It doesn’t take much for any given musician to get excited about playing at Penticton’s Dream Cafe.
That’s according to Mark Branscombe, a singer-songwriter who’s leading Vancouver-based country rock and folk trio The Gravel-Airies into the Peach City venue on May 27.
“It’s the proximity to all the people, the great response, and the fact that people are actually there to listen to the music,” Branscombe said when asked of the Dream Cafe. “It’s almost like a small theatre.”
The musician last appeared in Penticton in May 2022 while playing with Canadian rock mainstays Mud Bay, a group that once served as the opening act for the legendary Stevie Ray Vaughn during its 44-year run on Canada’s blues scene.
Now, under the name of The Gravel-Aires, Branscombe will be joined by fellow B.C. musicians Mike Mahoney and Stuart Bedard to bring a country-rock vibe to Penticton.
Don’t expect to get out of your chair and feel like having to dance, though.
And in some ways, that’s exactly how the trio likes it.
“Our songs are maybe more listenable than danceable,” said Branscombe. “We want to engage with the people that are listening to the words…you make the music, put it out here and they can absorb it and apply it to another situation.”
The Gravel-Airies, a once side-project for Branscombe, played its first show together in November 2016 on the Lower Mainland.
Its show will feature instruments like the electric-slide guitar, mandolin, and harmonica.
“There’s a fair bit of drama, pause and twists and turns in the music,” Branscombe said. “It’s a little bit like a good book instead of a magazine.”
Saturday, May 27, marks the band’s debut appearance in Penticton.
“If people like acoustic instruments, they’ll connect with us,” Branscombe added. “We like to let our instruments breath.”
The Gravel-Airies takes the stage Saturday, starting at 8 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased at the Dream Cafe’s website.