This year’s SummerSounds concert series has drawn bigger crowds than ever before to Rotary Park.
And the season’s musical vibe of downtown Cranbrook will culminate in a special inaugural event — the two-day Peak Music Festival, set for Friday, August 31, and Saturday, September 1. An auspicious way to cap off a summer showcase of live music.
The Peak Music Festival, which features 10 local musical groups or solo performers, has long been in the planning by the same group that created and runs the SummerSounds Concert series — 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 festival will also mark the final weekend of the collaboration between FPPAS and the Fisher Peak Brewing Company, who ran a beer garden every Saturday during SummerSounds, adding to the draw.
SummerSounds runs right through to Festival weekend, August 11, 18, and 25, featuring Landon Schira and the Mile High Club (Aug. 11), Note-Able Folk and Murf & Co. (Aug. 18), and Tick Magnets and the Usual Suspects (Aug. 25).
Friday, August 31
Mismatched Socks (4-5 pm) is a group of talented young musicians, 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 (5:30-6:30 pm) is a traditional fiddler, fusing traditional elements of both Scottish and Irish music into contemporary arrangements. Originally from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and now a resident of Kimberley, Lennan is lead vocalist and guitar player for the three-piece rock group, Leather Apron Revival.
Dawson Rutledge (7-8 pm) is a hip, award winning sing-songwriter from Cranbrook, a unique vocalist who is serious about his craft. At nineteen, he’s already something of a vet, having crammed a full-blown apprenticeship into two heady years of performing all over North America. He will be showcasing his first full-length LP “Monsters.”
The Medhitations (8:30 -10:30 pm) are a Kootenay-based roots-reggae band with jazz/ dub and ska influences, formed by guitarist/ singer/ lyricist Mehdi Makraz in 2014 after the release of his album “Jah Rise” 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.
Saturday, September 1
The Confluentials (12 noon to 1pm) 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 (1:30-2:30pm) is a family band made up of members of Cranbrook’s Cleland family: 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 Maya (ukulele and vocals). SageGrass performs traditional and modern acoustic music, focusing on folk, bluegrass, Celtic and western styles.
Slow Joe Crow (3-4pm) 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.
Oak Republic (4:30-6:30pm) is a five-piece “Heavy Wood” band based in Kimberley. Paul Bouchard (drums), singer/songwriter Jason Toner, Shawn Robertson (guitar, Irish bouzouki, mandolin), Violinist Allyson “Ally” Hunter and bassist Steve Swaggar round out the line-up.
Doggone Brothers (7-8pm) 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). 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.
Black Diamond Band (8:30-10:30pm) 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.