Produced, mixed, and recorded by Georges Couling.
Additional recording by Paul Boechler.
Piano, wurly, B3 organ, and background vocals performed by Georges Couling.
Never Had The Time by Portage and Main. This is your soundtrack to a sunny mid-day drive along the coast in a classic convertible; a cool autumn evening at the cottage, huddled beside a bonfire; a late-night drink at your favourite pub with your favourite people.
The sophomore offering from this Vancouver-based folk-rock quintet is, like the simple pleasures it so well accompanies, stunning in its mere simplicity. Blending the seasoned country-rock sensibilities and harmonies of, say, The Band and Blue Rodeo with the more contemporary alt-musings of acts like Wilco and Old 97s, Portage and Main have cemented a sound that spans decades but belongs to today.
With Never Had The Time, produced and engineered by Couling like their debut, Portage and Main have built atop the sonic foundation established on their self-titled. “It’s certainly not a big step in a different direction,” shares Sponarski about the effort. “We’re taking the strongest ideas that took shape on the first album and further honing in on that sound.” Donnelly and Sponarski once again trade off lead vocal duties, though the record’s strongest points emerge when the two are interwoven in harmony. “We try not to think of it as two individual voices, but rather two parts to one voice,” Sponarski muses. “It’s not his song or my song; these are our songs.”
The 10 tracks that comprise the album benefit from clean, tasteful arrangements that relay the band’s easily-relatable and endearing poetry. Be it the upbeat and dynamic numbers like “Better Man” and opener “Never Had The Time” or more subtle offerings like “Oona Jean” and breathtaking closer “It Is You,” rich acoustic strums and twangy, reverb-drenched picking sit beautifully atop a tight rhythmic foundation throughout, often accented with classic organ or piano leads and dreamy pedal steel that seemingly soars through the speakers.