The weekend of May 24-26 offered a wide range of live music choices in Kamloops. With thunderstorms in the weather forecast I settled on the fine, alt country sounds of the Yale County Jug Band at the Sandbar (just after the downpour), and a couple of indoor shows. Forum brought their explosive rock show to the Grotto and the Iron Road Jazz gang showed they could swing at the Iron Road Brewery.
Yale County Jug Band played songs from their first CD and added a couple of new songs to their repertoire. Favourites from their first CD were Big House, Brianna, Rodeo and Mi Sombrero. New tunes included Runaways and Jim.
Once the skies cleared, the Sandbar filled up and the fans danced and partied through the night. Keith Elliot, the washboard/percussion player also showed off his whistling skills and guitarist Justin Bentley serenaded the audience at their tables.
Keith Elliot, washboard and percussion Justin Bentley and fans
The YCJB played their usual fine show, with great guitar licks, cool percussion sounds, beautiful bass tones and wonderful vocals.
Kelly Bartsch bass, Marie Jackson, vocals Gerry Sherk, guitar and vocals
Then, it was back downtown to catch “The Band” Forum at the Blue Grotto. This five piece outfit is one of the highest energy bands in the interior. They play classic and alt rock, pop covers, and an occasional up-tempo country tune to keep the dance floor full.
They get the audience singing along to their favourite songs from the seventies through to the nineties. Forum showed some real creativity mashing Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love with Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison blues.
Top to bottom: Blaine Alexandre, lead vocals, Steve Chicoine, guitar,
Daryl Ouillette, bass
They got an unplanned sing-along going with Rick Springfield’s Jessie’s Girl and their Tragically Hip covers, were showstoppers, as per usual.
Cory Evans, drums Eric Scholefield, guitar
Sunday brought the sunshine and the Iron Road Jazz group. This quartet gets together at Iron Road Brewing, once or twice per month on a Sunday. These talented musicians generally play instrumental jazz from the bop and post-bop eras and later. They cover the likes of John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis and others.
Consisting of guitar, violin, bass and drums, they arrange the music to replace saxophones and trumpets. They do this very well. There is a certain equality in this band. All the musicians seem to get equal soloing time. Some of the highlights were My Favorite Things, Have You Met Miss Jones and Joe Henderson’s Recorda Me.
Stefan Thordarson violin, Aaron MacInnis guitar, Jared Wilman, drums, Alex Ward, bass
The afternoon/early evening show finished at 6 PM and there was still time to bask in sunshine and the afterglow of a good weekend of music in Kamloops, BC.