April 6, 2011, 8:45pm pm at Jack Poole Plaza
54-40 is: Neil Osborne, Dave Genn, Matt Johnson, Brad Merritt
54-40 is one of the most important popular music groups to emerge from the Canadian cultural landscape. Celebrating their thirty-year anniversary – a remarkable achievement in itself – the band has an unbelievable catalogue of hit songs, including “Baby Ran”, “I Go Blind” and “Ocean Pearl”. Lead by chief songwriter Neil Osborne, 54-40 have carved out a legacy of gold and platinum albums and an outstanding reputation for their live performances that carries through to this day.
54-40 played its first gig as a trio on New Year’s Eve 1981 at the ‘Smilin’ Buddha Cabaret’ in Vancouver. After recording a couple of independent releases and reconfiguring the band as a foursome, they signed with Warner Brothers in the US and released four albums. In 1991, 54-40 found a new home on Columbia Records at Sony Music Canada.
Since then, the band has toured throughout the world, released nine more albums, received numerous awards and achieved almost a dozen Top-10 hit singles. Along with their incredible songwriting ability, 54-40 expanded their horizons by opening their own studio and racking up producing and mixing credits. Neil Osborne produced Juno-nominated Jets Overhead and singer/songwriter Cara Luft, while guitarist Dave Genn produced Marianas Trench and Armchair Cynics and is a co-songwriter for the chart-topping Hedley. A new album is in the works for Spring 2011, produced by Neil Osborne and recorded by Dave Ogilvie.
As they celebrate their thirtieth anniversary, 54-40 remains creative and fresh, growing musically and lyrically with each project. “A band has to evolve with its audience to keep their interest,” stated Brad Merritt. “We make records based on where we’re at, at that time. So it’s kind of like a time capsule.”
When asked about their track record Matt Johnson once commented, “one thing we hear consistently is ‘I didn’t know you guys had so many hits,’ but we just consider ourselves songwriters. We enjoy the craft and whether we’re trying to write an eight-minute epic or just a three-minute pop song, it’s very enjoyable for us and we’re not afraid to do either.” (London Free Press)
Learn more about 54-40 on their website: www.5440.com