The Rural Alberta Advantage at the First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia

The Rural Alberta Advantage played last week on Friday March 11 at the eclectic First Unitarian Church. The minimalist approach of the Canadian band including acoustic guitar, keyboards, and drums combined with the powerful voice of front-man Nils Edenloff delivers a solid and almost thrilling sound that it is certainly worth noting.

Friday night the RAA opened with "Luciana" from their beautiful Hometowns album. Throughout the night, the band from rural Fort McMurray, Alberta (now in Edmonton), performed strongly, almost too strong. In some cases, Edenloff voice resonated deeply into the walls of the almost full basement of the Unitarian Church. At the same time, Paul Banwatt drums appeared to dominate the melody from time to time with Amy Cole’s keyboards and voice appearing sporadically as a palette cleanser.

The RAA’s music depicts cold Canadian winters and in their songs they talk about even colder love affairs. The band certainly plays with this imagery in their live performances, which appear deeply raw departing from the softer more subtle sound from their recordings where color is introduced via the addition of multiple strings, trumpets and keyboards. This is certainly true for their new album Departing, which although highly recommendable does not evidence enormous evolution of the band since their 2008 release. On Friday, the band played almost every track from their two albums.

Below, a video from 2009 of one of my favorite songs from the RAA “Frank AB”.



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