The New Deal: New Album ‘Phoenix’ and New Tour

Livetronica fans are thrilled to discover that Toronto trio The New Deal are back with a new album and new tour dates into 2020. The band surfaced shortly after 1998, and those of us who traded cassettes back in the day and then live CDs were enamored of their approach to acid jazz and the emerging sound of jamtronica.

The New Deal – Photo credit: David Lee / Gypsyshooter

The New Deal have since the beginning featured Jamie Shields on keyboards and Dan Kurtz on bass. And the band celebrates the addition of new drummer Davide Di Renzo (credit here to Wikipedia):

“With Davide it’s a bit like ‘coming back home’ as he was the drummer that inspired our original direction back in 1998 when the three of us played our first impromptu gig together in Guelph, Ontario. Each of the band’s drummers has brought something unique to theNEWDEAL, and with Davide we’re reaching back to move forward with the organic-infused improvisation that has long-inspired a big part of theNEWDEAL sound.”

On September 27, The New Deal posted this about their new album, Phoenix:

Dan, Davide and I are incredibly proud to announce the release of PHOENIX – the first New Deal album in three years.
Listen here —>

PHOENIX marks the first volume in a series of releases that we’re calling “The Asylum Sessions”. These sessions were composed, performed, recorded and mixed live off-the-floor at Dan’s Asylum studio with no overdubs and minimal editing. Over time we managed to compile close to sixty hours of improvised music and when we first started listening back to these sessions we all realized that we had something very special to share with our fans and fellow music lovers. PHOENIX is but a very small drop in a very big bucket of music that The New Deal is preparing to share with the world.

The sessions were recorded using a variety of methods. Some of them were recorded to multi-track (allowing us some greater flexibility for mixing later on) but most were just recorded directly to a final mix that MSG captained in real-time while we played.

These sessions perfectly distill the core creative concept of The New Deal, which is to create music as a unit on stage (or in the studio) without a net and with complete and total trust in each other both as musicians and as bandmates. I’d say that 98% of The Asylum Sessions tracks were developed on-the-fly and with zero preparation. It’s within that context that PHOENIX (and all future “Asylum Sessions” volumes) should be approached and enjoyed. We’re incredibly proud of this music and we feel that it is a spot-on creative representation of the three of us in that exact moment in time.

What more can we ask for from a record?

Playing music with Davide has been a revelation, to say the least. When the three of us are on stage I feel completely free and open to exploring any musical ideas that may materialize. Our mantra has always been to “let it all hang out” but sometimes that’s easier said than done. In the past I have found that thinking too much about what’s happening on stage inhibits my musical flow. With Davide behind the kit I can honestly say that I’ve never found myself “thinking” about anything while we play. It has been a complete communion of musical minds that has resulted in some of the best music that I’ve been a part of in The New Deal.

PHOENIX is the first of many such offerings. I speak on Dan and Davide’s behalf when I tell you that The New Deal is incredibly proud to be able to keep on releasing music and we look forward to putting out many more such albums in the near (and not-so-near) future.


There will be more dates added to their calendar, but the tour thus far includes a set at the inaugural Woodlands Music & Arts Festival at Charleston Woodlands, shows up and down the East Coast, and a pair of dates at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom in January.


10/04  Putnam Place | Saratoga Springs NY  w/ Teddy Midnight DJ set
10/05  Funk ’n Waffles | Syracuse NY
10/31  Brighton Music Hall | Boston MA
11/01  Pacific Standard Tavern | New Haven CT
11/02  Club Metronome | Burlington VT
11/07  5 Points Music Sanctuary | Roanoke VA
11/08  The Woodlands Music & Arts Festival | Charleston SC
11/09  The Woodlands Music & Arts Festival | Charleston SC
11/10  Asheville Music Hall | Asheville NC
11/20  The Pour House Music Hall | Raleigh NC
11/21  Visulite theatre | Charlotte NC
11/23  1904 Music Hall | Jacksonville FL
11/24  The Funky Biscuit | Boca Raton FL

01/17  Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom | Denver CO
01/18  Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom | Denver CO
02/20  Wonder Bar | Asbury Park NJ
02/21  The Ardmore Music Hall | Ardmore PA
02/22  Brooklyn Bowl | Brooklyn NY

Many thanks to CHeeSeHeaDPRoDuCTioNS for this video of the New Deal set at the last AURA festival.


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