For Winnipeg blues and folk troubadour Dustin Harder, music has been a part of his life since before he could walk.
“I started messing around with instruments by the time I could crawl up to them,” Harder said. “I really don’t know life in any other way. I’m definitely a lifer when it comes to it.”
And it’s a music-steeped history Harder and his Prairie Soul band brings to Vernon’s Record City March 10.
Born into a musical family, Harder began noodling with beats on the spoons before transitioning to his current love, the guitar.
Drawing inspiration from Manitoba music icons such as Neil Young, blues power-trio The Perpetrators and other inspirations like Johnny Cash, Harder blends a broad range of genres to craft his eclectic sound.
“A lot of it has a little something for everyone,” Harder said. “I would have to say anyone who enjoys my music is the person who enjoys going to folk festivals.”
Touring with Dustin Harder’s Prairie Soul debut album of the name name, Harder brings together 20 years of professional musicianship and upbeat dance-able jams to stages across the country.
“I just love the ability to go to new places and travel and discover my country,” Harder said.
While he finds it easier to disembark Winnipeg and tour western Canada, Harder’s is a two-decade career that has taken him across the country.
On his last tour, Hittin’ The Roads Harder — Go Hard Er Go Home, Harder had the unique opportunity to rock the Royal Canadian Legion in Inuvik, N.W.T. at the end of September.
“If it wasn’t for music, there wouldn’t be much reason to go up there,” Harder said. “I’ve always been encouraged to keep going, to keep sharing.”
Back in Vernon after rolling through the North Okanagan last November, Harder is stoked to bring his jams back to the Record City stage.
“It was a really good time, good folks. It’s a fun little spot to play,” Harder said. “I pride myself on getting people moving.”
And for Harder, the opportunity to hit the roads and see parts of his country otherwise untouched to him is half of the fun.
“I’ve learned over the past few years when people ask what is success, I live in it right now,” Harder said. “I get to travel around and meet new people.”
While he hopes to expand his musical reaches and tour outside of his country for a chance to travel the globe, Harder said he has no lofty goals to reach the upper echelon of musicianship.
“Any time I could be performing and there are ears to listen, that’s good enough for me.”
SMG Endeavors presents Harder and local singer/songwriter Kerry Parks at Record City March 10. Tickets are available for $10 advance in store, $15 at the door, $10 for students and free for kids aged 12-and-under. Record City is all ages, always. Doors at 8 p.m., music by 9 p.m.