Recording artists Fog Blues & Brass Band capture the wild energy of a Saturday night at a packed blues bar into their latest single, “Why Get Up.” And it’s no accident, because the blues banger came to life in front of an audience before it ever saw the inside of a recording studio.
Hailing from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, the seven-piece Fog Blues & Brass Band is fresh off the heels of their successful debut album, Into the Fog. The album gained them nods for their unique spin on the traditional rock and blues sound, encompassing commanding vocals, harmonies, guitars, keys and horns. Each single off the 2018 album has garnered radio play in Canada and abroad, and the band is also known for their powerhouse live performances at venues and festivals.
Contrary to its title, the new single, “Why Get Up,” is a testament to the band’s ability to get their audiences up on their feet. The traditional blues lyrics bemoan tough times – “Why get up? Rent’s due but I can’t pay/ Life keeps kickin’ me down/ Like I’m one foot in the grave.” But the driving music tells a different story – dance now, worry tomorrow.
“Why Get Up” is a true ensemble effort that seamlessly showcases each of the seasoned band members’ musical chops. Vocalist Hilliard “Hills” Walter leads Al Hosack on bass, Domenic DiNino on drums, Bobby Becker on keys, Dan Jancar on saxophones, Joe Dublanski on alto saxophone, and Tim Palsar on guitar. Each is just as strong performing solo as they are as part of a jam, amplifying the group’s satisfying, cohesive sound.
Not only is performing “Why Get Up” a team endeavor, but so too was the songwriting process. When one band member came to rehearsal with a rough demo of the song, the other six were quick to add their own stamp on the tune. When the band performed it live, the reaction was so huge that they decided to head to the recording studio. They enlisted Emmy winner Don Breithaupt to arrange the four-piece horn parts, and producer engineer John “Beetle” Bailey, a Juno and Grammy winner, perfected the sound. (Bailey also worked with the band on “Into the Fog” and their 2022 holiday single, “Here Comes Santa Claus,” a swingy take on the Christmas classic.)
What emerged from the studio was a traditional blues song that banishes the blues. Even as the metaphoric storm clouds gather, “Why Get Up” tells them to take a hike: “You wanna leave me baby/Take them clouds and walk away.” What’s left to do but dance? Wherever the listener might be, “Why Get Up” brings the party to them.