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Posted: August 8, 2018

The rise of the ‘PEAK’ Music Festival

Cranbrook’s Rotary Park hosts the ‘PEAK’ Music Festival on Friday, August 31 and Saturday, September 1 with 10 local bands scheduled to entertain on the outdoor stage.

There is NO admission and all ages are welcome.

The festival is a dream-come-true for the same volunteer group that organizes the very successful Summer Sounds concert series on Saturday nights, the Fisher Peak Performing Artists Society (FPPAS).

“This event promises to be a mind-blowing way to wrap up summer in the Kootenays and bring the people of Cranbrook and surrounding districts together,” said James Neve, FPPAS President.

The season’s triumph has been shared by the Fisher Peak Brewing Company, which has been providing refreshing craft beer, wine and coolers on-site at Rotary Park every Saturday during showtime. As many as 550 people have been turning out for Summer Sounds performances.

The ‘PEAK’ Music Festival will be the final weekend of their collaboration this year. Long-time concert attendee Corinne Friesen confirms, “This combination is magical – I love it and I’m so happy to see how well it’s being received!”

FRIDAY AUGUST 31st                 4 PM TO 10:30 PM
Mismatched Socks 4 – 5 p.m. Youth group – Folk, Country, Blue Grass
Lennan Delaney 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. East Coast Roots & Folk
Dawson Rutledge 7 – 8 p.m. Contemporary Roots, Rock
The Mehditations 8:30 – 10:30 p.m. Original Reggae


The Confluentials 12 – 1 p.m. Roots Trio
Sage Grass 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Folk, Country, Blue Grass
Slow Joe Crow 3 – 4 p.m. Roots Trio
Oak Republic 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Heavy Wood – Roots/Rock
Doggone Brothers 7 – 8 p.m. Blue Grass, Roots
The Black Diamond Band 8:30 – 10:30 p.m. Classic Rock

In addition to developing opportunities for many local performing artists, FPPAS has accepted artwork submissions from two young local contemporary artists, Mikayla Jones and Alexis Shuffler, to feature on their Festival T-shirts sold during the event, in their continuing efforts to transform the arts and culture in the South Kootenay.

The T-shirt artwork identifies the wearer as a ‘Peak Freak’ – one who attends, thoroughly enjoys and supports the festival’s fund-raiser. Proceeds from T-shirt sales go to further development of the performing arts in the South Kootenays with a percentage going directly to the design artists. Sidekick Stickers has donated the cost of the shirts to support the fundraiser.

The public is invited to follow suit by being generous, attend and spread the word.

Coveted full-colour T-shirts will be given to those who sign-up as a festival volunteer. Volunteer positions are limited and relate mostly to setup and tear down assistance. Those interested can sign up online at or email [email protected]

August 31 performers

Mismatched Socks is a group of talented young musicians. Vocals are shared by all members of the band, consisting of Michaela Eckersley (18) on percussion, Justin Cleland (18) on fiddle, guitar, and bass, Grace Cleland (16) on guitar and mandolin, and Rachel Cleland (14) on bass and guitar. Musical influences range from Harry Styles to The Lumineers, to Mumford and sons, to Taylor Swift.

Lennan Delany

Hailing from Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, audiences are immediately captivated by his incredible baritone voice and mesmerized watching him play a standard right- handed guitar upside down and backwards. Known for his infectious energy and passion on stage Delaney has commanded listening audiences’ attention across the provinces of Canada, the US and Europe.

Lennan grew up a traditional fiddling sensation, fusing traditional elements of both Scottish and Irish music into contemporary arrangements. By age 10, Lennan was performing to audiences of over 11,000 Celtic music enthusiasts, interviewed on CBC Radio and had several recordings on the local media channels. Now, a resident of Kimberley BC, Lennan is lead vocalist and guitar player for three-piece rock group, Leather Apron Revival.

Dawson Rutledge is a hip, award winning, sophisticated young songwriter, a unique vocalist, serious about his craft. At 19, he’s already something of a vet, having crammed a full-blown apprenticeship into two heady years. Dawson credits his musical growth to Mt. Baker Secondary School teacher Evan Bueckert, who inspired him to get serious about his guitar playing and songwriting skills. He got his heart broken and subsequently, in a span of six months, wrote somewhere between 15 to 20 songs. After recording and releasing a demo of eight original tunes, things shifted into high gear. Dawson test-released ‘Today, Tonight and Tomorrow’ to rave reviews, garnering chart positions at college radio across the country and a feature in Music Express Magazine.

Following a meeting with record executive Geordie Gillespie in May of 2016, Dawson recorded his official full length debut, the haunting ‘Monsters.’ Gillespie heard Dawson at Mesa Music Festival and Jersey Shore Festival and was knocked out, declaring Dawson as “one of the artists to watch,” at both gatherings. He was to introduce to Grammy award winner Justin Guip, who had worked with Levon Helm for over a decade. In a few short, productive weeks, near Woodstock, Rutledge and Guip made magic together. In addition to Rutledge’s stunning picking, it also features the pedal steel work of Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan, Amy Helm) on “Yours, Truly” that suits the subdued haunting work of the songwriter.

Rutledge’s voice and lyrics will pull you in. You will be enchanted by songs from Dawson’s first full-length LP ‘Monsters.’

The Mehditations are a Kootenay based roots reggae band with jazz/ dub and ska influences, was formed by guitarist/ singer/ lyricist Mehdi Makraz in 2014 after the release of his album Jah Rise by Big Bang productions in Casablanca, Morocco. In 2015, Mehdi moved to Canada and welcomed Drummer and DJ Morgan Adair (AKA Sasquatch) and backup vocalist Syama. The rest of the band’s personnel has fluctuated. As of 2016, it included Peter Alex on bass guitar, Landon Schira on Keyboard and Randy Tapp on saxophone. Mehdi has performed several shows nationally and internationally as an independent professional multi-instrumentalist. The Mehditations has performed numerous shows locally in the past couple years.

September 1 performers

The Confluentials are Christina Blaskovich and Barry Coulter, who put a 21st century spin on Celtic traditional songs and instrumentals, and fresh takes on English and American folk rock. This acoustic duo layers its vocal harmonies over accompaniment by guitar, Irish bouzouki, mandolin, fiddle and more.

Sage Grass is a family band made up of members of Cranbrook’s Cleland family. From senior to junior, band members are: Bill (guitar and vocals); Judy (clawhammer banjo, upright bass and vocals); Jason (mandolin and vocals); Lindsay (guitar and vocals); Justin (fiddle, upright bass and vocals); Grace (guitar, mandolin and vocals); Rachel (bass guitar, acoustic guitar and vocals); Isaac (guitar, percussion and vocals); and finally, Maya who is only nine years of age (ukulele and vocals). Like Forest Gump’s proverbial box of chocolates, the audience never knows exactly what to expect on any given day because of the numerous ways the band’s talents can be mixed and showcased. SageGrass performs traditional and modern acoustic music, focusing on folk, bluegrass, Celtic and western styles. Musical influences include: Woody Guthrie, Doc Watson, Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Ian Tyson, John Prine, Bill Monroe, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and the Eagles.

Slow Joe Crow started out in 2016 as three friends who simply enjoy playing music together. Drawing from folk, rock, pop and acoustic influences, they play the best songs you’ve never heard of (and some you have).

If you go to a Slow Joe Crow show you can expect to hear foot-tapping tunes produced with guitar (acoustic and electric), djembe, harmonica and banjo plus wonderfully blended harmonies. Don’t be surprised to even see a dancing toddler or two (despite not being a children’s band, kids really seem to like their music). Active in the Cranbrook music scene, they have made appearances at Locals (Studio Stage Door), Homegrown, The Green Door, Soulfood, the Fisher Peak Winter Ale Series and the Cranbrook Farmers Market. Slow Joe Crow is Trevor Crawley, Alison Kidd and Matthew Kidd.

The Oak Republic is a five-piece “Heavy Wood” band based in Kimberley. Drummer Paul Bouchard and singer/songwriter Jason Toner preformed in the East Kootenay together as the Surf Dragons from 2008-2011. Guitarist/Irish bouzouki/mandolin player Shawn Robertson came from the city to work in forestry in B.C. He met Jay while playing his unique brand of “Leo Kottke finger-style guitar” and they formed the acoustic duo “Counterweight” in 2008. Violinist Allyson “Ally” Hunter brought her celtic influences and feminine charm from her homeland of Ireland and Counterweight played as an acoustic trio in the East Kootenay until 2011. In 2018 bassist Steve Swaggar joined the band to round out the line-up.

Doggone Brothers

This Kootenay duo is a recent side-project of Clayton Parsons (Clayton & Joelle, The Good ‘Ol Goats,) and Michael Hepher (Redgirl, As The Crow Flies). Both seasoned musicians in the area, Clay and Mike crossed paths at a mutual friends’ birthday party and ended up jamming the night away. That night of jamming turned into a regular thing that they’ve named The Doggone Brothers. The music is distinctly ‘grassy, with fishing, hunting and camping themes throughout their set of original and hillbilly cover tunes. Clay jumps back and forth between guitar and dobro while Mike picks the mandolin and guitar. They are sure to entertain as they keep it fun and loose while duelling back and forth with their respective axes.

Black Diamond Band

Cranbrook’s very own Black Diamond Band is one of Canada’s best party bands. The original Black Diamond Band was formed in 1978 when brothers Fred and Les Bolen left their hometown group Misty Twilight, circa 1974, a family band with their mother and a cousin. In 1985, the group was re-formed with Brad Couttie on drums and Don Duthie on bass after Les and Brad left the touring showband, Sensation & the Rockin’ T-Birds. Based out of Cranbrook, Black Diamond became a road-band touring Western Canada until the mid-90’s. They now prefer to perform closer to home.

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