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Posted: August 28, 2019

PEAK Music Festival nearly here

It’s going to be a musical feast this weekend at Cranbrook’s Rotary Park.

Fisher Peak Performing Artists Society presents two days/evenings of groovy sounds with the 2019 PEAK Music Festival – a free admission extravaganza featuring 10 accomplished acts.

The fun gets rocking on Friday, August 30 at 3:30 p.m. and runs to 11 p.m. and again on Saturday, August 31 from noon to 11 p.m.

Friday, August 30

3:30 p.m. – The Confluentials

Cranbrook’s Christina Blaskovich and Barry Coulter are the compelling acoustic duo called The Confluentials. Well known locally for their 21st Century spin on Celtic traditional songs and instrumentals, and fresh takes on English and American folk rock. This pair is skilled at layering vocal harmonies over accompaniment by guitar, Irish bouzouki, mandolin, fiddle and more.

5 p.m. – Leather Apron Revival

Leather Apron Revival is a Canadian three-piece rock band hailing from Kimberley, consisting of multi-instrumentalists Lennan Delaney (Vocals, Guitar, Fiddle), Jeff Rees (Drums, Cajon, Vocals) and Grady Pasiechnyk (Bass, Guitar, Vocals). This unique artistic collaboration creates music that is energetic, sonically powerful and downright groovy! Mixing elements of Canadian Rock, Blues, Americana, Celtic and Folk, a Leather Apron Revival show will have everyone captivated and on their feet!

6:30 p.m. – Band of Brothers

Band of Brothers is a high energy power trio made up of three sharply dressed brothers that dip into the classics of blues, blues rock, rock from the ‘60s, ‘70s and some straight-ahead country rock. Brian, Greg and Dennis Brons, love to get people on their feet to dance, sing along and have a good time. Brian was one of the founding members of the popular local groups of Kenny and the Cruisers and The Grumpy Old Men and remembered for his work with BB McGee and Men in Blues.

8 p.m. – Sax Drive

Sax Drive is a powerhouse blues rock quartet that delivers high energy performances in the genres of Rock ‘n’ Roll, R&B, blues, and funk. These four veteran musicians bring extensive musical experience to the stage performing covers by artists such as The Powder Blues, The Crusaders, Huey Lewis, The Band, and many others.

Clinton Swanson

Fronting the band is saxophonist Clinton Swanson, a prominent musician on the Kootenay music scene for the past decade performing with numerous ensembles under his own name and as a sideman. On guitar is Terry Alton. After graduating with honours from the Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood California, Terry had a successful career in Vancouver performing with bands such as Idle Eyes and the CFOX Electric Lunch Orchestra.

Singing lead and playing drums is Jim Fike who has worked as a full-time musician for 20 years, touring from coast to coast. His duo called ‘Don Cherry for Prime Minister’ was wildly sought after, performing 50 weeks of the year. Playing bass is Doug Stephenson. Doug has been an integral member of Western Canada’s music scene for 30 years. Performing with such greats as Tommy Banks, Les McCann, and Blues Legend Big Miller.

These four fine musicians now reside in the West Kootenay and come together to give you the band Sax Drive. They will cruise you through a memory lane of danceable tunes and entertain you in a way that only veteran musicians can.

Saturday, August 31

12 p.m. – The Few

Nathan Odnokon, Tai Barron and Kyle Alderson are ‘The Few’, just three little black sheep, steeped in mountain culture and drawn together by a love of all things wild and all things musical. A gem straight from the heart of the Kootenays, The Few blends rock, dirty blues, and the occasional hint of reggae with honest and salty lyrics. They have been playing venues around the East Kootenay since 2016 and will be heading to the studio to record their first album this fall.

1:30 p.m. Mismatched Socks

Mismatched Socks is a talented group of young Cranbrook teenagers, consisting of Justin, Grace, and Rachel Cleland, and welcome guest, Josh Thorsteinson to accompany them on drums.

Their musical influences range from folk to pop although they continue to expand their repertoire and develop their identity as artists. This is the fourth year that Mismatched Socks has been performing together in various configurations.

3 p.m. – Velle

Velle has a powerful and unique sound that is bold and imaginative with influences that span the last 75 years of contemporary popular music. Her music has been described as retro, roots and soul, with a vintage-y rock flavour. A bold songstress from Creston, Velle has toured internationally with previous acts. She captivates the audience with her unique voice – silky and velvety, raspy and sultry. With unbridled energy, her band commands and transports the audience to the jazz clubs of New York and the back alleys of New Orleans, to the cherry orchards and lakeside of beautiful B.C.

This exciting groove feels like your favourite old jeans yet challenges the ears with its sonic depth, emotional sensitivity and arrangements by the Kootenay Wunderkinds…. Kootenay Soul. Velle is backed by her six piece show band (Kootenay Soul); she showcases an eclectic mix of recognized and professional musicians from the Kootenays featuring: Rick Lingard and Tim Bullen (Horns), James Jost (Guitar), and Stephen Parish (Drums) from Nelson plus Aaron Weitman (Bass) and Wayne Shunter (Keys) from Creston.

The live show will take you on a journey of classics with a twist, original material, and some fiery, finger smoking fiddling. Velle’s album, The Right Time, will be available for purchase at the ‘PEAK’ Music Festival.

4:30 p.m. – Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects is based in Golden. They perform R n’ B, Blues, Pop and Classic Rock tunes – everything ‘danceable.’ Band members Gar Stewart (bass), Steve Benty (drums), Scott Ivers – (guitar) and Brian Comrie (keys) met in “Sing-Sing” prison while doing time for a botched music store robbery – but don’t let that fool you – they’re still just low-life criminals. “If you want to book the band – please call your local police detachment. They usually know how to get a hold of us.”

6:30 p.m. – Baker Street Blues

Known as the ‘rockin’ blues dance band,’ their professional, and highly entertaining shows deliver blues that grabs hold of you….and doesn’t let go.

Stelio Calagias (lead singer, guitar, harmonica) performed with various successful bands for over 30 years. His brother-in-law Phil Wilson-Birks (bass guitar) finally fulfilled their life-long dream of creating their own four-piece electric blues band now known as Baker Street Blues. The band is rounded out with Ryan Telegdy (lead guitar) and Bennett Karcz (drums).

Baker Street Blues has been touring in B.C. promoting their first album of all original material ‘Turn Up the Heat’; now available on iTunes.

In three years and more than 140 shows the band has achieved outstanding success. They were nominated by the Kootenay Music Awards in 2018 for best song in the Blues category. Baker Street Blues are rated number one on the Reverbnation’s charts locally and regionally, and no. six nationally with a rapidly growing fan base playing at various venues in the Kooteneys.

8:30 p.m. – Five Alarm Funk

Vancouver has always been a musical town. But back in the day, as far as sizzling, soulful funk, it was something of a desert … until some mysterious force drew two young cats together who would change that in a hurry.

From their first house party jams, drummer Tayo Branston and guitarist Gabe Boothroyd gathered a community of musicians who shared their love for James Brown, Tower of Power, Tito Puente, Antibalas, Frank Zappa and other adventurous groove-driven players. They called themselves Five Alarm Funk, drew more than 300 fans to their first gig at a local place called The Fairview Pub, established a residency at Richards On Richards where upwards of 800 attendees would show up each night – to eventually embark on a 37-day, cross-continental track involving 30 shows from Vancouver to Fredericton.

Since then, they’ve expanded their lineup to include Eli Bennett on sax, Oliver Gibson on guitar, Tom Towers on congas, Carl Julig on timbales, Kent Wallace on trumpet, Jay Smith on bass, and Jens Christiansen on sax.

They’ve broadened their territory to include the U.S., played as far afield as Taiwan, rocked the Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and begun releasing EPs and CDs. The most recent of these, 2017’s Sweat, explodes with fiery rhythms, punchy horns and gang-chant vocals that sum up the irresistible essence of this band.

They’re now deep into a new project that involves adding all-star guest vocals onto some of the more volatile tracks from their catalog, beginning with a Bootsy Collins appearance.

“I’ve been a Bootsy Collins fan ever since I was 15,” Branston marvels. “That track we gave him, ‘Capital City,’ is one of the funkiest things we’ve ever cut. With that experience and our back catalog, you’ll see a lot more of this from us.”

With future releases and reissues with big-time rappers and funksters on the horizon, their sights are set on bringing their magic to festivals throughout the world.

More sweat, more dancing … more Five Alarm Funk.

Lead image: Five Alarm Funk.

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