here, or $12 at the door.