The Grapes Of Wrath

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The Grapes of Wrath were formed in Kelowna, British Columbia, in 1983 by Chris Hooper, Tom Hooper and Kevin Kane.All three had been members of the short-lived punk rock band Kill Pigs. They came up with the new band name after looking at a movie guide—nobody in the band had seen the movie or read the book.

In 1984, they signed to Nettwerk, and released a self-titled EP that year. The following year, their debut album September Bowl of Green was released.

Treehouse (1987), produced by Tom Cochrane, was the band’s Canadian breakthrough, yielding the hit single “Peace of Mind”. Some songs on the album included keyboard parts by session musician Vincent Jones, who also toured with the band thereafter although he was not yet credited as a member.

Their 1989 album, Now and Again, produced by Anton Fier, was the band’s most successful. Jones, officially a band member by this time, would later describe working with Fier as “like pulling teeth”. The band’s tour to support this album was also notable for its opening act, a then-emerging singer/songwriter named Sarah McLachlan.

Produced by John Leckie and mixed by Gareth Cousins, These Days, released in 1991, found the band experimenting with a harder rock sound, and spawned the band’s highest-charting singles, “I Am Here” and “You May Be Right”. It received the 1992 CASBY Award for Favourite Album, and “I Am Here” won the CASBY for Best Song.

These Days was, however, to be the band’s last new album for almost a decade. Kane then split from the other members of the band, who continued to perform and record together as Ginger.

In 1999, Kane and Tom Hooper, the Grapes’ main songwriting team, decided to work together again, and in 2000 released Field Trip under the Grapes of Wrath name. Neither Chris Hooper nor Vincent Jones participated in the reunion. Matt Brain was enlisted as the band’s drummer, though he was not a member of the group.

In 2009, Kane and Hooper decided to play together again as an acoustic duo. Two concerts were scheduled in Western Canada, during which they were to play all their hit songs.

On July 18, 2010, the three original members performed together at the Surrey Fusion Festival in Surrey, British Columbia. It was the first time the original trio had played together since 1992. Dave Genn was brought in to fill Vince Jones’ place on keyboards, and a small-scale series of Canadian dates followed throughout 2010.

The trio of Hooper/Kane/Hooper continued to tour regularly thereafter, and the Grapes of Wrath announced that they were beginning work on a new album. Two newly recorded tracks from these sessions were issued on the band’s 2012 compilation Singles (EMI). To mark this release, the band was joined by guests Sam Roberts, Whitehorse, Ron Sexsmith, Hayden, Great Lake Swimmers and other notable Canadian musicians at Toronto’s Mod Club.

Written by: PRX101

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  1. Twicsy on July 9, 2022

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