Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 3/12/2014 (2279 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Canadian folk-roots-rockers The Skydiggers are bringing a scaled-down version of their famous Christmas show to Winnipeg and they’re going to kick things off at the Free Press News Café on Friday.
The Toronto-based band has packed the Horseshoe Tavern for a pair of pre-Christmas shows for more than 20 years and now – with a new Christmas CD in tow – they’re bringing their good tidings (and possibly some frankincense and myrrh) to the West End Cultural Centre on Friday at 8 p.m.
Four members of the band – lead singer Andy Maize, guitarist Josh Finlayson, singer Jessy Bell Smith and keyboardist Michael Johnston – will perform an acoustic show in support of their new CD, Angels. It was released as a five-song EP last year but the band decided to make it into a full-length, 11-song CD.
They’re going to come by 237 McDermot Avenue at 12:30 for an interview and to play a couple of songs.
"(The Horseshoe shows) became a gathering place for people coming home for the holidays and we provided the soundtrack for that gathering,. It’s become a tradition and I guess well keep doing it until nobody comes. We’re almost into the next generation now. People who would come to see us 25 years ago, now they’re kids are coming," Maize said.
The Skydiggers are planning to donate some of the proceeds from the show to the Kevin Walters Memorial Fund in honour of the long-time Winnipeg promoter of music and culture who died in June after a long battle with cancer.
"Kevin was a good friend of ours. He was a unique and special person and he was always a great guy to be around. He brought us into town for shows. Whenever we were in Winnipeg, we’d try to meet up with Kevin. When he’d come to Toronto, he was a great representative of Manitoba film and music," he said.
"He was one of those guys you were always glad to see. I don’t ever remember him being unhappy or pissed off. He was always introducing you to people and he always knew where the party was. Often, he was throwing it. There’s a big empty space where Kevin was. We think the memorial fund is a great idea and we’d love to contribute to it."
The Horseshoe shows were also a gathering place for other musicians, such as Blue Rodeo front man Jim Cuddy and solo-artist-turned-MP, Andrew Cash, who would often be asked up on stage to sing a song or two. There will be special guests at the West End, too, including Keri Latimer from Nathan, Jeffrey Hatcher, formerly of The Blue Shadows, and singer-songwriter Kate Friesen.
Angels is a mixture of original and covers songs, highlighted by the band’s version of "Good King Wenceslas."
"I’ve always liked that song. I liked the message of looking out for those less fortunate than oneself. It’s not super-Christmassy with baby Jesus or the three wise men. We just started playing it. It was one of the first things we started playing as a band," Maize said.