Events

WiL live at the Bassment Saturday July 6th, 8pm

The Bassment, 2095 Glenmohr Drive, Kamloops

William Mimnaugh (stage name wiL) is a contemporary roots artist who makes his home on Vancouver Island, Canada. Known for his fiery live show, enigmatic stage presence and mad skill with an acoustic guitar, the 48 year old front man (he tours with a drummer and, on occasion, adds instrumentation) is also known for penning ‘Roam’, flagship anthem to Travel Alberta’s stunning international media campaign called 'Remember to Breathe'.

Not one for school, his youth consisted of skateboarding and holing himself up in his room listening to everything from Chet Atkins to ACDC but It wasn’t until 1998, after hearing the flagrant use of an overdrive pedal on an acoustic guitar in Neutral Milk Hotels ‘In an Aeroplane over the Sea, an album and song that stunned his musical senses, that WiL really started refining and defining both his sound and his style.

But it took nearly fifteen years, with a few failed attempts in the process for the artist to figure out how to take that sound that he managed to deliver live night after night and capture it on a record. None of these though, does the songwriter blame on anyone - just a learning curve. In fact, wiL is first to maintain the key is to take your failures and use them as tools to improve, to be accountable. "That is really how I go about my life - f**k up move forward". If you can do that it’s half the battle, maybe more than half. I'm a late bloomer and I am OK with that. More than OK.

And so, armed with this bit of worldly wisdom, wiL set about writing his forthcoming album 'Gold Mine', a deeply personal record of self reflection, redemption and discovery. Written, recorded and entirely self produced at his home studio the album is coming to fruition at different times while working as an agricultural fence builder (the kind that keeps cows and horses from roaming freely) performing live and releasing the occasional cover song.

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Noel McKay and Brennan Leigh live at the Bassment Saturday August 17th, 8pm

The Bassment, 2095 Glenmohr Drive, Kamloops

Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay craft story songs with equal measures heart (“Before the World Was Made”) and humor (“Breaking Up And Making Up Again”). Evidence: Before the World Was Made. The Nashville based songwriters’ 2013 collaboration spotlights celebrated troubadours in peak form (“Before We Come to Our Senses”). “These are modern day country duets à la George Jones and Melba Montgomery,” producer Gurf Morlix says, “but with very sophisticated songwriting.”

Before the World Was Made began taking shape in 2012 right as Leigh’s solo high watermark The Box stirred waves far and wide. (Lee Ann Womack, Sunny Sweeney, Sarah Borges and Charley Crockett have covered her defiantly traditional country songs). By that point, Leigh was well rooted in Austin, where she moved after growing up playing in a family band in Minnesota. “I was attracted to the scene in Austin,” she says. “It was a great place to learn and get better at what I do.”

Meanwhile, McKay fronted the regionally popular McKay Brothers (Cold Beer and Hot Tamales), a band legendary songwriter Guy Clark had been championing for years. “Noel and Brennen are great songwriters,” says Clark, whose album My Favorite Picture of You contains the McKay co-write “El Coyote.” The album went on to win a Grammy for best Folk album in 2014.

Before the World Was Made proves his point. “Some of these are songs that Noe or l had from a long time ago that we reconstructed,” Leigh says, “and some we wrote together recently. Writing duets is just almost like writing from one point of view and splitting it and making it make sense. Like ‘Ball in Chain,’ is not like a fight song. Same with ‘Breaking Up and Making Up Again.’ They’re dysfunctional, but the characters are happy with their situation, so it’s almost from one point of view.”

The duo effortlessly balances wit (“Let’s Don’t Get Married”) and whimsy (“Let’s Go to Lubbock on Vacation”) throughout. “I’ve loaded up the Nomad and the tank is full of gas/We’ll ride along across the High Plains fast,” the latter goes. “We’ll find the sweetest spot on God’s creation, my pretty little turtle dove/Let’s go to Lubbock on vacation.” Punch line: “Then we’ll know we’re really in love.” The pair consistently doubles down with sharp snapshots charting equally unpredictable romantic byways (“Salty Kisses in the Sand,” “Great Big Oldsmobile”).

“We kind of set out to make out a record of songs that we were singing together, even if it wasn’t specifically duet songs,” McKay says. “We both have solo careers to think about, but we’ll probably revisit this over and over and it’s a nice thing we can keep doing.” “We got to where people were asking us about certain songs and lumping us together in their mind,” Leigh adds, “so we thought we should make something to pay homage to that. Of course, people like the funny ones the best.” Good reason: Only kindred spirits allow a song as wickedly waggish as “Be My Ball and Chain.”

​“Brennen’s really great at melodies,” McKay says. “She’s always kicking around a melody and it’s great and she’ll attach it to a lyric idea that’s equally great. She writes characters in her songs like a novelist.” “Noel always has the line,” Leigh counters. “It’s like, How are we going to wrap this up? How are we going to bring it around so it makes sense? He always ties it up. Noel’s a poet.”

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Ben Sures live at the Bassment Kamloops Friday September 20th, 8pm

The Bassment, 2095 Glenmohr Drive, Kamloops

Ben Sures is a Singer Songwriter based in Edmonton, Canada. He connects with his audiences on many levels. Armed with an acoustic guitar, his songs reach you in a way that make you think, feel, understand the world in a whole new way and laugh at yourself while you are at it. His audiences laugh a lot, from the humour and from the heart. When you see a Ben Sures show and you are heading home after you might suddenly realize how much meaning there was in the humour or you might realize how funny that meaningful song was or you might just be smiling from the good vibe.

The songs are melody driven, catchy and full of ideas, from the fan favourite ‘Boring People’ to Used to Have a Raygun and the John Lennon Songwriting contest winner, ‘Any Precious Girl.’ The music is interesting, fun to listen to and easy to remember.

He is the kind of songwriter that reaches the audience in a refreshing way.

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S.P.C.A. Fund Raiser live at the Bassment Friday October 18th, 8pm

The Bassment, 2095 Glenmohr Drive, Kamloops

This is our fourth annual fund raiser for the local S.P.C.A. branch. We are going to have many local and out of town artists for this concert. Bring your donations of dry and wet dog and cat food as well as blankets, toys beds towels and cleaning products that the S.P.C.A. can use. We look forward to seeing you all there.

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