Revival Dear

Revival Dear Detox For Their Tour

Eddie Orso (guitar) and Shelley Hayes (mandolin) are not playing the kind of music that I grew up listening too. And they are not playing in the genre that is generally on stage at most new music showcases around Toronto. I'm not going to label them, but if I wanted to I'd probably choose words like: folk, roots, or country and then throw an "alt" in there somewhere. And I'd probably use a hyphen to spell it.

Revival Dear are refreshing. Orso's music possesses the soul contained in the smoke-filled Rex (back when people could smoke in the Rex), and Hayes' vocals take me back to the 1920s. Or movies that I've seen about the 1920s.

Set to play a local mini-tour, then a greater trek over the border, Revival Dear have dates scheduled up until the beginning of June. I met the interesting duo in the heart of Little Italy at Cafe Diplomatico to discuss their plans for the future.

They had been writing and playing music for about four years before they decided to move to Toronto and become Revival Dear. Since then, they have done extensive touring already. Eddie filled me in.

"Since 2008 we have done three tours. One across North America, and two East Coasts. Then we'll do the States in the spring, then back across Canada... lots of touring."

But besides all of the heavy touring, they have put their time in as a Toronto band.

"We played a lot in Toronto last summer. Just trying to tighten up. We had a full band residency at the Cadillac Lounge every Tuesday. We did that for three months until we decided not to play Toronto. We're only playing Toronto about three times over the next 6-8 months."

Shelley: "You don't want to overkill it. It's nice to get a buzz going; that's why we played the Cadillac Lounge. Also, a lot to get tight with our band."

Revival Dear released their self-titled full-length late 2007, so I asked Eddie if they had anything in the works.

"We released our last album about a year and a month ago, so it's not really that old. We are going to release something in the fall though. Right now we're just demo-ing."

Shelley: "We'll be in the studio tomorrow, and more this week. We're thinking about pre-production already."

They are definitely in preparation mode for this tour. Shelley told me how Eddie is getting ready.

"Eddie is a raw vegan right now. No booze either. He is doing it for 30 days."

Eddie: "I am being cleansed for sure. We tour so much, and you just pick up some bad habits on the road. You come home and feel guilty about yourself. You've just got to get yourself back up to 100% and hit the road again."

I asked if he had discovered that his hands were shaking, or if maybe he was experiencing delirium or perspiration from withdrawal.

"Haha... it felt pretty good not to show any symptoms. If I had suddenly started showing some I would have been like - 'oh shit!' But I'm good."

In good health they will be playing the Dakota Tavern with Jetset Motel on February 14. They suit the venue well.

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