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Spirit of the West are a Canadian folk rock band, who were popular on the Canadian folk music scene in the 1980s before evolving a blend of hard rock, Britpop and Celtic folk influences which made them one of Canada's most successful alternative rock acts in the 1990s.
The band began in 1983 as a Vancouver-based folk trio called Evesdropper, consisting of John Mann, Geoffrey Kelly and J. Knutson. They soon changed their name to Spirit of the West, and independently released a self-titled album in 1984 before signing to Stony Plain Records, an Edmonton, Alberta roots music label.
Stony Plain released Tripping Up the Stairs in 1986. Following that album, Knutson left the band and was replaced by Hugh MacMillan?.
1988's Labour Day was the band's first major success, spawning the popular single "Political" and making the band a major name on the folk festival circuit. After that album's tour, MacMillan? took a temporary hiatus from the band. He was replaced by Daniel Lapp and Linda McRae