By Karilyn Kempton, Special to the Revelstoke Times Review
The start of summer means sunny skies, long evenings, ice cream cones, and, you guessed it, live music in Grizzly Plaza. Each summer from the end of June through to the end of August, Revelstoke welcomes a performer to the stage in Grizzly Plaza for a free evening of music. From solo acts to established bands spanning nearly every genre, there’s truly something to suit every taste.
Presented by the Revelstoke Arts Council, the Summer Street Festival is a tradition welcomed by tourists and locals alike, and some of the best colour comes from children grooving to the tunes. Grab a seat and enjoy the show. Here’s a preview of some of the acts this season. Visit the arts council website for the complete schedule.
Kenny Holiday – June 26 & 27
Street Fest kicks off with Kenny Holliday, whose tribute to Rod Stewart is sure to please fans of the British legend. Holliday sings all the Rod Stewart classics, from “Maggie May” to “Forever Young” to “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy.” The covers span the ages from the rockers of the early years to the pop standards from “It Had To Be You: The Great American Songbook.” Welcome the summer music with Holliday’s back-to-back performances opening weekend.
Denis Severino – June 29 & August 22
Local favourite and folk music proselytizer Denis Severino plays two shows for your listening pleasure. Denis organizes the hugely successful Revelstoke Coffee House music series. He is well known to music fans around Revelstoke and beyond for his compelling stage presence and his talent on whichever instrument he has in his hands—whether it’s fiddle, banjo, guitar, harmonica or more. Denis heads down to West Virginia for the Appalachian String Band Music Festival in between his performances, so he’s sure to come back for the August 22 performance with new tricks and tunes up his sleeves.
Sean Ashby – July 1 & 24
Sean Ashby Canada Day features extremely talented singer/songwriter Sean Ashby, who spent eight years as Sarah McLachlan’s guitarist. After spending the next ten as leader of the band Jack Tripper, Ashby released his first solo album in 2008 and two more since. He has also played with Delerium, Ginger (formerly Grapes of Wrath) and an impressively long list of others. Ashby has spent the past five years on a heavy touring schedule around Canada and the United States, and puts on a well-honed show. His style ranges from hard rock to pop rock with soulful delivery.
Blackberry Wood – July 13 & August 10
Blackberry Wood is a high-energy, must-see spectacle that will delight folks of all ages. The band is an alt-country-gypsy-ragtime-circus combo that will make you move with the groove. With fantastic costumes and a tight horn section, Blackberry Wood wins over fans every time they come through Revelstoke. Do yourself a favour and make sure to check at least one of their shows – you haven’t seen anything like it.
Uncorked – July 18 & 19
Uncorked Hailing from Hamilton, Ontario, Uncorked offer an upbeat blend of rock, country and east coast standards with lots of vocal harmony. Great showmen and perennial favourite, Uncorked has the east coast “kitchen party” vibe down pat. From foot-tapping jams to sing-a-long standards, Uncorked is influenced by the likes of Credence Clearwater Revival, Blue Rodeo and the Eagles. They’re no stranger to street festivals, playing all across Canada.
Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra – July 23
Victoria-based Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra is not to be missed. The five-piece acoustic ensemble draws on flamenco, bluegrass, African percussion and other roots music influences in order to create their unique, playful sound. The band has played and busked across several continents, and they are particularly drawn to smaller towns and venues with a community vibe, like Grizzly Plaza.