Maple Drive – Canadian Made Eh!
By Greg Ceci
Our country consists of many things including polite people, hockey, toques, loonies and May two-four. Canada is also steeped in great music and Maple Drive aims to represent The Great White North with their own brand of Canuck Rock. In fact, the band moniker pays homage to our country and the homegrown bands that came before them.
The recent pandemic permitted many folks time to pause and reflect. Drummer Jay Carroll and vocalist and rhythm guitar player Kent Allin are lifelong friends and filled the downtime jamming in Kent’s basement. Lead guitar player and vocalist Jay Kerr happened to overhear one of their jams while at the neighbours and hopped on board. A serendipitous meeting in a parking lot gave them bass player and vocalist Collin Parr to round out their line up.
They share the daunting load required of bands today and approach decision making in a true democratic fashion. Everyone has a role, a voice and everyone is heard. Their sound was born from 1990’s and early 2000’s Canadian rock. More specifically the Big Shiny Tunes CDs, The Tragically Hip, Sam Roberts, Matthew Good, Big Wreck and the Sheepdogs. Best described as beat oriented, edgy riff rock, Maple Drive released their debut album in early 2023 garnering attention and radio play on several stations. Many songs were conceived on a weekend getaway sequestered at a cottage and quickly snowballed from there to a full album released on both vinyl and streaming platforms.
Songwriting for Maple Drive is directly tied to what’s going on in the band’s lives. Allin explains, “In The Grey is about understanding that the world is not always black and white and the richness of life is in the grey. Faded Green and New Heights are little nods to our wives and our lives. Spot Where No One Knows is about the little moments in life and the secret places that make it unique and special. All Their Children is really our only political song. It has been described as our call to action song.”
Carroll functions as manager, marketer and promoter for the band. Parr serves the role of technician for set up and live sound. Kerr is essentially the band’s musical director and Allin jokes that he just likes to show up and have fun! As with most artists, those closest to them have played a huge role in encouraging and supporting the band. The group notes, “Our friends and family are the reason there is a band in the first place. They have been the driving force to the continued successes we have.”
There’s no denying the future looks bright for Maple Drive with goals to release a sophomore album, open for a big name act and tour outside of the Quinte region. One thing is certain. Maple Drive are unabashedly Canadian and they’re coming on strong like a warm Chinook wind.
So, like don’t be a hoser eh – check them out!
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