Long Range Hustle takes Kingston on a ‘magic carpet ride’

The five-piece alternative band played The Mansion last Friday 

Long Range Hustle.
Supplied by Long Range Hustle

When Paul Brogee and Jay Foster were 17-years-old, they took a trip to Kingston from their home north of Belleville to see The Tragically Hip in concert. The two teens had performed together in a few coffee shops, but neither had seriously considered a career in music.

That all changed after watching one of their favourite bands light up the K-Rock Centre, now the Leon’s Centre, in person.

“We’d been playing some covers in high school, and had a really good chemistry and similar philosophy for music,” Brogee told The Journal in a phone interview. “But on that drive home [from Kingston], we were like, ‘Let’s do something with this.’”

A decade or so later, Brogee and Foster are back in Kingston as two thirds of Long Range Hustle, a five-piece band fresh off of the release of their second album, Town. They performed at The Mansion for the second time on March 29 as the third-last stop of their 20-date tour.

Guitarist and lead vocalist Brogee met Foster, a pianist, when they were in high school. Brogee’s brother Mike joined the band as a bassist in 2015, and guitarist Ryan Pritchard and drummer AJ Fisico have been on board since 2017.

Long Range Hustle’s name comes from a phrase they heard 10 years ago and still attempt to embody in everything they do.

“Long Range Hustle means even if things aren’t going your way right now, you persevere and in the long-term, [they’ll] work out,” Brogee explained. “Over the years, that’s really been something that’s resonated with us.”

Their latest album merges diverse musical backgrounds and influences. The songs are catchy and loaded with strong hooks and harmonies made for live performances. The album also features touches of rock, jazz and classical elements, including a symphony-ready violin that appears on most tracks.

“I guess the fusion of [our music] would be folk-rock-alternative,” Foster told The Journal. However, he says the band’s music could just as accurately be described as “a magic carpet ride.”

Town, a nine-song album that runs 42 minutes in length, took most of its source material from the small Ontario locales where the band grew up. There’s a variety of perspectives across the album that often stretch from gloomy to hopeful, sometimes in a single song. On the album’s opening track “Morning Clover,” Brogee sings, “Take an easy pull of country air / 20 months back, I’d be falling down the stairs.”

“Many people feel trapped or that they want to get out of a town,” Brogee said of the lyric. “

This was flipping the script on that and exploring someone who [found] a sense of community. 

By simplifying things, they’re able to move past the darker days.”

Touring the album has taken the band across the country, with stops in main cities like Vancouver and small towns like Thunder Bay. Foster noted their show March 22 show in Toronto as a tour highlight.

“We were all kind of surprised it was full,” Foster recalled. “It was our first time headlining a Friday at the Horseshoe [Tavern in Toronto], which was always a benchmark we were shooting for, so it was a big moment for us.”

Brogee said he’s been equally amazed by the reception in big cities as small towns.

“We just played in Sarnia of all places, and it’s not exactly a metropolis or a hot spot on the map, but there was a line up out the [venue’s] door,” Brogee told The Journal.

As for Long Range Hustle’s long-term goals, they’re hoping to be more prolific, with their eye on getting at least two more albums finished in the next five years. 

In terms of touring, the band would like to keep travelling across Canada, potentially expand to international venues, and bring it all back to the place where their journey began.

“Five years later in Kingston?” Foster asked. “We’ll be playing the [Leon’s] Centre.”

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