The Bills, a high-energy band that combines folk, jazz and classical styles, will be playing at Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre on Nov. 14.
The group formed in 1996. “We had been playing together with different projects, and just started to do this one, and it just really caught on,” said lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Chris Frye. “The phone started ringing and the tours started happening.”
The members of the ensemble play a variety of instruments, from the fiddle to the mandolin, violin and viola. Frye said that the Bills don’t have one distinct style; they combine genres to produce a unique synthesis.
“The three main backgrounds for The Bills are folk music, jazz music and classical music,” Frye said. “We have guys who have played big shows at the Montreal Jazz Festival, we’ve played the biggest folk festivals in North American and the U.K. and then we have two guys who have been concert masters in the orchestra setting.”
The band emphasizes variety and on-the-spot musicality. “There’s a lot of room for improvisation … there’s a lot of room where the great musicians in the band get a chance to solo and do incredible things,” Frye said.
Some of Frye’s highlights as a member of The Bills were the group’s performances at the Calgary Folk Festival and the Tonder Festival in Denmark, a major festival that led to a 30-show tour all over Sweden as the band built a Scandanavian following.
The group’s latest offering is called Yes Please, and the stop in Revelstoke will be The Bills’ first tour of B.C. with the new album.
The band offers up twelve new original compositions and a seductive arrangement of a medley of gypsy-jazz ballads. Audiences can expect to hear the influences of global roots and rock alongside hints of Chopin, Stan Rogers and Django Reinhardt.
The Bills play the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre on Thursday, Nov. 14. at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15, at Art First, the Chamber of Commerce or through the Revelstoke Arts Council website.