Photo by Lloyd Yoon
The California Cure was conceived in the Mojave Desert and born in Edmonton, Alberta. Early one morning during a hike through Joshua Tree National Park, bassist Vance MacLean experienced something not unlike an epiphany. Rather, more like an acute drive to create the music he was hearing. The scenery, the spiritual draw of the area, the circumstances of the trip, all sent his senses into overdrive. But, cutting through, one sound; music made with old friends, but with a new twist. Racing in a rented SUV and speeding towards cell phone coverage, Vance knew there was one call he had to make first. The other head that shared the brain, hand one of those who could help make the music he heard.
“Hey Ryan, it`s Vance. Listen, I`m in the desert in California and I`m coming home in a couple of days. I have some ideas and I think it may work. When I get home, let's get a band together.” With these words The California Cure took on life. But, before the TCC, Vance held down the low end for Edmonton area acoustic duo, Punchable Faces. The group consisted of local singer-songwriters, Ryan Locke and Brock Davidiuk. The duos` uncanny ability for crafting lyrics, melody and harmony always remained with Vance. During a year long move from Edmonton, the bassist constantly remained in contact with Ryan. Passing time through endless texts, always about music, they laid the foundation for what was to come. The unspoken bond between the trio was strong, and cemented in the music they created together. Rounding out the ensemble with Gordon Filipchuk on keys and powerhouse drummer Marty Szucs, the line up was complete.
Sequestering themselves in a small dimly lit room in an Edmonton suburb basement, the band set about with one mission. To take that previous material and create something that was immediately recognizable and felt by the listener but with a fresh twist. The blends of rock and country, soul and rhythm blues, 90`s guitar lines and Jazz beats combined to create something the band dubbed “Prairie Soul”. Transplanting the energy from the basement to the recording studio, The California Cure managed to record a full eight-track debut album live off the floor over a two-day recording session in their home town.
So, what is The California Cure? The California Cure is something that connects us all. Honesty, love, creativity, shared experiences, heart break, losing it all and winning it back and traveling far away, only to find the way back home.