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RC: Night of the Shooting Stars @ Capital, Tonight!

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Here is the actual article, reprinted without permission of course:

It's a family affair

Dave Jaffer

Doucet: "I want to die on stage when I'm 90"

photo: Ivan Otis

Toronto's Six Shooter Records brings the whole stable to town

The Six Shooter Records philosophy is refreshingly old-school. Pithy and clear, it's a no-nonsense piece of advice, and, if you're the type to look at everything as a fight, both a rallying cry and a call-to-arms.

For the uninitiated, that philosophy is: "Life is too short to listen to shitty music."

And it is, it really is.

On the topic of non-shitty music, Night of the Shooting Stars is shaping up to be an unforgettable night courtesy of Toronto-based Six Shooter's stable of artists. As the story (via a press release) goes, the soirée was "inspired by the Finale performance on Six Shooter Day at the Ottawa Bluesfest in 2008," and essentially, what that shakes out to is this: Not only will Night of the Shooting Stars feature a good portion of the label's formidable crew of artists, including Luke Doucet, Justin Rutledge, NQ Arbuckle, Royal Wood, Melissa McClelland, BidiniBand, Amelia Curran and The Beauties, but for added effect they'll all be playing together. Like, together together. Like, alongside and amidst each other.

Mind you, this ain't some travelling road show making a pit stop in the capital for some gas and a lumpy motel bed. Rather, it's a one-time, one-night event created specifically for Ottawa. Yes, its timing is deliberate, because the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals is holding its annual conference in town from October 15 to 18, but, according to Six Shooter head honcho Shauna de Cartier, it's about much more than that.

It's about giving back.

"Ottawa is

a very good community for us," she says. "The Ottawa Bluesfest is a really big supporter of Six Shooter; I think they've had almost everybody on our roster at their festival."

It's easy to see why. Six Shooter attracts artists with a certain power, a certain allure, and that in turn radiates back outward, winning and charming as all giddy-up. As opposed to sex appeal or Internet hype or something impermanent, Six Shooter's pheromones are of a different stripe - those of people who want to do something very well for a very long time.

And yes, people still respond to that.


Six Shooter has been on the block since 2000, and, since 2000, has received acclaim for its output as well as for the way it handles itself. In short, people love Six Shooter as if the label were an artist itself, which in a way it is.

If the question in a word is "Why?" the answer in a word is "Authenticity."

"The label comes from a core value that I hold about the importance of art in our society," says de Cartier. "I look for artists who are career artists who are going to be making music and art until they're dead, [like] it's not just something they're trying on, or something that has an expiry date on it, or that they're doing to make money. I tend to look for the real thing."

Among the real things is Luke Doucet, who's been on Six Shooter since Christ was a cowboy. The label's first release was his solo debut Aloha, Manitoba, and if anyone is qualified to talk about what it's like being a Six Shooter artist, it's him.

"[shauna asked] 'What do you want to do?' and I said 'I want to make 20 records and I want to tour my whole life and I want to die on stage when I'm 90,'" he recounts. "She said, 'Okay, let's go, let's do this.'"

Doucet adds that the label fosters a real sense of community.

"One of the things that I always hoped that playing rock'n'roll music would achieve was that you get to be in a gang," he continues. "Instead of being the lone nerd who gets beat up by the quarterback of the football team because you're awkward and small, you have a gang of the cool guys because they play music, and there is a bit of that with Six Shooter. People going 'We all have similar priorities. We all like Merle Haggard and we don't feel stupid about it.'"

In contrast to Doucet, Darin McConnell of The Beauties is a new member of the Six Shooter family. That said, his opinion is strikingly similar. "It seems like a family," he says. "They'll give you the shirt off their backs to make your dream come true."

The more I dig, the more of this I hear. In separate emails, Curran, Rutledge and McConnell's bandmate Derek Downham all say similar things, all three specifically evoking this idea of community, and moreover, how fortunate they feel to have found one.

I guess the family that plays together, stays together.

"It's a hard world out there for anybody, but it's really hard out there for an artist," says de Cartier. "So it's really nice to have that roof over your head, so to speak, and feel that you have a family of other artists, which is part of what this show specifically that we're doing in Ottawa on October 16th is about. It's a celebration of the community that surrounds Six Shooter."

Night of the Shooting Stars

w/ Luke Doucet, Justin Rutledge, NQ Arbuckle, Melissa McClelland,

Royal Wood, Bidini Band, The Beauties

@ Capital Music Hall

Oct. 16

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And it was a great time.

The Beauties were the newest Six Shooter artist and they were very appropriate- kind of a Cardinals type band. I love Amelias new music and she was quite mesmerizing. BidiniBand was rough around the edges great, like when music isn't supposed to be smooth and the songs suited that perfectly. Luke Doucet was great as always-if a little understated his White Falcon on this night. Melissa McLelland is the star of the stable apparently- people bought almost every cd she had with her, and you could hear a pin drop when she played.

Three Cheers for Six Shooter!!

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I'm so glad I went to this. Such a great roster of musicians! It was a packed house for the first hour of the night but then cleared out quite a lot. I'd never really heard Melissa McLelland before and was drawn in by her slow bluesy tunes. Luke Doucet is as amazing as I remember him being. First time heading NQ Arbuckle too and I thought he was great. He was also the MC and was handsomely smashed by Midnight. Funniest part of the night was when Bidini told him to FUCK OFF - he got the hint pretty quickly and exited the stage. Bidini's new tunes were good too. Lots of sit-ins; particularly Royal Wood did a stand-up job on the keys for a lot of the night.

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