The Mad Housewives | Stories From The Alley

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Rock: Roots Rock Country: Country Rock Moods: Mood: Brooding
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Stories From The Alley

by The Mad Housewives

Achingly moody, unique roots rock. Stories From The Alley is honest and gritty and over way too soon.
Genre: Rock: Roots Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Angel of Mercy
4:59 $0.99
2. Like Simone
2:16 $0.99
3. All I Want
3:17 $0.99
4. Dear Hank
2:57 $0.99
5. Just Like Liz and Dick's Blues
3:13 $0.99
6. I Am Addicted
2:58 $0.99
7. Troublemaker
4:38 $0.99
8. Smoke Your Cigarette
2:55 $0.99
9. Maybe I'll See You Around
3:21 $0.99
10. Last Time I Saw You
3:05 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Ask the usually passionate and outspoken Mad Housewives how their songs are inspired and they become uncharacteristically quiet and thoughtful. It's not that they don't know where the songs come from; it's just that they find it difficult to talk about. There has always been an intense edginess and melancholia to their music dating when I first saw them as far back as the 80's when they were performing on the circuit as Nothing Sacred and reworking cover tunes from Lou Reed to Dusty Springfield and Otis Redding. But there are many sounds that haven't already been captured by the glut of bands on the scene and the Mad Housewives have found them.
In the mid to late 80's, they earned their reputation headlining in various incarnations of the band playing venues including Club Matador, Grossman's, Albert's Hall and the Black Swan in Toronto but preferring more community-oriented clubs like Café Kim, Graffitti's and The Greeks in Toronto's famed Kensington Market.

Their latest release, Stories From The Alley is a collection of stories people have told them late at night and in the black anonymity of bar life. The gritty streetscape is there in almost every cut on the album and at times both soaringly sweet yet painfully dark and bleak, the soul of Stories From the Alley is intact safe from the hands of overproduction and cheesy orchestration. Maybe because of their day-gigs, both have long histories in community advocacy working with street-people in Toronto, the street influence in their music is easy to hear.

Blending rhythms of Mexican mariachi bands, South African Zulu players with Gordon Lightfoot sensibilities and vocals that conjure up Chrissie Hynde, you get the latest release from the Mad Housewives and one they feel very good about.

"No-one really knows where to slot us", says Sheryl Lindsay, the band's lead vocalist. "If we had only played one type of music it would have been easier but that kind of thing didn't reflect who we are and what we wanted to do with our music."

"We wanted to maintain a really raw, immediate and simple sound", says Joanne Green, the band's lead guitar player. "The more we listen to music, the more we wanted the organic and simple sound of the telling of a story. I don't want to be buried by the device the storyteller is using. I just want to hear the story."

Stories From The Alley is about the things you only talk about when it's last call and you know in a few short minutes you will be back out into the dark night without money for beer or a streetcar home. It reflects the stories of people's lives - the stories told only to perfect strangers when the bar is closing and everyone else has given up listening. The Mad Housewives listened.

The Mad Housewives are a fixture in Toronto and you can catch them playing locally every week, usually in Kensington Market somewhere. They'll be there. Listening.

Antwone Diaz
Toronto 2003



to write a review

Aaron Stiles

Picked up this cd a week ago from the web site and have been listening ever sinc
I read a review of this cd somewhere that said it was over way too soon. It's true. I have played this cd for a week now and still want more - I think it is because when you listen to this album, the band tells stories so intricate that you end up actually wondering what happened to the people they are writing about.

The recording quality is superb and you can hear everything the players are doing. Although it is electric, you can really hear the wood in the instruments - It is clear and clean and I almost think the recording was made off the floor as it has a very live and present sound although I can't say for sure this was the case.

The use of the slide guitar especially in Dear Hank will bring tears to your eyes. It is an interesting cd because it covers a huge range of emotions, sometimes really sweet and then sometimes almost roots punk angry if you know what I mean.

There is nothing superfluous in this album. Everything is in its place and the instrumental embelishments are honest and sparse but still lush (again, listen to Dear Hank just as an example)

I am very pleased with this cd and hope they will be doing more.


Loved it.
Great writing, fave is also Last Time - strongest and most lyrical writing - painful song about breaking up or death or both. But the entire cd is that way. Bleak on one hand and then upbeat on the other. Now I know why they called it Stories From the Alley because it is about real people -not like the current, popular esoteric stuff that leaves you wondering, "what the hell does that mean...." This cd leaves no doubt about what they are talking about - real life - plain and simple.


Worth it.
Good cd, a real winner, strong writing, straight to the heart melodies and lyrics. Not overly produced or so slick that you forget this is a roots-oriented band. Great vibe.

Pannonica Monk

Can't decide on my favourite pick from the song list
The Mad Housewives’ sound wastes nothing. Its musical elements fuse with precision and a clarity that grab at life’s core dialogue between joy and sorrow. Songs From The Alley delivers steal-your-heart-guitar, catchy lyrics, emotional truths, cool phrasing and soulful vocals guided by hang drums and a rightous bass. I recommend it to any one looking to listen to some real music for a change. Word has it in Kensington Market that Songs From The Alley's cd release party will be at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto this Feb 27th, I've not heard the band play live yet, and will most definetly be there!

Pannonica Monk

Carl "the aussie" Patterson

Definately a must have for your collection. This C.D is
Soft and gritty at times with a sweetness that's hard to resist. I can't stop listening to this C.D, its infectious.
The production is stellar, especially the guitars and vox.
"Dear Hank" and the last track "Last time I saw you" are my favs on this C.D. The blend of those guitars especially the lead on the last tune is haunting. It's a gem. They're all gems.

This is the way records where (and are) meant to be recorded.


Different. A live sound - like sitting in your living room.
One listen and you feel like they are your best friends.
Would recommend.

Debbie Ellerstein

Really great addition - play it on a road trip.
Got this cd and played it on my car player to check it out. It kept me company from Arizona to New York and back again. Very real music about real people but music you can relate you yourself. No I am not related to the band - I just play one on TV

btw it is nice to get contacted by the band after you buy a cd here - makes you feel more connected to the music.

John Dahley

I heard a cut on local radio and tracked it down until I found it.
I first heard the song I Am Addicted on our local radio and unfortunately the host did not announce the band playing it. I was intrigued enough that I tracked it down. That particular song has a very unusual and refreshing sound. I would really like to hear this band interviewed because I am a gear freak and would be very curous as to how they got this sound and what they used in the recording.

The rest of the cd is filled with excellent tracks but I think I Am Addicted is my favourite at the moment. I would recommend this cd.


Best Indie band I have heard in a while.
This is a great Indie cd and ranks about the best I have heard in a long while. I caught this band on CBC Radio Canada the other day and was very impressed with the tracks they played. the whole cd is great but I was especially struck by the unique guitar work - really stands out.


Good to hear real music again.
Excellent. I really like the depth of the writing and the complexity of the music. The whole recording has lots of air around it alowing the songs to jump out and come alive.
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