The Hamilton power-poppers known as The Shakers may have come and gone without leaving much of a lasting mark on rock history, but they do have one thing in common with legends like U2, Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash; they recorded at Grant Avenue Studio. Long before Daniel Lanois was a world-famous producer and artist in his own right, he bought an old house in Hamilton and, along with Bob Doidge and his brother (also named Bob), started recording local bands like Simply Saucer and Martha and the Muffins. Lanois’ punk-influenced DIY recording aesthetic is summed up in this anecdote from (the highly recommended) Have Not Been The Same: The CanRock Renaissance 1985-1995. Blue Rodeo’s Greg Keelor was working with his side project Crash Vegas and was initially taken aback by the relatively low-tech setup at a studio run by a Lanois understudy named Malcolm Burn:
“…’I thought, “This is a joke! What, this little board and that little machine? Where’s all the stuff?’ Dan said, ‘You don’t need any of that stuff.'”
After Dan moved on to other things in the early ’80s, Doidge assumed ownership of the studio and continues to record acts from Canada and around the world to this day.
“All I Want” is a jittery, infectious rocker from In Time, The Shakers’ sole LP, which was probably released in the late ’70s or early ’80s. One can imagine the adolescent future members of Sloan giving it a listen and taking notes.
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2 thoughts on “Vintage Vinyl – The Shakers”
These guys are awesome. Totally the blueprint for Sloan and Sam Roberts.
Loved seeing your vintage vinyl. Will be sending on the link about Grant Avenue to friends in Hamilton. Just one more cool thing for them to brag about. But hey, good for all Canucks to know. Thanks for being out there doing the research, finding the treasures. Paula