Fri, May 24, 2013.
Two top Canadian bands are headed to Fredericton for a show just announced for early summer. The Skydiggers and Deep Dark Woods are playing in the city's down town Officer's Square, capping off the all-day Brewer's Bash. That's an all-Canadian Craft Beer festival, being put on by the Picaroons folks, Fredericton's beloved brewers. It's a ticketed event for the whole day, which means you have to buy a pass to the beer fest as well as the music events, but ... hey, it's beer and music, you'd probably be doing that anyway.
If you've never been to a beer festival, here are some details: It's an outdoor event (with some tents) that features 300 Canadian beers by some 60 companies across the land. The idea is to come and taste interesting and new products, and let you know what's happening in the world of craft beer. You can come and go as you wish, which is nice, and the tickets are very reasonable, $25 a piece, and limited to 1000. What you get, in addition to the great music, is access to all these beer tents. They give you a four ounce tasting glass, and 8 tickets which you can use with any brewer. And if you want to keep going after eight mini-tastes, there are cheap prices throughout the day. Also, there are food vendors on site, so you don't have to leave, either. You might want to get a good spot saved for the groups.
This is a great time to see The Skydiggers, as the group is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Led by Andy Maize and Josh Finlayson, the group has a string of favourites including A Penny More, I Will Give You Everything and Anything For You. I've always found them to be the link between Blue Rodeo and The Tragically Hip, with thoughtful, well-crafted lyrics, and singer-songwriter moments fleshed out by a great band. Maize is one of the best front men around, mischievous and humourous, and a showman. Deep Dark Woods hail from Saskatoon, and have four much-admired albums to their credit. Alt-country is the tag they get, but it's just the start of their sounds, as they can mellow it down or rock it up as needed. Banjo, pedal steel and various keyboards weave in and out, and their roots sound has blossomed on the recent The Place I Left Behind album, a murder ballad here and a World War II epic there. It's a grand double bill. Tickets are available at http://etixnow.com/events/brewers-bash-jul-13 and at The Brewtique, and the Cedar Tree Cafe, on Queen St. in Fredericton.
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Bob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).