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(Column) Rice: Just Another Gal from Casper – Whitehorse

 I was driving to work a few years back when the song “Nadine” added a kick to my morning and my “Obsessions” playlist (thanks, Wyoming Public Radio!) 

Kate Rice


I was driving to work a few years back when the song “Nadine” added a kick to my morning and my “Obsessions” playlist. (Thanks, Wyoming Public Radio!)

If you haven’t heard of Whitehorse (the group, not the capital city of Yukon, Canada), they’re an amazing Canadian husband/wife duo. Some of their tunes are steeped in folk; others splatter you with fun-n-filthy rockin’ blues. 

My favorite collection is Whitehorse’s EP The Northern South, Vol. 1. Six rock and bluesy bangers covering artists like Willie Dixon, Robert Johnson and Chuck Berry. 

First Up? “My Babe,” delivered with dirty guitar licks, fabulous dissonance and soulful harmonica. “Wang Dang Doodle,” a favorite of mine no matter who’s performing, is next. It starts with drums, vocals and guitar, sprinkles in a few notes on the piano, then drags you through a field of fabulous guitar fuzz. 

Momentarily ditching electric for acoustic is “Big Bass Man,” with a more traditional guitar-picking blues. Then comes my favorite track…

“Nadine” — a song that somehow manages to feel both laid-back and urgent, sexy and stalker-y (you decide). The way it starts kinda reminds me, musically, of the feel of Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “I Feel Lucky.” But instead of a great country ditty, we get a gritty blues/rock song, complete with buzzy guitar riffs and fabulous dissonant piano. Some of my favorite lyrics (nod to Chuck Berry) are:

“I saw her from the corner when she turned and doubled back / started walkin’ towards a coffee-colored Cadillac / I was pushin’ through the crowd tryin’ to get to where she’s at / I was campaign shoutin’ like a southern diplomat…”

Rounding out the collection: “Pretty Thing,” with sweet percussion and blazing harmonica, and the super-bluesy “Come On In My Kitchen.” 

Whitehorse’s sound varies from album to album: folksy, country, rock — even dancing on the edge of pop. Some, like the EP above, I can’t get enough of. Some, I can take or leave. But one thing’s for sure — I’m glad Wyoming Public Radio (“Wyoming Sounds,” Monday through Friday from 9 to noon) flung this Canadian gem my way. Listen to Whitehorse on Spotify or YouTube, download ‘em digitally from iTunes, or capture these Canadians on CD or Vinyl through places like Amazon and our downtown Sonic Rainbow.