If there were a Venn diagram of the modern stalwarts of Canadian rock and roll, there in the middle you’ll find Espanola’s Aaron Goldstein. As the go-to sideman for some of the country’s most recognized songwriters for the last 15 years, Goldstein has played pedal steel and electric guitar for the likes of The Arkells, City & Colour, Kathleen Edwards, Lee Harvey Osmond, Daniel Romano and Cowboy Junkies, to name just a few.

However, despite his many legendary nights and performing to hundreds of thousands of satisfied fans, to quote the man himself, “Nothing beats the feeling of plugging in an SG and fronting your own band.”
Enter Espanola. Named after a blue collar town at the mouth of Highway 6 in Southern Ontario, Espanola is Goldstein’s musical memory palace — a place to celebrate his devotional hymns to the gods of rock and roll.

On Espanola Again, the group’s second release, Goldstein found a sonic soulmate in producer John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr, Alvvays, Waxahatchee). Together, the duo went to work bringing Goldstein’s tight songwriting to life with rough and tumble arrangements that at times recall The James Gang and others the cerebral alt-country of Wilco or the power pop of Sloan.

“Too rock and roll for Americana, too earnest for indie,” Goldstein laughs, describing the album’s sound.
Espanola was born of the ashes of Goldstein’s previous outfit, Huron. Following a long and arduous multi-year process for the group’s eponymous 2019 debut, Espanola, Again was recorded in 10 days at Goldstein’s own Gold Standard Recorders, live on the studio floor without the use of pitch-correction technology. Featuring Goldstein’s musical — and, on “Not Like Dynamite” literal — family, the album has a rambunctious, invigorating and vital energy, as if capturing lightning in a bottle.

Keen eared listeners will hear Margo Price sideman Micah Hulscher on piano, Hammond and Farfisa organs, Wurlitzer piano, synthesizers, Goldstein’s soul sister and bassist Anna Ruddick (Randy Bachman, Ian Blurton’s Future Now), and Blue Rodeo drummer Glenn Milchem holding it down behind Goldstein, as well as features from Ian Blurton, Steve Marriner and The Northern Soul Horns, among others.

In totality, the album and, indeed, the whole project is a manifestation of Goldstein’s own mantra about music: simple, direct, heartfelt and as fun to make as it is to listen to. Real honest rock and roll from a guy who lives and breathes it every day.

Alongside his role as side and front man, Goldstein is also a producer and proprietor of Gold Standard Recorders in Toronto, Ontario. He’s produced and/or engineered projects by Julianna Riolino, Kiwi Jr, Le Ren, Altameda, Jadea Kelly, Milhail Laxton, B.Knox, Lenny Bull, Huttch, Megan Nash, Zachary Lucky, Union Duke, Nicolette & The Nobodies, and Opeongo.




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