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Under (song) pressure: Peer Pressure Song Club coming to Revelstoke in March

The group started writing songs in early 2021
Steph Clifford, Mike Shaver, and Katie Marti, respectively. (Mike Shaver)

Revelstoke will be treated to a performance from a song group with a non-traditional backstory, motivated by the pressure of negative consequences instead of personal fulfilment.

The Peer Pressure Song Club will be stopping in Revelstoke at the Fable Book Parlour on Friday, March 22. The group’s performance in Revelstoke will be just their second, as the group will be on their inaugural tour ahead of their first record. The group started in early 2021 during the global pandemic when Mike Shaver (Million Dollars in Pennies) issued a challenge to his fellow musicians, of which Katie Marti and Steph Clifford stepped up.

The challenge was for each member of the song club to write a song every two weeks and submit it into their group chat.

“I thought, let’s reach out to people to see if I can sort of leverage that expectation from other people,” said Shaver.

The songs didn’t have to be perfect, but they needed to be on time and if they weren’t, there would be a consequence.

The trio exchanged $100 per person and agreed that should any of them fail to produce a song by their deadline, a contribution in their name would be made to former U.S. President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign. The negative consequence was more than enough inspiration, as neither member of the group ever missed a deadline and collectively, the three artists produced 100 songs.

Shaver discussed what prompted him to pursue the two-week deadline and where the gauntlet of a political contribution came from.

“If you looked at my life, from a 10,000-foot view, it would appear that work is a hell of a lot more important to me, because I deliver all the time,” began Shaver.

He explained that amidst the chaos of the pandemic, coupled with the busy joys of being a new parent, his passion for music and songwriting had slid to the backburner. Without expectations or consequences, Shaver noticed himself missing a part of his life that fulfilled him.

“The overarching philosophy of why it came down to writing songs frequently was I have a friend who told me about a study about elementary school kids learning how to paint,” explained Shaver.

Half of the students were rewarded for their work’s quality and the other half for its quantity. Over time, the students rewarded based on quantity eventually produced better quality, too. Inspired by the study’s results, Shaver hatched the two-week deadline.

“And then kind of came the secret sauce,” said Shaver.

The special ingredient to the group’s success turned out to be the threat of supporting Donald Trump. Shaver said it as a joke initially, but Marti and Clifford both agreed, adding stakes to their song group’s challenge.

“I would have not written a song the very first week if it wasn’t for that $100,” said Shaver.

Taking one look at the donation section of former U.S. President Donald Trump, Shaver mustered the will to produce his first song.

The motivation was such a hit with Clifford and Marti that Clifford actually took it upon herself to uphold her contributions during a vacation in New Orleans.

The three performances in March will be the group’s first time bringing out to an audience. Shaver wasn’t sure what to expect from bringing the songs to the stage, but he suspected that the show would remind some audience of some of the challenges that the pandemic brought.

“Perhaps excavating the emotional content of the songs will be a reminder of that time. And then a reminder that it’s no small thing that we’re all together in a room in Revelstoke in March.”

Shaver said most of the songs are a combination of voice, guitar, with some piano and banjo sprinkled in. Each song was written individually, but the members will perform them together, with some solo performances.

The group will perform three shows before heading back to Vancouver to record an album comprised of three songs from each member. The shows start in Seymour Arm on March 21, then to Revelstoke at the Fable Book Parlour for March 22, and a final performance at Sunnybrae Hall on March 23.

Tickets for Revelstoke’s show can be purchased at Fable Book Parlour.

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Zach Delaney

About the Author: Zach Delaney

I came to the Revelstoke Review from Ottawa, Ontario, where I earned a Master of Journalism degree from Carleton University.
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