J. R. Rardon of the North Island Gazette watched the House of Doc rock the Port Hardy Civic Centre on November 28th, and believes they are “redefining Folk Music”.
He had some very wonderful things to say about the performance in an article entitled House of Doc remedy for cold night in which it becomes evident that Mr. Rardon is either a long time fan or a very, very thorough researcher.
Employing instruments ranging from accordion to cello, from banjo to bouzouki, from flute to harmonica, House of Doc took listeners on a trip across a wide swath of Canadiana — and beyond.
All four are multi-instrumentalists who can sing four-part harmony with surgical precision one moment, then break into a hilarious yet somehow disturbing polka version of the 1980s arena-rock standard Final Countdown the next.
Rardon goes on to explain how House of Doc goes from a capella to acoustic to… well… almost futuristic:
The biggest applause of the night went to [Dan] Wiebe’s composition Summerstone, which Matthew Harder insists began as “a simple little folk tune” before growing in the studio into an orchestrated epic featuring violin, cello and double-bass playing by [Jesse] Krause.
The string parts were played back through a tape — “This is where House of Doc meets Star Trek,” Harder said — so listeners of the live show could get the song’s full effect. But Krause also rotated through each of the instruments on stage, and Wiebe pulled off a nifty vocal trick by singing through a cupped fist to create an old-fashioned “monaural” sound in the first stanza before opening the microphone to produce the effect of switching to stereo.
Thanks for the kind words, Port Hardy!