Band Review by Leanne Campbell, May 13, 2018

‘Cause I’m T.N.T. I’m dyn-a-mite! … no, no, not the ACDC song… TNT, as in True North Troubadours! I just saw this band play at House of James in Abbotsford BC… what a fantastic night!

The music of the 60’s was real music. When simplicity was sophisticated (still is). Candid. Honest. A layer of integrity that doesn’t often exist today. Barefoot. Authentic. True.

Harmonious vocals (Diane Rempel, Wayne Rempel & Joel Dietrich), guitars (Wayne Rempel & Joel Dietrich), and the heartbeat of an impressive upright bass (Steve Labish) make up this extraordinary group, enthusiastically paying a thoughtful tribute to the sweet music of the 60’s.

My younger years flashed before my eyes as the band dove into one great song after the other! Peter, Paul & Mary, Bob Dylan, The Everly Brothers, Ian and Sylvia Tyson, The Turtles and Simon & Garfunkel.

TNT – Their sound is smooth. Smooooothhhh. I felt exhilarated and laid back all at the same time! Impressive fluid sound. Inspirational, emotional. A candid look-back to the 60’s. Listening to TNT made me want to pick up my vintage Crown guitar again and write another song!

It was as if I was taken right back in time, sitting on a blanket at a local music festival, and actually listening to Peter, Paul and Mary. Wearing my bell-bottoms & tie-dye halter, long braids with wild daisies strung throughout, soaking in the hippie sunshine…

Incredible chemistry between Wayne and Joel! I enjoyed the humourous zingers between them, and a couple times I thought maybe Bob & Doug McKenzie had stepped into the room. These two are the ideal bookends for the lovely Diane Rempel. This woman could not be any sweeter (and wearing really cute shoes). And her voice is filled with such depth and richness. She is captivating!

When they struck the first chords to Four Strong Winds and California Dreamin, I had to control myself from belting each lyric out as loud as possible! Some songs just make you HAPPY. <grin>

Then the Everly Brothers showed up, and the cafe was filled with the delightful notes of Whenever I want you, all I have to do is dream, dream, dream, dream… and when they played Elenore by The Turtles, I wanted to jump up, grab the hands of the people around me, and start swaying! <grin>  Elenore, gee I think you’re swell ah-hah… 

This was my first time hearing this band, despite the fact I share some close connections with them. Labish was one of my most favourite people in high school; we graduated together in the mid 80’s. We even performed together (with Shawn McKee) in a make-shift band for one performance at the Langley Civic Arena. It was really great chatting with him again; he’s the same cool and funny guy I knew way back when.

Gratitude to True North Troubadours for taking me back to a time when I rode around on my banana seat bike, didn’t wear make-up, and sang at the top of my lungs as if no one was listening. A time when there was no cell phones, Internet or Facebook. A time when there was just…  you and your friends. Bazooka Gum and Orange Crush.

This evening did my heart good. <grin>


Photos + review © 2018 Leanne Campbell. All rights reserved.
Review used with permission from the author.