By Margaret Hedderman
If there’s one thing that’s synonymous with summer besides beer and beaches, it’s good music. There are bands that literally make their living for the summer touring music festivals. I have a long (long) wish list for bands I need to see this summer, but here are my top 3 musical events. What’re yours?
An RCPM concert is fun anytime of the year, but catching them on a warm summer night with a beer or four is the quintessential experience. Peace, love and a good time are at the heart of all that is RCPM – that and good rock n’ roll. They’re wild fusion of American rock and over the border sounds is a culture unto itself. (If you haven’t yet, check out their latest album Unida Cantina.) The Tempe, AZ based band tours across the country, so catch them where you can!
Not going to lie, The Black Keys are getting near the top of my list of bands I need to see live. I was a latecomer to the band – my first listen was Brothers – but I’ve now come to appreciate them in their full glory. This summer, they’re playing at a slew of music festivals – Lollapalooza, Firefly, and Catalpa among others – but I’m going to venture to guess that if you can’t make it to Oya and Way Out West (Norway and Sweden) the place to catch up with them is in Toronto at one of their only non-festival performances. (Because who doesn’t need a good trip to Canada?)
The Four Corners Folk Festival – August 31 thru September 2
It may not be as hyped as the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, but the Four Corners Folk Festival is pretty damn good. Last year, I reviewed the festival for a local newspaper and was thoroughly impressed by the musicians the organizers brought into the tiny town of Pagosa Springs. This year two of my favourite acts are playing the festival – Railroad Earth and Loudon Wainwright. Railroad Earth is a fantastic folk/bluegrass band that has totally transcended the rustic twang of traditional bluegrass and brought the genre into the 21st Century. Loudon Wainwright is a hilarious songwriter made famous by his song “Dead Skunk,” though his repertoire is far more extensive than roadkill.