When a lifestyle creates a musical style, that’s pretty much the definition of authenticity. So when we say that The Denim Daddies are creating their own form of authentic country music, you might feel a little bit confused. For example, you may ask, how does guitarist/vocalist Andrew Brostrom keep writing songs that sound as if they stumbled out of a smoky barroom? Steady work on the craft, beer drinking, and breaking hearts, that’s how.

Brostrom and his fellow Edmonton-based good ol’ boys who comprise The Denim Daddies—bassist/vocalist Kurtis Cockerill, pedal steel guitarist Booker Diduck, keyboardist Sahil Chugh, and drummer/vocalist Matt King—have been finding ways to satisfy the tastes of both country music purists and newbies for over five years now, burning up every stage they grace with outlaw-inspired alt-country that parties as hard as they do. With tunes about hoedowns gone right, hootenannies gone wrong, and the pain in your heart after hearing a Luke Bryan song, they’re doing it on their own terms. Several old guys once told them that their sound was reminiscent of The Flying Burrito Brothers. A man with a mullet once said they sounded like Steve Earle.

You can judge for yourself as The Denim Daddies are returning with Northern Goods, a seven-track album, and the long-overdue follow-up to their 2018 companion EPs, Drinkin’ and Thinkin’. Kurtis Cockerill says the gap between releases was largely due to the band abruptly shelving an album they were halfway through finishing, in favour of a different batch of songs that seemed a more accurate reflection of their live sound. “Some of these songs are our oldest ones that weren't yet recorded, written as far back as early 2018,” Kurtis explains. “These songs are all of our favourites to play on stage. We feel they have a tenacity to them that makes for a very cohesive sounding album.”

Northern Goods was recorded at various points during 2023, mostly with Scott Franchuk (Corb Lund, Del Barber, The Goddamsels) at Edmonton’s Riverdale Recorders, and captures what Cockerill describes as The Denim Daddies’ growth as both songwriters and performers. “We started this band to learn how to sing and write songs, and early on we were granted some pretty cool opportunities that we definitely weren't ready for,” Cockerill says. “Right before the pandemic, we were starting to realize that we needed to sing more in tune and be better prepared for gigs, or else we needed to stay in the basement! Then from early 2020 to late 2021, with no distractions and other gigs to take our focus away, we improved a lot. We're still kind of rough around the edges, but it's been an interesting challenge trying to change people's minds about our band. We think Northern Goods will ultimately do that for us.”

It’s certainly evident from the record’s blazing opener, “Livin’ On The Road,” that The Denim Daddies are firing on all cylinders. Then there’s “Grandpa Was A Bushman,” a song Cockerill wrote in tribute to his larger-than-life relative who passed during Covid’s early days. Weeks later, one of the band’s primary influences, John Prine, died, prompting them to record a version of “Grandpa Was A Carpenter,” which is also included on Northern Goods.

“It felt like I’d lost two grandpas,” Cockerill says. “I was never graced with an opportunity to meet John Prine, but he had a massive impact on my life. I don't think I would have started singing or writing if he had never existed. Actually, I know I wouldn't have. Another song on Northern Goods, ‘Seems To Me,’ is one of the first songs I ever wrote, and I think the influence there is undeniable. We play at least one John Prine song in every set we play.”

Since releasing their debut single, “Road Runner,” in 2018, The Denim Daddies have become well-established across western Canada, winning Edmonton's Select Songwriting Contest, and appearing at major festivals such as Big Valley Jamboree and Dauphin's Countryfest. They’ve also shared stages with Cheap Trick, The Dead South and The Sadies, gaining ground within the Canadian scene with each appearance.

Expect to see and hear a lot more of The Denim Daddies as they’ll likely be bringing their posse to a town near you in support of Northern Goods. They’ll be in their van of course. None of them can ride a horse.