A veteran of legendary Canadian rock band The Guess Who is keeping the music alive.
Guitarist, Governer General’s Performing Arts Award recipient and Shuswap resident Donnie McDougall is tuning up to get back out on tour.
McDougall has been busy assembling a group of local talent with the right vocal chemistry – musicians who can make the songs of The Guess Who sing, while having flexibility in their lives to take the show on tour. He said he’s finally found the right mix in John Baxter on drums, Ron Sahlstrom on keyboard and back-up vocals, Leslie Wilkins singing and playing percussion instruments and Rob Rowe on bass.
Wilkins said she never dreamt she would be sharing the stage with the former Guess Who guitarist, but after being introduced through Sahlstrom, who she’s played with in the past, the musical chemistry was evident.
“From the first note we played with the whole band it was great,” Wilkins said.
McDougall’s new band are all from the Columbia-Shuswap, an area he has called home for the past 10 years. McDougall said he loves the peace and quiet the area provides but has also been pleasantly surprised by the calibre of musicians who call it home.
It is no surprise given where the band members come from that they are filling their summer with outdoor shows in the Shuswap as they begin drumming up excitement about future shows further afield.
Those who attended the Canada Day celebrations in Sicamous this year got a sneak peak at what McDougall and company will be taking on the road. The Canada Day set included both The Guess Who favourites and tributes to other bands that were topping the charts during the same era.
McDougall and his band will be playing at the Music in the Park event, held in Malakwa’s Centennial Park, on Saturday, July 27. The outdoor concert will also feature the Rhythm Riders, reVerb and Guitar You Experienced, a five-guitar tribute to Jimi Hendrix. The gates for the event open at 1 p.m. and the bands will start at 3. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the gates or at malakwamusic.eventbrite.ca.
The newly-minted band will be performing at the Rock n’ Soul River Festival held on a private property along the Eagle River in Malakwa. Other acts on the bill are the Noble Crew, Daring Greatly and Invertigo. More information about the festival can be found at www.rocknsoulfestivals.com.