Two-day festival offers easy listening
Longview: Longstock Music and Arts Festival featuring 16 musicians this weekend
By: Tammy Rollie
| Posted: Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 08:23 am
He’s beaten a well-worn path through musical venues in the foothills over the years and will now claim the stage in his old stomping grounds this weekend.
For years, Shane Chisholm envisioned performing in the Longstock Music and Arts Festival in Longview, but with his summers packed with festivals and tours he was never able to get on the Longview stage.
All that changed this year when event organizer Eva Levesque asked Chisholm to join more than a dozen musicians for this summer’s Aug. 16-17 event in the Smith-Fuller Centennial Park.
“I made myself available this time,” he said. “I had some stuff in Ontario, but I cancelled it.”
Chisholm is an award-winning country music singer who started his career as a bass player before branching out on his own as a singer/songwriter/producer. He has since released three solo albums and his talent for entertaining captivated country music fans has netted him four Canadian Country Music Association awards.
He just moved to Calgary from Claresholm, where he lived for five years.
What makes Chisholm unique is he creates instruments out of recyclable materials, such as a bass made out of a gas tank from a Chevrolet Astro.
Chisholm said he always wanted to perform at the Longstock Music and Arts Festival and is glad to finally have that opportunity this summer.
“I’ve performed in the area a few times and the people there are really awesome,” he said. “Those are the ones you like to play for.”
Chisholm said he especially enjoys the festival atmosphere.
“It’s a gathering of people,” he said. “They’re happy and they want to hear music. That’s what gives us a rise.”
Chisholm said festivals allow musicians to connect with their audience and each other.
“When you’re traveling you don’t get to hang out with your musical peers too often so it’s nice to go there and catch up on good times,” he said.
Levesque also appreciates the opportunity to connect with other musicians. Not only is she the concert’s organizer, but she’s also a singer/songwriter with The Travelling Mabels, who perform this weekend.
Levesque said she often selects the event’s performers based on who she’s heard performing in the region recently and there are also a lot of returning bands at this year’s festival.
“We get a lot of the same people every year because they’re such crowd favourites,” she said. “Then there are some people who haven’t been back for a couple of years that we bring back again. I’m always looking for those musicians or duos or trios that can give us something interesting. We are always looking for good music.”
Levesque is bringing the Highwood Shredders, a four-piece a cappella group from High River who dress in old suits and tell jokes.
The majority of listeners at the Longstock Music and Arts Festival are ages 40 and up, said Levesque, and therefore the musicians selected play easy listening songs like classic rock, folk music and country.
She said Saturday’s show features classic rock and rockabilly with such performers as Angus Wilson and Tanya Ryan, while Sunday’s lineup includes easy listening crooners like Paul Rumbolt and The Hamiltones. Levesque said she created the event seven years ago to bring the community together.
“When we had that first show that first Saturday I saw people who lived in Longview who hadn’t seen one another for a long time getting together,” she said.
Levesque said even the performers connect with residents, often times going to the CD table to sign albums following their performance.
The Longstock Music and Arts Festival, which attracts about 1,000 people per day, also has a beer garden, concession and local artist and crafters from across the region displaying their creations.
“It’s almost like a huge farmers’ market that goes on there,” she said. “People love to shop.”
The event takes place Aug. 16 from noon to 9 p.m. and Aug. 17 from noon to 7 p.m. Admission is by donation. Money raised at the event will go toward a charity in Longview.
For more information visit www.longstock.org