Editor’s note: The following is the last in a series of stories published this week, featuring musicians with Colchester County ties who are nominated for East Coast Music Awards. The awards will be given out this week. Part one featured Matt Brouwer; part two featured Will Fisher; and part three featured Charlie A'Court.
It’s Syliboy, his son Evan Syliboy and Old Barns native Rachael Henderson getting in a quick rehearsal. Together, they are the main players of Lone Cloud, a Millbrook-based band up for aboriginal recording of the year with their album ‘We Are Medicine People’ at the 2013 East Coast Music Awards (ECMAs) this week in Halifax.
“We’re pretty excited about that,” said Syliboy, 60, of Millbrook, who has been playing percussion with his son on guitar for about 10 years now. “It’s a way for us to showcase the band and also get a chance to network with the musicians and aboriginal artists. We can support each other.”
Syliboy and Evan, 26, formed the band for the most part over the years of playing together, but it wasn’t until Henderson, 22, came on board as a vocalist and guitarist that things really came together for them.
“When my son started taking guitar, we would have people come over to play with us, so the band just evolved naturally. It wasn’t our master plan, but we started practicing on a regular basis,” said Syliboy.
‘We Are Medicine People’ is the second full-length album Lone Cloud, which also includes Danny Sutherland and Cathy Porter, has released. The band’s debut album, ‘Live @ North Street Church,’ was nominated for the same ECMA in 2009. Their EP, ‘Carry Me Home,’ was released in 2010.
When it comes to the songs, Henderson is the primary writer for the group, with Syliboy writing when he often has the urge – and time.
“I get my inspiration from personal experiences, for the most part,” said Henderson. “We do have some theme songs as well. But my inspiration can come from anywhere – taken from things that can inspire and move people.”
Playing at the ECMAs this year in the aboriginal showcase will be “fun,” said Evan.
“I started playing when I was about 15 years old – I would just like jamming around,” he said.
“It will be sweet to get our name out there and build our reputation further,” Henderson added about the ECMAs. “Being a part of Lone Cloud is certainly different than everything I had done prior – singing as a choir girl and taking voice lessons.”
With the band named after Jerry Lone Cloud, a Mi’kmaq medicine man who travelled extensively throughout North America, Syliboy tries to incorporate the man in all the album artwork he creates. Portraits hang on numerous walls in Syliboy’s studio in Halliday Place on Arthur Street.
“He was the inspiration behind the band,” said Syliboy. “He would always be there for the people. He was also a showman – he performed on Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show – and he collected Mi’kmaq pieces for the Museum of Natural History for 25 years so our history wouldn’t be lost.”
With a CD release party this past November for ‘We Are Medicine People,’ Lone Cloud is working on getting some local shows together and when finalized, they will be posted on Lone Cloud’s Facebook page. The album is currently available at the Glooscap Heritage Centre.
ABOUT LONE CLOUD:
Members: Millbrook’s Alan Syliboy on percussion, Truro’s Evan Syliboy on guitar, and Old Barns’ Rachael Henderson on vocals and guitar, as well as Danny Sutherland of Antigonish on bass and Halifax’s Cathy Porter on percussion.
Have been playing together: for about 10 years for father Alan Syliboy and son Evan; Rachael joined the group back in 2008.
ECMA nom: aboriginal recording of the year for ‘We Are Medicine People.’
Online: search for Lone Cloud on Facebook for upcoming performances and events.