The album cover for Dirt Floor's new album "Rosie Blue" was taken on Kootenay Lake by photographer Louis Bockner.

West Kootenay band, Dirt Floor, releases Rosie Blue

The distinct Kootenay melodies of Dirt Floor reverbrate through the tracks on new digital album

A West Kootenay band’s new digital album Rosie Blue was 15 months in the making, and despite pandemic pauses, each refreshing new track has been well worth the wait.

Dirt Floor’s digital album will be released Friday, March 4, on Bandcamp, consisting of six original melodies created by Rossland musician Peter Reed and Slocan Valley’s Sean Cameron.

“This is our first real kick at the can, the first one was very DIY, but this one we received a grant from the Kootenay-Columbia Cultural Alliance, a fantastic resource in our area,” explained Reed.

Dirt Floor enlisted an eclectic variety of musicians and vocalists to create its unique sound, a soulful blend of Kootenay country-folk that is evocative, honest, earthy and sublime.

“For us it’s always been about the songs,” said Reed.

“We’re both songwriters and that’s what we are really passionate about, and the band is kind of a vehicle for the songs.”

Rosie Blue features six original tracks written by Reed and Cameron with six more coming in another release in the coming months. Reed says the plan is to release all 12 songs on a vinyl album.

“It was a really fun process. Our whole mantra for the album is to serve the song, so whatever we thought the song was asking us for in terms of instrumentation and arrangement that’s what we would go with.”

For the new tracks, Dirt Floor had as many as nine musicians and vocalists contributing, including West Kootenay singer Liz Arnason and keyboardist Geoff Hilhorst from the band The Deep Dark Woods.

“We tried as much as possible to use local artists in our area, and we were able to pay them because of the grant. So it was a great experience as far as the community of music.”

With so many musicians and artists at home during the pandemic unable to tour or perform, they were eager to share common ground with Dirt Floor.

“We found people were really open to helping us out, and people we didn’t think we had any right to contact,” said Reed. “It was a fantastic experience from that perspective to be able to hand pick the best of the best in Canada … very inspiring.”

Dirt Floor’s digital album includes the tracks Disappearing Train, Round Prairie, The Cold, When the Angels Come, Rosie Blue, and Tiny Lights named for the Tiny Lights Festival in Ymir.

“We exceeded our own expectations, and I’m very happy and proud to say that, it was definitely a labour of love for a project we thought we’d have done in three months.”

Dirt Floor also plans to tour through the Kootenays and southern Alberta in the summer, as COVID restrictions continue to relax.

The album was produced by Sincerity Studios in Appledale.

More info on Rosie Blue and its release can be found online at dirtfloor.ca and at Bandcamp.com.

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