Nfld. & Labrador

The Silver Wolf Band leans into its Labrador identity

When they were younger the members of the Silver Wolf Band couldn't wait to get out of Labrador. Now they say their Big Land identity is the coolest thing about them.

Have a First Listen to Storms and Prayers by the Silver Wolf Band

The Silver Wolf Band is, from left, Brandon Pardy, Matthew Barrett, Jamie Jackman and Justin Jackman. (Submitted by Justin Jackman )

When the members of the Silver Wolf Band were teenagers, they couldn't wait to leave Labrador. 

"When we were younger in high school and playing in bands, we were like, 'We gotta get out of here and play somewhere else," said guitarist and singer Jamie Jackman.

"Being in a place that's so remote and isolated and is seldom talked about, it seemed kind of lame."

The coolest thing about our band is where we're from.- Jamie Jackman

Now, said Jackman, "The coolest thing about our band is where we're from."

To Canada and back

The Silver Wolf Band consists of Jackman, Matthew Barrett on piano and keyboards, Justin Jackman on drums and percussion, and Brandon Pardy on bass, all living in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. 

Most of the band started playing together in Happy Valley-Goose Bay as teenagers. They then went their separate ways for a number of years, to other parts of Canada for work and school. 

A few years ago, finding themselves back in Labrador, they re-formed and started performing and recording again. As they settled back into their lives in the Big Land, they found themselves leaning into their Labrador and Indigenous identities. 

"As we grow and get older, I feel like the pride of where we're from is coming through more," said Barrett. 

'The band from Labrador' 

Their new album, Storms and Prayers, comprises three well-known Labrador songs, plus a collection of original songs. Their blend of folk and pop is a hit with audiences from the north coast of Labrador to music festivals in Newfoundland and other parts of Canada. 

"Everywhere we go we're billed as the band from Labrador, and we're like, 'Yeah, this is kind of cool,'" said Barrett.

"It's a unique place, kind of mysterious, even to people on the island," 

Jackman said the Silver Wolf Band hopes to resume some limited touring this fall.

"When we go out somewhere else, we feel like we're armed with that sense of identity and we've got the people back home to represent," said Jackman. "We're really happy to do that."

Matthew Barrett and Jamie Jackman of the Silver Wolf Band talk about the band's new album, Storms and Prayers 19:13

Do you have a new album of music that Weekend AM should know about for First Listen? Email us, wam@cbc.ca, and tell us about it. 

You can hear First Listen on Sundays on Weekend AM from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. (5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. in Labrador) on CBC Radio One.  

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About the Author

Heather Barrett is the host and producer of Weekend AM on CBC Radio One in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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