Music lovers are about to get a whole lot of twang and fast-picking when the second Caetani Summer Music Series concert takes place on the historic grounds of the Caetani house.
The special Friday night performance, Bluegrass on the Grass, features three talented acts from the Okanagan/Shuswap.
On the newly built stage will be Lowell Friesen, Graham Ord and Jessie Padgett, from Kelowna-based bluegrass band The Trips, and headliners Canadian Whitewater.
“This will be the first evening music event to be held on the grounds. It will remain an all-ages family-friendly event, but will also feature a cash beer and wine bar,” said music series coordinator Andrew Mercer.
No stranger to Vernon audiences, Friesen combines a tender-hearted sensitivity, an edgy simmering angst and a dash of tongue-in-cheek humour to his brand of modern folk and alt.country.
Born in a small Manitoba Mennonite community, Friesen’s first influences ranged from the church choir harmonies he heard on Sundays to the twangy country tunes his father played.
After moving to B.C. in his youth, Friesen discovered skateboarding and punk rock, which inspired him to get his first guitar.
Fuelled by the energetic freethinking sub culture of the West Coast, he spent his teens and 20s exploring music, writing and art.
In the spring of 2015, Friesen released his independent, self-funded 12-song record Home…and Away and hit the road. The tour spanned three months, with Friesen playing more than 50 dates from coast to coast.
Now back in the North Okanagan, Friesen has began pre-production on his next collection of songs inspired by life on the road, the people he met, and new lessons learned.
Hailed by many as the “band of the summer” in the Okanagan for good reason, The Trips love to rip it up and have fun with an audience. They take many familiar tunes, along with their own originals, and give them their own alt. bluegrass treatment.
The Trips formed in January, 2013 when old friends Padgett (banjo) and Ord (guitar/mandolin) contacted fiddler Shamma Sabir with the idea of forming a bluegrass band.
Meeting weekly, they took some familiar tunes they all loved and arranged them for guitar, fiddle and banjo.
After a couple of months of jamming, they asked their good friend, guitarist Joshua Smith, to join the band with the idea they would all take turns singing and the three guys would swap around on the bass.
Charlie Veaudry, Jim Leduc, Chris Stevens and Bert Jensen make up the popular bluegrass band Canadian Whitewater.
With roots in both the North Okanagan and the Shuswap, band members bring their individual passions for bluegrass and old-time music.
The men, individually and collectively, exhibit a love and respect for bluegrass that transcends the required tight harmonies and hard-driving instrumentals, which are the cornerstone of the musical genre.
They can pick and sing with the best of them, but it is their love of the music that shines through.
They also understand that the bottom line for a performing band is to entertain people.
The Caetani Summer Music Series is family friendly and concert goers are encouraged to bring blankets, folding chairs, and even a picnic to enjoy a relaxing evening/afternoon of music. A selection of refreshments will be available for purchase and Anna’s Sweets and Treats will be on site.
Proceeds from ticket sales and donations go to the performers and to capital projects and program development at the Caetani Cultural Centre.
Tickets for Friday’s Bluegrass on the Grass are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and Caetani members and $15 for students and children, available at the Ticket Seller, ticketseller.ca, 250-549-7469. The Caetani Summer Music Series continues July 31, 2-4 p.m. with Calgary/Edmonton-based act Brent Tyler and Jory Kinjo
Due to construction on Pleasant Valley Road, patrons are reminded to park in the vicinity and use the back gate at the Caetani house to enter the event.