Wide Mouth Mason

WMMpress: Saskatoon Show coverage


WMMpress via Saskatoon StarPhoenix

WMM can’t wait for hometown club show


In a convenient twist of reverse engineering, it’s Wide Mouth Mason’s 2009 album that is setting the tone for how the band is charting its future sound.

Live at Montreux captured the band sizzling in jam mode at the legendary jazz festival, with expansive solos and improvisations. The same approach informed Wide Mouth Mason’s No Bad Days album.

“It was very much a rock format but with a jazz philosophy to it where the framework of the song would be a suggestion,” guitarist Shaun Verreault said recently.

“The songs on No Bad Days are meant to be elastic, so a lot of that can come out.”

The band likes to keep things fluid in its live show. If something from a song they were listening to on the way to a gig sticks, it could well end up as a reference in the middle of their set – surprising each other as much as the audience.

“We call it the shapes we’re throwing each other,” says Verreault. “There’s a little bit of trying to raise eyebrows that you haven’t raised before.”

Verreault admits wondering if the band would remain viable after he and drummer Safwan Javed parted ways with original bassist Earl Pereira and added Gordie Johnson from Big Sugar. But the evolution continues. When Wide Mouth and Big Sugar are on the same bill, they become Big and Wide, with as many as eight players on stage.

Verreault keeps busy in music producing other artists, writing songs with and for other acts and collaborating coast-to-coast from Vancouver with Newfoundland musician Chris Kirby via Skype.

“It makes it so we have a lot of different things to draw on when we get together to play and get together to write.”

Verreault is looking forward to the homecoming and doing a classic Saskatoon club show, its first at the Capitol Music Club.

“I try and get back as much as I can. A bunch of my family is still there.”

He likens it to looking through the window of your elementary school, literally or metaphorically.

And speaking of family, Verreault’s two-year-old daughter Layla seems to have inherited some musical DNA. She already has her own pink Stratocaster, but she really likes playing with her dad’s guitar. Recently, she plugged it into an amp on full blast and, in Verreault’s words, “just railed it.” He thought she’d be scared and crying. Instead, “she was jumping up and down, smiling, and going ‘loud!’”

Wide Mouth Mason

with the Acronyms

Friday at the Capitol