Roots Music Column- Kayla Luky review: Fred Eaglesmith, Mary Gauthier, Dan Bern Red Deer dates

With the summer break totally messing with my normal publication schedule in the Red Deer Advocate, my Roots Music column has fallen by the wayside. Not intentially, I’m sure- just the nature of summer holidays I suppose. I’m posting this week’s (actually last week’s revised) column here in the hopes of spreading the word about some local Red Deer gigs that roots fans will want to attend this weekend and in the days following. Also, you may recall the nice things I posted about Kayla Luky’s album a couple weeks back ( the review follows below. Best, thanks for your patience, and thanks for visiting Fervor Coulee- Donald

Alberta’s finest touring roots artists continue to make their way to The Hideout.

Appearing this weekend at the Gasoline Alley tavern and eatery are Canadian and international folk and roots performers. Tonight (July 8), The Heartbroken– featuring Damhnait Doyle- has a slicker sound than some, but their music remains very agreeable to those who listen with ears attuned to rootsy sounds. Tomorrow, Vancouver’s Graham Brown Band-featuring exceptionally strong vocals- pops in for a show.

In what has to be The Hideout’s most substantial coup thus far, Mary Gauthier appears with fiery fiddler Tania Elizabeth this coming Sunday evening (July 10).

For the second summer in a row, Fred Eaglesmith is spending a great deal of time in Alberta. July 14 finds Eaglesmith at the Grandview Stage near Rocky Mountain House while the next night he takes over The Vat.

Dan Bern also appears this month at The Vat; Bern brings his impressive songbook to The Vat July 20. Bern, who last appeared in town about a decade ago, is a top-notch entertainer as well as a terrific writer and singer.

Red Deer’s Central Music Festival features blues, roots, and rock from many popular performers: David Essig, Souljah Fyah, David Vest, the Jack Semple Trio, and Jonas and the Massive Attraction alongside local performers take over a wonderful rural site north of Red Deer August 12-14. Ticket information is available at

Blues-rock legend Johnny Winter is slated for Red Deer’s Memorial Centre October 13.

This week’s disc review:

Kayla Luky The Time It Takes

Arriving unheralded this month was the third album from Grandview, Manitoba’s Kayla Luky.

A full-blown alternative country release, The Time It Takes doesn’t waste any time in establishing itself as a revitalizing shot of natural sounding, roots music. From the initial seconds of the album’s opening track “Cowboys are Coming”, one suspects that the album is going to be something special.

And it is.

Similar in sound and approach to recent and excellent recordings from Kim Beggs, Ruth Moody, and Kate Maki, The Time It Takes marks Kayla Luky as an artist for whom we should keep an ear open. Swinging into Neko Case territory on “You Won’t Find Me” and “Arizona”, Luky takes on the fair-haired child of the Americana scene and wins an uncontested victory.

Among the many things one appreciates about this recording is the quality of Luky’s annunciation. While several noted artists have in recent years started slurring their lyrics in an attempt at (one supposes) poetic mystery, Luky lays everything out clearly.

“Lonesome Ranger” wouldn’t sound out of place on an Uncle Earl disc, and closes the album with energy and attitude.

This music could have been made anywhere, I suppose. But knowing that it comes from a group of friends gathered in small town Manitoba this past winter, living on liquor and lottery tickets, makes it all the more appealing and authentic.

Kayla Luky has an ache in her heart, but through music transforms it into something joyful.

Donald Teplyske is a local freelance writer who contributes a twice-monthly column on roots music; visit for additional reviews. If you know a roots music event of which he should be aware, contact him at

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