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L.A. Beat

Dark Wrangler debut is a community effort for Don Cassell and friends during Covid

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Coping with Covid can be tough on  people’s mental health. But music helped local classic rock inspired musician Don Cassell  get through it with a little bit of help from his friends. The result— the first Dark Wrangler CD ‘Liminality’ “ This album saved me,” said Cassell, who started working on a few of his songs with with Taylor Ackerman in January. Ackerman, along with Ryan, ‘Skinny’ Dyck and multi-instrumentalist Tyler Bird helped flesh out his songs. Click here to hear Liminality
“They play everything on the CD — bass, drums, fiddle, keyboards,” he said.

  The songs range from classic rock style to heartbroken country music.

He added bassist Dil Jopp and Danica Somme to sing background vocals.

“She’s got an amazing voice so I asked Taylor to bring her (Sommer’s) vocals up,  so they  are a prominent part of the second track ‘Light of Day.’

Cassell has also released  one album with his other band In Cahoots and two with  The Juxtaposers, a project which also included Ackerman and Bird.
“ We just got together and started jamming together on some of my songs. I realized we had something special, but I never thought it would turn out to be a CD,” he said, adding he met with  Ackerman weekly in his North side studio, and came up with a song a week, which they eventually fleshed out for the CD.

“Skinny didn’t even have to come to the studio. We just sent him the files and he added pedal steel guitar,” Cassell enthused, adding he enjoyed the collaborative process.
“I only had the bare bones of  some of the songs when i went in, but that’s the beauty of this album,” he said.

 Local musicianDon Cassell and Dil Jopp playing at the Owl Acoustic Lounge. Photo by Richard Amery and Owl Acoustic Lounge owner Steve Foord contributed the album, after Cassell took Foord and his girlfriend out to the Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump.

“ We saw a buffalo struggling to get out some mud, so we towed it out, but it didn’t make it, but I asked Steve to design an album cover based on the image because  I thought it reflected the title of Liminality, which means a transition or being on the edge of a new life, which I guess we all are experiencing right now,” he said, adding Foord wouldn’t even accept  any payment for the design.

“He and the Slice are the centre of Lethbridge‘s music scene,” he enthused, adding once things get back to normal, he’d like to play some full band Dark Wrangler Shows, though he and Jopp played an acoustic Dark Wrangler set on the Owl’s outside patio in the summer as well as at the Slice a couple of weeks ago.

 He is flattered Ackerman and his bandmates agreed to work with him.
“I’m used to do everything on my own.  They had no reason to work with me but they did and I’m thankful for that. They’re all very talented” he enthused.
Dark Wrangler’s “Liminality” is available through Bandcamp, Spotify, iTunes and YouTube.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Monday, 16 November 2020 09:47 )  
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