Out today via LOAD Music, Weapons Grade Romantic is the new release from The Dojo Workhorse – the solo moniker of Dan Vacon and the emotional counterpoint to his main group – The Dudes.

Since the early rough demos, the regional and online response for Dojo has been overwhelming, prompting Vacon to perform the material live as a solo act. Home-made CDRs were flying off of local consignment shelves and word spread through the Calgary music community building the band into a local super-group of sorts, featuring eclectic instrumentation from lapsteel to cello.

Unable to ignore the public appeal, Vacon was convinced to record a proper full-length album pulling from the “best of” his demoed material with Juno Award winning producer Russell Broom (Sam Roberts, Chixdiggit, Jann Arden). Broom’s mission statement was to maintain the haphazard charm of the early home recordings, while adding a more universally accessible sheen. To the surprise and delight of everyone, Weapons Grade Romantic blossomed into something far more affecting than just a “Dudes side project”.

String sections, horns, and some of Vacon’s favourite Canadian musicians fill out the sound of this unique album; its balance of rough edgy heart, with the palatable sounds of blue-eyed soul and acoustic pop is undeniable. It feels like a blue-eyed Sam Cooke fronting a gloriously sloppy version of The Band set to a precious low-fi backing track.

If the overwhelming preliminary industry response for The Dojo Workhorse is any indication, 2009 may well be the breakout year for Dan Vacon.

For music and more info go here:

Catch Dojo this Friday as part of LOAD Music’s ‘The First Waltz’ showcase.
Fall tour dates to follow.
Oct 9th – Calgary, AB – MacEwan Ballroom w/The Dudes and Michael Bernard Fitzgerald

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