Captain Tractor is a band that knows how to have fun. It's an image that the Celtic rock group cultivated in its infancy during the early '90s, with its extremely energetic songs, drinking games and tunes, and novelty numbers. There was so much emphasis on drinking songs, in fact, that one of the band's original numbers is simply titled "Another Drinking Song." Local fans in the region of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, loved the group, while other bands on the area's bar circuit weren't quite as welcoming. To put it kindly, Captain Tractor were not taken seriously by their peers despite the band's success, large fan base, and accomplished musicianship. The fun and drinking games that had helped make the band successful and had carved out a healthy living for the group's six members had them performing 250 nights annually for half a dozen years.
Eventually, it all became somewhat confining. Following the release in 2000 of Hoserista, a set of six CDs, five of which were crafted by individual group members with the sixth being a band project, Captain Tractor took some downtime, the only time off the bandmates ever took. The necessity for the break is evident in the shift the music took, from all out fun and games to the inclusion of some darker material, such as "City of Champions," showcased on Hoserista. Despite the need for some time away, the fun and games and high-energy performances had been extremely good to the band. When the group put out their debut Land in 1994, Captain Tractor snagged nominations from the Alberta Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for awards in the categories of Group of the Year and Most Promising. The group embarked on a successful New Zealand tour the following year, appeared at a number of festivals, and received a nomination from the COCA (Canadian Organization of Campus Activities) Awards. In 1997, the band triumphed at the ARIA Awards, taking home honors for Single of the Year for "Up the Hill," Best Alternative/New Music Artist on Record, and Group Recording Artist of the Year, among other awards. The following year, the ARIAs gave a nod to the band's song "Someday" with an award for Best Songwriter, and the band toured the U.S. and Europe. "Captain Tractor" headed to Australia in 2000. The following year, the group walked off with more ARIA Awards in the categories of Best Album for Celebrity Traffic Jam and Best Band. ~ Linda Seida