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Quinton Blair celebrates rural routes on new EP

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Quinton Blair may  live in the city, but he has rural roots.Quinton Blair returns to Lethbridge, May 9. Photo by Richard Amery
The Steinbach, Manitoba musician returns to Lethbridge to play the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Monday, May 9 in support of his new EP “ Cash Crop.”

“It’s a line from the first song Following Him Around,” said Blair relaxing in his  porch swing, watching a storm blow in. That is the subject of ‘Eye of the Storm.’

 “I do that a lot. I’ve done that  since I was a kid. In Manitoba you can sit and watch a storm blow in for two days. So I like to do that and sit and think,” said Blair, who while he lives in a town, enjoys riding horses and owns a hobby farm in southeastern Manitoba.

“ Both sides of my family farm. My grandpa used to farm. He died before I was born. He used to raise racehorses. So I grew up looking at pictures with my uncles standing around a horse after it won a race,” he said.
The new music examines his rural roots.

“ Following Him Around” which he wrote with Blake Berglund and Del Barber, is about the beef industry.
“It’s about a number of issues you see today in farming. It’s about some of the pressures young producers face. I wanted to take a snapshot of some of that,” he said.

 He wrote  the last song on the CD “Won’t be Missing You” with the Road Hammers’ Clayton Bellamy.
“The third song ‘300,000 Km’ is a true story about one of his fans.

“It’s about a girl in Dawson Creek who had a Mercury Topaz that she drove 300,000 km and about her experiences and memories with it. She later e-mailed me and told me she drove it 430,000 k.m.,” he said.
He noted his music doesn’t really fit into any modern country music definitions.
“I don’t really know what category I fit in,” he said. He won the 2015 Manitoba Roots Association’s roots country artist of the year.

“I’m a self ordained troubadour. I can play and tell stories. A lot of them are funny though I don’t mean them to be comedic, they just turn out that way,” he said.
It’s fun to play on my own like Steve Earle or a Guy Clark. And it’s cheaper to just bring myself and my guitar. I can play for 200 people in a bar or coffee shops,” he said noting the Lethbridge show will be part of a 14 tour including Saskatchewan, Alberta and  B.C.
“I’ve always felt like Lyle Lovett just on the outside. I’m getting great support so far,” he said, adding he’s already working on his next project.

“I’ve already got half of the next album written,” he said.
 While he often joins Blake Berglund on tour, he will be coming to Lethbridge on his own this time. Local musician Mike Gnandt.

“ I’m playing an open mic night, so I’ll play a set and open up the stage,” he said.
“I love Southern Alberta. You have a great local music scene. Leeroy Stagger and Corb Lund and Allison Brock there. I’d move there or somewhere in the Pass,” he said.
Quinton Blair plays the Owl Acoustic Lounge, May 9.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Friday, 06 May 2016 09:11 )  
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