SummerSounds – Rotary Park Cranbrook B.C. Saturday 10th, 2019 8pm featuring the Calgary blues band MOJO.
Although the band works out of Calgary it has a strong connection to the East Kootenays. The singer/harmonica player Ethan Askey is originally from Cranbrook. The other members of the band are Danny Patton – lead guitar; Doug Boland – bass guitar and John Jackson – drums. The band was the third on the list for the night and, despite a storm earlier, they were more than ready to deliver an evening of rock solid blues based music. To that end they primed the dancers in the audience with the old Fat’s Domino tune Ain’t that a Shame and followed that up with Let the Good Times Roll. That opened the flood gates for the dancers to do their thing and without any hesitation the area in front of the band stand was soon flooded with dancers. Apart from a short intermission break Ethan Askey and his band mates wailed their way though their blues-rock repertoire for over two hours. Other songs in their set lists included I’m a Lover Not a Fighter; Spooky; Let’s Dance; Shaking all Over; Shame Shame Shame; Tennessee Whiskey (a country song); Gotta Serve Somebody (Bob Dylan); Going to a Party; She Ain’t Never Coming Back; A different version of Suzie Q; Use Me; Three Hundred Pounds of Joy; Brand New Cadillac and many more staples from the rock/blues repertoire. Ethan Askey’s wailing blues harp was the over riding sonic flavor of the evening with all member of the band rock solid behind him. The bass player Doug Boland was an interesting study. He started out the evening being super cool. Not much movement there just solid backup riffs. But eventually the ol’ bass players performing genes kicked in and by the end of the evening, like most bass players, he was “romancing and dancing” with his bass in fine style. Maybe it was the addition of the hat and Bono glasses that kicked him to high gear.
Ethan is a home town boy who grew up going to school here in Cranbrook before going out into the wider world. His local knowledge, anecdotes and stage patter cemented the perfect performer/audience relationship. It was pretty obvious that he had them in the palm of his hand.
The SummerSounds program, organized by The Fisher Peak Performing Arts Society, has been running for a few years now and with each passing year the attendance has steadily grown from a handful to what must have been a several hundred very happy patrons on this particularly fine summer evening. The society, the volunteers and the many sponsors should be thanked for the considerable efforts that they put into presenting this continuing program of fine local musicians and musicians “from away”. On that note don’t forget the fine Argentinean keyboard player Gabriel Palatchi and his band who will be performing in the SummerSounds program on Saturday August 24, 2019. It promises to be an exceptional night of Funk, Jazz, Hispanic, Flamenco and New Tango with lots of dancing in the park. I have seen and heard Gabriel a number of times over the past 3-5 years and his music should not be missed.