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Nothin’ but a g fing 

Billie Dre & The Poor Boys’ *Garlic Fingers* will be responsible for a tremendous spike in garlie consumption post album release on Frida.


If you ask three people the same question, you're going to get three different answers. Or, you will unless you ask a question of Will Dray, Dylan Ryan and Corey Henderson, AKA Billie Dre & The Poor Boys. If you ask these three affable buddies a question, what follows is a narrative told in three voices, a story that builds upon itself, bigger and increasingly outlandish, until it ends in an eruption of laughter from all three. Sitting down with this band is like having a beer with a bunch of dads, all eager to entertain and make sure you have a good time. Come Friday night at the Seahorse, they'll be bringing all the cool-dad to the stage for you, when they release their debut album, Garlic Fingers.

Dray, the band's eponymous lead singer, makes it abundantly clear that the fun and joking banter that audiences have come to expect from The Poor Boys is the natural extension of the attitude and wonderful happenstance that brought the band together in the first place. He and Ryan spent their first day working together at Propeller driving around the city making deliveries and talking about music, which eventually led to recording together. When they couldn't create their own bass tracks, Ryan remembered that his sister's friend Corey played the tuba, so they decided to give that sound a try. While recording their tuba tracks Henderson mentioned that he could play the bass. The rest is, as Dray puts it, "kismet," despite the fact that, as Henderson gleefully admits "I didn't actually know how to play the bass at all!" It's this sort of organic collaboration that makes the album, and the band's live performances, such a joy for its diehard Halifax fanbase. "People sometimes think that being a performer is this really contrived, thought-out thing, but it's not really. Performing is all about the people you're doing it with and the people who are there. You can feed off each other, and off of the audience."

While they've been together as a band for three years now, the guys say they've really come into their own as a band I the last year or so. "Everything before this was kind of slow folky, mostly sad bastard music," says Ryan, the drummer, "and Will was like 'I don't want to play these other songs.' So we literally took a couple of weeks and put together a few more songs that fit the new vibe and at that moment, early last summer, that was a complete change. We became more the band we are now." After a few rough sets on a mini tour last year, Henderson says the Poor Boys realized "yes, we feed off the audience, but we need to give them something to feed back too."

Garlic Fingers is definitely something that the Seahorse audience can feed off of when Billie Dre & The Poor Boys release it on Friday, accompanied by their friends The Everywheres and VKNGS. The album is a culmination of the sound and attitude they've been cultivating, and offered them a whole new recording experience. Recorded by Tim Jim Baker (now an "honourary Poor Boy," according to Henderson) at The Shed in Shad Bay, with a stripped-down studio set up unlike anything they'd done previously, the album offered the boys a chance to relax and, in Baker's words "get raunchy, let's get the mojo going." If the show is anything like a living room hang out with these boys, the mojo will flow at this show, and we'll all be better for it. --Kathleen Higgins

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