Triple bill closes Okotoks concert series season
Music: Room Full of Sound hosts Bruce Innes, Tim Hus and Braden Gates March 23
By: Tammy Rollie
| Posted: Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 10:38 am
An Okotoks concert series is ending its season with three big Alberta acts this weekend.
Classic country and folk music will fill the rafters as gold record musician Bruce Innes and the Original Caste, young Edmonton Canadiana performer Braden Gates and Calgary singer/songwriter Tim Hus and his Travelin’ Band take the stage for A Room Full of Sound Concert Series’ final performance of the season at the Okotoks United Church on March 23 at 7 p.m.
“I wanted to have a fairly big name for the last concert so that’s why I chose Bruce Innes and the Original Caste,” said concert promoter Rick Harding. “I wanted to bring a real broad range of genres.”
Hardy said Gates brings something unique to the stage with lyrics reflecting growing up in central Alberta accompanied with his skills on the fiddle and guitar.
“I thought he would be a nice fit, a young guy and a couple of older established acts,” said Hardy. “He’s getting to be fairly well known in the folk roots circles.”
Hardy is also eager to have country crooner Hus on stage for the concert series final performance of the season.
“He’s getting to be really well known,” he said. “He puts on a really strong show.”
Hus isn’t your typical country singer with ballads about love and heartbreak.
“I’ve sung about the oil patch, logging and long haul truck driving, songs about places I have been to that really appealed to me,” he said. “There’s going to be at least a song in a show that somebody in the audience is going to relate to. If you don’t work in one of them fields yourself you know somebody that does.”
Hus’ music has taken him around the world over the past decade, but he recently gained attention following the death of Canadian country music legend Stompin’ Tom Connors. The two have become pals over the years and even toured together.
“I liked a lot of those kinds of singers like Johnny Cash, but Tom was particularly a favourite of mine,” he said. “I wrote a song when I was just learning to play the guitar as a teenager about my favourite country singer called ‘Man With a Black Hat.’”
Hus said Connors called him in 2009 and told him how much he appreciated his songs about Canada and invited him to go on tour with him.
“It turned out when I went on tour with him (‘Man With a Black Hat’) was a song I used to bring him out on stage each night,” he said. “I never thought I would be singing it at his memorial. He had a lot of respect for me and told the audience he was going to pass the torch to me.”
Hus said he’s enjoying plenty of success, playing as many as 200 days a year with his band.
“I’ve got a real strong underground following and I built that by touring a lot,” he said. “I played pretty close to 1,700 shows in my life so far. I’m quite proud that we haven’t played anywhere that we haven’t been asked back.”
Innes will also be on stage in Okotoks bringing such fan favourites as “One Tin Soldier” and “Mr. Monday,” and even some three-part harmonies.
“A lot of our stuff is one lead vocal and people singing the chorus or oohs behind,” he said. “I’m not the greatest harmony singer in the world.”
Innes said performing at the St. Mary’s Hospital fundraising gala in Trochu the weekend before should get the band’s three-part harmonies in top shape for the show in Okotoks. He will be joined by Shelley Jones, of Edmonton, and Julian Kerr, of High River, at both performances.
“We are looking forward to doing this show again,” he said. “We did it last year and we are glad to do it again.”
Although Innes grew up in Turner Valley, he spent many years performing in the United States. He is glad to return to his roots in the foothills.
“What I think I really gained by moving back is not only the people but the beautiful landscape in this amazing province,” he said. “We are sort of in the shadow of the mountains and live in this beautiful landscape.”
Twenty-one-year-old Gates does not have the experience Innes has as a performer, but he is no stranger to the stage.
Gates grew up playing old time fiddle music in the Gates Family Band with his father Troy and twin sister Marlee at dances and jamborees.
“My dad plays old time fiddle so he gave me a fiddle when I was five,” he said. “I still play it.”
It was three years ago Gates branched out on his own.
“It wasn’t until after I graduated high school that I started to write songs seriously and sing,” he said. “I just sang about things that were important to me.”
Gates’ lyrics tell stories of growing up in Edmonton playing hockey, spending time with family and about people he would meet in the street.
“That’s the goal is to tell my experience through song so people can get lost in the stories for a minute or two,” he said.
Tickets to see Bruce Innes and the Original Caste, Braden Gates and Tim Hus and His Travelin’ Band are available for $26 online at www.aroomfullofsound.com or at the door for $25.