They didn’t start out intending to write original songs, let alone an album’s worth, but their musical journey has brought the members of Dana K & The Remedy to that point nonetheless. On Saturday night, they’ll be on stage in Kitchener for the release of Still Time.
In that same vein, lead singer Dana Komer never really thought of singing outside of a choir or family gatherings.
“Music and singing have always been a part of my life, but I never planned to do it with a band.”
That was a “happy accident” when the singer of her uncle’s band – their “boys’ night out” lineup – was away on holiday and they needed someone to do the vocal parts. She sang along with the guys jamming down in the basement for a bit, and came to enjoy it.
“It was really fun,” she said of the experience. “Eventually, that band came out of the basement.”
In the couple of decades since, Komer has come to relish performing.
She grew up listening to her dad’s record collection, which included the likes of Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly and the Rolling Stones.
“All of my influences came from that, rock and classic rock. It’s always been rooted there.”
She brought those influences to Dana K & The Remedy, which is an “infusion” of the backgrounds of all five members, showing signs of blues, soul, funk and traditional rock ‘n’ roll.
The idea for the band started a few years ago at the Central Tavern in Elmira, where a bunch of local bands were playing for a charity event, Komer explains.
“Howard Brown was there with Grüveyard, and I was there with another group of local musicians. Howie had this vision for a blues band he had always wanted to put together. He approached me after the set to see if I would be interested in it. I grew up listening to blues and rock and roll, and I jumped at the chance,” she said.
The two recruited some other local musicians and began rehearsing in Elmira.
“Howie had been playing with Jimmy Rupnow, our keys player, for many years, and then a few months later, we found Jason Hein (bass) and Steve Brackett (drums/percussion), both of whom have been playing music locally in different projects for decades.”
Starting out almost three years ago as Lady D and the Barrelhouse Gents, the band was doing blues covers. Gradually, their own sound emerging, they began to work on original material, drawing on their varied musical styles.
“We had dabbled in every genre of blues and all of its iterations, thrown in funk, soul, Motown, rock, reggae, country, good old rock and roll, and had this infusion project. That led to the idea that with all of these interests and influences, it would be cool if we could try writing something,” Komer explained.
“Transition Girl, the first song on the album, was the first song that came from that collaborative effort. And it was the beginning of what became a collaborative process and willingness to just put something of ourselves out there that has made this sound and our songs work. But in writing Transition Girl, it was clear we had something worth exploring.”
The songs on Still Time reflect a variety of styles, from the stripped-down acoustic of ‘That’s All’ to the reggae-tinged ‘I Like Your Shoes’ and funk of ‘Break It Down.’
The album has been in the works for a while – “It never takes what you think it takes; a couple of months becomes a year” – but their labour will be on display at the CD release party October 21 at Descendants Beer & Beverage Co., 319 Victoria St. N. in Kitchener. The band takes the stage at 9 p.m. There is no cover charge.
Dana K & The Remedy will share the bill with The Exceptional Gentlemen November 11 at the Starlight Social Club in Waterloo.