United Steel Workers of Montreal

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United Steel Workers of Montreal
Origin Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Genres Alternative country
Years active 2004 (2004)–2011 (2011)
Website www.uswm.ca
Past members
  • Gern F
  • Felicity Hamer
  • Sean Beauchamp
  • Matt Watson
  • Flipper Frumignac
  • Dylan Perron

United Steel Workers of Montreal (or USWM) were a six-piece alternative country ensemble based in downtown Montreal. The band members included Gern F (vocals/acoustic guitar), Felicity Hamer (vocals/accordion), Sean "Gus" Beauchamp (vocals/acoustic guitar), Matt Watson (electric guitar), Flipper Frumignac (bass) and Dylan Perron (banjo/mandolin). The band draws on punk rock, bluegrass and country influences, and is part of a "citygrass" scene of alternative country musicians in Montreal which also includes Katie Moore and Lee Mellor and the Mudhounds.[1]

The band began as an informal busking collective, playing every Tuesday in Montreal's Lucien-L'Allier metro station.[2] After about seven or eight months, they booked a rehearsal space and began to actively record and perform as a permanent band. Their debut album Broken Trucks and Bottles was released in April 2005 and featured Sean Moore on banjo, mandolin and guitar. Shortly after the album's release Moore left the band and was replaced by Kevin McNeilly, while session man Roger Dawson also became a member.

The new lineup followed with Kerosene and Coal in 2007.[3] That same year, a Montreal Mirror readers' poll voted them the third best act in the city, behind only Arcade Fire and electronic duo Team Canada.[4] In 2007 Dawson left the band and was replaced by bass player Eddie Blake.

They have toured extensively across Canada and the United States, and Europe including shows at the 2008 SXSW and Ottawa Bluesfest.[5] Their music has also been playlisted on CBC Radio 3.[6] The group announced their separation on their official website at the end of 2011.

Discography[edit]

  • 2005 Broken Trucks and Bottles
  • 2007 Kerosene and Coal
  • 2009 Three on the Tree

References[edit]