The Quest For Real Country Music

Archive for August, 2014

Red Dirt Music

August 26th 2014 10:49 am

You land on the east coast and sensory overload sets in.  The smell of the ocean, the sight of the land, the overwhelming kindness of the people, the sense of pride they share.  With a couple days to spare leading into our performance for the PEI 2014 celebrations we crammed as many touristy desires in as possible.  All-you-can-eat mussels accompanying our first lobster supper resulted in five buckets with the news that “they were out” upon our last.  An 11 o’clock pm trip to the Atlantic Ocean and an accommodation through Air BnB rested us up to run two days of rehearsals with the new line-up (Belle Plaine Band meets The Vultures); I’d love to include that it aided to the actual performance but the evening prior to the show was an all-nighter and an eviction on my end from a local establishment – we won’t go there.

Thank you to the PEI 2014 committee and the patrons of the island (a few ex-Saskatchewanites) for coming out last Friday night.  Belle Plaine kicked off the evening and we closed it down.  With Bryce (guitar) and Steve (drums) scheduled to fly out at 6:15 am the following morning, the second night of staying out led to a knock on my door at 7:30 am and two missed flights.  Air Canada usually receives the shit-end-of-the-stick from me but their Charlottetown employees did everything they could and got our boys on a flight (saving us $2600 in re-booking tickets and fees).

The tour continues; thrown back into the “solo acoustic/duo” mode on my end.  We had the pleasure to play for the Hon. Robert Ghiz (Premier of PEI) and his/our friend Brad (Premier of SK) at a reception on the harbour initiating inter-trade and investment.  Dammit, I like the political stuff – I do – the conversations, the disagreements, the enlightenment.  With the free bar shutting down and the last piece of SK beef tenderloin consumed, a couple more pints were drank and the chance to watch our Riders beat the Lions in the “guarantee a win” game.

Milton Community Hall, last night, and Canoe Cove School, tonight, will act as our fundraising efforts for the small halls on the island.  The cozy crowd came in to our cultural exchange with the night in Miltonvale Park being capped off by further support from our Premier, turning up to catch the show.  Eight shows to go. We play in Canoe Cove tonight, cross the Confederation Bridge tomorrow and attack Nova Scotia on Thursday to play in Charlos Cove at The Seawind Landing Country Inn.  And Beyond.

“This red dirt tastes exactly like our black dirt” – Bryce Lewis

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PEI 2014 Celebrations, East Coast Tour and Via Rail

August 11th 2014 12:19 pm

What a huge honour to announce that myself and The Vultures will be among the few bands representing Saskatchewan for the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference in Charlottetown, PE on August 22, 2014.  That evening will be a double bill with Regina’s Belle Plaine, in which we will continue the split bill throughout PEI on a series of Hall Fundraisers and house concerts/private functions – most notably, the Premier’s Reception in Charlottetown on Sunday, August 24.

Undecided whether to “ferry it” or take the bridge (they both freak this flatland prairie boy out) we will head into Nova Scotia to perform, ending the tour with an Industry Showcase at The Carleton in Halifax, NS on Tuesday, September 2.

Another thank you to Via Rail and their Artists on Board Series allowing Belle and Myself to perform for passengers from Halifax to Saskatoon in exchange for fare across the country – only to get home, pick up the boys, jump in Whitebear and continue pre-release dates leading into the release of the new album; Jasper on September 16.

 21.08.14 – House Concert w/Belle Plaine – Charlottetown, PE

22.08.14 – Prince Edward Island Celebration Zone w/Belle Plaine – Charlottetown, PE

24.08.14 – Premier’s Reception w/Belle Plaine – Charlottetown, PE

25.08.14 – Milton Community Hall Fundraiser w/Belle Plaine – Miltonvale Park, PE

26.08.14 – Canoe Cove School Fundraiser w/Belle Plaine – Canoe Cove, PE

27.08.14 – House Concert w/Belle Plaine – TBA

28.08.14 – Seawind Landing Country Inn w/Belle Plaine – Charlos Cove, NS

29.08.14 – Media Promotion Day – Halifax, NS

31.08.14 – The Split Crow Pub w/Belle Plaine – Truro, NS

01.09.14 – House Concert w/Belle Plaine – TBA

02.09.14 – The Carleton w/Belle Plaine – TBA

03.09.14 – 08.09.14 – Via Rail Artists on Board Series w/Belle Plaine – Halifax, NS – Saskatoon, SKposter_cream_web copy

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Blake Berglund to release fourth album ‘Jasper’ via Oceanman Records

August 5th 2014 8:24 am

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – TUESDAY, AUGUST 5, 2014 (REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN) Blake Berglund’s fourth album is set to be released on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 via the artist’s independently operated label, Oceanman Records. Titled Jasper, the 14 song collection acts as a raw representationto his current writing style, extensive back catalogue, and follow-up to his acclaimed release; Coyote. Supported by the newly formed backing group; The Vultures, a cohesive thread binds the works while captured live over a two night stand at The Royal Canadian Legion [The Jasper Legion] in Jasper, Alberta.

“We came to a place as a band where our creative process was dictated by the fact we were on the road full-time. I’d bring the structure of a song to the boys before a show, we’d work up the production of it during soundcheck and perform it that night leading to a very organic evolution in the writing. This new creative approach allows us instantaneous feedback from our audiences.” says Berglund.

To record an album of this nature is an intrinsically complicated decision. However, when it came to deciding where to record, “well that…” Berglund explains “was easy.”

“We needed to consider everything from vibe, turnout, and the type of crowd to include in this project. The town of Jasper has the perfect mix of a relaxed atmosphere and a rowdy reputation while deeply rooted in Cowboy Culture. The efforts made over the past few years by The Legion to acquire top Canadian independent touring acts has molded it’s supporters and formed an intelligent and appreciative group of people. We needed to record this album there.”

The Jasper Legion garnered the attention of CBC personality Jian Ghomeshi, naming it one of the top 5 concert venues in North America alongside the likings of Massey Hall in Toronto, Ontario and The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, California. (Up Magazine, October, 2013)

Berglund will embark in a series of pre-release concerts in which the album will be available before its official release. The first being held on Friday, August 15, 2014 at the Jasper Legion, itself, coinciding with the historic Jasper rodeo. Dates continue with an invite to perform at the PEI 2014 Celebrations in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, throughout the East Coast and back across the Prairies.

“Many songs that have a major influence on my writing we’re recorded with this mentality. Whether it’s Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue” or Jennings and Nelson’s “Good Hearted Woman”, the art was in the energy captured. Fill a room, hit record and play on your feet.”

Jasper will be released Tuesday, September 16, 2014 via Oceanman Records. For more information on Berglund’s extensive touring schedule, alternate releases, and other appearances visit www.blakeberglund.com.

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