It has been an eventful four years for Vernon’s popular Celtic-Maritime band Cod Gone Wild.
Not only have the Cods produced two full-length studio albums and toured all over Western Canada, they have performed shows in San Francisco, Newfoundland, and most recently at the Canadian ambassador’s residence in Quito, Ecuador on Canada Day.
Even with all of this fun, excitement and travel, members of the band have heavy hearts these days as they prepare to say goodbye to their bandmate and friend Anjuli Otter.
The Cods’ fiddler for the past four years, Otter is engaged to be married and will be moving in the fall to North Battleford, Sask.
“She has been an amazing addition and has played a large role in the band’s success to date,” said Cod frontman Andrew Mercer.
For her part, Otter says she is sad to leave, but knows the band will continue to entertain their legion of fans.
“What an adventure the last four years have been, so much laughter, sleeplessness, driving and, of course, music,” she said. “It’s been a privilege to grow and develop as musicians together. I’m sad to leave, but I know Andrew, Rhino, and Roy will continue to do amazing things in the community and beyond. I wish them continued success.”
Drummer Chad “Rhino” Carter is the only member, along with transplanted Newfoundlander Mercer, who has been with Cod Gone Wild from the beginning. Also in the band is bassist Roy Kawano.
Although he has witnessed many changes since the band’s inception, Carter says Otter’s departure is probably the toughest yet.
“Working with Anjuli has been amazing and as a band we have accomplished some incredible things. It’s hard for any group of musicians to find that natural connection and we had that,” he said. “We recorded two albums that I am very proud of and Anjuli’s talent shines through on them. She will be greatly missed and impossible to replace. I wish her success and happiness in her future endeavours and look forward to the next chapter with Cod Gone Wild.”
Cod Gone Wild is playing a bunch of shows all over the Okanagan, where local fans will have the opportunity to see Otter perform before her departure at the end of August.
They include outdoor concerts at the Mackie Lake House in Coldstream Aug. 7 and at Civic Sounds in downtown Vernon Aug. 13, as well as dates in Kelowna, West Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland and Kamloops.
The Cods plan to swim full stream ahead after Otter’s departure, and have numerous performances scheduled in the fall.
“We will be looking to fill Anjuli’s position as soon as possible and will be holding auditions in the coming weeks,” said Mercer. “Although we are disappointed that Anjuli is leaving, we have to push forward and get ready for a busy and exciting year ahead. That starts with finding the right musician(s) to come on board.”
The band will likely hire session fiddle players from all over western Canada for their future shows and are seeking a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist to join the ranks in helping lead performances and shape the future sound of the band, said Mercer.
“It is unlikely that we are going to find a singer/fiddle player and character like Anjuli, but we hope to find a unique artist that will bring a whole new flavour to the band and help us continue to grow as a group,” he said.
Any musicians who are interested in applying to audition can get in touch with Mercer at Andrew@codgonewild.com.
More information about Cod Gone Wild is available at www.codgonewild.com.