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Canuck to the core | Local | Entertainment | The London Free Press

2012-11-26 6:54 PM


From its basement beginnings, Trent Severn draws inspiration from all things Canadian By MIKE BEITZ, Paul Morden, QMIAgency Thursday, November 22, 2012 8:10:52 EST AM

From left, Dayna Manning, Emm Gryner and Laura C. Bates have formed Trent Severn to write songs that touch the hearts and tell the stories of “our friends, neighbours and legends.�

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Canuck to the core | Local | Entertainment | The London Free Press

2012-11-26 6:54 PM

Canadiana supertrio Trent Severn is a basement band that’s stepping out with “Canuckcore” attitude to spare. London-region musicians Emm Gryner, Dayna Manning and Laura C. Bates owe at least some of the True North mojo that brought them together to the basement of Bates’s childhood home in Stratford. It was there, about 15 years ago, that Manning would come over to babysit a young Bates. “I wanted her to play games with me, but she was far more interested in playing my dad’s guitars,” Bates told QMI Agency recently. Manning would go on to write A Walk on the Moon, the song that launched her musical career, in that basement. Fast forward to 2012, and things have come full circle. Forest-raised and St. Marys-based Gryner (vocals, bass, guitar, stomp box), Manning (vocals, guitar, banjo) and Bates (vocals, violin) have formed Trent Severn. In keeping it Canuck to the core, the band’s name comes from the historic Ontario waterway. “Writing about Canadian folklore and about our Canadian peers is a pretty amazing wealth of inspiration for us right now,” said Gryner. “I also like the name Canuckcore.” Recently, there was music in that basement again, as Gryner and Bates rehearsed for Trent Severn gigs including Friday’s show at the London Music Club. Manning, who now lives in northern British Columbia, joined in those rehearsals digitally, with a recording of her parts. “When I decided I wanted to start a band, I thought of Dayna, who is the best guitarist I know, and then we found Laura who is also a master of her craft,” said Gryner. “I felt strongly that this band be extremely strong musically, as that’s sadly rare amongst all-female bands.” All three have a hand in the songwriting, and all three contribute vocals, with Gryner and Manning playing guitar and Bates violin. “The idea is that we’re all equal partners,” said Bates, adding the band set out its goals from the beginning in a Trent Severn “manifesto.” The trio began to find its way beyond the basement with a library gig. Manning was opening a hometown show a year ago for Gryner at the Sarnia Library auditorium. “Emm had an idea about a forming an all-female band, but really wanted to map out how to do it right. She asked me if I was interested and I said ‘yes,’ thinking — well this is just what I’m looking for to balance out music in my life,” Manning said in an online post. Bates was thought to be a good fit. “Laura sings like a bird and plays something fierce,” Manning said. So Bates joined and the trio recorded the album’s 10 songs in London, Stratford and at home. Every note on the self-titled debut album is played, arranged and penned by the trio with the exception of a one-track guest appearance by Halifax rocker Joel Plaskett. This fall, Juno-nominated pop singer Gryner released a Best Of album she said she had been mulling over for several years.

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Canuck to the core | Local | Entertainment | The London Free Press

2012-11-26 6:54 PM

She expects to keep making solo albums, but was ready for a new musical adventure. “Trent Severn is a band that pays tribute to Canada but it can also be a fun band with a light heart and a few drinking songs,” she said. “I could never pull that off on my own.” — with files from James Reaney, The London Free Press --- --- --TRENT SEVERN ALBUM The track listing for Trent Severn’s debut album. 1. Snowy Soul 2. Bluenose On A Dime 3. Like A Donnelly 4. Freedom 5. Muskoka Bound 6. Mulroney Times 7. Road Less Travelled 8. Wild One 9. Answers 10. Truscott --- --- --IF YOU GO What: London gig for Canadiana roots-folk-country trio Trent Severn. When: Friday, 7 p.m. Where: London Music Club, 470 Colborne St. Details: $20 in advance, $25 at door. Visit or or call 519-646-6990. --- --- --SOME MODEST GOALS This band is a seed that blooms to life on a Canadian stage, and like every modest Canadian, has achievable goals: To show a Canadian audience a really great time To write songs that touch the hearts and tell the stories of our friends, neighbours and legends

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Canuck to the core | Local | Entertainment | The London Free Press

2012-11-26 6:54 PM

To offer an album that sounds just like the concert And of course, to be kind, to enjoy a beer at the end of a long day and to talk about — I dunno — maybe how cold it is? —

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