Monday, December 16, 2013

Highway 3 Roots Revue in Edmonton Dec.15th 2013

Last night I went to the Highway 3 Roots Revue held at Queen Alexandria Hall here in Edmonton. This was a re-scheduled show from November when the three musicians that make up the Revue got snowed in in Calgary. So it was nice to see them return for the make-up date.

Now the three musicians that make up this Highway 3 Roots Revue are Leeroy Stagger who is now based in Lethbridge, Alberta, John Wort Hannam from Fort Macleod, Alberta and Dave McCann also based in Lethbridge. These three singer-songwriters have toured as a trio for a few tours now, as this was my second time seeing all of them perform together.

The set-up for the show is each musician taking a turn doing a song and telling a story,and occasionally singing together. The main reason I was at this show as to see Leeroy Stagger as it had been over a year since I last saw him play, and that was with this same trio around this time last year. Dave McCann and John Wort Hannam were really good as well.

But I was focused on Leeroy's performance on this evening, having followed his career for about five or six years now. Leeroy Stagger released another great album earlier this year called "Truth be Sold". I was really hoping to hear some new stuff from the album, but it was a no go on this evening, as most of the stuff on "Truth Be Sold" is more rock then folk roots, but he did a few new songs that have yet to be released, so that was a bonus. Leeroy was the first singer to start the night, and he opened with the song "Stormy" from his album "Everything Is Real". Another song he did which is one of my favorites of his was "Dirty Windshields" from his album "Radiant Land". Speaking of Radiant Land,John Wort Hannam who has covered this title song on one of his own albums, played the song this evening, with Leeroy kicking in here and there. Some of the new songs Leeroy did was a song called "Angry Young Man" and "Ten Long Years" which both sounded quite good. Leeroy has also recorded an album with another trio called ESP (Easton,Stagger,Philips) which was done
about five years ago. Well, it looks like they have got back together and recorded a new
album that will be coming out this spring, followed by a few dates in southern Alberta. Leeroy did one of the new songs which was called "Highway Is My Home". Another great sounding song, I am looking forward to hearing the full album.

My brother has talked with Leeroy quite a bit over the past year, having seen him play Calgary lots this summer. And I too had the pleasure of speaking with him on Sunday. Word is or was that Leeroy was going to retire or take a break from his music career. Having got burned out and frustrated with the music business and now having a son (8 months old now). This would be a shame as the man is a great entertainer and singer songwriter and hell of a guitar player too. Well no sooner did he start thinking this, some breaks are coming his way. First off he landed two gigs opening for the Los Lobos in Lethbridge on Thursday January 23rd at Yates Theatre and then on the 24th in Calgary at the Thorncliffe Community Hall. And then in February Leeroy will be playing solo sets opening for Steve Earle in Chicago for three dates at the City Winery. Not only did he get these great opening slots, he also let the cat out of the bag by mentioning that he will be playing the Edmonton Folk Festival in the summer of 2014. A nice break for Leeroy as it is about time he got some recognition up here in Edmonton. So here is hoping even more great things come your way Leeroy.

Back to the show. This two hour show Sunday night was a great evening of folk inspired
tunes with all three artists putting on a great show. And a big thank you to the Northern Lights Folk Club for bringing this show to town. Good times!!!

Leeroy Stagger, Dave McCann and John Wort Hannam.

Leeroy Stagger.

John Wort Hannam.

Dave McCann.

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