CHARLOTTETOWN – Sloan’s Chris Murphy gets P.E.I. The frontman visits his family cottage in Georgetown every summer and can namedrop half the bars in Charlottetown. He’s even written a song about local hockey great, Forbes Kennedy, a tune he penned with his father for the Hockey Day in Canada concert at Confederation Centre last winter. How many Juno-award winners have one of those?
Murphy, who was born in Charlottetown and grew up on Water Street, returns to the Centre on Feb. 16 with his full band in tow. They won’t be playing ‘The Ballad of Forbes Kennedy’, but the Halifax rockers will perform their breakthrough album, “Twice Removed” in its entirety before banging out hits like “Money City Maniacs,” “The Other Man,” “Underwhelmed” and “If It Feels Good Do It.”
“Twice Removed” remains the group’s most fêted album – a smash with critics and fans alike that established Sloan’s alt-pop sound and showcased their talents as four distinct songwriters. Featuring singles “Coax Me” and “Penpals”, it was voted the Best Canadian Record of All Timein both 1996 and 2005 by Chart Magazine and placed above classics from the likes of Neil Young and Joni Mitchell.
“I’m definitely proud of it,” says Murphy, from a stop in the group’s national tour. “It’s consistently the record that people care about the most. For the fans for whom the album resonated at the time, it’s emotional to hear it live, from front to back on this tour.”
Ten releases later, the now Toronto-based band still splits their songwriting four ways and has managed to keep the same lineup throughout – a rare feat for a group with such longevity.
“We are the same four people all these years later,” says Murphy. “So, this tour isn’t a reunion. We are the same band revisiting another time in our own history.”
Maybe it’s his Island background, but the bandleader remains humble about Sloan’s successes, dodging praise and speaking in mock-amazement that the quartet “haven’t punched each other to death yet” after two decades playing together.
“We’ve been supported by things like Canadian content and MuchMusic and, you know, just how many good rock bands are there out there in this country? We are one of them. We’ve had good will, good press and good fans.”
Catch “Sloan: Twice Removed” Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased through the box office at 566-1267, 1-800-565-0278, or online at confederationcentre.com.