In just the first two years together Kelowna, BC’s SLEDDOGS, consisting of Kenny Byrka lead vocals, electric bass, electric piano, synthesizers, Michael Donley; electric guitar, backing vocals, and Eric Funk; drums and percussion, backing vocals, have made a significant mark on the Canadian rock landscape.
Following a hectic 2006, SLEDDOGS settled into a West Coast groove to test the waters for their highly anticipated follow up with producer Steven Drake, formally of The Odds, also known for his stellar work with The Tragically Hip, 54-40, Michelle Wright and Jeremy Fisher. After getting a taste of what might come to be during the re-recording of the track Happy Face, mixed by Richard Chycki (Rush, Aerosmith, Mick Jagger, Pink), and a rocking Christmas version of Frosty the Snowman, the band knew that Steven was the right man to steer the ship on their sophomore album “TAKE ME AWAY”.
The SLEDDOGS goal with “TAKE ME AWAY” was to create an album that reflects their live sound. They definitely hit the nail on the head and it was their live sound heard in Austin, TX during SXSW 2007 by Bhurr Records label head Chris Case that initiated the deal that saw “TAKE ME AWAY” hit store shelves across Canada on August 28th through Fontana North / Universal Music Canada.
The moody and popular album track, Lack of Control was released on Oct 15 2007 to Canadian Rock and HAC radio where both formats are reporting the single charting within the top 100 in Canada. A video for their Rockin’ version of Frosty the Snowman was also shot in November 2007, starring John Dunsworth and Pat Roche known for their roles as Mr.Lahey and Randy of The Trailer Park Boys.
Ready to launch a full scale attack across the pond in 2008, they are kick starting the year with their first UK tour in February, during which they will play two weeks of mostly sold out shows at top university venues with hypnotist Tony Lee (followed up by a one week tour in Mexico!). Alongside the tour, their second full length critically acclaimed album ‘Take Me Away’ will be hitting stores all over the UK via Code 7 distribution.
The band is consistently intent on pushing deeper into new territories, continuing to make serious noise on the Rock landscape!
Key achievements to-date:
* Their stunningly accomplished 2006 debut, “Great Escape”, tagged them as serious contenders with 3 songs cracking the Canadian Top 100 in Rock and Hot AC formats and their hit single “Perfect Place” breaking through to the Top 40 and receiving a nomination for a 2006 Canadian Radio Music Award â€“ Best New Group HOT AC.
* They were nominated for a total of 6 Awards at the 4th Annual Okanagan Music Awards 2006, and had the honour of taking home the hardware for Group of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, and Rock/Pop Artist or Group of the Year.
* Videos for Bye Bye Life and Perfect Place received out of the box adds from both MuchMoreMusic and MusiMax
* They have played more than 280 live dates since 2006, including showcases at CMW 2006, Indieweek 2006, and Vancouver’s New Music West 2007 (which they obtained through winning the online fan based voting contest ‘Bandcast’).
* “Take Me Away” was released as an advance single and charted on a number of stations across Canada within its first couple weeks.
* The video for Take Me Away, directed by Juno Award winner Ante Kovac (Tragically Hip, Matthew Good) saw significant airplay through the spring on Much Music, Much Loud and MMM.
* In 2007 Sleddogs undertook a three month tour of Campuses and Clubs across Central and Eastern Canada.
* At the 2007 Okanagan Music Awards, Sleddogs won all five awards they were nominated for including; Album of the Year, Single of the Year (Take me Away), Rock Group/Pop/Artist of the Year, Group or Duo of the Year, and Male Performer of the Year (Kenny Byrka)
Check Sleddogs out at http://www.sleddogs.ca