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Through Northern Passages and Broken Bones: The Sadies

Through Northern Passages and Broken Bones: The Sadies

On June 15 Canada’s ‘Greatest Living Rock Band’ The Sadies perform at the Seneca Queen Theatre in Niagara Falls as a makeup day for their originally scheduled show this past November.

The show was rescheduled due to drummer Mike Belitsky shattering his shoulder bone while ice skating.

“I just slipped. I’ve been skating my whole life and it was was just one of those freak accidents. I wish it was my second time on skates, that would make so much more sense. But it was just the perfect storm the way it was all wrong,” he explained. “Luckily it came at a time of year when we didn’t have a ton of stuff on the books.”

In part of his recovery, Belitsky borrowed a double kick pedal to practice his rudiments with his feet rather than his hands, then, once he had rehabilitated his arm, he had to learn how to perform all his drum rolls again.

“I even had to learn how to grab a glass of water, too,” he laughed. “I really had to start from scratch, but thankfully, because of muscle memory, it all came back pretty easily.”

After ten weeks of rehab, Belitsky and The Sadies returned to their sanction as the hardest working band in Canada and headed out on tour with Kurt Vile. Just recently, Belitsky said that he was able to play without the aid of Tylenol.

“There was definitely a dark moment where I wondered if it was ever going to get better,” Belitsky said.

For those unaware of who The Sadies are: The Sadies have been one of Canada’s premier Canadian rock and roll / country and western bands for nearly 25 years. Consisting of brothers Travis and Dallas Good, Sean Dean and Belitsky, the band has released 19 albums. Some records were recorded with just the band, some were recorded as backing bands to the likes of Andre Williams, John Doe, Neko Case, Gord Downie and John Langford, and there’s a soundtrack and live album thrown in there too for good measure.

To say they’re prolific Canadian recording artists would be an understatement. Add in the fact that they rock a phenomenal live show puts them right in with most Canadian rock royalty, although they’ve maintained an ‘under the radar’ approach for nearly their whole existence.

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“We’ve been very fortunate to maintain a grass roots growth over the years,” said Belitsky. “I think it’s healthier in the long run, and, it has been a long run. I think this way has been better than rocketing to a certain level and then not seeing anything other than backfire. It’s definitely been an interesting way to spend 20 plus years.”

With the album cycle of their 2017 record Northern Passages nearing its end, The Sadies are currently about to start working on their upcoming (20th) release

“We’re very fortunate that we don’t have to go into a studio anymore and record 15 songs and pick the best 10 in a week,” said Belitsky. “Now we like to take our time. It’s a real luxurious way to do things, but at this stage in our career, we want to make sure that we’re really presenting ourselves in the best light possible.”

The Sadies perform at The Seneca Queen Theatre on June 15. Ticket information can be found at

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