Monday, August 5, 2013

Interstellar Rodeo Festival in Edmonton Day 3 July 28th 2013


Sunday was the last day of the three day sold out Interstellar Rodeo Festival. My buddy Hurl and I missed the opener of the day John Fullbright. But we were sure to be there in time for the Interstellar All-Stars jam which was Jim Cuddy from Blue Rodeo, Danny Michel and a guitar player originally from Mexico now based in Toronto a guy named QuiQue Escamilla backing up these three were a few guys from the Garifuna Collective. After seeing Danny Michel perform on the Saturday, I wasn't going to miss this.

Even with the weather being shitty, overcast, raining and the wind whipping around off and on, there was still a great turn out in the early afternoon for the All-Star jam. Each guy did about three songs, of course Jim Cuddy doing some Blue Rodeo songs, and Danny Michel doing three songs from his latest album "Black Birds Are Dancing Over Me" and again Danny got a great response from the audience. Guitarist QuiQue Escamilla did a couple of songs in Spanish, his last song was a spiced up mexi version of Johnny Cash's "I Walk The Line" in which he had the whole crowd singing along with him. It was a pretty decent start to the afternoon.

The Interstellar All-Stars, Jim Cuddy, Danny Michel and QuiQue Escamilla backed by The Garifuna Collective.


Next act of the afternoon was an artist from Vancouver by the name of C.R. Avery. We saw him to an interlude set on Saturday between acts. During that small set he was doing this weird human beat box spoken word poetry thing, which did absolutely nothing for me, I thought he was god awful. So when he hit the stage on this afternoon, I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention to him. It didn't take long before he had my full attention as he wasn't doing the spoken word poetry shit, as he was doing some rap stuff, still some beat box stuff as well, but not so prominent. The lyrics in his rap stuff was very interesting and then with his band and C.R. on harmonica he really had me. The man is a hell of a harp player and his band was damn good as well. By the end of his hour long set he made a fan of me. The man is talented in a lot of ways. The guy is a freak, like a Tom Waits on meth. I am intrigued and will be looking in to his music here real soon. A very interesting set.

C.R. Avery.


After C.R. Avery it was the Skydiggers. I didn't even realize this roots rock band were still around. Was never a fan of them therefore didn't really pay any attention to them.

Next was Amelia Curran a singer-songwriter from St. John's, Newfoundland. She played a folk/country/roots kind of music. She only did about a half hour set, which is too bad cause I thought she was really good. I will be looking in to her music a bit more. Her latest album Spectators was released last year on Six Shooter Records.

Amelia Curran.


I was looking forward to the next band which was Elliot BROOD from Toronto. This was my second time seeing this three piece alt-country band perform, and again, they were excellent. The crowd was packed in front of the stage for them and really getting in to it. They had the place a bouncing and singing along. A great set by Elliot BROOD.

Elliot BROOD.


We missed Serena Ryder's set as we went out for a few smokes and had a couple beers and then got in line to meet Steve Earle and get his autograph. It was nice that Steve was doing his signing before his set as Hurl and I were going to miss the tail end of his show as we had another concert to go to this same night. More about that later. I was looking forward to meeting Steve Earle as I have been a huge fan of his for many years. After standing in line for a little over a half hour Steve Earle made his way out to meet his fans. Steve looked healthy and good, which is good to see if you know anything about Steve Earle's past. Steve not only signed autographs, but took the time to shake hands and actually talk to all those in the line up, and as well, took the time to be photographed with every single person. Class act, as I have been to autographs sessions before where the musician wanted to no part of being there. So this was a very pleasant surprise. Thanks Steve Earle!!!

Steve Earle and I.


Autographed album.


The last act of the festival was Steve Earle and The Dukes. This was my eighth time seeing Steve Earle in concert, I have seen a few not so good shows by him, but this wasn't one of them. If anything, this was one of the better shows I have seen him do in the last 5 years. Although Steve's wife Allison Moorer wasn't in the band this time around, the rest of the band kicked ass. Steve himself even said that this was probably the best edition of the Dukes he has ever played with. Steve was very engaging through out his set and the song list for the his show as awesome. He even played one of my favorite Steve Earle songs "Ben McCulloch" from his 1995 Train A Comin' album. Steve mixed his setlist with songs from his whole career, and the new songs from his latest excellent album Low Highway worked great. Sadly, Hurl and I had to bail two thirds of the way through the show as we were off to the Starlite Room to catch the "Edmonton For Southern Alberta" benefit show. So the last song we heard on the way out was Copperhead Road. Didn't bother me any missing that song as I have heard it way too many times. Even though the night was rainy and windy and a touch chilly after being ou tin the elements all day, there was still a large crowd there for Steve Earle. A great performance by Steve Earle. Good times!!!

Steve Earle and The Dukes setlist.

1.The Low Highway
2.21st Century Blues
3.Calico County
4.Taneytown
5.Hard Core Troubadour
6.I Thought You Should Know
7.That's All You Got?
8.Love's Gonna Blow My Way
9.After Mardi Gras
10.This City
11.Ben McCulloch
12.Invisible
13.I Ain't Ever Satisfied
14.Guitar Town
15.Copperhead Road
16.Survivors of ..(instrumental)
17.The Galway Girl
18.Down the Road Pt 2
19.Down the Road

Encore:
20.The Revolution Starts Now

Steve Earle and The Dukes.


Steve Earle t-shirt front.


Back.


I have to say that the Interstellar Rodeo Festival is one of hell of a well run festival. For only there second year running, the people from Six Shooter Records and all the volunteers that put their time in to this festival did a great job. Even with the weather not co-operating the people still came out and stuck through it all. From the music line-up, to the venue, food vendors, Big Rock Breweries and of course all the fans that were respectful and again all the volunteers, cheers to everyone to a job well done. Looking forward to seeing what next years line-up will be. The dates for next years Interstellar Rodeo Festival are going to be July 25th-27th 2014.

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