80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/Bands ~ Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath started in Kelowna, British Columbia in 1983 with brothers Chris and Tom Hooper, and Kevin Kane. The band was named after the famous 1940 Henry Fonda movie, but that’s where the similarities end. Grapes of Wrath, the band, was another Canadian gem that was overlooked in the lower 48. Our loss, to be sure.

The Grapes of Wrath released two albums early on in their career, but remained pretty much under the radar. It wasn’t until their 1987 album Treehouse that the band started to gain recognition in their native land. Treehouse garnered their first hit single, “Peace of Mind.” Their second collection, Now and Again, came two years later and put the fledgling band firmly into the spotlight. They added a keyboardist named Vincent Jones, and set out on tour.

The next Grapes of Wrath LP, These Days, was released in 1991. The band hit their groove with a decidedly harder rock sound, leading to their music genre’s description as “folk rock.” The album spawned two hit singles, received a CASBY award in 1992, and would prove to be the band’s last recorded effort for the next decade. The band continued to tour in various iterations weathering the typical personnel changes, finally calling it quits in 2001. A version of the band reunited in 2009 and have toured until the present.

This is not typical of the music that I write about on this site – post-punk or New Wave – but the Grapes of Wrath are a solid, talented band. Check them out to see what you may have missed due to fickle and clueless corporate-run 80’s radio.

Official website for The Grapes of Wrath here.

Buy Grapes of Wrath music here.

“You May Be Right” via YouTube user koenig1999:

“I Am Here” via YouTube user koenig1999:

“Peace of Mind” via YouTube user kurdtss:

“All the Things I Wasn’t” via YouTube user kurdtss:

“What Was Going Through My Head” via YouTube user kurdtss:


The Grapes of Wrath (1984)
September Bowl of Green (1985)
Treehouse (1987)
Now and Again (1989)
These Days (1991)
Seems Like Fate 1984-1992 (1994)
Field Trip (2000)