New Music: Three Finger Shot’s ‘Stories From A Small Town’

‘Stories From A Small Town,’ the debut EP of East Coast expat band Three Finger Shot, proves that even when they’re taken away from the ocean, these Maritimers never forgot their musical roots. Released earlier this spring, the album features a mix of country and traditional Celtic music. The band is composed of Tony Ronalds, founding member of 90’s Nova Scotian folk group Kilt, and musical collaborater Trevor Bowering. They’ve been performing in their own respective acts for seventeen years, but have finally joined together for an exciting new take on Maritime folk.

‘Stories From A Small Town’ opens with the spirited, upbeat ‘We Never Said.’ In addition to being the album’s starter track, ‘We Never Said’ is also Three Finger Shot‘s first single as a band, and serves as an excellent representation of their sound and ability. From the stunning fiddle work of Ana Ludlow to the catchy Celtic influences of its Maritime pop-folk feel, the song channels the sounds of bands such as Great Big Sea and Blue Rodeo in all the best ways.

While ‘We Never Said’ has a contemporary, radio-friendly feel, the following track, ‘Little Beggarman/St Anne’s Reel,’ has much more explicitly Celtic roots. Combining the words and melody of the traditional Irish song with the dexterous fiddle jig, Three Finger Shot takes the best of both songs and infuses them with their own energetic style.

The album’s next song, ‘Small Town Stories,’ is a slower original country tune, infused with a soothing nostalgia for the simple familiarity of home. With mellow guitar and gentle harmonies, ‘Small Town Stories’ offers a charming slice of the small-town Canadian experience.

Three Finger Shot pay tribute to Ronalds’ musical origins with a cover of Kilt’s ‘Wreckers Den.’ Heavy on accordion, fiddle, and flute and thoroughly embracing the feel of the Atlantic Canadian sea-song, ‘Wreckers Den’ tells the story of Sable Island pirates preying on shipwrecked sailors. The last original track on the EP is the slickly produced country tune, ‘Tempting Fate,’ which stands out with its catchy chorus, smooth harmonies, and sentimental lyrics.

The album concludes with the band’s take on the folk song, ‘General Taylor.’ Sung almost completely devoid of instrumentation and performed with a fairly traditional approach, Three Finger Shot doesn’t give much of an original spin to the song. In spite of this, ‘General Taylor’ still stands out a the album’s strongest testament to the band’s vocal strength, with the passionate take on the lyrics and gorgeous harmonies defining the track.

Even with the recent release of their EP and subsequent touring schedule, the band already has its sights set on recording their follow up album. While no tentative release date has been provided this early in the process, Bowering has provided some insight into what Three Finger Shot’s next album will consist of. Those stories that started on the EP will be expanded upon with our next release, Bowering says, Tony and I want to give people the opportunity to get to know those people whose tales we tell.

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