Hitting the grid road

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Prairie Roots Revue brings Saskatchewan artists to rural communities

Paul Bogdan
A&C Writer

Prairie Roots Revue
The Artesian on 13th
Dec. 16
8 p.m.
$12 advance; $15 door

For Zachary Lucky, more is always better.

“I’ve always liked the idea touring with multiple bands, multiple artists,” said the Saskatoon singer-songwriter. “It always makes for a really good experience, but it also makes for a really good show. We all jumped at the chance to have all four of us on the same tour.”

Lucky will be touring alongside three other musicians who are from the prairies on the Prairie Roots Revue tour.

“The whole idea behind the tour was to get together a handful of musicians who are mainly based or from the prairies originally, and take the tour to places that it wouldn’t necessarily go without the given circumstances,” Lucky said. “The idea was to play in smaller towns and small theatres and stuff, and we’ll play a few bigger cities along the way. I think we’ve got together a pretty great line-up, and it’s definitely going to be a great show.” 

Performing on the tour is alongside Lucky are Northcote, Ryan Boldt of Saskatoon’s Deep Dark Woods, and Carly Meicher.

“I’ve been touring off and on all fall with Carly Meicher, and I’m a big fan of her songs. In a group of guys on tour, you need to have a female,” said a chuckling Lucky. “It’s great to have her along too.”

The tour came together rather haphazardly, with all four artists having their own schedules to deal with.

“I had been talking to both [Boldt] and Northcote for doing a set of shows separately, and it just so worked that we could all find a time,” Lucky said. “Once the idea came together to do the Prairie Roots Revue, both were excited. This tour has been pretty effortless in regards to planning and organization. 

“It just sort of worked out that I was talking to both of them about the same thing. It worked out that all of us were available.”

The tour couldn’t start at a better time, as Deep Dark Woods are just finishing up their tour of the United States.

“I’m excited to have each and every one of them on this tour,” Lucky said. “I think it’s especially great to have [Boldt], because Deep Dark Woods is slowly becoming one of Canada’s better-known bands, and they just finished months and months of touring for their new record. The day he gets back is the day our tour starts.”

Unlike many artists who only stop through major urban centres, the Prairie Roots Review will be having shows at a number of small towns in Saskatchewan, including Bruno, Birch Hill, Gravelbourg, Swift Current, Yorkton, as well as a stop in Dauphin, Man.  The Prairie Roots Revue will also stop in larger cities of Regina, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg.

“We offered the tour to a lot of different cities, music venues, and people who really seem to understand what we’re doing,” Lucky said. “We all feel this is pretty special. I don’t think there will be another time where we’ll all be on the same stage in this setting. We wanted to have the tour stop in places where people appreciated it and will enjoy it as much as we are.

“When you go to smaller centres like that, people don’t always get live music coming through. Not to say that people in cities aren’t appreciative, but people in smaller centres tend to be over-appreciative. They’ll give you the shirt off their back. Regina’s one of my favourite cities to play in, as is Saskatoon and Winnipeg, but it’s always a treat to go to smaller cities. A lot of the venues in smaller cities have a lot of character too. The theatre’s really nice in Dauhpin and same with Gravelbourg. The buildings are often older and make for a great performance space.”

While this may be the only opportunity that these four get to tour with one another, Lucky is open to turning the Prairie Roots Revue into an annual event, but nothing is certain yet.

“The reason I say that is because we’re all doing our own thing. Northcote is blowing up and so is Deep Dark Woods, and I’ve spent a large portion of the year touring as well and will do so in the coming years,” Lucky said. “It’s kind of a fluke that we had the week free, and I’ve already talked to some people who are interested in doing it next year. There’s nothing for sure yet, but this could very well become an annual thing.”

The Prairie Roots Revue makes a stop in Regina on Dec. 16 at the Artesian. Lucky said it will be “a really good time for all of the artists and whoever’s watching it.

“When you get such a good group of people together, and you get to go out and play shows together, there are just not complaints, and hopefully people enjoy that as well.”

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