by Sheldon Birnie
I had a couple beers with Matt and Andy from the Mag 7s this afternoon — hard traveling troubadours if ever there were any — interviewing them for an upcoming feature for Stylus. Keep your eyes peeled, friends, it’s a gooder! The problem is, though, that I have yet to transcribe the SOG, and the clock is ticking down to load in for the One Hundred Dollars show at Pop Soda’s.
Maybe if we’d drank less beer, maybe if I’d eaten more food, I wouldn’t be sitting here typing up excuses on the Hillbilly Highway when I should be transcribing a half hour of interviewee gold. But there is always tomorrow, and the deadline is at least a day away. Plenty of time for a professional to get his shit together and deliver the goods. Live fast, live free!
Right now, I’m listening to the new Mag 7s disc, All Kinds of Mean, courtesy of Transistor 66, and it is solid, partner! I’ll review the platter in good time, never fear, but for now I’d like to reflect on some personal memories I hold of one of my favourite local acts…
I first heard of the Magnificient 7s back in 2006. At the time, I was living in a house in South Osborne, playing in a couple shitty punk bands. One of those bands used to host basement shows at our place, and one of the groups we used to get to play were called the Ponys. The Ponys soon changed their name to the Ex-Girlfriends, and made a name for themselves on the local punk/garage circuit. It was a pretty sweet band, three babes who partied hard and weren’t half bad at rocking out.
During one of these gigs, Ida told us we should check out her other band, the Magnificent 7s, who were playing some street-fest later that week. Sure, sure, we said, half-assed committing to do so.
But me and my pals ended up checking them out, and I was blown away. Here was a band that was perfecting the ideal mix of old time, traditional country/bluegrass with contemporary punk rock ethos, and having a blast with it the whole while.
Since that fateful day, I’ve seen the Mag 7s play plenty of times, and even shared the stage with them more than once — at the Albert, the Park Theatre, and the Shine On! festival out near Steinbach. During the latter, me and a few of the other Gad Guys had downed a hearty helping of zoomers, and dug their set on an ethereal plane beyond anything witnessed up to that point. Beautiful shit on a starry night out in the sandilands, just beautiful!
The Mags are hosting a CD release in Winnipeg in December. Stylus will be profiling them in our upcoming issue, and I urge you heartily to check them out, if you have or have not already. You won’t fucking regret it. Pick up their new disc when you get a chance, too. Toe tapping good time drinking music! Bottoms up!