Canadiana troubadour Leeroy Stagger is back with Depression River. The follow-up to 2004’s critically acclaimed Beautiful House will be available in stores across Canada this Tuesday.
Stagger’s childhood in Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley turned out to be the unintentional theme of the record. In the title track he refers to the death of his brother — a real-life tragedy that occurred when his brother drowned in the river running through their backyard when Leeroy was only 5 years old. “It was really surreal. It gets you thinking of death and heaven and the afterlife,” he says. “Most of what I write about is real life experience. Sometimes mine, sometime not. Either way, they touch on life and death and pain and happiness — real things that each one of us experiences almost every day of our lives.”
Having drawn early comparisons to Steve Earle’s Copperhead Road and Neil Young’s Harvest, Depression River is Stagger’s rawest effort yet. From full out broken beer bottle rock to the aching ballad of a broken hearted dreamer, Depression River is a whiskey-soaked, full-bodied recording of a powerful singer-songwriter only just starting to come into his own.