Sask Sampler

March 24th 2014 11:13 am

Thank you for everyone who came out to a packed house at The Bushwakker Saturday night for the Sask Sampler.  It was an honour to share the stage with such an eclectic line-up including The Slim City Pickers, Mario Lepage, Little Criminals and our brothers in The Dead South  – all leading the house being brought down by Sound Society; a classy bunch of cats and ass kicking songwriters.  We would like to express our appreciation to The Gateway Festival, Ness Creek, and The Regina Folk Fest for the invite to perform and wish all three festivals a very successful season.  Be sure to pick up your tickets at the following links

Regina Folk Festival              The Gateway Festival           Ness Creek Music Festival 

 

 

Folk Alliance International 2014 Showcase Appearances

February 11th 2014 12:00 pm

I will be appearing at this year’s Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City, MO from February 20 – 23.

The following showcases will be held at The Westin:

Thursday, February 20 – Folk Music Canada Acoustic – Rm #749 – 2:30 pm

Friday, February 21 – SaskMusic Showcase – Governors Suite (Breakout West A) Rm #530 – 12:00 am

Saturday, February 22 – SaskMusic Showcase – Senators Suite (Breakout West B) Rm #532 – 3:00 pm

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Blake Berglund + The Vultures @ The Pickers’ Cup

January 11th 2014 5:22 pm

Thursday’s would consist of mysteriously being late for hockey practice.  I’d get on the ice and make up some story about how chores ran too long, the horses got out, or a meteor impacted one of the JD’s behind the barn when the truth of the matter was far worse than any of those; I had piano lessons.  Regardless of being able to power through arpeggios and minor scale patterns and still not being able to raise the puck of the ground or skate backwards, I loved hockey and despised the piano.  Even though the music took me further and further away from the rink, we’re excited to announce that this February, myself and The Vultures are going to be back on the ice; included on this stellar lineup beside Kathleen Edwards, Royal Canoe, Daniel Romano, Jenny Berkel and Andy Shauf (to name a few) – Get your tickets here

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Top 10 of 2013

January 10th 2014 9:03 pm

Thank you to Regina’s Leader Post for including my personal top 10 album list of 2013 in their December issue 

10. The Ballad of Losing You, Zachary Lucky. Lucky’s voice wanders smooth and is complimented perfectly through the production of all 10 songs. Strong tones, stronger writing.

9. Iron Bison EP, Iron Bison. These hard hitting, rock revival purists are only going to define Regina’s rock scene in the years to come. Every song carries, at the very least, one massive riff and more grooves than a “Learn To Router” workshop.

8. The Grohl Sessions Vol. 1, Zac Brown Band. With the comments expressed about the dire state of country music this year from everybody from Tom Petty to Zac Brown himself (I’ll reserve my own opinion,) Zac and the team took it upon themselves to throw caution to the wind and do whatever the hell they wanted to do. They knocked it out of the park with an invite to have David Grohl drum and produce a four-song EP.

7. … Like Clockwork, Queens of the Stone Age. The title simply calls it as it is, QOTSA may be the tightest band around. Amid the crazy time signatures and weaving melody lines, every start and stop is punctual and emphatic — with that said, there’s a lot more space I found on this album than their previous releases.

6. Same Trailer, Different Park, Kacey Musgraves. Everyone from Ray Wylie Hubbard to George Strait is congratulating this album. Musgraves’ writing is quirky, witty, and strong. Everything about this release is real.

5. Like a Rose, Ashley Monroe. — Country is going to be saved through an all-female movement. This album touches on everything from drug usage to pregnancy all encompassed with a heavy heavy dose of pedal steel.

4. Let it Lie, The Bros. Landreth. The most sonically pleasing album I’ve heard in a long, long time. Our fellow Winnipeggers mixed their natural grit with a perfect amount of polish through the unparalleled musicianship, production sensibilities, and the sexiest of grooves.

3. The Wild Feathers, The Wild Feathers. I was introduced to this band as Ryan Bingham’s opening act throughout the year. Another band where the concept of a genre is never considered and the writing is totally disciplined for the sake of the song.

2. Old Yellow Moon, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell. Crowell joined Harris’ Hot Band in 1975 and almost 40 years after their first collaboration, the duo proves why they are the best. Crowell’s voice is smooth and writing, as usual, is phenomenal; Harris sells every lyric she sings and displays her vibrance in every song recorded.

1. Southeastern, Jason Isbell. As a massive fan of The Drive-By Truckers, Isbell got a free pass but I had no idea that the writing would be as strong as it was. This album is my No. 1 for that reason alone; from lyrics to melody, I never found anything this year that compared in the slightest.

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The Bros. Landreth/Blake Berglund & The Vultures @ The Artful Dodger in Regina, SK

January 3rd 2014 4:03 pm

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Back To Our Roots; Tour for STARS

September 10th 2013 5:32 pm

I’m an very honoured to announce that I will be included in the Back To Our Roots; Tour for STARS fundraising effort for STARS air ambulance.  Through the organizational skills of Lorri Solomon Matthewson, I will be performing alongside the songstress herself and troubadour Cowboy; Larry Krause.  From October 1st to 7th we will be performing 7 concerts across Saskatchewan with proceeds going towards the efforts of STARS.

Please take the time to navigate around the dedicated website ( www.tourforstars.com ) and if interested in donating to the cause please do so through the “DONATE” buttons on the page or by emailing myself at management@blakeberglund.com.

Hope to see everyone out:

October 1 – Carlyle, SK – Cornerstone Theatre

October 2 – Yorkton, SK – The Legion

October 3 – Saskatoon, SK – The Refinery

October 4 – Nipawin, SK – The Evergreen Centre

October 5 – Regina, SK – Casino Regina Show Lounge

October 6 – Swift Current, SK – The Lyric Theatre

October 7 – Kindersley, SK – Kindersley Elks Hall

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Live Album/The Vultures

August 1st 2013 11:46 am

PART I

 J.R. Louis (Bass): “God Dammit, I hate crows. Those big, ugly, scavenging, black bastards”

Me: “Crows? What about Ravens? They loom and have heads the size of softballs”

J.R.: “You wanna talk about big and looming, what about disgustingly ugly Vultures?”

Me: “Dude, we have vultures just north of the ranch, they’re massive”

J.R.: “Like how big are we talking here?”

Me: (glancing around) “The size of this van!”

J.R.: “Holy Shit, Van Sized Vultures???”

Bryce Lewis (Lead Guitar): “Blake Berglund & The Van Sized Vultures”

(Immediate  group consensual nodding, corners of mouth slightly turned downwards)

J.R.: “Bad Ass.”

Part II

After years of fighting the “sideman blues,” stresses of who to hire and availabilities, zero practice scheduling, lonely van drives and minimalistic singer/songwriter performances (which will still continue) the final pieces to a permanent line-up have come solidly into place.  With the fresh addition of Tim Herman on Pedal Steel and Steve Leidal on Drums, stages have been played at Dauphin Countryfest, Gateway Festival, and performances with Jim Cuddy and Corb Lund as well as a 70 shows thus far in 2013.

The confidence in the live performance has lead to the decision of jamming the Jasper Legion on Thursday, August 15 and Friday, August 16 full of hippies, cowboys, mountaineers, tourists, lovers and maybe the odd fighter, bringing in Sheldon Zaharko (engineer on Coyote) crashing through 25 songs and hitting record.  The result will be a live album of the old and new with a pile of bullshitting in-between to be released late 2014 thanks to the contributions of Rawlco Radio and The Jasper Legion.

Saturday, August 17 will have the Vultures playing the Jasper Rodeo. Rosin your rope, give’er a twist, and pull it back around your pinkie finger; chin down.  See you soon Alberta!

Blake Berglund & The Van Sized Vultures (Live in Jasper)

 

Gateway Festival in Bengough, SK w/Corb Lund, The Wooden Sky, Del Barber

June 13th 2013 11:53 am

With drought spreading from Texas to Montana and across the Canadian Border in the late 1800′s, a series of backland trails were set up from Mexico, north, credited as the most amazing escape system in the history of the west. Outlaws from Butch Cassidy to Dutch Henry, Bloody Knife and Pigeon Toe Kid to my favourite, Coyote Pete scoured the trails causing havoc giving the area the notorious title as “The Outlaw Trail” in the Big Muddy.

July 26-28 we are excited to make our own mark on the Outlaw Trail with Corb Lund, Steve Earle, The Wooden Sky, Del Barber, & Zachary Lucky at Bengough’s Gateway Festival right in the heart of The Big Muddy. Tickets available at https://www.ticketedge.ca/index.php?page=EventDetail&id=2046

Illustration by Donny Sparrow

Illustration by Donny Sparrow

2013 Saskatchewan Roots Artist of the Year

May 8th 2013 1:10 pm

On behalf of myself and the boys, an enormous thank you to everyone involved in presenting us with 2013 Saskatchewan Country Music Association Roots Artist of the Year. It’s been a lot of work and we’re going harder than we ever have – looking forward to summer dates with Corb Lund and Jim Cuddy as well as all the festivals, honky tonks, theatres, and whatever else gets thrown at us…

Until then, we’ll be in the warehouse practicing…

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Coyote EPK – Part III

April 8th 2013 1:22 pm

The third and final chapter to our Coyote mini-documentary produced by Jean-Jean Productions