The Caretakers

Posted by Christopher Rudder

The Caretakers emerged from one of the original hubs of Canadian music—Hamilton, Ontario in 2007. The band first gained notoriety in 2008 on Toronto and Hamilton indie stations with their anthem, Sing Merry Christmas, featuring Tom Wilson and City and the Sea. The song was released as a free online single to raise awareness of and support for both local HIV/AIDS initiatives and the Stephen Lewis Foundation, and continues today.

With folk rock at their roots and the cultural grit of a working-class-city upbringing, The Caretakers fuse rich harmonies with REM-inspired melodies and some swampy ‘70s southern rock grooves. The songs take a page from the ‘60s protest movements, but warmly wrapped in melody metaphor & poetic prose. And while their debut album “Unfinished Thoughts” was steeped in the band’s deep-rooted advocacy of the social-political issues, their upcoming 2nd album, “Love, War and PRopaganda” ups the political ante substantially. The Caretakers continue their active support of War Child Canada with a portion of CD and online sales going to the organization.

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"Flowers For Peace" by The Caretakers

The new album is being produced by Canadian music veteran Mike Trebilcock (The Killjoys, Fry Truck) and being recorded at Hamilton’s Threshold Studio with engineer Michael Keire. The 12 new tracks and one cover song feature an impressive line-up of renowned Hamilton musicians and a few special guests, including Kim Deschamps (steel pedal), Jesse O’Brien (piano/organ), Matt Coleman (fiddle) and former Caretaker, Norm Van Bergen (12-string). The full studio line-up included Dave Simpson (drums), Carrie Ashworth (bass), Barry Mac (slide) and Mike Trebilcock (lead guitar).

“The Caretakers music captures the spirit of easy going indie folk rock with a poignant message,” says engineer and former producer Michael Keire. “The Caretakers are fresh, offer up some great songwriting, and have their own soul and intrigue.”

This is one band’s music that speaks to your heart, mind and soul. The Caretakers are the real thing. Not packaged. Not young and shiny. And that’s probably what’s so appealing about them.

CR: I wanna thank you for taking time out of your schedule to talk with me and Rogue Magazine’s Hearing Aid . How Are You?

Jeff: Excellent despite a cold.
Lena: Glad to be doing this interview!

CR:...iiight lets do this!!! Aside from music and what is written in your bio, tell us something about you that your fans don’t know.

Jeff: I've been a PR/marketing professional for most of my career – started as a freelance writer working with trade and professional magazines, then moved on to corporate writing (speeches, annual reports, etc.), then moved into a senior position in PR/marketing with a large Canadian insurance/financial corporation. I also helped developed several post-secondary PR programs in Canada and also taught communications at college and university. Despite my quick rise in the corporate world, I was always one of those “black sheeps” (grey for sure) that never could completely fit in or accept the status quo or establishment’s view, so I got myself into “trouble” on many occasion – whether it was high school, university, college and the corporate world, I just said and did what I believed. That’s one of the reasons I decided to ditch the corporate world. I was also active in the Canadian Liberal Party for some time — I was politically inspired by Canada’s former Prime