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Canadian Country Weekend ends on a sunny note

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The last day of the Canadian Country Weekend in the Fort Macleod Fish and Game park was warm and full of cover music.Doc Walker’s Chris Thorsteinson and Murray Pulver of Doc Walker. Photo by Richard Amery
 I missed Lethbridge country band Hurtin’s opening set. They also closed off the beer gardens after Doc Walker were finished.

 I caught the end of Trevor Panczak and Rough Stock’s afternoon set. He played a couple of newer originals including one he was inspired to write after hearing about the shootings in Claresholm. He told some stories and then played a variety of covers including Kim Mitchell’s “Patio Lanterns,” a Ricky Skaggs song and a Waylon Jennings song as well as a sedate version of Guns N’ Roses Sweet Child O’ Mine. He ended his set with his own “Song About Drinking.”

Charlie Major was a major highlight of the day, so to speak. But while he and his band were setting up Leanna Santangelo and her band, guitarist Riley MacKinnon and keyboardist Robert George, played a set of contemporary covers including Gretchen Wilson’s “Here For the Party” and “All Jacked Up,” as well as several Carrie Underwood songs. She also sang my favourite Dixie Chicks song“Earl Had To Die.”

But Charlie Major was a major highlight, playing a lot of his earlier mid-90s material beginning with his 1996 hit “I Do It For the Money.” He didn’t say much to the audience other than to joke “We don’t call this hot up here, we call it the musicians’ weight loss program

 He played several songs from his latest CD “On The Evening Side,” including concert highlights “Through God’s Eyes,” and especially the up tempo rocker “Keep On Living.”
 he had a very talented, experienced band, who added the odd harmonized guitar solo and excellent background vocals.It was a beautiful Sunday evening for Canadian Country Weekend. Photo by Richard Amery

 “I’m Gonna Drive You Out Of My Mind” was another highlight that came early in the set. He has many interesting turns of phrases in his lyrics as well as some  superb guitar picking, and I enjoyed the overall  optimistic vibe of his music.
 He turned serious for a moment, tenderly picking his first big hit “It Can’t Happen To Me,” before being joined by the band mid-way through the song, before picking up the pace again with another rocker.

 “Someday I’m Gonna Drive In A Cadillac.”

He also threw in a cover of  Kim Mitchell’s “ Young At Heart” which featured a quick harmonized guitar solo as well as his version of “Thank The Lord For The Night Time.”
His lead guitarist played some excellent slide guitar throughout.
They were called back for an encore of “I’m All Right,” and “The Other Side”, which he stopped at the beginning and got the band to restart, laughing “I’ve only been singing this song for 27 years.”Charlie Major playing an entertaining set. Photo By Richard Amery

Doc Walker were in a fun mood to wind down the main stage.
 Lead singer Chris Thorsteinson beamed throughout their hit heavy set, which wasn’t without its surreal moments when they did a medley of covers beginning with a few bars of  Prince’s 1999, sung by lead guitarist Murray Pulver and then countrifying Kiss’s disco hit “I Was Made For Loving You,” which segued into the Bee GeesTrevor Panczak and Rough Stock playing a laid back afternoon set. Photo by Richard Amery “Stayin’ Alive,” plus a few bars of  Alabama’s “Mountain Music,” played disco style before going back to “I Was Made for Loving You.”

Before that they also played their country version of Genesis’s  early ’80s hit “That’s All.”

But they opened their show by playing a couple of my favourites “North Dakota Boy,” and “That Train,” right off the bat.

 Thorsteinson was in an affable mood, as he announced  a lost child to the audience, he observed “I’ve got  three children, I know how much that feeling sucks,” as the lost youngster made her way to the gate she was told.

 Lead guitarist Murray Pulver played some incendiary solos. They also played a couple new songs.
 Acoustic guitarist David Wasyliw played one of his outstanding solos songs then Thorsteinson noted they were going to play their first big Australian hit “If I Fall,” which he noted surprised them because they didn’t think anybody would know them in Australia.

 But by the time they were done their covers and back doing their originals, it was time for me to go, because I did not want to miss Roger Marin and Gordie Tentrees back in Lethbridge.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 07 August 2012 10:25 )  
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