There will be rocking and rolling at this year’s Roots and Blues Festival with Juno award winners, The Sheepdogs.
The Sheepdogs are Ewan Currie on vocals and guitar, Leot Hanson on guitar, Ryan Gullen on bass and Sam Corbett on drums/percussion.
The band has built its name on hard work and determination.
Having funded their first three albums and early years of touring on their own, this rock and roll band’s momentum began to build exponentially with the release of the 2010 album, Learn & Burn, which is now certified platinum in Canada.
Hailing from Saskatoon, SK, The Sheepdogs won an international competition in 2011, which secured them the cover of Rolling Stone – the first unsigned band to appear on its front page.
The win, decided by 1.5 million public votes, also scored them a record deal with Atlantic.
The band would go on to win three 2012 Juno Awards: New Group of the Year, Single of the Year and Rock Album of the Year.
The Sheepdogs, the self-titled album produced by The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney and Austin Scaggs released in 2012, introduced the band to the U.S. and beyond.
The album earned the band three more Juno nominations for Best Album, Best Single and Best Group, and was certified gold in Canada in 2013.
This year, The Sheepdogs are up for the 2014 Video of the Year Juno.
With a list of accolades this impressive, the band is engaging fans on a wider scale.
“We want to make killer albums that people really want to listen to, but we also want to have a really reputable live show,” says Currie. “When we come through town, we want to be the hottest ticket there. Those two elements are what make a truly great rock and roll band. Really, though, we just want to play to anyone who is willing to give us a shot and who wants to have a good time.”
And there will be many good times at this year’s festival.
From Austin, Texas, known to some as the collision centre where Southern soul meets Midwestern blues and vagabond punk, comes Black Joe Lewis. Drawn to the infectious music scene Austin is famous for, Lewis bought his first guitar while working in a pawnshop.
Once likened to “The Godfather of Soul,” Lewis lets his inner punk loose on the group’s third studio album, Electric Slave that kicks off with in-your-face opener Skulldiggin.
“Electric Slave is what people are today with their faces buried in their iPhones and the only way to hold a conversation is through text,” says Lewis.
Much like not wanting to be a slave to cell phones, Lewis refuses to be confined to genre-defining boundaries or cater to only one of his many musical influences on this third LP.
As always, Lewis finds a way to make tracks full of horns and blues riffs rival the likes of rocker Iggy Pop.
Now in its 22nd year, the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival remains one of the best in B.C., with a reputation for consistently presenting one of the most eclectic lineups in the country.
And that’s one of the joys of Salmon Arm’s hottest musical event – if you’re not getting your groove on at one stage, you need only move on to the next.
To buy tickets for the 2014 festival, which runs Aug. 15 to 17, visit www.rootsandblues.ca or call 250-833-4096.