Mike Shaver and Stephanie Webster of the band a Million Dollars in Pennies are set to release their newest album to Salmon Arm in 2020. (Ian Azariah photo)

Homecoming marked by album release for Salmon Arm duo

A Million Dollars in Pennies to play Classic in new year.

A folk band with local origins is set to release their new album in the new year, first to the people of Salmon Arm.

Mike Shaver and Stephanie Webster founded the band a Million Dollars in Pennies in early 2012 and after five years away from the Shuswap, they are coming back to Salmon Arm with a brand new album. Named Decade in Spin, the album contains 11 songs ranging from their home base genre of folk, while some tracks branch into rock, country and a few self-described “wacky tunes.” All will be available for purchase at the band’s concert and album release set for January 2020 at the Salmar Classic theatre.

Read more: Valdy to bring his folk music magic to Roots and Blues

Read more: Artist Diemm bringing ethereal chamber folk music to Salmon Arm

Two of the songs on the album were written in 2012 following an 8,020 kilometre, coast-to-coast bicycling epic which started in Victoria and culminated in Newfoundland. It was after this four-month journey two of the album’s songs were written. On thinking back to the songs’ inspiration, Shaver recalled a quote by the late Leonard Cohen: “Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash,” Shaver said, going on to explain the trip served as an exciting slice of life that fed into duo’s creativity.

The release of the album in Salmon Arm serves as an homage to the beginning times for the band. Shaver was born in Ontario and, after living in various coastal towns, moved to Salmon Arm with a friend in 2009 where he started a band and met Webster. Webster, on the other hand, was born and raised in Salmon Arm, moving away only to return a few years later.

The two played many gigs in both Salmon Arm and Revelstoke over the seven years spent living in the Shuswap before moving to East Vancouver.

“We miss the area very much,” Shaver said. “This will be the first opportunity to buy the new record and we did that intentionally; we couldn’t think of anywhere else that we would rather release this to the world.”

Read more: Fans and performers show love for Salmon Arm’s Roots and Blues

Read more: Musicians share stories at Salmon Arm Roots and Blues

The Salmon Arm performance takes place on Jan. 24 at the Salmar Classic. Doors open at 7 p.m. with tickets available at Hudson Vintage and The Shuswap Pie Company. The next day they will be performing in Revelstoke at the Performing Arts Centre where doors again open at 7 p.m. with tickets available at the Revelstoke Trading Post.

“It’ll be great to come back,” Shaver said of performing once more in Revelstoke. “There’s a lot of people that have been really supportive of us playing music over the years.”

Usually a two-person show, a Million Dollars in Pennies will be joined by a full band with what Shaver calls several “surprise guests” making appearances.


@CameronJHT
Cameron.thomson@saobserver.net

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